Bank Business

alvaro-reyes-500037-unsplash

My daughter is about to check her phone until she realized she didn’t know about an account at this bank.  Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

My daughter demanded to know how my Ex got his hands on her and her brother’s money and as she peppered the manager with questions I could tell the man was not used to such a forceful and determined young person.

“Have the papers been filed against him?” she asked our lawyer.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Are we using this or are we going to nail him?” she asked to everyone’s shock.

“What?” Kylie queried when she saw the look on our faces. “I understand the concept of leverage as well as the next person but no matter what you do make sure you get back our money.”

Shane had been going through the bank statements with a highlighter when he nudged his sister and pointed to something. He took a red pen and placed an asterisk next to it then got his sister’s phone and took a picture.

“May I kindly speak to her, please? Knowing my father, I assume there is a ‘her’ he manipulated to get access to our accounts.”

The manager called in the woman.

“Do you consent to have this conversation recorded?” asked my daughter putting her phone in the middle of the table.

The woman hesitated and then slowly noted. “A verbal answer is required,” my daughter explained.

“Yes,” replied the woman.

My daughter pushed some papers across the desk to her. “Please state your name and tell me if this is your signature on this document?” directed Kylie.

“My name is Teresa Mayers and yes this is my signature.”

My daughter went on. “Can you please explain what this form is for and how it came to be added to these accounts?”

“It is a form that allows the named person, in this case, Walter Haynes, full access to the account. Why, because he wanted to be able to better manage to money on the account.”

“What about the persons whose names were on the accounts? Couldn’t they manage the money themselves?”

“He said his children were minors and his wife was a heavy spender. He was afraid she would drain the accounts.”

Kylie pushed another set of papers forward. “Can you see a single withdrawal on this account? When you see the first withdrawal, please state the date.”

She stated them for both accounts. Kylie pointed to the paperwork to access the account.

“How soon after access was granted did the removal of monies happened?”

The bank teller replied. “One week.”

“Who did the withdrawals?” asked Kylie.

“The person who signed the form Walter Haynes. Why are you asking me these questions? You are minor.”

“It’s my money you gave that man access to. My money he has been spending on goodness knows what. So I can ask as many questions as I please. But last question. Did you call the owners of the account or the person in charge of the account to verify the validity of the letter?”

The bank teller looked puzzled. “No. It was signed and dated.”

“Correction,” said Kylie. “The signature is a forgery.” The woman’s eyes popped open.

“My mother would never have signed this letter. Plus, when this was written, we were all in the US looking at universities. I’ve not spoken to my father in almost three or four years why would I want him managing my money?”

The bank teller shrugged, unable to reply. “I want his authorization revoked and a flag put on the account so that the next time he comes in to make a withdrawal, the police are called. I’m done playing games,” said Kylie.

“What do we need to sign to make it happened?” Kylie leaned back in the chair, waiting.

The manager started to get the necessary paperwork and placed the needed blocks on the account so no withdrawals could be made until the children were each twenty-one or older.

“Rental property?” asked Shane to Mr. Divine.

Mr. divine looked at the balances of both accounts.

“By twenty-one, if the market is right. It’s more than possible.”

“Sweet,” said Shane with glee.

Lindsay looked at her daughter going over paperwork and asking questions when she didn’t understand. Kylie’s maturity never ceased to fill her with awe. Her instincts told her this situation with Walter would be reaching a tipping point by the end of the next two to three weeks. During that time things would get really heated and she needed to have her fire extinguisher ready.

 

Advertisements

Shot Across the Bow

rawpixel-633841-unsplash

The bank manager was in for a shock. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The lawyer broke into a huge smile.

“Fraud,” said Mr. Divine.

“Correct,” came the reply. “And theft of thousands of dollars from the children that he used on whores.”

“So what should we do? Bring this to the custody hearing for the kids or countersue?”

“I love how this woman thanks,” said the lawyer.

“He will not expect this countersuit and it will send him scrambling. After we file the papers, we will need to hit the bank. Someone in there give him access.” Explained the lawyer.

“When we were married. Well separated, I found out he was sleeping with this girl in the bank and used her to block my access to our joint account information.”

“He did this before. I love it,” said the lawyer with a laugh. “I think it is time for him to learn a lesson with a punishment to fit the crime.”

So on our dining room table, over wine and laughter, a plan and papers were drafted. As soon as we got proof they were filed we would be hitting the bank.

Things went smoothly and with the papers in hand and lawyer next to us, we hit the bank.

“We are here to see the manager,” said our lawyer.

“May I ask who is it an what it is about?”

“The lawyer handed over his business card and said in a loud voice. “It is about fraud and theft of monies from two accounts in this bank.”

The words drifted downstairs and a murmur could be heard. The time we turned up at the bank had been chosen with purpose. The place was busy. It worked. The secretary scrambled up.

“One moment.” She raced into her boss’s office and in less than two seconds the manager was in front of us.

“Good morning. Can I help you?” said the man.

Our lawyer handed over the papers and he took them. The man took out his glasses and started to read. “Charline, hold all my calls,” he instructed and urged us to follow him.

“This is a serious allegation,” said the man. “Can I see your proof?”

“It’s in your files. Only two or three people can give permission for him to have access to these accounts. The minors who they belong to don’t speak to him. The grandmother who opened the accounts and we know she didn’t do it. She hates the man, always did. Then the mother who is here and sure as hell didn’t give him permission.”

“That is my children’s nest egg. Why are withdrawals being made? Nothing is supposed to be withdrawn until they are twenty-one or twenty-five,” Said Lindsay arms folded.

“Get your files,” urged the lawyer.

 

New Information

rawpixel-589073-unsplash1

The files were very revealing. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

When Lindsay saw the investigator coming through the door with what seemed like a nonstop parade of files she felt my breath caught. I was massive, so much more than she expected. They started to explain what they found. Lindsay felt her jaw drop.

Not only was Walter living in a woman’s house, but he was making the woman pay the bulk of the bills by saying he had one payment or the other for the children. He didn’t actually.

The money for the children from Walter went into a bank account we didn’t touch. The aim was for the accounts to be a nest egg for the children to do something big with when they each turned twenty-one. To date, Lindsay had no clue how much each account held. When she saw the paperwork in front of her, she was shocked. Each account contained a significant figure, Kylie’s being the biggest.

As Lindsay looked over the bank statements that was when she started to notice withdrawals. Slowly she went over all the bank statements she had been given. They indicated that for the last year, Walter had been taking money from the children’s accounts because it hadn’t been them or me.

“Look at this,” Lindsay said to Mr. Divine. “He’s been taken money from the children’s accounts and considering he hasn’t been sending them cash. What has he been doing with it?”

“Rolling flush trying to impress women with it,” said the investigator who was handing us the papers as we requested them. “He pretends he is rich and can buy them anything and the women he had been sleeping with are pros and he doesn’t know. They are draining him.  That is why he has been using the children’s accounts, for the money.”

“Who started the accounts?” asked the lawyer.

“I did. No wait, it was my mom. When Kylie was born my mother bought me a thousand dollars and said I was supposed to open an account for her. Well, more like she opened the account and brought the book after she took one look at Walter. She did the same for Shane. The bank book came in the post. I deposited money every month.”

“When did you stop and Walter and start?” asked the lawyer.

“Since the divorce or more like months before. I started new accounts for them and planned to move the money but the bank was giving me drama so I left it there,” said Lindsay with a shrug.

“It’s funny how they give you trouble when it’s your money but let someone who it doesn’t belong to gain access it without a problem,” said the lawyer.

“Did you give Walter the power to withdraw money from the account?” The man went on to ask.

“Hell no!” I replied.

“Well, somehow he has it.” Was the lawyer’s reply.

 

Hidden Angle

helloquence51716

The lawyer was going over the paperwork. Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Lindsay was tempted to just leave Mr. Divine with the lawyer to figure out a plan of attack but she had to stop herself. This was a problem she had been the root cause of, so she needed to contribute, somehow.

Settling in Lindsay told the lawyer about Walter’s interaction with the children throughout the years and the fact that after the separation things got progressively worst. He insisted she elaborate.

She went on to explain the massive switch in the children’s attitude because Walter had started to bully them. As she spoke the lawyer wrote down the information. The man was especially interested in the teachers who were present at the mediation meeting we were forced to hold to get the children back under control. Each story seemed worst than the last.

Leaning back Lindsay tapped her hand on the table as she tried to understand what was truly going on.

“What is his aim?” Lindsay asked out loud. “That is what is bugging me. Walter never showed interest in the children so why is he doing this?”

Lindsay turned to Mr. Divine. “I know you said you have your guys on him but tell them to dig deeper. I know he doesn’t what the kids. He is after something else I’m sure of it.”

She was almost frantic by the time she finished her speech.

Mr. Divine reached for Lindsay to calm her down and she clutched his hand like a lifeline.

“The investigators will come in tomorrow and we will go over what they found together. You know the way Walter thinks after enduring him for more than eighteen plus years, so if anyone can figure this out, it’s you.”

Lindsay took a deep breath and nodded, trying desperately to keep calm. It wasn’t happening. Mr. Divine had no clue what he had just asked of her. To get into Walter’s mind was to delve into a place of negativity, manipulation and hate. Anything that man did was self-serving so Lindsay knew she would have to keep that in mind.

Mr. Divine leaned in and kissed her and Lindsay held him tight.

“Make sure you pull me back after I do this,” she whispered to him as unease crawled through her body. “Pour the positivity into my life as soon as I’m done looking into what that man is doing. Fill me with light to counter his evil.

“I’ve got you baby,” he assured me. “I’ve got you.”

Lawyer on Board

william-stitt-162611-unsplash1

Kylie could become very dramatic when she wanted to make a point.  Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

That afternoon when Mr. Divine came home, he came with the lawyer who did our divorce. The kids were still in heavy tidy-up mode in their rooms but they took a quick break to say hello.

“You got this right,” stated Kylie with a pointed look at the lawyer.

“I’ll try my best,” replied the lawyer.

“More than your best,” insisted Kylie. “Because if that person gets rights over me, I’m taking my brother and we’re running away.”

Shane slipped his hand around his sister’s waist in solidarity.

“I remember how he was,” said Kylie. “Especially after he just left mom. He was a bully. Always saying horrible things to us. It threw us into a bad place and we are not going back there.”

There was no mistaking how serious the kids were.

“We understand Kylie,” Lindsay said not wanting the idea of running away to take root. The thing is, Lindsay had a feeling she was too late in that department. Kylie could become very dramatic when she wanted to make a point. She was a focused and determined child. Lindsay could even go as far as saying stubborn. The lawyer would have to act fast.

“When I got the call I immediately told the investigator that I would need the information he had been collecting,” explained the lawyer. “When I got it I saw your ex is still hopping from woman to woman. All of this while he is living with the woman he left you for. In her house.”

Lindsay was shocked. “How did you get information on him so quickly? I was sure it would take days.”

“I never took the investigation off of him Lindsay,” said Mr. Divine. “I knew once we had the children there was a possibility he would try to get custody again. I wasn’t about to let that happen.”

Reaching out Lindsay twined my fingers with Mr. Divine’s and he lifted my hand up and kissed it.

“And that is why I call the expletive that’s causing this drama nothing but a sperm donor,” said Kylie. “We got this,” she told Shane and walked off with a huge smile.

Lindsay prayed she was right.

Fight Stance

arthur-yao-469874-unsplash

We are ready for war. Photo by ARTHUR YAO on Unsplash

The kids came into the living room from sorting out their clothes in their rooms to find me sitting down in the kitchen with the phone off the hook next to me

Kylie gave me a look and pointed to the phone with the open line beeping loudly next to me. “What is going on?”

It was on the tip of my tongue to say, ‘your father is acting the ass’, but I curbed my tongue and said. “Your father is being difficult.”

The kids looked at me puzzled. “What’s the matter?”

I sighed in frustration. “He said there is no way he is he is letting me take you kids and move you overseas. He plans to take us to court.”

“Ohhhhhh,” said Kylie. “You mean my biological sperm donor. I don’t consider him my father. He lost that privilege a long ago.”

“Can he do that?” demanded Shane. “After not giving a flying leap about us. Try to jump in and destroy our lives. Our dreams.”

“You know we will make sure that doesn’t happen Shane,” I said. Trying to reassure him as well as myself.

“He is a wicked, vengeful and spiteful man mother. You can bet he is going to do everything he can to make our lives a living hell,” murmured Kylie.

“Mom I have a full scholarship and there is no way I’m letting him destroy this opportunity for me. This new school that Shane is planning to go to will give him the foundation he needed in his chosen field of study. They have a good sports program and he has the potential for a scholarship. He is trying to destroy our lives and I am not having it.”

“Calm down Kylie. We’ll get this sorted.”

She started to take slow, deep breaths, determined to return to that peaceful place.

“This will be sorted,” she said with a huge smile. “Daddy will fix it.’

With those words, she crossed the kitchen to the fridge. Got a glass of water and left the room. Shrugging Shane did the same thing.

The kids had spoken. “Daddy will fix it.”

Spoke in Our Wheel

alistair-macrobert-688941-unsplash

The ‘Ex’ is determined to cause trouble but we’re ready for him. Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash

Everything is in place, well as much as it can be, and the children are excited for their big move to start their breath schools. The date for our move is a month from now and we are in the downsizing, sort mode to figure out what we are going to take, leave or get rid of. Everything is progressing well, close to perfect when the phone rings and we are tossed into a spewing volcano of drama.

“You think you can just take my children and move to another country. No way. I’m taking you to court and stopping it bitch.”

My breath caught and I put down the phone not wanting to answer and start a quarrel and have my words recorded to be used against me. Yes, that was how I thought now. Keep your mouth shut, listen and protect your interest.

The phone started to ring again and I let it ring for a while then answered it. Again the tirade started. I disconnected the call then took the phone off the hook and went to find my phone. I needed to call my husband to let him know trouble was knocking with a battering ram at our door and we needed to fortify our defenses.

When Mr. Divine answered me all I could think was this man loves me.

“Hello honey. How is the sorting going?”

“Good,” I answered dismissively. I took a deep breath.

“What is the matter? What happened?” demanded Mr. Divine.

I just let everything out. “Walter has called here twice in the last ten minutes saying we can’t take the kids overseas to live and he is going to take us to court.”

“Is he now!” Said Mr. Divine. “I knew things were quiet when it comes to him. Let him come. I’m looking forward to smacking him six ways to infinity. When I’m done with him he will know not to mess with my wife, my kids, my family. I’ll protect what I love no matter what and I’m to make him understand and never forget it again.

Money Lessons

markus-spiske-484245-unsplash

I had so much to learn about money and how to make it work for me. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I came home from visiting Noel to find everyone in the kitchen cooking. We got to talking and after I told them about the incident that happened while I was as Noel’s. It prompted a lesson about money and how to make it work for you. The conversation had the children’s full attention and when we sat down to dinner that was when the back and forth started.

As we settled down to dinner we continued to talk.

“So dad, explain how you made your money work for you?” urged Shane as we sat down.

“Well they are several methods,” he stated to tell us. “ Some low risk, some middle risk and others insanely high risk.”

“Which ones do you use?” asked Kyla as she poured salad cream dressing over her veggies.

Mr. Divine laughed. “All of them.”

Kyla smiled at his comment.

“I rotate my money between stock market investments, high yield accounts, money market and treasury bonds. I set money into fixed, high-interest accounts in cycles or fixed deposits.”

The kids looked at Mr. Divine confused as they waited for more of an explanation.

“So I have a business from which I get a monthly salary. From that, I established a budget. What I need to send each month to pay bills and survive and a little fun money. Then I have the money I plan to save and use for investment. I also have an emergency fund.”

As we ate he explained more. “For me, a cycle is every three months. I take the money I saved over three months then divide it into sections and invest it. Some I put into investments that mature in five years. Others go into the money market, another set into the stock market.”

The children sat there listening, and I could see Kyla had on her thinking face.

After Mr. Divine paused she started with the questions.

“So you have your investments set up that after the initial investment period you get a lump sum coming at you every three months. You can then re-invest it as is when it matures or add on money that you set aside to invest.”

Mr. Divine laughed in delight. “And you, my dear, are thinking like a successful business person.

We spent the rest of the night talking about investing and investments. How to manage them. The risks of the stock market. Making smart investments. Overextending yourself. It was an educational night. Not just for the children but for me as well.

The next day I dragged Mr. Divine with me to the bank. We looked at my account and the children’s accounts. Next, we removed three-quarters of the money from each account and make our way to the credit union and investment broker. It was time to make our money work for us.

Money Madness

taylor-kiser-373480-unsplash

Talking over dinner.

When I got home from my visit with Noel, I found Mr. Divine in the kitchen cooking dinner with the kids. From the looks of it, we are going to having some type of stir fry chicken with baked sweet potato with salad.

“How was your day, honey?” asked Mr. Divine as he stirred the pan on the fire.

“It was good. In fact, the best word for it would be interesting.”

He paused mid-stir. “What happened?”

“Well, while we were talking Noel got her bank statement in the mail and that was when the drama got epic.”

“Over her bank statement?” said Mr. Divine. “What did they do?”

“Had five dollars extra in the maintenance fee charged to her account. Then when she finally found a number of calls on one would answer. She had to press the extension for wealth management to get an answer.”

Mr. Divine’s jaw dropped. “Yikes. That’s….unheard of.”

The children watched us, listening to my explanation of what happened. As I continued the story I could see Mr. Divine becoming very disturbed by what he was hearing.

“That sounds insane. When I call the bank I never have that problem.”

“And I bet your account is under business or wealth management and you have a specific person you talk to about your account. Someone who knows you and sees to your every need.,” I said as I climbed onto the stool in front of the bar top that extended from the countertop.

He nodded as he mixed the pasta into the chicken and veggies he had stir-fried. “I see what mean.”

“So what’s the huge difference,” asked Kyla as she cut vegetables for a salad. Shane handed her the leaves of lettuce he had washed and continued on to the other veggies and fruits he had on the counter close to him.

“The way bank staff deals with you basically. Your dad has a direct line to someone in the bank and they scramble to help him but when most of us call the bank its a different story. We have to hunt for a number firstly. Then we call and call but no one answers the phone.”

Kyla looked at me shocked. “Really!”

“Sadly yes,” I replied. “That why Noel is so against banks. Nowadays its fees, fees and more fees and little or no service.”

“So what can you do?” Shane dried his hands and moved to stand next to Kyla while he asked the question.

“It’s about being very strategic with your money. Making it work for you,” said Mr. Divine.

The kids looked at us confused. “What does that mean?”

Next Step

markus-spiske-144806-unsplash1

My children love Berlin. Love, love, love it. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

While we were away indulging out wanderlust we were keeping track of the next steps we wanted to take in our lives but we were not about to let that distract us from having a good time. The news we had been waiting for reached us during our three-day stopover in Berlin. Kylie got several emails about grades, school and the scholarships she has applied for. From there we put things into place while we continued our trip through Europe. All the necessary information was forwarded to the schools the children wanted to go to so things would be in place when we got back home.

The trip became even more exciting now we got the news about the kids going to the schools of their choice. As we traveled we allowed the children to the take the lead more so they could strengthen their navigation skills in a big and times more complication environment. They helped each other, figuring out how to uses maps and find out information in a country where they didn’t speak the language.

“I’m really enjoying this mom,” said Kylie as she tiptoed and looked through the crowd to see more of the stalls set up at Kunstmarkt, a huge flea market in Berlin.

“There is so much history and culture here. I think going to school here would be a lot more interesting than the US.

Mr. Divine laughed at her remark. “That is probably very true. We can check and see if your university offers a study abroad program. Another option is to do your Master’s Degree or make sure your first job is in Europe.”

“Can I do that?” she asked excitingly.

“Yes,” Mr. Divine replied as she held his arm and looked up him in awe.

“It’s time for both you and Shane to dream big and discover the world. Strengthen your language skills and travel.”

The kids looked at each other and nodded. Their excitement visible. They both had their sights set on choosing a new skill they wanted to discover and develop, plus the fire to go after it. I can’t wait to see what language or languages they choose.