A 28-year old Washington state construction worker Ikenna Njoku bought a home a year ago, considered by many to be an essential part of the American Dream. “I was really excited. For the first time, I actually got to buy a lawn mower, mow my lawn and everything,” he told a local news station.
By purchasing a home, Njoku qualified for a first time home buyer rebate on his tax return. The IRS directly deposited his rebate into his Chase Bank account. Chase had previously closed Njoku’s account due to overdrawn checks, so it first deducted $600 to recoup its expenses and then mailed a $8,463.21 check to him.
But when he showed up at Chase Bank to cash his check, the teller refused to believe that it was legitimate. He returned later and found the police waiting for him. He was immediately arrested. Within a day, the bank realized it had made a mistake, but because the local detective was off work, Njoku was unable to get out of jail for three days.
By then, he had been fired from his job and his car had been towed. He ended up having to sell the car because he couldn’t afford to get it out of the pound. And after all this, Chase still hasn’t apologized in the year since these events occured. His lawyer his requested damages from the bank, but has yet to get any sort of agreement out of it. Local news station KING 5 filed a video report about Njoku’s case. Watch it:
KING 5 reached out to Chase Bank for a response to Njoku’s predicament. It received a 2-sentence reply from Chase Media Relation’s Darcy Donoahoe-Wilmot: “We received the letter and are reviewing the situation. We’ll be reaching out to the customer.” “It’s one thing to make a mistake,” responded Chase Luna, Njoku’s attorney. “It’s one thing to make multiple errors of judgment like Chase has made and then, once you realize that your error has caused such harm to somebody else, to just ignore it for a year. I think he deserved better. I think all their customers do.”