Kirsten Sandberg Natvig
The chaos was peaked when the bank denied me access to my husband’s payment obligations.
This is a chronicle. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.
I recently became a widow, and my life was turned upside down. Strong emotions such as sadness, loss, shock and confusion should be tackled. At the same time, I had to plan and carry out a limited funeral in the time of the corona. The chaos was peaked when the bank denied me access to my husband’s payment obligations.
My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly. After the resuscitation attempts of the medical helicopter and the ambulance and the nice people on the ground were not successful, my husband was handed over to the police. They found out who he was, where he lived, and who he was married to.
The police picked up the phone and called. Not to me, but to a priest. Who sat down with a GPS in the car and tried to find me.
In 2022, she has instructions on not to call. Such messages must be physically conveyed. It was night when the priest finally found my house. What do they do if the survivor has left?
I had just received the message that turned my life upside down, when the small mailbox down by the road, which had not been used for years, began to fill up. First out were the bank and the tax authorities. To my husband’s estate. I had been reduced – or exalted? – to an estate.
I had been reduced – or exalted? – to an estate.
The bank was informed that all payment agreements had been deleted. The tax authorities, who should know that the bank cancels all payment agreements, sent a threatening letter. If the estate did not make sure to pay the advance tax on income the deceased intended to earn in the next quarter, the estate – that is, I – would be exposed to an entire A4 page with threatening legal wording.
The bank had – in its goodness – informed that even though the bank account was closed for both access and use, there were exceptions for a few necessities, such as burial, electricity, rent, telephone, non-life insurance and residual tax. Advance tax, on the other hand, was not on this list and had to be paid with the survivors’ savings.
I called the bank. After ten key selections, I was informed that the bank account was closed for access due to privacy. Under no circumstances would I be able to access my husband’s payment obligations. However, I would be able to access purchase account statements for a maximum of three months back in time for NOK 100, – pr. month per. account. Admittedly after they had received the probate certificate and court order from the district court.
Whether the privacy the bank is so concerned about, applies to my dead husband or his financial contacts, is unclear. But I can assure the bank that the latter are not particularly interested in being protected. They are interested in getting their money’s worth.
An estate is expected to pay anything without having any insight into what the claim is about!
So when the bank suddenly and without notice cancels the payment agreements my husband has entered into, his creditors are cursed. They want their money – with administration fees and compound interest. Common to these letters that fell into the mailbox was that the payment claims came with amount and reference to an invoice / agreement without that this was attached.
This is the world’s best business idea: Find out who is dead, and send a claim for a random, probable number of thousands of kroner topped off with a proper penalty interest claim. No documentation is required. An estate is expected to pay anything without having any insight into what the claim is about!
Terminated the power agreement
Electricity suppliers are known for using a lot of resources and a lot of creativity in acquiring customers. The surprise was therefore great when I received a message in the mailbox from the electricity company that they had terminated the electricity agreement.
It took quite a long time from the electricity company discovered that their customer was dead and with immediate effect terminated the electricity agreement, and at the time the estate was notified of this in the form of a final invoice in the mailbox.
I called the electricity company to ask them why they had terminated the agreement – the household as such still used electricity.
The lady at the other end could then tell me that I was an idiot if I used electricity without having an electricity agreement – it would cost me very dearly in the form of a penalty fee from the network provider!
Good old Telenor did not deny itself either. I called them early to request that the invoices be sent to my bank. Nevertheless, they continued to send the invoices to my husband’s bank, followed by a reminder with a reminder fee and 8 percent penalty interest without payment documentation in the mailbox to me.
With my husband’s death, Telenor saw its cut to cut the internet connection – and with it my access to the telephone
They also informed me that they could not transfer the internet subscription to my name. As of today, the address I live at can only get internet via copper network – which Telenor wants to rehabilitate, but which the Storting has instructed them to keep in anticipation of new technology.
With my husband’s death, however, Telenor saw its cut to cut the internet connection – and with it my access to the telephone. Alone and in the middle of a pandemic where the municipality communicates with its inhabitants precisely by means of telephone and internet.
After being a widow for four months, I’m still in shock. Over losing my husband. And about how one as a survivor is treated by society at large.