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ConsumerWatch: Heirlooms Disappear From BofA Safety Deposit Box

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(CBS)

(CBS)

DANVILLE (CBS 5) – Many consumers often use store valuable possessions in safe deposit boxes assuming it’s secure, but a Danville couple found that’s not always the case.

When Unsa Kamal and her husband Aizad received a letter from Bank of America informing them their box had been drilled opened and emptied, they said they thought it was junk mail. But after carefully reviewing the letter, the Kamals said the bank in fact emptied their safe deposit due to lack of information.

“They claim they didn’t have Social Security numbers, which is not true,” Aizad Kamal said. When they open the account that’s something very basic they ask for and they have that.”

According to the Kamals, inside the safe deposit box were family heirlooms going back three to four generations. “We just couldn’t think straight,” said Unsa Kamal after finding out their heirlooms were missing. The Kamals said their heirlooms were sent to a holding center in South Carolina.

CBS 5 ConsumerWatch confirmed the Kamals did have their Social Security numbers on the rental agreement.

According to litigation attorney John Kithas, banks will not open a safe deposit box unless Social Security numbers are provided. “Someone somewhere made a mistake,” he said.

Bank of America would not admit to a mistake but did agree to send back the jewelry from South Carolina only via FedEx and insured for $50,000. According to the Kamals, their family heirlooms are worth more. The Kamals are now suing Bank of America to have their heirlooms shipped back fully secure.

Bank of America would not comment since the case is in litigation. The Kamals said Bank of America did agree to send back the valuables fully insured via a security company. But the family said they have yet to receive them.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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