Small town banks will screw you just as quick as the big ones.
When our daughter was in high school, she was selected to go to Germany as an exchange student. I opened a savings account at a "friendly small town bank" to accumulate funds for her trip. I had a little money of my own in the account.
I also had an open note for $800 at the same bank for something or other. I knew the note was coming due, and I was waiting to get a notice in the mail so I could go in to the bank and either pay it off in total or in part and/or renew it.
About then, I needed some money in a hurry, so I simply withdrew $200 from that account. A couple of days later, I got an overdraft notice for $200 on that account. I yelled, "What the hell?" so loud they probably heard me at the bank. Turned out that on the same day I made the withdrawal, and without ever giving me notice on the note, someone at the bank had cleaned out the savings account and applied it to the note.
To say I was furious would be an understatement. I discussed it with a high ranking official at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. He told me, "By law, what they did was legal. I personally think it was highly unethical and totally uncalled for".
I wrote the president of the bank a letter that probably set his desk on fire, including the comments from the gentleman at the Fed. How do you tell a 17 year old girl that the bank cleaned out her savings account? They cancelled the overdraft, but they didn't restore the funds or the note like they were.
That was 20 years ago, and I haven't set foot in that bank again.
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