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Advanta Credit Card Fraud
Posted by Kerwinator on 05/09/2008
RENO, NEVADA -- Nov. 2007 I applied for a credit card from Advanta with a zero interest rate for 12 months.

Dec 2007 I paid my bill in full and on time.

Jan 2008 I received a notice from Advanta that $90 was overdue. I contacted customer representatives who refused to acknowledge that the payment had been made. The overdue charge triggered late fees and increased my interest rate which is currently 29.99%

In Feb 2008 I provided my bank records of payment made to Advanta. They answered my letter with nonsense and never acknowledged my bank records showing the payments were paid in full and on time. It was apparent they had no intention of addressing the issue of my bank records because then they would have had to acknowledge that the payments were in fact paid on time. It was very apparent to me that Advanta customer service representatives were not incompetent but were actively engaged in the illegal conduct of the company, that is manufacturing late fees to increase interest rates.

I contacted the FTC (Fair Credit Billing Act), FDIC (Regulation Z), BBB, and locally the Nevada Attorney General's office.

The FDIC added my complaint to the list of issues to be reviewed during their next audit of Advanta.

The Utah BBB added my complaint to their list of 228 complaints against this company.

I am in the process of writing a Federal Complaint against Advanta Bank Corp which will be posted online late May or early June 2008.


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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-05-10:
Reporting this to the government agencies is a good thing and could get Advanta investigated when enough complaints are received. However, this will not help YOUR situation.

Send the a letter certified mail/return receipt requested. Demand this be corrected within 30 business days. Advise them of your intent to sue if this is not handled expeditiously. Include copies of your documentation.

Also, send copies of this to all three credit bureaus.

If they don't comply, file suit in small claims court. When they are served they will probably come to you to settle.

Good luck. Let us know how this plays out.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-05-10:
kerwinator, I just checked out the link you provided. It looks like you have a good handle on this already.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-10:
There is a lot of helpful information in this post. And chuck gives a succinct list of things to be done if this happens to others. Great post. Great response from tnchuck100.
Posted by Galilee55 on 2008-09-10:
What links are you talking about? I need them, too. My rate went from 7.99% to 35.08%! 742 Credit score, no late payments, no over the limits, nothing. And they say they send me something on August 14th and the new rate took effect on September 2nd. And, like so many people on line I have read about, I never got any notice.
Posted by Phatjag on 2008-09-15:
The same thing happened to me. My rate was changed from 9.99% to 25% without notice. They said they sent notice but I did not receive it. No late payments ever. My credit is perfect. I think Advanta is a horrible company.
Posted by surf2day on 2008-12-19:
2 years at 7.99%, excellent credit , never late never over limit, went to 27.99% Called , got BS answers , never recieved opt out notice. Considering small claims.
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Resolution To Interest Rate Increase
Posted by Dothel on 03/03/2009
To keep this short and simple, officials at Advanta Bank Corporation increased my business credit interest rate from 7.99% to 27.18% (purchases) and 37.18% (cash advances). I have excellent credit and I have paid my monthly credit card obligations as required by Advanta Bank Corp. They (Advanta Bank Corp. officials) claimed that a written noticed was mailed to me informing me of the proposed interest rate increase and, at that time, I had the option of "opting out" and close the account thereby keeping the original interest rate (7.99%) until the balance is "paid in full."

I contacted several Advanta officials and they stated that due to several factors, they reserve the right to increase the interest rate. They (Advanta Bank Corp. officials) could not tell me which factor applied to my situation only that my interest rate was increased because I allegedly did not "opt out" in time.

I filed a written complaint with the FDIC. Within a month, I received a letter from an Advanta Bank Corp Account Specialist from the Office of the President/CEO restating that I was given a written notice to "opt out" of the credit card agreement (i. e., increased interest rate). However, as a good faith effort, the Advanta Bank Corp Account Specialist stated that has been made to have the difference in finance charges billed on my business credit card in December 2008, January 2009, and February 2009 billing statements as if "opt out" had been effective in December of 2008. This letter was forwarded to a FDIC official.

Apparently, FDIC inquired about my complaint, and action was taken by this Advanta Bank Corp official. I urge anyone else who has had this happen to them to file a complaint with the FDIC. Apparently, others have done the same and FDIC officials are aware.
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Posted by Help Stop the Maddness on 05/17/2009
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-17:
Can you please elaborate on your situation?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-17:
Details would be helpful.
Posted by Starlord on 2009-05-17:
Details would help immensely. Quit yelling. You do not want a Class Action lawsuit, believe me. You might get a five dollar coupon, and the attorneys can buy a new yacht. Attorneys do not file Class Action lawsuits to aid the consumer. Those bottom feeders file them to line their own pockets.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-05-17:
Moving on, nothing to see here.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-17:
I'm right behind ya, Slim!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-17:
Wait for me!!!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-05-17:
*Stretching my arm back for YaYa as I continue to run*
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"Late" Payment
Posted by PpgLaura on 05/08/2009
I have had this card for 2 years and only used it once for a balance transfer, which I have been paying off (on time) every month since. I have AutoPay set up through my bank (because Advanta does not offer this service) to ensure that payments are made on time every month. Payments are sent from my bank account on the 14th of every month, and my credit card payment is due on or about the 20th. Advanta is now claiming that my last payment was late, even though it cleared my checking account before the due date. The due date was not on a business day, and apparently they did not process my payment until the next business day. The funds were issued from my bank account prior to the due date, yet Advanta will not reverse the $39 late fee or reinstate the 2.99% interest they promised to honor until the balance transfer was paid off. They are currently charging me the "default" rate of 34.99%.

I received the statement showing the late fee on 5/1. I called on the next business day and spoke to someone I could not understand, so I asked to speak with someone else. After putting me on hold for about 20 minutes, she informed me that there was no one available, but a manager would call me back "within 24 business hours". I confirmed that they are open 12 hours a day on weekdays, and calculated the day and time I could expect a call by. I did not get a call back until over 3 days had passed, and the only information left was a name and the 800 number. I called back that day. Everyone I spoke to just told me the payment was received after the due date, and there was nothing they could do. None of the 4 people I spoke to was able to explain to me how the billing cycle and payment due date are determined, so that I could set up my AutoPay correctly to make sure they always receive their payment in plenty of time. All I learned was that the billing cycle is 29-32 days long, and that it does not correlate with the number of calendar days or business days into the month.

Damage Resulting
Hundreds of dollars in additional finance charges in just the first month, the $39 late fee, and a minimum payment which has nearly doubled. I will probably have to file bankruptcy over this, even though I have excellent credit with no other negative marks.

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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-08:
According to your review, your payment was withdrawn from your account on a Tuesday, and the due date was the weekend. That should have been plenty of time for Advanta to credit the payment to your account.

If you have proof that the money was withdrawn well before the due-date (your bank statement would show this) then Advanta has no right to penalize you.

Contact your state's Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division and the Federal Trade Commission.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-08:
First of all, let me start by saying that you are doing the right thing by using your own bank's bill pay service. There are some considerations thoug. Bill pay services set up electronic relationships with some payees, usually the very large ones. For payees that are not electronic relationships, they will cut and mail a paper check. Generally speaking, you can tell from your bill pay site whether or not a payee is electronic, or paper.

In your case, if Advanta is electronic, you have a very strong case. If, however, they get a paper check, there may not have been adequate time to cut, mail, receive and process a paper payment. Your bank could probably tell you which method was used, if it is not readily apparent by looking.

Also, bear in mind that there is a third party involved, that being the company that processes the payment for your bank. When you schedule the payment, your bank transfers the funds to them, so you cannot rely on the date the funds were withdrawn as proof of payment. If it is an electronic payment, which hopefully it was, they can furnish proof of both when it was made, *and* when it was received by Advanta. Your bank will probably be your ally in this matter, hopefully you have a good relationship with your branch manager, they can be a great advocate in a problem like this. Good luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-08:
Great advice Ken. To the OP, I would NOT contact any government agencies such as Soaring suggested until you have exhausted all other avenues. Doing so will only create frustration on your part because they will suggest you go back to your bank... exactly as Ken suggested in his post. If that fails then it would be appropriate to move up to a government entity for assistance.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-08:
Why thank you John. :{)
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-08:
Good points I didn't know of. Follow Ken and John's advice before contacting the aforementioned agencies.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-08:
sue em.

"Follow Ken and John's advice before contacting the aforementioned agencies."

then stop telling everyone to sue em, and contact all the state egncies.
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Deceptive Practices
Posted by Coffebeaner on 04/17/2009
I had a credit card with Advanta at 9%. They raised the rate to 37% claiming I had been notified and had not opted out. Every time I asked to speak with a manager they refuse to put anyone on the phone. Furthermore, their call center is in India and their employees could not be helpful.

Please stay away!!!! from this credit card company. They use the old bait and switch strategies.
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Rate Jacking
Posted by Nomoretrust on 02/09/2009
PENNSYLVANIA -- A few months ago I reviewed my Advanta business credit card and noticed that my interest rate was increased to an unbelievable 27.19% from 7.99%, along with a 2.99% fixed rate that I had for another portion of my loan that was supposed to be "guaranteed" for the life of my loan!

I called Advanta to find out if it was a mistake and they informed me that they sent me a letter several months ago explaining the rate increase and what the new rate would be...funny I never recalled receiving that letter...I think I would remember that. They told me the increase was NOT because of my credit history (I received my free credit report which was excellent, showing no late payments, great credit score and solid debt to equity ratio) but they proceeded to expalin some convoluted formula that they used saying I "could" become a bad credit risk in th future???

So, based on Advanta's "logic" they would rather get rid of long standing customers with great credit history and keep the marginal customers that have to pay their "loan shark" rates and
have a higher propensity to default.

I told them that I had decided to transfer my balance to another credit card company with a 7.25% rate and a 0% intro for 12 months and no transfer fee. They didn't respond or even OFFER to lower my interest rate. They DID tell me tat I could cancel my card and in 3 months reapply as a new customer and receive their 6.99% rate????? Go figure. In the meantime they sent me "convenience" checks with a 3% transfer fee and a 27.19% rate!!!

Needless to say I will NEVER apply for credit card or deal with Advanta again... they must be having very bad financial problems.

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The Defense For 37% Interest Rates!
Posted by PaylessAZ on 01/22/2009
I was a victim of the 8% to 20% to 34% to 37% interest rate jacking of my account. I was told, multiple times, that the interest rate could not be changed. There is a way, however.

I filed a complaint with the Utah BBB - I just received a letter from Advanta, if I close my account, my interest rate will return to the old rate.

FYI to anyone else in this trap - there is a way out.
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Posted by Sparticus on 2009-01-22:
So you have to close and re-open your account? Is that what they suggested? I wonder what effect that has on your credit report?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-22:
If you close your account, you won't have to worry about ANY interest rate.

Posted by Sparticus on 2009-01-22:
That is exactly what I was thinking MissMarple... ;-)
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2009-01-22:
The account is closed for additional charges. You continue to pay the account off at the original interest rate. It is not re-opened.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-22:
Excellent point, Chuck, and BEST ANSWER. Many people do not understand the difference between closing the account to further charges and paying off the account in full and then closing it.
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Raising Interest Rates for Fun & Pleasure?
Posted by Lorijean on 01/22/2009
37174, TENNESSEE -- I have had a Small Business (S Corp) for 9 years. I have had a Business Credit card with Advanta Bank Corp for many of those years. Always paid in advance of the due date more than the minimum amount due usually paid the day it arrived in the mail. All of the sudden they more than doubled the minimum amount due about a year ago for no reason whatsoever. Then they decided to raise my interest rate to 35.99%. I didn't notice that until early summer of 2007. When I called their office to inquire about that and asked the reason. The customer service person said he didn't know. I said can you see from my record that I have excellent credit with your company. He said yes. I said can you see from your computer record that I have excellent credit with all of my other creditors too. He said yes. I asked then why did your company raise my rate up to 35.99% for no apparent reason. He didn't know. I asked for his manager. Got pretty much the same answers from him. I did get a chance to say that I am from Chicago and where I grew up we called that Mafia loan rates and they were illegal.

So when did our government allow the banks to use the Mob interest rates. Would we small businesses be better off to go directly to the Mob for our financing. At least we would get straight answers from them and probably a better interest rate too!

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Extreme Interest Increase Without Cause
Posted by Colorado Skydiver on 01/18/2009
My wife and I have a small business credit card with Advanta. We have had the card for over 5 years. We have always paid the payment on time. I schedule them online to be paid from our checking account. A few months ago the interest rate began to climb. It jumped to 17.18% then last month it rocketed up to 37%. When I called customer service and waded through all the automated stuff I finally got to talk to their out of country outsourcing. Sounded like an Indian accent. Anyway, the individual was rude and flat said that it did not matter that we paid on time that they had decided to increase the interest rate regardless of whether or not we had be good customers and paid our monthly payment continuously on time.

It seems to me that in these economic times they are attacking even their good customers to increase their bottom line. I for one will be closing the account and they can find someone else to scam.
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Deceptive Practice 15 Day Notice Of Rate Increase
Posted by Ticked off & ripped off on 12/24/2008
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- I would like to report a complaint against ADVANTA BANK CORP for deceptive practices. We own a small business and use ADVANTA revolving credit. We have never missed a payment and have always paid much more than what was due. Our FICA score has always been very good.
On June 5, 2008 I received notice of an increase of interest rate –going from 9.99% to 19.99%. The letter stated I had until June 2, 2008 to “opt out” of this rate. This notice was dated May 16, 2008, and deceptively printed on the back of 3 cash advance checks (which we did not use). I wrote Advanta to “opt out” of the new credit card terms.

On September 5, 2008 I received notice of an increase of interest rate –going from 19.99% to 29.99%. The letter stated I had until September 2, 2008 to “opt out” of this rate. This notice was not dated but once again was printed on the back of 3 cash advance checks (which we did not use). Upon receiving this notice I wrote Advanta again to “opt out” of the credit card terms.
On December 9, 2008 I received notice of an increase of interest rate –going from 29.99% to 37.18%. This letter stated I had until December 2, 2008 “opt out”. This notice was not dated and once again deceptively printed on the back of 3 cash advance checks. I had to wait 4 days to see the actual rate change (on the internet). The actual bill did not come for 7 more days. Indeed they did increase the rate and ignored my letters.

I then called Advanta to request lowering the interest rate; unfortunately Manager John said there was not anther rate available. I then questioned the timeliness of the notices. In all three rate hikes I had received the notice too late to do anything about it. They state that first of all they did not receive my letters, and continued with even if they had received my letter it would have been too late to implement, since they are only required to give a 15 day notice. I questioned the mailing date of the notices since 2 of the interest rate increases were not dated. They stated that once they are printed it usually takes several days to a week to get them processed before mailing. The 15 day notice is including the processing and the mailing is clearly not enough time to allow the consumer to respond and I believe that was their deceptive intention.


Advanta Customer Service
PO BOX 30715
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0715

Delaware Corporate Center
One Righter Parkway
Wilmington, Delaware 19803

Advanta Corp. Headquarters
Welsh & McKean Roads
Spring House, PA 19477
Better Business Bureau-CHECK YOUR BBB LOCATION
(Chattanooga, TN)
1010 Market Street, Ste. 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2614
Phone: (423)266-6144
Fax: (423)267-1924
Email: tngabbb@bellsouth.net
Web: http://www.chattanooga. bbb.org
Ethics Officer at Advanta Corp.
Advanta Bank Corporation
Advanta Customer Service
Advanta Corp. Headquarters
Better Business Bureau Case # 15967.
Delaware Corporate Center
Utah Department of Financial Institutions

FDIC Consumer Response Center
2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64108
(Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EST)
703-812-1020 (Fax number)

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-12-24:
When you opt out of a rate increase, it means that you agree to not use the card for anything any longer, and to pay off the balance at the lower rate. If you did continue to use the card, you didn't opt out. If you did not use the card, then the original rate should still be in effect.

Merry Christmas
Posted by ticked off & ripped off on 2009-01-29:
We did NOT use the card after opting out! they claim to have never recieved my opt out notice.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-29:
ticked - Your post is excellent! Not only do CC issuers hold timely payments to garner 'late' fees and trigger usury interest, it now appears they are deliberately rigging the opt out clauses for the same purpose...improve their take. THANK YOU for your post.
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