In February 2007, a fraudster armed solely with Indiana residents' Marsha and Michael Shames-Yeakel's username and password was able to gain online access to their Citizens Financial Bank home equity line of credit, and proceeded to steal $26k - wiring it first to Hawaii, then to Austria. Chicago-based Citizens opted not to cover the loss on the grounds that Reg. E doesn't cover credit accounts like HELOCs, and that Reg. Z wouldn't apply because the couple had linked their small business account to the HELOC for payments and made some business purchases with it.

When the Shames-Yeakel's refused to repay the stolen funds, the bank played hardball, reporting the delinquency to national credit bureaus and allegedly threatening to foreclose on the couple's home. This being America, before long the Shames-Yeakel's became "plaintiffs," first appealing to the Office of Thrift Supervision (which sided with the bank) and eventually suing in district court, saying the bank's security practices were negligent.

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