On 2/3/2017, my father financed a truck through Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union. He signed a bank-prepared document to elect life insurance to pay off his car loan in the event of his death. My father passed away 2 months ago, on 9/20/2018. When my sister first tried to discuss this policy with branch manager Grace Simonelli about a month ago, she was told the policy was not valid after age 70 or 72. She wasn’t sure at the time. She failed to return calls to my sister for over a week and talked down to my sister who was just trying to understand what is happening when our dad was adamant that he was covered. Our mother had passed away a few years earlier and did not have these protections, so my dad vowed to make sure he did. The problem I have is that the form for the life insurance, which was completed and provided to my dad by the branch manager, was signed when my dad was almost 71, beyond the age restriction parameter already. I understand that the form states that there is an age limit, but the bank provided this policy as an option for him, and this was clearly NOT explained to my dad. In fact, the bank had him sign it (with his birth date CLEARLY typed by the bank on the form), scanned it into their system, and stapled their business card to his copy of the form for him. I spoke to bank president Scott Weaver, and he was less than sympathetic. He even laughed nonchalantly and said “I don’t think anything we did was illegal.” It is certainly unethical and incompetent for a branch manager to supply a form for a policy if he was not eligible. The premium for the policy would have been built into his car payment; it would not have been separate. Honestly not long after he bought the car, he got very sick, and he may not have realized he wasn’t paying for it. Eventually, my sister started paying bills for him, and she would not have known to look for anything else. When I expressed to Mr. Weaver that it felt like his bank took advantage of my father, he replied “if your father was incompetent, he should not have been buying a car.” I expressed to him that being a senior citizen does not make someone incompetent but did offer challenges. I told him I was infuriated at this process, how Grace treated my father and sister, and how little he seemed to care. He replied, “yes, and I guess you will just stay that way.” I asked Mr. Weaver if it was normal practice for his branch managers and loan officers to supply and have clients sign forms for policies that they are not eligible to obtain. He said he didn’t know. I find that to be absurd. He asked me what I wanted, and I told him I wanted him to find out why Grace gave and had my dad sign the form. He called her and said she did not remember the loan closing. He said it must have been a glitch in the system. This is unacceptable. My father may have financed elsewhere but for that policy, and now my sister and I are saddled with this on top of our loss. I cannot imagine treating someone the way we have been treated by a branch manager and the bank President. One bright spot in all of this was the caring and sincere concern by loan manager Toleta Stevenson (not sure of spelling). She was amazing!
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