Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bank of Americrud

Bankers - pillars of society who are going to hell if there is a God and He has been accurately quoted.
John Ralston Saul

I had an interesting go around with Bank of America this week. They took over Countrywide last year, a company I had a longtime mortgage and equity line with. Never had a single problem in many years.

Well I get a call last month that I am past due with B of A. "Well, that's impossible," I flusteredly exclaimed. I went to my check stubs and read off the date and amount the check was written. It turns out that either I had written 31 cents instead of 51 cents or they couldn't read my writing but that in any case, we were now 20 cents off.

With great perturbation, I asked if we could just carry the amount over until the next month and the woman said no. I ended up doing a check by phone, which I am sure cost more money, for the twenty cent delinquency. Major scofflaw. She assured me that there would be no past due fees and I forgot about it.

I get my bill for this month and they have dinged me twice for $26.00 per past due for a grand total of $52.14 for the twenty cents in arrears. I hit the roof and called them, called them for a whole day in fact since their computer was down. When I finally got to a live person, she denied that they were waiving the bills and said that they merely said that they wouldn't report me to a credit agency.

I blew up and the woman eventually caved and said she would grant me a one time waiver, not to try to short them again, etc.. But it definitely gives me pause about continuing my relationship with them, and I do my personal banking with them as well. Have we lost all common sense?


The history of the last century shows, as we shall see later, that the advice given to governments by bankers, like the advice they gave to industrialists, was consistently good for bankers, but was often disastrous for governments, businessmen, and the people generally.

Carroll Quigley


North County Film Club said...

I know you're talking about Bank of America but we've had several mortgages with Countrywide and have had several experiences similar to yours. We've been hating them for years and have actually changed mortgage companies only to have the loan sold back to Countrywide. I've always thought the guy that ran Countrywide was a crook and now he's actually being investigated. I've heard they make billions on late fees and other kinds of fees. Can't they be happy with just plain old profits? I guess you were lucky to have no bad experiences with Countrywide. I stopped banking with Bank of America about 40 years ago because they made so many mistakes.

Anonymous said...

In 1969 rioters burned down the Bank of America in Isla Vista where I was living. The inevitable memento material turned up. My roommate bought a candle made in the shape of the bank with about six wicks. She gave it to my mother, who lit it and watched it burn years later when she finally got an inheritance that had been held up by the bank with paperwork and snafus.

Blue Heron said...

I went to Oxnard High School for a spell. My mother;s boyfriend at the time was a young guy named Ed who along with a guy named Chick (Eder?), were the main perps for the riot. Chick was quite a writer and did significant time in the hoosgaw.