Family Check Bank Account To Find They're $99 Billion in Debt: 'Distraught'

A family was left in shock recently when they discovered a bank balance of -$99,999,999,999.22 on their online banking information.

Nineteen-year-old Kana Kardong, from Seattle, shared a screenshot of the image on Reddit where it has received more than 49,000 upvotes. Alongside the image, she joked: "Either my bank messed up, or I am going to have to start making financial adjustments."

Digital banking has seen a particular rise in the U.S. in recent years, with around 61 percent of Americans using the service in 2018, a statistic that was predicted to rise to 65.3 percent by 2022.

But internet banking isn't without its drawbacks, from technical errors and mistakes to exposing secrets—recently a woman revealed how she ruined her own engagement surprise after logging into her boyfriend's bank account and seeing that he had made a large purchase at a jewelry store.

Kardong's mother Darcie was the first person to discover the bank account error when she checked the account after the death of her mother.

Bank mistake and dollar bills
A screenshot of the -$99bn account balance that has shocked a family, and a stock a pile of dollar bills, behind. dirtoven, Reddit & OlyaSolodenko, Getty Images

"My grandmother recently passed away after a long, painful illness," Kardong told Newsweek.

"Our family was broken. I have an account where my grandmother left me money for college. My mom was checking on this when she noticed the negative balance in the billions. She was understandably distraught, as were the rest of us. Not as much about the ridiculous error, but that it might result in my losing my opportunity to go to school."

In shock at seeing the huge negative balance, Kardong's mom contacted the bank immediately. Fortunately, the bank was incredibly helpful and shared that when you have a joint account with someone who dies, the account is placed on hold.

The bank explained that Social Security will reclaim any money that was paid after the death, but this can take up to a year.

"We are still not entirely sure why that is noted as -$99,999,999,999.22," said Kardong. "As some Redditors mentioned, the 22 cents does definitely seem a bit random. The bank then also generously offered overdraft protection. The money was claimed, and the hold was lifted."

"You may be the poorest person on Earth," said one commenter while another Redditor joked: "We should divert all of our welfare programs."

"Man, overdraft fees are just out of control," said another reply.

Another commenter said: "Welp gotta start somewhere... No more Starbucks for you."

The viral Reddit post has helped the family see the funnier side of the ordeal, but the online banking mistake did cause some added stress too.

"My mom has really struggled through a lot with the bereavement process and grieving recently and this just seemed like the cherry on top of it all," said Kardong. "I was definitely a little irritated with the bank since they hadn't even really explained what this ridiculous charge was before going through with it. I thought that if anything, we may get a few funny comments that I could read to my mom to make her feel better about everything."

Despite the fact her mom does not use Reddit, Kardong says that she downloaded the app after the post gained viral attention to keep an eye on it.

"The best part of that night was watching her face light up as she chose her favorite ones and read them out loud. I think it really made us all feel a little lighter and more validated about everything for sure. Our whole family is very grateful for the support," she said.