Bank of America Checking Accounts

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Unethical and criminal business practices
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Dear Sir/Madam,

Bank of America has behaved in an unethical and criminal manner regarding two checking, two savings accounts and a VISA credit card. I have contacted several bank officials and they continue to lie about the situation without any reservation. Bank officials such as Michelle Hammer, Anna Reyes, Kimsey (last name unknown) and Kenneth Lewis behave as if they are completely above the law.

These problems began in early October, 2005. Many have not been resolved as of today. I have talked, written and faxed many letters to several “customer service” divisions of this bank and have got no response or resolution. The Executive Customer Relations of Bank of America has done absolutely nothing to resolve many problems discussed in this letter. What they have done is to work hard to hide and white-wash the problems, mislead the customers and continue their criminal behavior.

Bank of America created this mess because of its pure negligence. It grossly violated my privacy multiple times and put me through hell when I tried to resolve it. I had to make many many calls to Bank of America and have nasty conversations with rude, clueless and dishonest agents and officials of the bank to try to correct this mess. After all that, the accounts are still not setup correctly.

This is the log I made (just a brief summary)

August 11, 2005: I opened a new savings account ending with “xxxx”, with Bank of America.

I started receiving two statements: one for checking and one for savings

September 11, 2005: I called Bank of America to combine the two statements into one. I specifically asked the agent to send me a unified statement for accounts ending with “xxxx” and “yyyy”. Linking with account “zzzz” was never ever mentioned. There was no change of address of any kind for any account. In other words, the request was very simple: please send me one statement for both, my checking (“yyyy”) and savings (“xxxx”).

Early October, 2005: customer De Silva calls me and states that my savings account information is on her statement! This should have never happened. No one needs to see my savings account details.

Early October, 2005: I called Bank of America and explained to them clearly that my savings account information should not be printed on another customer’s statement. The agent promised to fix it. Since my current savings account “xxxx” was compromised, I decided to close it.

October 25, 2005: called Bank of America and opened new savings account “aaaa” and transferred the money from “xxxx” to this account. The agent was unable to close “xxxx” on that day and I was asked to call back again to close it.

October 29, 2005: called Bank of America and made them close account “xxxx”.
Why am I going through this? Because Bank of America messed it up.

Then I started receiving statements for three accounts and customer De Silva was not receiving any statements! At this point we have a bigger mess.

November 23, 2005: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris of unit 1580 who assured me that this mess will be corrected. The statement for Prima Interest Checking “zzzz” should go to De Silva in California and that should have never changed. No accounts should be linked to this account. The statements for checking “yyyy” and savings “aaaa” need to be mailed to me in North Carolina.

December 10, 2005: customer De Silva calls me again and states that my checking “yyyy” and new savings “aaaa” account information is on her statement! I was not receiving any statements! At this point we have even a bigger mess. Customer De Silva is extremely worried and agitated that her account details can end up on another customer’s statement, just like it happened to me. This should have never happened. No one needs to see my checking and new savings account details. How badly can Bank of America mess this up? This is definitely not unintentional human error. It is gross negligence.

December 12, 2005: I was very upset and called Bank of America and spoke to Jake Richards – supervisor of customer service of unit 1580. I demanded to speak to a manager. Jake Richards of Bank of America rudely informed me that there were managers on site but will not speak to me. He coldly said I should write to this guy called “ken lewis”. I asked him why the bank has phones when it can do all its business over US mail. He said that’s how it worked and there’s nothing he can do about it. He never mentioned that I should contact Executive Customer Relations. I found that out later all by myself. There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end.

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Maria who connected me with Angela – officer of Bank of America in the Escalation Dept. of Executive Customer Relations. Then I was transferred to Anna Reyes-Jordan (704-386-5687) who said was from the Office of the CEO.

I demanded to speak to the CEO. Anna Reyes rudely refused and went on and on like a broken record. Then I demanded to speak to the CEO’s secretary to make an appointment to speak to the CEO. Anna Reyes rudely refused again. So does that mean the CEO of Bank of America and his secretary is in hiding or unreachable? I explained to Anna Reyes the situation and demanded compensation. She rudely hung up the phone on me at 11:30 AM EST on December 12, 2005. Do all customers get treated this way by Bank of America’s Office of Executive Customer Relations?

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again in trying to resolve this matter diplomatically and spoke to Luisa Shute. She also informed me that there was no way to contact the CEO of Bank of America. At least she did not hang up the phone on me. Still there was no way to get the situation resolved. Now I have no intention of speaking to anyone in this office.

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Anthony Lamers who said that no one by the name Jake Richards exists in Bank of America! So was I given a bogus name previously by this supervisor of customer service of unit 1580? What a way to get treated by a bank.

December 12, 2005: I closed my savings account “aaaa” with Bank of America. It felt great!

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America at 704-386-5687 again and spoke to Kimsey who did nothing to resolve the issue and transferred me to Anna Reyes’ voice mail. I left a message and have never heard back from her. Once again, there was no way to get this mess fixed. No one would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end.

December 13, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Estrada of unit 1580. This agent informed me that my checking account “yyyy” was still linked to Prima Interest Checking “zzzz” that my mom used as her personal account! As you can see, after going through all that, we still have not fixed the problem. This agent also promised to fix this mess, just like many others have done previously. I asked for proof: screen-shots or images or other documentation of how my accounts were linked with other accounts. The agent said there was no way to provide any and I just need to take their word.

December 14, 2005: received a call from Michelle Hammer (714-792-5968). I demanded that Bank of America pay me damages. She was very polite and listened patiently. I wanted to give the bank an incentive to fix these problems.

December 15, 2005: I opened a savings account with the Credit Union at work and quickly removed the savings money from Bank of America. Wow, what a great day! The next step is to open a checking account with the Credit Union and get away from your bank. How nice would it be to share this with all of Bank of America’s customers?

December 24, 2005: I received a letter from Michelle Hammer that prompted this reply.

December 26, 2005: I still have not received bank statements for last couple of months. What the hell is going on with our accounts at Bank of America? Will closing ALL our accounts, including my brother’s, with Bank of America be the best solution to this? I called Michelle Hammer at 714-792-5968 and left message asking for her fax number to fax this letter.

December 26, 2005: I called Bank of America and spoke to Lawrence of unit 20161. The agent was professional and promised to mail me the statements for last two months. I explained to him briefly why I was asking for this and about this letter. I was never informed of any charges/fees for this.

December 27, 2005: Michelle Hammer returned my call and provided a fax number 714-792-6671.

December 28, 2005: Bank of America charged me $ 8.00 for the statements requested above! Why should I pay for statements when this mess was caused by your bank in the first place? The bank leaves no room for unintentional human errors. It just wants its fees. I called of America again and spoke to Richard Garth of unit 20161. After exchanging a few words, he promised to credit my account the $ 8.00. I faxed this letter to Michelle Hammer hoping for a resolution in a timely manner.

In the mean time, Bank of America has once again grossly violated my privacy!

January 2, 2006: Bank of America illegally charged me a service charge on my credit card ending with “bbbb”. They called it a “periodic finance charge”. I have paid the previous balance in full and on time and there was no reason for this charge.

January 5, 2006: I called the bank and talked to an agent named Rick Jones and to a supervisor named Lakaisw Worklaws about this. They both informed me that there was a computer error and the bank was going through accounts and correcting them immediately. I asked them for contact info to report this to Bank of America. I was given the fax number 602-597-3346. I faxed a letter requesting an investigation of this “computer error”. I have not heard back from anyone at the bank to this day regarding this matter.

January 10, 2006: customer De Silva calls me again and states that my checking “yyyy” account information is on her statement, again!

Here is the email she sent me:

From: ""
Sender: username
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 01:10:09 GMT
X-Mailer: Webmail Version 4.0 …
IDIOT Bank of A has AGAIN sent me particulars of another account of yrs " Access Checking"

I spoke to several PERFECT IDIOTS [ customer Service] . Cannot communicate- Utterly , Utterly STUPID.
Only thig to do is YOU take that money & redeposit in to another account .
Specifying yr address .
Cannot understand .
I cannot handle problems now. Get stressed out.
…end email.

This should have never happened. No one needs to see my checking account details. Many many agents and officials of Bank of America have assured me that this problem was taken care of. But it is still there. How badly can Bank of America mess this up? It is criminal for the bank to do this. Is this white-collar crime?

The log continues …

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Lauren Harlan of unit 1580 and we exchanged some nasty words – typical of a bad business. She claims that there is nothing wrong with the way the account are set up. This is what Chris of unit 1580 said on November 23, 2005! There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end. Since I have been lied to before, I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris who told me that he cannot do anything. I was informed that the bank did not keep any record of customer’s calls regarding problems with accounts. So I have to explain the story all over again. This is not the way to keep records for a professional business. Since I have been lied to before, I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris who told me that he
cannot do anything about it. There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Derik Kaltenbach of unit 20161 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Adrian Ariano of unit 20161 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Andre of unit 1580 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Enrique Rodriguez and customer support manager Erik Burns. He refused to admit that rules should apply equally to everyone. But I insisted and made him reverse an illegal fee the bank charged me before.

A week went by and the illegal “periodic finance charge” was still on my credit card. So I called the bank again…

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to an agent and insisted that the illegal charge on my credit card be removed. The amount was finally credited.

Here is my concern: if the bank knew about this computer error and was correcting the problem, why did I have to call twice, over a 10 day period and speak to 3 bank employees, including a supervisor, to resolve the problem? What if I have not noticed this “periodic finance charge”? Many customers would have paid this illegal charge on their credit cards and the bank would have made millions by doing nothing about this “error” which was called “periodic finance charge”. Why would the bank ever bother to correct these errors on their own?

I was still not convinced that my checking account information is not on another customer’s statement.

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Jonathan Stall of unit 1580. We had a heated conversation and he threatened to close my checking account. I dared him to go ahead. How much can this bank screw me up? I told him to tape this conversation and send it to Michelle Hammer, Assistant Vice President.

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Karen Jones of unit 1580 who refused to transfer me to the survey, but transferred me to Vanessa Dibuduo. She too refused to transfer me to the survey and started to give me the run around.
I was still not convinced that my checking account information is not on another customer’s statement.

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Stephan Payton who behaved very unprofessionally. I told him to tape this conversation and send it to
Michelle Hammer, Assistant Vice President. He rudely said he cannot. I did not want to continue the conversation with this guy. So I called back again…

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Shawn Rollin. He said I should take my complaint to a banking center! Pass the buck? Why not? I got his fax number (559-451-8145) so I can fax all the details of this complaint, hoping someone will read it and do something about it. This fax number does not work!

January 12, 2006: I faxed this letter to and called Michelle Hammer at 714-792-5968 and asked her what she plans to do about this complaint.

January 21, 2006: I received a letter from Michelle Hammer saying that the matter is closed!!! Without resolving this continuing problem, Bank of America no longer wants to even discuss the mess they created. This is how banks treat their customers.

February 6, 2006: I received a reply from Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division of North Carolina to contact the Comptroller of the Currency of the Department of the Treasury which is supposed to license and regulate national banks.

February 10, 2006: I received the statement for account “zzzz” and customer De Silva was not receiving any statements, again! This is happening after many agents and officials of Bank of America, including Michelle Hammer has assured me in letters that the problems above have been resolved.

The log continues and so does the dishonest dealings of Bank of America.

It seems like some phone reps are so corrupt that they don’t transfer you to the survey. How can the bank get honest feedback from your customers when the customer survey is doctored in this manner?

We really need strict laws to monitor the behavior of banks in this country. Banks should not be allowed to operate like criminal organizations and abuse customers under the protection of US law.

When banks operate with impunity

I am shocked to realize that there is very little or no regulation of banks such as Bank of America. These banks can do whatever they want to their customer’s accounts and their privacy and continue to operate with impunity. We should not sanction such criminal behavior. Where are the laws to protect consumers?

When customers over-draft a bit or go below the minimum balance on their checking accounts by unintentional human error, Bank of America jumps at the opportunity and ruthlessly charges them a ton of fees. It probably costs the bank about $ 5 but charges their customers $ 16 or more. This is because Bank of America understands only one language: money! All it cares is about charging us fees, fees and more fees. The bank leaves no room for unintentional human errors.

Bank of America abuses its customers and engages in dishonest business practices.

The bank has done irreparable damage to my privacy, seriously damaged the trust I had in the bank, causing a lot of aggravation and emotional distress to two customers.

The least Bank of America can do now is to pay me damages. The longer this bank takes to settle this issue, the more aggravation and emotional distress it causes me and I plan to seek even more damages.

I will not let Bank of America sweep this under the carpet.

I have written to Customer Assistance Group, Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury, 1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710, Houstan, Texas 77010-9050 about this.

Vic G.
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User Replies:
miketech on 03/06/2006:
Wow that sounds terrible. I'd certainly leave BOA if I were you. I think I would have left them months ago. In the future nothing beats a personal visit to a bank. Despite what they many lead you to believe branch managers have Godlike powers to make changes and credits to an account and they do care more when you are sitting close enough to smack them. Nothing is as persuasive as being in arms reach.
miketech on 03/06/2006:
Oh with that said if you did smack a branch manager or any bank employee you would probably get 20 years in a federal pen.
Hugh_Jorgen on 03/06/2006:
Why are you still banking with them? The world is full of smaller local banks that would love to have you as a customer.
Ponie on 03/06/2006:
I had the same (almost) thing happen to me. My statement and Mrs. X's were combined. Called my branch and explained what happened. Was asked to bring the statement into the bank. Branch Manager met with me and while there, she contacted Mrs. X, who said she received my information along with hers. Branch Manager said it was a computer glitch, said it would be straightened out, and apologized to both of us. Next month--same thing. Called to speak to Branch Manager, who apologized profusely and said she'd get right on it. Couple of days letter, received letter of apology from Branch Manager. From then on, no more problems. BUT--I didn't demand to speak to the CEO. What does some guy in Delaware know about what's going on at my branch? Vic, don't you have a job? On 12/12, you made six calls to BofA. On 1/12, you made 5 calls to BofA. If each call took a minimum of 15 minutes (although I'm sure with your aggressive attitude, it was longer), that's more than 1-1/2 hours on two separate days you spent arguing with someone at the bank. If you DO have a job, does your employer know you're wasting his/her money by taking so much of THEIR time for personal business? That's also unethical, criminal--adjectives you attribute to the bank. I'm sure BofA is well rid of you. As one poster mentioned, your Branch Manager can do a heck of a lot more for you than the CEO. Start at the local level--or is such a simple solution to your problem beneath you?
Anonymous on 03/06/2006:
The BOA ceo Ken Lewis is a dark hearted creature of pure evil who would trick his own mother out for a buck.. GOD I ADMIRE THAT MAN.

cycolbur on 03/06/2006:
That is why there is lawyers. Just a thought, why don't you and the other person have a joint lawsuit against them for violating your privacy not to mention opening up for identity theft.
dsmith68 on 03/07/2006:
I admire your persistence.. but I would have closed the accounts back in early November and walked away from it all.
deggleston on 01/03/2008:
I too have filed a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. If other consumers do the same perhaps Bank of America will be forced to change their ways.
smuschie on 03/07/2008:
I don't know why you waited so long to close your accounts. I had a few minor problems with B of A and but mostly over small amounts of money so I took a wait-and-see approach to see if the small glitches would stop. They didn't. It ended up that they accidentally credited my account with $100 (money supposed to go into account of the person on front of me), which stayed in my account for over a month even though I told them they had made a mistake and deposited someone else's money in my account. That scared me because this other woman, who I had no way of getting on touch with and only knew what she looked like but no name or any other info, had no access to her deposit money for over a month and B of A did nothing! After that I started looking into other banks. Eventually this other woman and I were able to talk to enough of the same people who then realized they needed to correct the mistake and she got her money but it took a long time! Later, some of my own money mysteriously disappeared from my account. Complaints led to some crap fees all of a sudden being posted on my account to explain the deficit yet no fees had been there before. Also, some transactions got shifted around as having gone through on different days, sometimes even on days before I had go to that store! Good thing I keep receipts! I never did get my money back but after 3 days of fighting I went to another bank. Good riddance!
donadame on 11/01/2008:
Asking to speak to the CEO??? That would NEVER happen. Follow the chain of command, remain calm and professional and approach in person - easy.
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Overdraft fees generated by the bank
Posted by on
ARIZONA -- This is my attempt at getting an overdraft fee reversed through the Chat Line. This is after already talking to a Supervisor "JN".

Welcome to Bank of America's chat service. Your chat may be monitored and recorded for quality purposes. A Claims chat specialist will be with you momentarily.
You are now chatting with 'Alice', a Bank of America Claims chat specialist
Alice: Hello. Thank you for being a valued customer with Bank of America and choosing our Online Claims text chat service. My name is Alice, and I will be happy to assist you today. May I please have your first and last name and may I use your first name during our conversation today?
You: Jim alverson
Alice: May I use your first name during our conversation today?
You: yes
Alice: Thank you Alverson. I'm sorry you had to take the time to contact us today. I certainly will do all I can to help you. Will you please provide me with the date and dollar amount of the charge(s) you wish to dispute?
Last text message received Alice: Sorry Jim.
You: I ordered checks online which resulted in an overdraft fee of $35 because the charge went in the day before my deposit. I'm broke with no food in the house, and I asked "JN" a Supervisor to please reverse the charge. The said I already had 2 reversed in there past year and there was nothing she could do. This account has been opened since 1986. How many charges in that total time. I 65 partially disabled and live on $1321 per month plus aboutt $70 week from a minimum wage job. I now have $22 in the bank and I need to pick up $24 in rx from a pharmacy for my wife. Please in the name of human decency reverse these charges. I'm, hungry, sick and this money has to last me 'til April1. Please in the name of the Lord help me.

Alice: So sorry for the inconvenience on your account and we definitely do value your business since 1986. Bear with me one moment to review your account.

Alice: Thank you so much for your patience. The fee is actually still processing so I am not able to request a refund at this time.
Alice: Unfortunately we will need you to contact us either through this chat or by calling 1.800.432.1000 once it posts to request the refund.
You: I saw it online it has posted, that's how I knew about it>
Alice: It is actually showing as processing so it is holding the funds but has not actually posted to the account showing a posting date.
Last text message received Alice: We would need to wait for it to post before we can request the refund.
You: How long will that take?

Alice: I apologize for the inconvenience. Transactions are processed during the overnight processing. I recommend to check first thing tomorrow to see if that has cleared.

You: I'm sorry too Alice will be posting on a BOA blog before days out. Sleep well, eat well and pray you never get old and sick like me.
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User Replies:
msnanny on 03/18/2011:
It sounds like you are in dire straights but you really have to try to see it from the businesses point of view (yes, banks are a business not a charity). They have already helped you twice in the past year when you spent more than you had. There comes a time when we all have to take responsibility for ourselves. This is your time, good luck.
trmn8r on 03/18/2011:
The overdraft charge was not generated by BoA, it was generated by you drawing on funds that you did not have.

My understanding was that most banks forgive one overdraft in a lifetime. That happened with my bank, and a few years later I had another (both due to family illnesses), and they refused to waive the second. I learned my lesson, and know that if I overdraft again, I will pay again. It is great incentive to not overdraft.
jktshff1 on 03/18/2011:
Good luck to you.
Anonymous on 03/18/2011:
Do some research on local help agencies to help you out. You were in the wrong by spending more money than you had in your account. BoA is not a charity, if you need charitable help you need to contact one.
leet60 on 03/18/2011:
+10 trmn8r. This sounds like yet another case of an account holder that does not truly know the balance of their account, either through neglect to keep a checkbook register or relying on the "online" or "atm" balance presented.

Simply put, if you keep an accurate checkbook register, entering EVERY transaction and doing the math accordingly, you will not spend money you simply do not have available.
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How Bank Of America Bends The Rules To Deny Your Funds While They Use
Posted by on
RENO, NEVADA -- Even though this may get a bit technical and boring it explains one way banks use the system denying access to your money while they profit from it. In order to illustrate the problem I will use a real life case that just happened to me. I will quote chapter and verse the banking regulations they both use and abuse to accomplish this. I will give you an example of how this works. Be patient my explanation is as confusing as Fed Reserve Regulation CC itself.

My example As some of you know I recently retired. Part of my financial plan was to pay all of my outstanding debts and retire debt free. To that end I took a large cash distribution from my retirement savings with the intent of depositing it in one of my checking accounts and paying all my debts. We will follow that check to my bank to explain how they do it. To begin the story I have essentially Two checking accounts which I use. One at Bank of (A) which is little used and in fact sometimes months with no activity. The second account at Bank of (B) I use for everyday activities and is always in use. In this case I decided that I would deposit the check at Bank of (A) and pay all my accounts of from there this decision was based on the fact two of the accounts I was paying off were at the same bank so it would be convenient to do so.

On Dec 1 first I deposited the funds at the branch office via a teller transaction. When I did this I was informed that I would only have immediate access to the first $100 of the funds with access to the next $4900 by 5PM on 12/08/2008 and the remaining tens of thousand after 5PM on 12/10/2008. I was told that this was “Required” by bank regulations. I at the time questioned it and essentially was told by the branch manager that was the way it was take it or leave it, so I had no choice but to go along with it. When I got home I called the big 800 number in the sky for Bank of (A) and spoke to a person there who essentially said it was the branches right to hold the funds and it really didn’t matter what I wanted and in a rather rude voice told me I should read Federal Reserve Regulation CC.

Now this is where I got upset or more precisely went to the full livid state of anger, for you see I have read regulation CC as well as something called Check 21 rules which are related. and know this is how the game is played.

Understand firstly that in Reg CC part 229 which covers this type of thing all references to holding funds use the terms “MAY” or “Not Later Than” so all holds by language are at the discretion of the Bank and not “Required” and the term “Reasonable” is also used in defining duration.

Because my deposit was a large one it was reasonable to place a hold on the funds that is not what is disputed. The duration and lack of professionalism on the part of the bank when dealing with it and me is the contention and my reason for pointing out this moneymaker for the bank. I will describe step by step what I think is wrong and invite any knowledgeable banker to point out my errors. I wager there will be no response.

First Reg CC does say that at least the first $100 must be available and the next $4900 “No later than” 5PM on the 5th business day and the remainder no later than the 7th business day. The bank can hold the funds for one additional day if the account has been overdrawn by the customer regularly (Note: this does not mean overdrawn by the banks imposition of fees in fact there is an exception for the bank to collect the overdrafts before the hold is released.) In any event the bank must notify the customer in writing at the time of deposit of the hold extension and the reason. Even further pre-printed deposit slips are supposed to have a notice that not all funds may be immediately available. Funds over first $5000 can be held for up to 7 days from deposit.

Now for how the banks get rich on your money. I will use my case to describe what happens. The check I deposited was drawn on an Illinois bank so it clears via a different Fed Reserve Region and so it is a “Non-Local” item under the rules the bank teller deposited the check on 12/1 business. That night the check would have been transmitted electronically to clear the other bank. (Checks for the most part no longer transit the country for clearing today imagery is used) By virtue of that I believe this is now an electronic transaction which under the rules should mean my funds were cleared probably on the 3rd or 4th of December. If in fact it was electronic the funds are required to be available on the next business day. (5th) The bank however treats the transaction as an old fashioned paper transaction solely because it started with a paper demand. Because of that banks place the hold at the maximum when deposited. That gives the bank up to 7 days of use of the funds which belong to the depositor. in my case the 6 figure number probably generated a couple of hundred dollars as well as by delaying the ability of me to pay the 2 other accounts off another couple of hundred if I had not spoken with those account managers and got them to wave the interest. This free use of the funds made the bank money denying me use of the funds. Now if I multiply Bank of (A)’s number of held deposits which on any given week would probably be in the thousands they make a lot of money at our expense.

Some other shortfalls in Reg CC
The regulation uses the language "MAY" when referring to placing holds as well as "No More Than" / "Not Later Than" and "Reasonable" when describing duration of the holds. That means that these items are at the sole discretion of the bank as to what the minimum time is. Banks by using the maximum get your money for the max time to use as they see fit prior to releasing it.

Appendix A defines which banks clears in which regions The consumer normally does not have access to this info so the decision on which bank to deposit in to get the most rapid service does not exist.

Because the regulation has wide latitude banks take advantage by holding funds beyond what is necessary. In addition Managers differ in views and some are not as flexible with customers as they should be.

In fact consistency does not even make it through the example transaction. The teller told me the first $5000 would be available 12/08 but the customer service representative online email states 12/6 but they were not so I have no Idea when the funds will actually be available.

A perfectly good regulation with the designed intent to protect both the bank and consumer has turned into an instrument to take the consumers fund availability and give it to the bank for a period. Not fair in my opinion
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User Replies:
yoke on 12/08/2008:
So in short they put a hold on your check and you are mad.
Anonymous on 12/08/2008:
This was a little tough to wade through, but it seems like you have some invalid assumptions.

First, except in rare occasions, the branch does not place the hold. When the item is processed at night, the sorter reads the routing number and makes the judgment for the amount of float. You are correct that float may be extended for a number of reasons.

You go on to say that the item is sent electronically. You have no way of knowing this. The determination of whether an item is processed electronically is made on the receiving bank's end. Lots of banks turn the items into electronic images, but the Fed turns them right back into paper if the receiving bank will not accept electronic images. So the net gain in clearing time is a few hours. Check21 has no impact on RegCC.

You say that you do not have access to the data concerning regions banks are located in. This is not so. Ask the bank for a copy of the funds availability policy. It is published in every branch, and a paper copy is available for the asking. It will tell you in plain print what routing numbers are considered local.

If immediate access to your money is a concern, you should have had the Illinois bank wire the funds. You could have had them the same day.
NevadaKen on 12/08/2008:
Actually the Branch or at least from the consumer point the branch places the hold. The Item is scanned by the teller and the hold occurs at that point it is even printed on the teller receipt. While it may be true that the sorter does additional work the hold actually occurs from the customer point of view when the teller takes the item. As for the item being sent electronically I feel certain that it was since almost all if not all banks have implemented the check 21 rules (A whole other discussion) and if my assumption is that I'll. checks would clear in a different region than Ca./Nv banks. it was most likely scanned ansd sent electronically. The FEDS do clear checks under CHECK 21 rules electronically.
NevadaKen on 12/08/2008:
I guess I am not the only one mad at Bank of America I understand the Governor of Illinois has at least temporarily has ordered the state to cease doing business with the bank per both CNN and FOX news.
tnchuck100 on 12/08/2008:
NevadaKen might have been long in his review but he is 100% on target. It seems few people around here really understand how the banks are doing a "float" on your deposits. Some time back when we wrote a check and were counting on it taking 3 days to get to the bank it was illegal. But when the bank does it it's legal.

I have seen banks continue to withhold a deposit availability even after it has cleared the bank it was drawn on.
madconsumer on 12/08/2008:
oh brother ......
Anonymous on 12/08/2008:
Sorry NK, but you are still wrong. The vast majority of checks converted into electronic items are converted right back into paper when they get to the Fed. The majority of banks, especially the large banks, are not accepting incoming checks as images yet. It will happen, but it hasn't happened yet. If you look at a statement, any item that looks like a plain check was processed electronically all the way, but any that has that disclosure next to the image about it being a legal copy, was converted back to paper.

I am not making a defense for float, but I can tell you how it works. And Chuck, as endearing as your antagonism towards BoA is, they have no way of knowing whether a check has cleared or not, or whether it is on its way back as a returned item. That's why there is a standard set amount of time set for float. It's a little shorter at some financial institutions, so it pays to shop around, but it exists in some form pretty much everywhere.
NevadaKen on 12/09/2008:
I think it may be happening already, at least between a couple of banks. If I look at my Bank of America statement I see an interesting treatment of at least one item. When I write a check and send it to Chase to pay an equity line the check does not show up in the Bank of America statement as a check rather the Item is shown as a deduction from the account with a description field which says Payment to Account XXXXX reference check #YYYY and is shown on the account summary as "other Subtraction" rather than in the "Checks Posted" line. I don't know if this is a direct clearing between the banks or if somehow it is passing through the FED differently. anyway BofA finally gave me my money so my issues are over I will plan a little better next time.
Anonymous on 12/09/2008:
Ken, That's a whole nuther item. Sometime, somewhere you agreed to let them convert your check into an ACH item. They never process the check at all, in stead they turn it into an electronic debit, as if you had swiped your debit card to make the payment. If I can, I try to avoid this arrangement, it's a little too easy for them to just debit the next time whether they have your check or not; there is a lot of fine print in that agreement. Sometimes it is inevitable.
Epic60sman on 12/27/2008:
I have been fighting a somewhat similar treatment of customer accounts at Providant bank. This issue has to do with the bank issuing a paper check to a payee I specified (because the person, a personal friend, does not have the capability to process electronic payments) and then turning around and debiting my account for the amount the same day they say they issued the check, which BTW was a full 4-days before the check even arrived). When I questioned the overdraft charges for the bank putting through a paper check as an electronic transaction, I was told that it was specified as being the correct processing in their regulations. When I checked the FAQs on their website, they clearly say that paper checks will be sent to those who do not have the capability of electronic processing and that the payor, me, should allow at least 5-days for the check to get to its destination and be presented for payment (a friendly reminder to help me avoid getting late charges from the people I am paying). By the time the check got into my friend's hands, the bank had already debited my account, charged me an insufficient funds fee and presented it a second time and issued a second insufficient funds fee. How can they get away with this. Bank financial departments are pushing electronic payment procedures so as to get all the float they can get. Does anyone know any regulations that should be preventing them from doing this?
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Overdraft Fees: Bank of America Steals Money from Customers
Posted by on
Bank of America steals from their customers. They create overdraft fees by not processing your purchases as they occur even though you have the money available and at the time of purchase they went through fine. If you look at your balance you will see the “Balance” and “Available Balance” and will notice the amount you just spent is now gone from the “Available Balance”. So this means they have removed the money you just spent for the purchase you just made. Only problem is they don’t actually clear your purchase even though they have removed the amount from your “Available Balance”. Instead of clearing payments they hold them, sometimes for several days, and they call them "pending transactions”. Then they wait for other HIGHER charges to come through. When this happens they will clear those higher charges and then process the lower charges and often times this creates a deficit and will overdraft your account.

If you have money in other accounts or a savings account they will freeze those accounts and not allow you to use or withdrawal any of it unless you use it to pay their fees and get the negative account into the positive. So you could find yourself with an unexpected negative balance AND be frozen out of your accounts unable to get any of your money.

Right now we are in the middle of this nightmare, which we have seen several times since opening up accounts in 2005 and 2007. We were paid on Friday, January 29, 2010. We had plenty of money in the bank and that day, the 29th I paid several bills and then that weekend we bought groceries, and made several small purchases. Our account online looked in order and the “Balance” and “Available Balance” were correct because all the purchases we made were now gone from the “Balance” and showed what was left in the “Available Balance”, which was in the positive. When Monday, February 1, 2010 came I planned to deposit more money into the account to cover two car payments that were going to be coming out that day. When I went to check the online balance I saw that they had cleared the two car payments, which were supposed to clear Monday, and they used the money that had already been reserved (or so I thought) from the payments and purchases we made Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then they proceeded to overdraft five of those purchases at $35.00 each. Later, in addition to that, they added another $35.00 fee called an “Extended Overdrawn Balance Charge” because the account had been in the negative for 5 consecutive business days.

We would LOVE to close our remaining account and leave but we are stuck there. Because of one of the many times they put my account into the negative with overdraft fees and it snowballed from being a manageable amount to an unmanageable amount, I was unable to get caught up. Then they charged me an additional $35.00 for “Excessive Overdrawn Fees” when my account was in the negative for 5 consecutive days or more. Soon I was unable to ever get caught up and pay my rent and bills and buy food and gas. I had to stop depositing money into the account because it was just getting eaten up by their fees and I needed to pay for basic necessities and rent. They eventually closed my account and then reported me to Chex Systems. Now because of this I am unable to open another bank account anywhere and am a prisoner there, unless I want to have NO bank account at all but then how do you cash your checks and pay bills like a normal person? You can’t without a great deal of hassle and the danger of having cash in your possession, which is risky and unprotected. But really, what’s the difference? It can be stolen by some random thief or it will be stolen by the bank you are supposed to trust to keep your money. Not rob you blind.

My story is just one of MANY exactly the same and this issue with the banks using computer programs to overdraft their customer’s accounts has to stop. They have literally stolen hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of dollars from my family. They refuse to refund the money and they continue to practice this fraudulent scheme year after year to hundreds of people without consequence. The Internet is loaded with stories exactly like mine. I have been talking to people at stores and other places of business and have heard the same story from many of them about Bank of America and a few other banks that are doing the same thing to their customers.

These banks squandered billions of dollars away on who knows what and then needed to be bailed out by the government. They created the sub-prime lending schemes to make money and we all see how that turned out. Now the country is in turmoil and the economy is in the gutter and people are suffering because of it. Now they add insult to injury and steal from their customers by creating this overdraft charge theft scheme to make money.

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User Replies:
The Hurricane on 02/23/2010:
This is not the bank's fault. The businesses in which you make purchases have to clear the transactions. That's what a "pending charge" is. The bank holds the money until the store you made a purchase in processes the transaction. Some businesses process their transactions every day, some only do it once a week. That isn't the banks fault.
Anonymous on 02/23/2010:
Why o why o why are there so many of these? I wonder if this happens in other countries or is it just the U.S.?

Here is a different way of thinking about the cash in the bank. Think as if it were in your hand. If you have 500 bucks in your hand and spend 450, you have 50 left. Right?? You can't go spend 51 more or 500 more cuz, YOU DON'T HAVE IT!! You have 50. If you try to spend more than that 50, you will have problems. Is it not the same if you try to spend more than in your account? You have problems if you don't have it and try to spend it. Crazy.
The Hurricane on 02/23/2010:
BTW, any purchases made after a certain time Friday (usually around 2pm) will NEVER show up on your balance (online or otherwise) until the next business day (usually Monday).
Anonymous on 02/23/2010:
"BTW, any purchases made after a certain time Friday (usually around 2pm)"

Just note that cutoff time isn't the same in every state. In Texas, it's 4pm.
Anonymous on 02/23/2010:

Banking is a two way street. Not only is there the actual bank involved that holds your money... but the merchants.
It depends on how you use your card as to if it's to show up as pending, online or not.
If you spend your debit card as debit (you punch your pin number in), it usually posts the next business day and shows up online as pending.
If you spend your debit card as credit (you don't punch your pin number in), it could take up to 6 days to post and don't always show up online as pending.
And pending means exactly that... it's "pending" to come out. It hasn't cleared your account yet. The merchant has come to collect it's money.
Don't just solely rely on what it tells you online.
Yes, your available balance may say what's available... but, it doesn't show any auto-debits that may be posting to the account that night. And, since BOA posts highest to smallest... if your automated debit or check that posts that night drains the account; anything you did prior to that will most likely overdraft.
It's better to not risk that and just keep a register. Only *you* know what checks you've written, what automated debits are coming out and what purchases you've made.
msnanny on 02/24/2010:
It's simple really. The money for your car payments was not in the bank when they were prsented for payment. The money is supposed to be there first.
yoke on 02/24/2010:
The bank did nothing wrong. You spent more than you had.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
Here we go again. It's not the overdraft that is the complaint. It's the manipulation of transactions to maximize the number of overdrafts.
jktshff1 on 02/24/2010:
I can see both sides, bank posting upon receipt, rather than posting by date.
Customer not using proper records. The bank, being the large commercial beast gets the heat for hurting the little guy.
I believe that knowing your bank's practices as well as your merchant's practices of turning in transactions is critical. Banking practices and consumer responsibility run hand in hand.
Ain't the technology we have today wonderful!
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
The technology exists that could provide excellent service for both sides; the bank AND the customer. But when you consider the bank controls the technology and then add greed into equation the customer is the one who is going to suffer to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Venice09 on 02/24/2010:
Welcome to the world of automation. These problems didn't exist prior to ATMs, online banking, debit/credit cards, auto payments, etc. It used to be that you deposited money in your checking account, wrote checks to pay bills, and deducted the amount from a check register. While that may involve too much paper for some people, it's very reliable.

I've been reading complaints like this for a long time now, and at first I thought it was just a matter of poor planning and/or finagling on the part of the account holder, but now I'm not convinced that's always the case. I think there is also a manipulation of transactions by the banks that is causing some of these problems. After all, I don't really have much confidence in the banking system anymore, so why should I dismiss the notion that these tactics are by design?
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
"I think there is also a manipulation of transactions by the banks that is causing some of these problems." - BINGO!, Lost09, you got it! Now if only some of the others could see it.
Venice09 on 02/24/2010:
Tnchuck, I just find it hard to believe that so many people have the same problem. This is another well written review by someone who seems to know what he's doing. I could understand making a mistake once or twice, but too many people are convinced they are doing everything right and still seem to get caught up in this over and over again. It can't be that all these people don't understand how it works. It does seem suspicious.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
You have to admit, though, that if folks did not spend more than they have, they would never have a problem giving the bank the opportunity to manipulate the debits to maximize fees. In essence, the account holder is giving the bank the rope used to hang them. While I get, and largely agree, the bank will maximize fees, a wise consumer and wise account holder will keep track of how much they have and have much they have spent in order to avoid giving the bank the opportunity to injure them. Many of the account holders who complain about getting hit with fees on multiple instances seem to not be doing that. It's hard to make the argument "I spent more than I have, and it's not fair how they are penalizing me for spending more than I have." It's kind of like complaining about the fine for getting caught speeding.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
There are many families that must live paycheck-to-paycheck. Occasionally they will overdraft. What is pathetic is these banks pride themselves in their ability to make that customers situation even worse. Much worse. And then there are those who defend their despicable practices as just and deserved. It is a sad situation perpetrated against those who can least afford it. Just plain greed!
goduke on 02/24/2010:
I don't disagree much at all. I do know that I have lived paycheck to paycheck, and learned to live within my means. It can be done. Sometimes it means going without, and not being able to buy folks birthday/mother's day/Christmas presents. Sometimes it means boxed mac and cheese. But if I was in that situation again (it can always happen), I'd be doubly sure to keep track of my spending.
Venice09 on 02/24/2010:
I remember when banks would actually hold a check until the money was in the account, and even call the customer to let them know. I realize those days are long gone, but it sure was a lot nicer than what goes on today.

Goduke, I realize that some people just outright spend more money than they have in their account, hoping to time it right in order to avoid overdraft fees. But you would think that if a customer got hit with overdraft fees enough times, they would eventually figure it out. I guess I'm just not convinced that the banks are completely innocent.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
I'm not saying the banks aren't maximizing the fees. I don't disagree that's a distinct possibility. I am saying, however, that if you don't spend more than you have, irrespective of how the bank orders your debits, you would never go NSF. You really can't argue with that logic. I understand that folks make mistakes and forget transactions, or that a merchant may put a double hold on a charge in error, etc. But knowing that the banks aren't going to give you a break, why would you knowingly give them the opportunity to hurt your pocketbook?
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
Consider the following:

Our paycheck-to-paycheck family has $200 in the bank. On Wednesday they spend $40 for groceries, $20 for gas $4 for a prescription, $110 for an electric bill, $8 at McDonald's. On Thursday morning they unexpectedly must take their child to the doctor. The doctor demands cash up front. $150.

Now the bank assesses $35 for each overdraft. The bank processes all of the transactions Thursday night. End result: The account balance is negative $157. The bank has penalized them $175 for a $150 doctor's visit.

Go, bank, go. When a man is down KICK HIM!!
Venice09 on 02/24/2010:
That's what I'm trying to say. Why would anyone knowingly give the bank an opportunity to take their money? I think a lot of these people truly believe they are not spending more than they have, and that they are doing everything right. Either these people are not only wrong but also incapable of figuring it out, or the banks are in fact manipulating transactions. I guess it could be a combination of both.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
Consider this:

If I know I'm living paycheck to paycheck, I make sacrifices like not eating at McDonald's and build a buffer in my bank account, when the unexpected expense came up, they wouldn't be put in that situation. I'm not being cruel or mean. I've been there. It's tough and scary. I understand that scenario. I'm also saying there is a way to overcome it and avoid giving the bank the opportunity to go after your account.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Even if they clear the larger charges first, if you don't have the funds to cover all of them, then you are overdrafting your account. You're letting them rip you off.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
"build a buffer in my bank account" - now you have elevated our family above the paycheck-to-paycheck status that is a given in the example. Try as you might you will never be able justify the banks actions as appropriate.
Venice09 on 02/24/2010:
I've been there too, goduke, but it was before all the technology and automation, which actually made it a lot simpler to keep track of my money. If I didn't have a cushion in my account today, I'm not sure I wouldn't be in the same boat as a lot of these people. I feel sorry for them, especially the ones who can't afford to lose a penny.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
No, Chuck. I'm not advocating anything like that. I'm advocating making personal sacrifices in the name of being personally responsible. Apparently your view is that folks should just spend as much money as they want or need, and someone else (I guess the bank) should fix it for them -- perhaps even just give them the money because they need it or want it. It's probably just a fundamental agreement about who is ultimately responsible for my destiny, me or someone else.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
goduke, not that I have any hope of you actually understanding this but in my example if the bank were treating them fairly they would have ONE $35 overdraft, not 5. Even if they had not gone to McDonald's they would have been hit with 4 fees.

What perplexes me most is there are so many of you that simply refuse to see what the real issue is. It's not the overdraft, it's the manipulations.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
You know, Lost, I think a lot of it is linked back to the use of the check card -- with some charges being immediate (PIN number transactions) and others sitting in a pending status for a while but not affecting the ledger balance. I wonder if we went back to paper checks and cash if that wouldn't solve a lot of it. Wouldn't be as easy, though. I do love my card.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
Chuck. Once again. I'm not saying that I disagree that the banks maximize the fees. I've now said that about 67 times.

I'm saying that a consumer, knowing that reality, should wise up and plan accordingly. That's the part that you seem to be missing.
Venice09 on 02/24/2010:
I was just about to mention that, goduke. Paper checks and cash would solve almost all of these problems. It's hard to keep a check register when you're using a bank card so many times a day. I know because I'm guilty of it, too. I couldn't live without my bank card, and I don't even know what cash looks like anymore. That's why having a cushion in your account is the best way to avoid overdrafts. Unfortunately, even some people who are capable of having a cushion don't think it's necessary. They'd rather spend the extra money instead.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Good comments goduke, lost09 and Chuck.

When I read OD fee complaints my first thought is people should make better choices in choosing a bank. Corporate banks are evil. My second thought is people should do whatever they can and SACRIFICE whatever as to not live payday-to-payday. I know some are victims of circumstances but I believe the vast majority just habitually make poor financial decisions because of no concept of sacrifice or patience. Conspicuous consumption for the sake of consumption. Eh, that's still no excuse though for the evil deeds of the corporate banks.
Venice09 on 02/24/2010:
I agree, Stew. Patience and sacrifice are not part of people's lives today. Instant gratification is all to common. I know that doesn't apply to everyone, but it's a lot more widespread than it used to be.
jktshff1 on 02/24/2010:
I usually withdraw the cash I need for the week on Sun or Mon. Unless and emergency comes up, most people should be able to do that.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
I often think, Stew, that banks are neither good nor evil. Banks have become machines. Money goes in, money comes out. Everything is automated and runs according to rules that are programmed in. There's little human intervention anymore. There are no relationships anymore with most banks. Even the folks who work in the branches of most institutional branch are only facilitating the application of the rules. They aren't good or evil. They just are. Kind of sad. Smaller institutions are different. They'll be bought out soon.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
jkt, You can have my debit card when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Debit cards don't screw people. Banks do. I'd be so lost without my debit card.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
But you understand how your debit card works, Stew. I'm not so sure that everyone who has one understands how it works.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
goduke, now THAT was an accurate statement.
MissMae on 02/24/2010:
So, the car payments were to come out on Monday 2/1, and the OP was going to deposit money on Monday 2/1 to cover them. Instead of BoA denying the car payments cuz technically the money wasn't there, as it was already spent from her previous transactions, BoA decided to go ahead and clear the car payments and tack multiple fees on for the other transactions.

If I understand the review correctly, than this is a perfect example of how the big banks screw people over. And yet, some still don't get it? Crazy!
goduke on 02/24/2010:
In the past, Miss Mae, the customers clammered because the banks bounced the car payment and they had to deal with a bounced check at their financing company. The whole "cover it and charge a higher fee" schema was designed to deal with that, but it kind of went on steroids and got out of control. I, personally, believe the banks should just decline the charge or bounce the check and make the account holder clean it up themselves. But people were definitely asking the banks to cover these debits.
MissMae on 02/24/2010:
I agree with you 100%, Goduke.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
You can say it all yuou want, but it still will not be true. There is NO manipulation of transactions by banks. If they come in through the ATM switch, they are posted the same business date. If they come through the POS switch, they are pending, then posted when presented by the merchant. It's just that simple.

Even small financial institutions get thousands and thousands of these every day, the big banks get millions. Who do you think is analyzing them to see what they can change to cause an overdraft?

If someone can't be grown up and manage the account then the bank should take away the debit card, and if that doesn't fix the problem, take away the checking account. If you want to criticise the banks, do it because they don't take these privileges away from the abusers at the very start.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
"There is NO manipulation of transactions by banks." - Ken, you are absolutely wrong on this one. The banks readily admit they process debits highest to lowest. That IS manipulation. It is also in the agreement that they may process in any method they so choose.
MissMae on 02/24/2010:
So the BoA lawsuit over manipulating transactions to maximize overdrafts never really occurred?
goduke on 02/24/2010:
Here's where I'm not sure about the banking world. When that file comes in at night, do we know if there's a time/date stamp on the transaction as to (1) when it occurred or (2) when the merchant finalized the transaction?

The dictionary says manipulate means: 1. To move, arrange, operate, or control by the hands or by mechanical means, especially in a skillful manner.

Manipulation is not by definition, therefore, improper. Any "sorting" would be, by definition, manipulation. So I guess my question is whether banks have the ability (don't worry about desire) to sort based upon something other than size of transaction in the data feed they get. I honestly don't know, as I've never seen it.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Bingo Mae, you are exactly correct, it never occurred. You may be thinking of the lawsuit which they settled, in which they were sued for failing to adequately notify in advance of changes in item processing. The Fed requires a 60 day notice to the depositors, and they failed to do it within 60 days, and they paid the fine.
MissMae on 02/24/2010:
Oh OK..then this must be a lie too:

Dated Jan 22/2009: Bank of America has settled a class action lawsuit over its dirty overdraft tricks—things like approving transactions that generate overdraft fees, for example, or clearing transactions in high-to-low order to increase the number of overdrafts.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Duke... it looks like this:

3276.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 96.00 047 05 59509317 02/23/10 COMCAST - CHELMS BILL PAYMT
3277.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 162.94 047 05 59509319 02/23/10 COMCAST - CHELMS BILL PAYMT
3278.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 112.00 047 05 59254017 02/23/10 COMMERCE INSURAN BILL PAYMT
3279.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 100.00 047 05 59254128 02/23/10 COMMERCE INSURAN BILL PAYMT
3280.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 70.00 047 05 59255317 02/23/10 COMMERCE INSURAN BILL PAYMT
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Again the proof is in the pudding. My bank on any given posting date posts my debit card transactions in the exact order they occurred. Not sometimes but always. I know this because every since I was told on my3cents that banks simply couldn't do that I've been paying attention to the posting order on my account.

Make no mistake about it banks process transactions from highest to lowest for no other reason than to garner more OD fees. It's certainly not out of necessity. Reading some of this crap on here you'd think the corporate banks had 1920's technology with some poor schmuck tapping out the transactions in Morse code over networks where no segment runs more than three miles. The excuses offered up are comical.
MissMae on 02/24/2010:
The point is, some banks are shady, some are not. Those of us that bank with upstanding banks, don't have this problem. I'm not rich, I live paycheck to paycheck quite often in fact...yet I don't have these problems. I do not balance my account as well as some do, yet I don't have these problems...and I think it's pretty clear why I don't.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
"I'm not so sure that everyone who has one understands how it works."

No, they don't.
Which is why I post what I do. I can get into greater detail, but that would be a novel sized comment.
I think this is where people in the banks need to step up. It isn't the bank's job to hold someone's hand in keeping track of their spending. It *should* be their job, however, to teach someone (especially someone who's never had a bank account before) how to properly maintain a checking account. How a debit card works. How online banking works. How any of this works.
We may be in the electronic era, but this era still has some kinks.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Mae, if you actually read it, you'll see the suit was for not properly disclosing it, it has nothing to do with the actual processing, because there is nothing wrong with the processing. Every bank has a posting order, otherwise nothing would get posted. If you don't like the posting routine your bank uses, you are free to search around for a bank that uses a different routine. What you won't find is a bank that has NO posting order.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
"Those of us that bank with upstanding banks"

I bank both with BOA and Wachovia, and I don't have these issues.
I, too, live paycheck to paycheck... but I live on a budget and I know how my debit card, online banking, the works... works.
I'm one of those meticulous ledger people. It's worked well for the last 15 years... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
Spot on, Stew. I deal with a bank that is highest to lowest. My credit union processes in the order they are received.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
bearkakitten, Why in the world would you choose to do business with BoA and Wachovia? Do you think they offer better terms and service than a local credit union or community bank? Yeah, you haven't been bitten yet but your account is still governed by the same consumer unfriendly terms as those who have been bitten. A snake is a snake and people who play with snakes sooner or later get bitten.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Stew, why should I have to switch bank accounts when I have no issues with what other people are dealing with? Not everyone has problems. I have very basic accounts and that's all I want. I don't know why I'm getting "persecuted" for having bank accounts with them and yet I don't have issues keeping track of my account. If they were doing something I don't like, I'd go in search of another bank or credit union. But, just because Crappy McWeaksauce is having problems... that's no justification for me to pull all my accounts and go find somewhere else to bank.
goduke on 02/24/2010:
Thanks, Ken. I appreciate the example.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
bearkatkitten, think of it this way: You may be able to walk on the edge of a 2x4 a hundred feet in the air. But just think about how close to disaster you are. That is exactly the situation when one who lives pay-check-to-paycheck is in when dealing with the big banks. No two ways about it, you have been very lucky.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Because there are better choices. My community bank doesn't play these games. I get free checks. I get atm fees refunded up to $25 a month. I get paid 3.5% interest on my checking account balance. I get free bill pay. The online banking system is straight forward and honest. I get points for every signature based debit card transaction which I in turn redeem for premium golf balls that seem to disappear every time I play a round. I'm assigned a personal banker who handles any banking issues I might ever have. My deposits are immediately available. My deposits are always posted before any debit. I could go on but does either Wachovia or BoA offer you all that?
MissMae on 02/24/2010:
Why is it so clear to some of us, yet so foggy to others? I'm with Stew and Tnchuck, I'll stick with my bank that processes from highest to lowest, posts transactions immediately, and doesn't later manipulate them "for my benefit."
goduke on 02/24/2010:
Checks? What are those?

Oh wait, I saw that in a history book somewhere.....
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
If I'm just happy where I am, why should I switch?
I get free billpay with both. Free checks with Wachovia, I don't use checks with BOA. I get full refunds if I use non Wachovia/Wells Fargo ATM's. But, that's a rarity that I use other ATM's for fear that my card might get sucked in and I'll never see it again.
Why is it so important to you that I should switch banks. I don't need all those frills that you seem to. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. There's nothing wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with how I do things. Why do you care where I bank? Why do you feel the need to press this upon me? I'm just fine with where I am.
I don't have overdrafts, I know how to budget. Even if I weren't living paycheck to paycheck, I still would live on a strict budget. I've doing it this way for years. And I'm happy and fine with that.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
I hear you, GD.
Checks are so 70's.
Anyone here still use their "BANKAMERICARD" too?
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
My mom still uses checks. She sends off all her bills via the mail... snail mail. She doesn't even have a debit card. Cash, credit cards, and checks.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
I still pay a few bills via the mail with a money order. The rest I pay over the phone or online with my Refillable Visa Debit Card. No worries, no extra fees or overdrafts.
Banks are for SAVING MONEY in my opinion.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Bk I could turn that around on you. Why do you care about OP's who overdraft? Why do you press upon them your views? Why do you care if somebody keeps a register?

I'm giving you good advice. You're dining at McDonalds when for a lesser price you could be eating at fine locally owned steak house. I just don't get why people accept less when they could get so much more for no additional cost.

I very much respect your opinions. I mean no disrespect towards you with any of my comments.
Nohandle on 02/24/2010:
Strange to me how people laugh at individuals still paying most bills by check. I might be wrong, but I don't recall ANY member who paid by check or credit card complaining about all of these fees. Wonder why?
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Chuck: "My credit union processes in the order they are received." Since they are received once a day in a batch, how do you figure that?
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Okay Nohandle though let's be fair here with your cash reserves you're never going to overdraft no matter what conveyance of payment you choose unless you're trying to buy Trump's fleet of yachts or something. Even then I got my doubts. You ready to adopt me yet?
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
NH, you are making no sense. Please try again.
If your checking account is balanced in accordance with the checks that have been written, one shouldn't have to worry about the order of the checks being posted.
That's just plain BACKWARDS thinking.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
Ken, whatever order they appear in when the transactions are processed that is how they fall. There is no highest to lowest order or any alteration done to the process. EXCEPT credits ARE applied before debits. Additionally, at my credit union they do not impose an overdraft fee for an overdraft of $5.00 or less.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
It doesn't feel like advice. I feel like I'm getting griped out, not because I know how to maintain a checking account, but because of where I bank.
I didn't think I was pressing my "views" on anyone. I give advice on how to maintain a checking account. I say... it's better to use a check register or quicken or their brains... but I don't say you *have* to.
Why do I care if someone overdrafts? I care because I don't want to see people get manipulated. I'm in a customer service job. If I see people getting screwed (and letting themselves get screwed) then I feel the need to step in and say "hey, this is how you won't get screwed."
I don't see myself as getting screwed by the big scary banks because I know how to budget, I know how bank accounts work, and I don't deal with overdrafts.
I feel like I'm getting disrespected because anytime I "offer" any advice on how to avoid overdraft fees... I get griped out by the masses because somehow, explaining how debit cards work, I'm advocating overdraft. Nowhere in anything I say, do I say I advocate them. It would be awesome if things went back to the way they once were, 15 years ago or so... declining transactions and bouncing checks. But, until something happens to make that so, I don't see it happening anytime soon.
I know these big banks *can* be horrible. Maybe I'm living in a good city to which anytime I've set foot in these banks, if I've had an issue, it gets taken care of and I don't have issues anymore. Who knows.
I'm just fine with where I bank. Maybe I *am* just lucky. If I ever moved away from Austin... maybe my luck will change... who knows.
I'm all about advising people how to not get cut... if they're continuing to let the wound bleed, so to speak. Or something like that.
I keep getting, "oh just wait 'til you have these issues." I don't let myself become a victim. I take the steps necessary so I don't. I've had overdrafts before. I'm not some young thing that's come, recently, into the banking world. I had to teach myself how to budget. I've banked at credit unions and local banks before. I've had cushions and have lived paycheck to paycheck.
I appreciate advice. But, if I say I'm happy where I am and I don't have issues, why can't that be respected? Why do people think I'm going to have issues in the near future? Again, I'm not some fresh scrub that's never held a banking account before.
I remember what it was like when all you had was cash and checks to use. Before online banking became a staple in banking.
tnchuck100 on 02/24/2010:
BKK, please don't be offended. This is simply a highly volatile topic. You stay with what works for you. No one's observation/opinion can possibly cover ever other persons circumstances.

It takes a tough skin to be a regular here.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
....And common sense.
MissMae on 02/24/2010:
"It would be awesome if things went back to the way they once were, 15 years ago or so... declining transactions and bouncing checks."

BKK, couldn't agree with you more on that!
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Bkk, The frustrating thing about a medium of all text is that it's really easy for the meaning of a comment to be misconstrued or incorrectly internalized. Most of the comments I make on my3cents are not directed towards any person but rather to the subject at hand. I post what's on my mind. When properly medicated there's a good chance it might make some sense and when I'm off my meds well then all bests are off. That's just me. I'm certainly not trying to degrade you in any way. I simply was asking why you choose to do business with big corporate banks. It's like my brother always asking me why I like Gibson's better than Fenders. And I end up saying I don't know why I just do now leave me alone. Hey, wait a minute I think I just has an empathetic moment... aaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnndddd it passed. So anyway I'll keep singing the praises of community banks and credit unions and you'll keep singing the praises of good record keeping and therein lies a lot of wisdom.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
"You stay with what works for you."

Thank you, Chuck. :-)

I've never been an advocate for overdraft fees. I think it makes people less and less responsible for their accounts. And the whole OD fee thing, and transaction order has been going on for quite some time now. At least, the last 6 years... if not more. This isn't something new because of the recession.

Gone are the days of declined transactions. Gone are the days of bounced checks... well, unless there's not enough to cover the check... but that's another whole can of worms.

"It takes a tough skin to be a regular here"

I haven't been scared off yet.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Checks still bounce don't they? Of course they do. The back charges a fee for it and in turn the merchant will as well.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
"So anyway I'll keep singing the praises of community banks and credit unions and you'll keep singing the praises of good record keeping and therein lies a lot of wisdom."

I'll help ya sing the praises of local banks and credit unions. :-)

But, it still helps to know how to maintain a checking account... even at the local banks and credit unions.

So, you sing the praises and I'll inform the masses of debit card usage and anal retentive book keeping. :-)
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
"Checks still bounce don't they? Of course they do. The back charges a fee for it and in turn the merchant will as well."

I know they do, I didn't say they didn't.
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
Funny thing BKK I'm about as anal retentive as you can get when it comes to keeping track of my checking and other accounts. I've got all my accounts and every single transaction I've made since 1989 recorded in quicken. Keeping good and accurate financial records is one of the keys in building wealth. My wife on the other hand has never kept a check book register. She seldom has any idea how much money she has and 'budget' is not part of her vernacular. This is why we have and will always have separate accounts.

There's some changes coming this July:

"Under the Fed's new rule, which will take effect July 1, banks will be required to notify new and existing customers of their overdraft services and give customers the option of being covered. If customers don't "opt in," any debit or ATM transactions that overdraw their accounts will be denied"
Anonymous on 02/24/2010:
I swear people should have to take a class and sign a contract before they are allowed to have a bank account. How about they do away with debit cards, go back to checks, and start prosecuting people for fraud like they used to.
tnchuck100 on 02/25/2010:
A mandatory high school class on banking and credit is an excellent idea. Banking lobby will probably prevent that from ever happening. There is simply too much money to be made from ignorant account holders.

You do, in fact, sign a "contract" when you open an account. The gist of the whole thing is you give the bank 100% control of your money to do what they wish and when they wish at anytime. Fortunately, let let you access it MOST of the time.
Anonymous on 02/25/2010:
Chuck, they need to teach the kids how to read and do simple arithmetic first don't you think?
goduke on 02/25/2010:
My mom taught me how to balance a checkbook. Don't know why we need a class.
Anonymous on 02/25/2010:
Unfortunately, GD, there's a majority of parents out there that don't know how to balance their checkbook either.
Thankfully, my parents were not one of them. I, too, learned from my parents. My dad, to be exact.
tnchuck100 on 02/25/2010:
goduke, we need a class because many of the "mom's" don't know how to balance a checkbook.
goduke on 02/25/2010:
Maybe we should just go back to trading rocks....
tnchuck100 on 02/25/2010:
BKK, you beat me.
Anonymous on 02/25/2010:
@GD... But, that too, requires counting. Another thing a majority of people don't know how to do.
@Chuck... tee hee. :-)
tnchuck100 on 02/25/2010:
Great! I'll see your 2 granites and raise you a flint.
sassmcghee on 02/25/2010:
I can see taking responsibility for the car payment not going through because it came through before I had a chance to get the other money in. I can accept an NSF for those two, that was my fault. What I can't accept is instead of overdrafting the actual thing that overdrafted my account they cleared something that came in several days later that was a higher dollar amount and overdrafted all the little charges that “supposedly” went through days before. Charges that were clearly removed from my available balance. And life isn't always cut and dry, things happen. Unexpected expenses come up, emergencies, unusual circumstances or traffic that you can’t avoid that prohibit you from making it to the bank before they close. And before you say “leave earlier” that isn’t an option when you get off work at a time that doesn’t allow you to leave earlier. But whatever it might be, that doesn't give the bank the right to take advantage of the situation and steal as much money from the customer as possible by manipulating the process to ensure they are able to get the maximum amount in fees possible.

And it has nothing to do with living beyond our means and it has everything to do with just getting by sometimes and not having the luxury of a buffer of money. There are so many things that contributed to this situation it would take another page to explain it all. But regardless, the FACT IS the bank is taking advantage of the customer by stealing money through questionable practices. This is happening to way too many people too many times to JUST be the customer not being responsible or living beyond their means. It is a dishonest and unfair method the bank is using and they are taking advantage of people that are just getting by.
Venice09 on 02/25/2010:
Both of my kids took a class in high school that included banking. In addition, I did my best to make sure they knew how to handle their accounts. My daughter made only a couple of mistakes at first, but that was it. However that was before this overdraft thing got so out of hand. My son, on the other hand, has lost hundreds of dollars in fees since he turned eighteen six months ago and opened his first account. He's a smart kid and good with numbers, and was given all the tools he needed at school and at home to successfully maintain his account. At times my husband and I can't even figure out what he's doing wrong, and neither of us has ever overdrawn our accounts or paid any fees in our long history of banking. That's why I started becoming suspicious of the banking procedures.

I would also like to say that having direct deposit has made my son's situation even worse. I was always in favor of direct deposit, but now it seems to just give the bank freedom to take whatever they want. That may sound crazy, but that's the way it appears.
beanbagbritches on 03/17/2010:
This is something that Bank of America has done for a long time & it's one of the reasons I moved to a credit union recently. If you don't want the confusion of missing funds, try a different bank/credit union.
Anonymous on 03/17/2010:
BOA is not to be trusted. Read my post to see what they've done to my mortgage. I have never missed a payment, ever. I wouldn't bank with them in a million years. I wouldn't even have my mortgage with them if Countrywide hadn't folded. Even if you do everything right, something will get messed up by someone in the organization--someone that doesn't have a clue of what they're doing. I bank with a credit union--big bank's are yesterday's news. I have had friends say they have never had a problem with BOA. I tell them to just wait, they will. Only a matter of time. If you bank with them, you are playing with fire.
MotleyCrueGuy on 03/14/2011:
Few comments:

Electronic transactions (Debit, PIN, ACH) can be ordered by arrival time. Checks are batched per day they hit - the date you write on a check is NOT generally looked at unless it's cashed in a branch (as opposed to deposited in the payee's account) - there simply isn't the manpower to do that and we wouldn't want there to be (more employees = more fees).

As far as the comments that the banks must be manipulating because people do it over and over again, sure, however,

Some people NEVER have problems and others ALWAYS do and it's not all about money - plenty of well off people repeatedly overdraft and plenty of paycheck-to-paycheck types don't.

THAT is also suspicious to me.
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BOA Unauthorized electronic payments from my checking
Posted by on
BOCA RATON -- Here is a letter I sent to BOA:

I have been a Bank of America customer now for over 3 years. So far I am very dissatisfied with your service. Most of your tactics are deceiving and seem to trap consumers.

Here is my #1 problem with this bank. I got a student credit card with you and used it irresponsibly and quickly went over the limit. At first I was paying on time then after a few months I stopped paying. About six months later bank of America put me on a 5 year payment plan to pay off the balance of my debt of $46 dollars a month to be paid on the 21st of each month. I went about 3 months with no problems then all of a sudden you stopped automatically withdrawing the payment out of my account. I called up and you advised me that I needed to reschedule my payment plan and that’s why you didn't debit the $46 out of my account that month.

I got a letter in the mail about 2 weeks prior saying that I need to reschedule the payments. I called the number and they said to never mind the letter that it wasn't necessary (which apparently wasn't true). So two weeks later when the payment wasn't made I got hit with late charges and fees. This did not seem fair I did everything I should have and I had to pay for a bank employee's mistake.

So after I once again rescheduled the payments 3 months later the same thing happened (this time with no warning letter) I got hit with late charges and needed to reschedule. Fed up and untrustworthy of this company I decided to call up and request a full statement outlining what my charges are and how they came up with my balance. They said they would send that in about may I would say. I still haven't received this or any other communication with bank of America.

Now on September 30th 2008 my checking account gets mysteriously debited $46 after not speaking with them for almost 5 months. I called and got the run around and gave up. Now on October 21st 2008 I get another charge for $46 so I called again today. I spoke to bank of America about the situation and they transferred me to a representative of FIA card services. She advised me that the reason these two debits came out of my account were because I called in and authorized them to do this on Sept. 30th 2008. I am 100% positive this never happened. I ask them to let me listen to a copy of the recording of me authorizing this and she said she will transfer me to the manager who can help me out with this. I was transferred and I got a voicemail, so I left a message explaining my situation. It is now two days later I have not received any response back from this manager or anyone. These practices are very wrong in my opinion and hopefully Illegal.

On a side note I asked them not to make any more debits from my account to pay this bill. They agreed and I asked them to send me written documentation verifying this and I was old this was impossible (she said they can’t send a letter verifying something that is not taking place) this makes no sense to me why can’t they send a letter saying 'no more electronic transactions will be debited from my account' So after I was told this I was asked for permission to record her saying that this will not occur, once again I was turned down. She also couldn't give me a straight answer of why the $46 was taken out of my account on different dates for the September and October payments.

My question is What are you going to do about this? I incurred a $35.00 overdraft free from this unauthorized transaction. Bank of America should not be allowed to steal money from their customers accounts and then give them the run around when the start asking questions. I’m so fed up at this point that I am going to send this problem to every organization that will listen. I have extensive experience in internet marketing and how to spread something across the internet. I’m not sure if you are aware but there are literally thousands of consumers’ complaints about your company all over the web. In addition many of these people are starting to inquiry about class action lawsuits against you as most of their situations are all eerily similar.

After reading all of this I have no doubt in my mind that this is no coincidence and Bank Of America is intentionally trying to scam their customers out of money through any means possible ( questionable practices, downright fraud, and resorting to low measures to make a quick buck). Fortunately I work at a law firm that specializes in credit and consumer laws. I have no problem proceeding with legal remedies this has gone on too long and it’s time to take some action.

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User Replies:
Anonymous on 10/24/2008:
I agree with you that BoA is cr@p.
However, you knew you owed the money, admitted you were set up on a 5 year payment plan and that makes you responsible to ensure that your payment is made every month, regardless if you are set up on auto withdrawal or not. This also leads me to believe that you don't reconcile your finances or balance your bank account each month.
yoke on 10/24/2008:
There is more to this story then we are being told.
Anonymous on 10/24/2008:
While I can understand the frustration, you lose me after admitting that you stuck them with a credit card debt, but they are 'stealing' by deducting a payment, which by the way, you DID agree to, from your account.
spiderman2 on 10/24/2008:
This just supports the theory that money management skills should be taught in college.
jktshff1 on 10/24/2008:
Money management should be a part of High School..too many don't go to college.
That being said, I learned the value of a dollar from my parents and my kids from me.
Ponie on 10/24/2008:
Where to begin......?
yoke on 10/24/2008:
spiderman, my son is a JR in HS and is taking a finance class. I think it should be mandated that all HS students take 1 semester of finance. He loves the class. They have learned how to file taxes, fill out W-4's, figure out interest rates on loans and soon they will learn how to balance a check book. They have also learned about deductions with paychecks. They know that making minimum wage does not bring much home.
Anonymous on 10/24/2008:
Yoke, I agree. I wish that all school systems would see this class as mandatory.
DebtorBasher on 10/24/2008:
I thought financing WAS a part of the High School program. I know I had it in the 11th was taught in our regular Math class...they even taught us how to write checks, which I think a lot of people still does not know how to do to keep a check registery, how to do the basic 1040 Tax forms. I'm surprised to find out that it's NOT being taught. They should also teach about credit card use...the penalties, APR's etc.
Anonymous on 10/24/2008:
DB, I was not taught this in school. Interestingly enough, my DH was, and he is the same age as I am.
DebtorBasher on 10/24/2008:
I guess it depends on what school ya go to and what kind of subjects they cover. They teach stuff to us that we will never use once we are out of school...but the everyday things that we all need to know, is not a part of the education...that's not right.
Anonymous on 10/24/2008:
They used to teach this stuff in school. Budget cuts have taken all the "extras" out, like composition classes, poetry, mythology, finance, basic computer classes, choir, basic art, and things I enjoyed as a kid. There are little to no extras now because they have to pay a teacher to do the class. No, it's not right, but they can't afford it. I just got new textbooks in my class. The old ones were 13 years old.
yoke on 10/25/2008:
I asked my son and they will be learning about credit cards and interest and payments on that also. Hopefully she will stress NOT to get a credit card!
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It Pays to be Vigilant
Posted by on
Hubby and I have had an Advantage checking account with BOA ever since they bought LaSalle Bank back in 2007 or 2008. Back then, it had a different name, obviously; but we had that account because we have/had a mortgage with them (Mortgage got transferred from ABN/AMRO/LaSalle to Citi in 2007 and we re'fied with Countrywide in 2008, which was then bought out by BOA, funny how things work out, huh?). Anyway, this account requires that you keep an insane amount of money in your checking and or savings accounts, otherwise there's a $25 monthly maintenance fee. I can't remember exactly how much the balance has to be, but it's more than your average working-class American is likely to have. The way to have it waived is to have a sizable balance on an installment loan (like a car) or a mortgage with them. In all those years, even when our mortgage was with Citi and pre-buyout Countrywide, we NEVER had a fee assessed on our account (could be because we owed enough on our cars, but I'm not sure).

Fast forward to today. I was online, paying the bills, when I went to look at the transactions to make sure everything was present and accounted for. That's when I noticed it. A $25 Advantage checking maintenance fee. The first words out of my mouth were "oh, ****, we're going to end up switching banks." But, before I started filling out my application for another bank, I checked on the requirements for the checking accounts. That's when I noticed the waiver for those who have a linked mortgage account. I got on the phone and called customer service. After navigating through the phone tree jungle, I got a live person after a short (less than 5 minutes!) wait. I explained the problem and the findings of my investigation, and she took care of it for me right then and there. My money was refunded right away and she made sure everything was set up correctly to avoid this happening in the future. She also reassured me that that evil $5 debit card fee would not affect me when it took effect in January.

I'm not saying that BOA is all sunshine and kittens, but at least they did right by me today.

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User Replies:
bob93 on 10/15/2011:
I had one of those accounts. Went to my credit union needed $5 balance. Free checking. Told BOA goodbye forever.
clutzycook on 10/15/2011:
I've thought about switching over the years, but now I have about 90% of my bills are e-bills and there's never a convenient CU ATM when I need it. The hospital has two BOA ATMs in the building and that's about the only way I can remember to get the money out to pay my MIL for watching Baby Clutzy. To switch accounts now would probably mean months of moving and checking and cross checking.
Nohandle on 10/15/2011:
Thanks for the reminder Clutzy. This sort of thing happens more frequently than many realize. Wake up one day and discover you are being charged for a *brand new* fee that you hadn't been charged for in the past.

I'm not speaking of individuals forever overdrawing an account and being a general nuisance and not worth the effort; rather, individuals playing by the rules and all of a sudden "Bingo" a surprise. I sincerely believe some banks just decide to program their computers to automatically charge customers and if they don’t call then that's the end of that one.
trmn8r on 10/15/2011:
I'm glad BoA fixed this for you. I like sunshine and kittens are cute, but they grow into cats.
Anonymous on 10/15/2011:
I would never do business with BOA.
Starlord on 10/15/2011:
I also would never do business with BOA. Ever since I worked for the county in Arizona and joined the employee credit union, and now that credit unions have become more open to who can join, I will never go back to a bank. During the flap about bank bailouts, I noted that I did not see one credit union fail along with the banks. The banks are owned by stockholders, who demand dividends, whille credit unions are owned by the members.
clutzycook on 10/15/2011:
Different strokes for different folks, Wally and Starlord. I wouldn't have gone to BOA by choice, but our former bank (LaSalle) was sold to them and we just never switched.

I've banked at credit unions before, but frankly, the ones I've belonged to were not much to write home about either. Yes, my account was well maintained and I never had surprise fees (that I know of), but I don't normally have that problem with the banks either. Maybe one of these days I will just bite the bullet and join a CU, but it won't be for the foreseeable future.

On an unrelated note: I just got my 3rd star! :)
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Bank of America Not the bank for Americans
Posted by on
I know this review may sound like I am playing that same old scratched record from the 70's but I believe this situation needs to be heard.
I had some funds in my account and made some purchases. I had scheduled a payment to come out of my checking account for my mortgage on the 29th of January. I tried to make a charge to my checking account that week. Since it was rejected I wondered what was going on since I knew I had funds in there to cover all charges and would have funds in there on the 29th to cover the mortgage payment. Come to be that BoA took out the mortgage payment on the 25th of January. This caused my account to bounce all the little charges since they paid the big charge first. I incurred $450 of overages due to the practice of the so called "customer recommended practice of paying the big charges first." I entered into negotiations with their payment reversal office and have been waiting for this reversal for the last 96 hours. I might add that to just talk to these people I was hung up on twice, and the last time I still never talked to this phantom payment reversal office. So it is now the 30th of January and my Veterans Administration disability check was deposited. yet I have no money in the account because they took it all to cover the erroneous post of the Mortgage and the overdraft fees. I called them this morning and spent the better part of an hour talking (if you can call it that) to the supposed supervisor on duty. He then informed me that if I had been more watchful over my account this would not have happened. What? It was there mistake in the first place. I then asked him to comp some overdraft fees since they took the liberty of reordering my transactions to pay the larger charge first. I then asked what policy were they following that allowed them to do this. He said it was policy that was approved by the members of B of A in a survey. I then asked what survey because I never received one. He then said it was a survey that was administered before I became a member. I then asked him who in their right mind would agree to this type of practice. This does not benefit the customer but rather the bank to reorder charges and pay overdraft fees. I indicated that was absurd and that if he thought that I was going to believe that then he was even more mentally challenged than I thought. In short I told him that I was a USMC veteran and that they just stole my money from my disability payment. He said the bank didn't care if I was a veteran or not and that they would not make an exception, veteran or not.
In closing, they may call themselves Bank of America but if they have no qualms about stealing the disability check from a veteran. Then they certainly will no longer be the bank for this American.

Jim Jones
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User Replies:
tnchuck100 on 01/30/2010:
They are one despicable bank. The best advice is to close your accounts with them and find a credit union. As you found out they have a prepared lie for every challenge you can make. They make they rules. They break the rules. YOU are the only one who will ever be penalized. Never them. You, as an individual or a veteran, mean next to nothing to them.
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
It is the same old story. You spent more than you had. Banks usually pay the bigger amounts first because it benefits them. Stop waiting, you're not going to get a reversal. You just helped them pay back their government loans.
tnchuck100 on 01/30/2010:
justthefaxx, this one is not the same old story. In this one the BANK spent money he did not have ----- AT THE WRONG TIME. As usual, there is no penalty that can be assessed against the bank when they make a mistake.

The same old story here is YOU make a mistake, YOU pay the penalty. BANK makes a mistake, YOU pay the penalty.
MaggieMcT on 01/30/2010:
I'm with chuck on this one (don't have a heart attack, chuck, please!). If the mortgage payment was supposed to come out on the 29th, why was it taken on the 25th? The 29th was still a weekday.
They screwed the OP over, and they need to make it right. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for THAT to happen.
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
That's ridiculous. They wonder why stress in our country is so high. Its because of banks like BOA. I never liked BOA or ever banked with them, and never plan to ever bank with them. These big banks are ridiculous, I don't know why people put their money in them. Maybe if everyone started withdrawling all of their money from them, maybe they will start to listen a little bit better.
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
They rearrange payments all the time and its time we all realize that. They do it to maximize their fees, so even if you think your mortgage will be processed on the 29th, it might be earlier. I'm not saying its right, but its what they do.
tnchuck100 on 01/30/2010:
justthefaxx, you're missing it. This was not an order of process issue. The payment was SCHEDULED for payment on the 29th. The bank paid it on the 25th. 4 days BEFORE it was scheduled to be made. Bank of America has screwed up on this one.
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
wow justthefax, are you serious?....So what you are saying is that we should just get used to banks walking all over us and let them take our money whenever they want to? Your defense is "that's just what they do?" Wow....We're so used to be screwed by banks and companies so much that a lot of people just accept it.....Its sad.
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
All I'm saying is that the laws are in place to protect them. There's nothing the customer can do after they sign the contract with them!
jktshff1 on 01/30/2010:
From what I read, scheduled payment for 29th, bank paid on 25th
Anonymous on 01/30/2010:
That's ridiculous. Where does the law say that the bank has the right to bend you over and do it up our place where the sun don't shine? That's basically what they're doing and I for one don't understand how and why anyone wouldn't help this guy. Its absurd. Its down right wrong.....piss on em all.
tnchuck100 on 01/30/2010:
I will state with 100% certainty there is nothing in the "agreement" or "contract" that gives them the right to remove money BEFORE the scheduled time and apply NSF fees as a result.

The bank, in this case, is simply relying on the fact they can intimidate the account holder and he will do nothing to fight back. Well, I can tell you I would damn sure fight 'em!
Jim Jones on 01/30/2010:
Greetings...Thanks for all you comments I guaranteed I would be a thorn in their side. This is just the START!
yoke on 01/31/2010:
I know I never say this, but this time the bank screwed up. If the payment was not due to be taken out on the 29th and it was taken out on the 25th then the bank is at fault, not the OP.
Anonymous on 01/31/2010:
We don't have all the pieces here. How was the payment scheduled? Is it recurring every month? Was it scheduled on the mortgage itself as method of payment, or was it set up on the bank's bill pay site. It is important to know this, and to look a
Anonymous on 01/31/2010:
Sorry... keyboard batteries died mid-sentence. Anyway, on some bill pay sites, when you schedule the payment you are telling them the day you want it PAID, which means it has to be withdrawn earlier. So the key here is to ask them why the withdrawal was made on the 25th. It could be as simple as a common misunderstanding on the part of the OP. Of course, that would be a whole lot less fun than slamming the bank.
Anonymous on 01/31/2010:
I believe the OP is giving the whole story here and clearly the bank is at fault.

Ken, if the scenario you say is a possibility, then wouldn't this be an occurrence every month? The bill is due to be paid on the 29th of each month so it would come out earlier than that date?

I hear what you are saying but you cannot possibly believe that there is not one single ounce of truth to any of these complaints. There are absolutely those who come on here to slam a bank when they are at fault. I will give you that but there are too many complaints against so many different banks that you cannot simply dismiss them all. But of course, that would be a whole lot less fun than slamming the OP and thinking they are an idiot for not understanding or reading their account materials.
tnchuck100 on 01/31/2010:
ProConsumer, bear in mind there are those here who feel we should accept whatever the bank does to us a normal and proper. We should accept this unfair abuse without question.
Anonymous on 01/31/2010:
Understood Chuck, until it happens to them. But they will never come here to tell us about it.
Anonymous on 01/31/2010:
If you read my whole post Pro, you'd see that I asked that very question. We don't know if this is recurring, or an attempted one time payment. I am not willing to condemn the OP, nor the bank because, as I said, we don't have the facts. Chuck, your ad hominem attacks are not only pretty lame, but they seem to point out the fact that you cannot make any cogent argument for your position. Can you just accept that we all KNOW that you hate BoA, and let it go?
Anonymous on 01/31/2010:
I can't speak for Chuck but I can accept the fact that everyone here knows that I despise shady bank practices no matter what bank it is. I will not let it go until those that constantly defend their bad behavior acknowledge that the bank is not always right and there ARE valid complaints out there.

As long as there are bank huggers out there (not saying that you are or you aren't... that is for you to decide) I will speak out against them when in my opinion the banks are being shady and exercise their legal loopholes to screw over the consumer.
Jim Jones on 01/31/2010:
Day 3 of the dilemma began this morning with speaking with several different individuals and sharing some morning morsels of talk. Being in the anti B of A stance, I decided to find out if other people were in some sort of dilemmas with their banks as well. SO that was the goal of the day. I began conversations that were eventually geared to the discussion of the performance of their banking institutions.

Throughout the day I applied this tactic and have uncovered some suspected revelations on behalf of Bank "to rip off" America, and others. I have heard some issues such as overdraft fees are normally comped on a monthly basis or their bank just does not honor charges after a certain amount. Or I've heard of banks that charge $45 dollars per overage. While I spoke to approximately 10 people I received the feedback of seven on the "Bank to ripoff America". They all seem to have had the same issue with this bank.

Reading several internet sites and going out first hand to discuss the feedback, the American people are getting ripped badly by this bank. The average rip job was 400/month.

Do yourself a favor- if you absolutely love this institution,(great)but just - remember the kind of institution you are admiring. It is an institution that is ripping off your fellow Americans at an alarming pace.

Beware of Bank of America. They are not the bank for Americans. Tomorrow I will return to debrief more of the mission to take down the bank or at least get them to change their practice.

Signing off for now but I will do my self appointed duty to continue to make my voice heard. Tomorrow I will begin to pitch to government contractors who bank there. One hill at a time...

Semper Fidelis,

Jim Jones
Fufu487 on 02/03/2010:
I keep saying, American banks get away with murder. How can the system be so out of control?
Add reply
Bank of America - Holding Transactions in Pending Status and Charging NSF Fee on ATM Cash Withdrawal
Posted by on
ARIZONA -- I thought this was my imagination until I read another post on this site. It has been confirmed. Bank of America holds transactions. I'll give you an example of what happened to me.

I had $100 in a checking account. I used my checkcard for 2 transactions which total $40.00 together. I log on and see that I still have $60 left. So I now go to the ATM and I withdraw $40, leaving me (with what I think is $20). Then the next day, I find out my account is in the negative. A payment came in that night (auto-payment from phone bill of $107). True, I had forgotten about the phone bill, however, in what manner do you think Bank of America handled this? Well, rather than have everything else clear and then charge the fee on the phone bill auto payment, they charged a fee on everything after the phone payment, including the CASH WITHDRAWAL. How is it possible for a cash withdrawal to bounce? If you apply standard accounting methods, and I have cash in the back and I take out cash from the bank, that cash is mine and should have first been removed from this equation. These people will take advantage of you at each opportunity.

We have switched to a Credit Union and will be closing out our account this month. We will NEVER do business with Bank of America again. They are now the Bank of NO Opportunity. Goodbye and try not to cry about it Bank of America - the public is becoming wiser and eventually you will not be able to take advantage of people.

As a footnote, I also want to mention that this practice has been questioned and a lawsuit brought against Bank of America due to changing the posting order of items. Here is the latest update on that:
... Bank of America recently settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged it (and by extension, Fleet Bank, LaSalle Bank and U.S. Trust Company, which it acquired during that period) changed the posting order of transactions and embarked on other activities in order to increase the revenue it received from non-sufficient funds fees, overdraft fees and similar charges. The lawsuit, which was settled for $35 million, also alleged that the bank failed to warn customers that certain transactions were triggering fees. Even though Bank of America denies any wrongdoing, it is agreeing to pay up to $78 per account holder. ...

Thank you for reading my post.
Add reply
User Replies:
goduke on 09/02/2009:
There's something really odd with this story. A bank deposits a check and puts a hold on it, as governed by federal regs. I think they have to release the hold within 10 days or so. If the check doesn't clear, they charge it back to the account into which it was deposited.

If you try to cash the check, they either say yes or no.

I've never heard of a bank taking a check, not depositing it or cashing it. Maybe I'm missing something.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
Arghhhhh.......... Again, folks, CHECK REGISTER!!!!!

Log your debit card as you would a checkbook and you'll have no issues.

I will not respond to anymore of these holding funds/NSF posts. They could all be avoided if folks kept track of their spending.
MsIndependent on 09/02/2009:
Hi everyone - thank you for your comments. I agree with you The Judge. That if I had been on top of finances, this would not have happened. However, it did happen, and that is not the primary reason for this post. The main concern is that Bank of America follows a certain process called "reordering" the transactions at night. The practice has been condemned by many credit unions, etc. When a bank reorders the transactions, they are putting them in order, of convenience for them, to generate the NSF fees. However, when checking into other banks, I found some do follow that process, but all of the credit unions do not. Recently, this has become a big issue with many people worldwide. And like you said, simple upkeep of "balancing the checkbook" is always the best method, at times things can happen. Even to the best of us. And of course, unless you are experiencing what has happened, you may not really understand the frustration behind it.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
btw goduke....I think you posted this response in the wrong place. I'm guessing you meant it for the 5k check that was held for 6 weeks then lost.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
I just did some very quick research on BoA and they reported a profit of 2.4 billion with a B for the 2nd quarter of this year. Article said most of the profit, if not all, was in the foreign sector but seems they're probably not caring too much about the little guy over here.
MsIndependent on 09/02/2009:
That's funny. The article I read stated that Bank of America gets 40% of its banking revenue from fees. Revenue and profit are 2 different items. Also, here is a small article that might be of interest to you. Again, it just solidifies my statement that banks are doing a questionable process called "reordering" aka "changing the posting order" and apparently they are being sued for it. I will not keep responding, because I don't think you are understanding the primary position with this post. Thank you again for your comments. Take care! Article below:

... Bank of America recently settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged it (and by extension, Fleet Bank, LaSalle Bank and U.S. Trust Company, which it acquired during that period) changed the posting order of transactions and embarked on other activities in order to increase the revenue it received from non-sufficient funds fees, overdraft fees and similar charges. The lawsuit, which was settled for $35 million, also alleged that the bank failed to warn customers that certain transactions were triggering fees. Even though Bank of America denies any wrongdoing, it is agreeing to pay up to $78 per account holder. ...
MaggieMcT on 09/02/2009:
Overdrawn is overdrawn, it doesn't matter how -- checks, debits, cash withdrawals. You have to keep an accurate register, there's no way to survive the banking world without it. Relying on checking your balance online is financial suicide.
StephSten on 09/02/2009:
OMG! MsIndependent! The "reordering" thing JUST happened to us with our Bank of America checking account. A large automatic payment ($300) came through at the same time as a gasoline purchase of about $35. The $35 gas purchase would NOT have overdrawn our account, but the automatic payment, they took out the AutoPayment first, THEN posted the gasoline purchase. They BOTH posted on the SAME DAY! But, instead of just ONE overdraft fee (because my husband's direct deposit paycheck didn't post when I expected it), I was charged TWO overdraft fees! So, it's OBVIOUS that Bank of America has NOT changed their ways...apparently the "slap on the hand" they were given didn't teach them any lesson.
yoke on 09/02/2009:
steph, you yourself admitted that you spent more than you had in your account. BofA did nothing wrong. Reorder should never matter. You should always have the funds available to cover all transactions.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
A new law starting Feb 2010 will forbid banks from reordering transactions. Banks will have to process transactions as they are received. For years most all banks have been making huge profits by reordering and then charging overdraft & NSF fees.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
You make a mistake and are frustrated with the bank? Accept the consequences of your mistake and pay the late fees. If 95% of the people have no problems with late fees (or any issue), perhaps the problem is you not the bank.

The reordering of transactions has a rationale basis: Banks pay from largest to smallest because the larger transactions are usually the most important. Imagine your mortgage check bouncing because a $3.00 debit came out first making your account $2.00 overdrawn. This hardly makes them "thieves."
prkr on 09/02/2009:
my bank does the same thing with reordering the transactions but I've never had a nsf because I always log my transactions as soon as they are done check or debit
kisa64 on 09/02/2009:
MaggieMcT- best answer!
yoke on 09/02/2009:
prkr, my CU does reorder also and I have yet to get a NSF because of it.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
"Banks pay from largest to smallest because the larger transactions are usually the most important. Imagine your mortgage check bouncing because a $3.00 debit came out first making your account $2.00 overdrawn"

This is complete BS. First of all most of the time everything gets paid regardless of the processing order by the overpriced overdraft protection. Secondly, banks reorder transactions for one and only one purpose and that is to garner as many fees as possible. Let's just be honest about that.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
Stew, regardless of how they reorder it... I use a check register, write down my stuff.... and no matter how they order it, the balance matches with what I have in my register.

So, that's how I know, "banks reorder transactions for one and only one purpose and that is to garner as many fees as possible" is a load of crap.

If a transaction is forgotten about, not written down, and then posts... thus causing overdraft fees as a result, that's how mistakes happen, that's how overdraft fees come about, and then the snowball effect happens when everything else posts afterwards.

That's why it's always important to write everything down... and don't forget about the automated stuff. That's why I don't have anything automated. Oh wait, no, I have my blizzard account automated and I usually forget about it. But, I always leave, at least $30 bucks in my account anyway (seems all I do is just pay for bills, gas, and groceries).
It's easy and simple to just write everything down. That's what my parents did, long before online banking and worked for them. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Granted it's not for everyone, but if there isn't some way you can keep check on your funds without solely relying on online banking that doesn't show everything... that's how banks make their money... and get your money when people aren't responsible.
Yes, could go to a credit union... but, I would still do everything the same way. CU's are a lot less forgiving for those that can't manage an account. Not saying the OP can't... stuff happens, automated debits are forgotten, but it's fairly simple to write everything down and regardless of how banks post it, the balance should match.
grandma005 on 09/02/2009:
Just use a credit card for purchases and take out enough cash for small purchases after paycheck or direct deposit clears. Pay one payment to credit card when you receive Bill. It is very simple bookkeeping and will keep you out of trouble.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
No matter how you think they should handle transactions, they're going to maximize the fees they charge you. You need to keep up with your finances and not allow them to take money from you.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
This is a correction to an earlier comment I made about a new law prohibiting banks from reordering transactions. A fellow member asked me to cite the source. I went back to the source and read the article again. The new law concerns Australia, not the US. The law will allow Australians to challenge overdraft fees and force a bank to reveal it's actual costs in processing such fees. I regret my error. Mea Culpa.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
No. Most are paid regardless of order because there is enough money in the account and people do not in effect take a short term loan by overdrawing their account. Customers would gripe regardless of order. If smaller to larger, people would gripe because their electric bill or mortgage bounced. If the bank used time of transaction, people would dispute when a transaction occurred like they do about the early cashing of post-dated checks.

Explain why it is okay for people to change credit balances between cards to save money for instance, but it is not okay for banks to reorder "overdrawn" accounts to make money? Double standard? If we have a choice, don't we always make the one that benefits us the most?
DigitalCommando on 09/02/2009:
God, since there are so many people now who are so perfect and incapable of error in their lives, I believe that you will need to build a larger throne to make room for your new counterparts. Now for the rest of us who are mortal and do make mistakes from time to time, some of which are not out fault, forgive us father for not wanting to be ripped off by the evil descendants of those that your son toppled their carts in anger for their transgressions against us. We look forward to the day that these men's hearts (and the people who support them) will be analyzed by your searing gaze and the justice of your ways is brought down upon them. AMEN!
P.S. If you could throw in a Playstation 3 at Christmas, that would be cool too.
BokiBean on 09/02/2009:
Amen to that, DC..the perfect are hard-pressed to recognize injustice and in this case, downright GREED.

To the OP, glad you switched to a credit union. I banked with larger banks for years, and made the switch myself.

You'll find that many of their policies are much more customer-friendly, not just the reordering of checks.

P.S. I'll take a laptop.
BokiBean on 09/02/2009:
Also to MsIndependant..the lines here at m3c have been clearly drawn for some time. You have people who will blame you no matter what the bank's procedures are..and they'll do it all day and night without fail.

You also have people here who understand exactly what you're talking about..and agree.

And never the twain shall meet.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
DC, great response! I have to totally agree on the fact that there is not one person here who is perfect

I had to do a double-take on some of the posts because I did not know what people meant by "reorder". I truthfully have never even noticed if my CU does this or not, but I do know my debits are charged to my account almost immediately, in the order they are made.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
I don't know what kind of paper register you all use, but if I have $60 free and clear, and I take $40 out, my math says I'm left with $20. If an auto pymt then comes in and is *reordered before* my cash withdrawal, no amount of tracking on a paper register is going to prevent the overdraft. you all must have the magical paper register 'cause my math tells me if this were to happen, I'd be in the negative through no fault of my own.

eh, who cares right? let's keep bashing msindependent for poor banking skills. obviously she's at fault here. boa would never intentionally screw it's customers. they care too much.
DigitalCommando on 09/02/2009:
Banks of America statement: It has come to our attention that the reordering to maximize profit is not as lucrative as we once thought. To eliminate this immoral overcharge process (we're very sorry) we have eliminated it altogether. It will be replaced by a new program. Each future overdraft (maximum of 2) will require the removal of one of your kidneys which we will sell on the black market for $15,000 (executive high-fiving action going on).
Now back to the perfectionist can't do anything wrong crowd
"Oh, well if you just kept your register up to date you wouldn't have lost a kidney!"
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
JR said, "If we have a choice, don't we always make the one that benefits us the most? "

Couldn't agree with you more there. That's why I don't do business with the likes of Bank of America. Their aggressive FEE-FOR-ALL tactics do not benefit me nor any other consumer.

I use a local bank who doesn't play those fee games. My bank doesn't reorder transactions, they always post deposits first, they never put a hold on my deposit and they pay me 3.5% interest on my checking account plus give me points to buy crap. So, indeed, yes, by all means, choose a bank that benefits you the most.
Eloise on 09/02/2009:
Those 'auto-payment' will get you every time. The OP might be better off not using the 'auto payment'. She could still bank online but she could decide when to pay the bill.
MaggieMcT on 09/02/2009:
KingJames -- why would you take out $40 if you have an auto payment coming in for more than what's left?
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
now maggiemct, read my comment again. msindependent admitted to not planning for the auto pymt and is not disputing that fee.

what she is in fact disputing is the fee on the cash withdrawal, which happened once boa reordered the transactions and put the auto pymt in front of the cash withdrawal. that is her gripe and it's a legitimate one. and that was my point, and it's a legitimate one. take the blinders off now and then, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

MaggieMcT on 09/02/2009:
But KJ, I was asking about your example. I truly do not understand why you would take out $40 of a $60 balance when you have a larger charge coming in. It doesn't make sense.
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
OK maggiemct, let's try this one more time. firstly, I'll need you to remove said blinders. are you ready?

msindependent admitted she forgot about the auto pymt coming in and enthusiastically agreed she should have been charged for the overdraft fee caused by it.

now, what misindependent is rightly upset about is that boa reordered the auto withdrawal to go before [in front of/first/ahead of/etc] the cash withdrawal thus causing the cash withdrawal to also incur an overdraft fee for that transaction.

does that make sense to you now? please I beg of you, tell me you can see past her true error [the auto pymt] which she is again *not* disputing and you now see what her real gripe is about.

Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
Actually, she would have had an overdraft or more regardless....
She had $100 dollars in her checking.
She had an auto payment come out for $107... so, she would have been overdrawn anyway regardless if she hadn't taken any money out.
But, that's a whole other argument all together. And not the point of her complaint.
Those auto payments will gettcha every time when you forget about them. Doesn't matter if you write everything down, if there's an auto payment coming out that you forget about, it'll bite you in the butt every time.
Bleh... I've been screwed in the keester for things posting and a candy bar ending up costing me $35 bucks for the way things are processed. It was a good candy bar, but not for $35 bucks.
I still write everything down and only have one automated payment come out simply because I don't want to end up screwed in the end because I forget about any other payments that come out. I could set up my other bills as auto payments, but I don't trust that. It never comes out at the same time. Plus, I tend to forget about the one lone one I have.
Granted, that's not the point of this complaint.
But, anyway, it's neither here nor there.
tnchuck100 on 09/02/2009:
KingJames, give it up. There are some who are simply incapable of understanding the devastating effect the reordering of transactions has on the account holder. They just refuse to see it!
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
exactly right bearkatkitten, she would have been overdrawn even if she hadn't touched the $60 and that that isn't the point of her complaint. she admitted her error, isn't disputing her error.

but as is typical here, the majority must beat her down and somehow force her to [take it like a man]. pure hogwash if you ask me.

Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
As I had said before, that wasn't the point of the complaint... just something I was pointing out. Moving on.
And I agree, KJ.
If you don't like the way something's being done, you don't have to put up with it. Most of the time, it's found out by the hard way... and it sucks.
And, it's a good thing, by having it happen only once and pulling out the account instead of it happening over and over again... and continuing to let it happen before doing something about it.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
They say "but for a nail - a horseshoe is lost, but for the lack of a horseshoe - a horse is lost, but for the loss of that horse - the battle is lost. The op here will take responsility for the first mistake, but not for those consequences which flow from it. That is wrong and shirks responsibility.

Its not that we are perfect, but that we accept responsibility. Two months ago I bounced two checks for the first time in 20 years because I physically mis-added my check register. I did not blame or beg for waiver, I paid the $70.00 because it was my fault. I did it, I was at fault, I paid, I moved on.

PepperElf on 09/02/2009:
exactly people have to be responsible for their own finances.
which includes remembering the auto-payments they set up themselves
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
jr, that's a good attitude to have for sure. hopefully you carry it with you one day when you are standing before your maker. somehow I doubt it though. eh, call me a cynic, what do I care?
tnchuck100 on 09/02/2009:
It's not the overdraft that is at issue. It's the bank's unnecessary persecution of the customer.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
KingJames - By faith are we saved, but don't we also have an obligation to take responsibility for our actions, and make amends where we are wrong. If we know the rules, if we know we have an automatic payment coming out, and we still take money out of our account, then shouldn't we pay the consequences of our actions and see it not as taking it like a man, but as correcting the problem WE CAUSED.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
What persecution? The bank did what the op said it could do when she opened the account. It merely enforced the contract against her. If she wants foregiveness and kindness, she should do her banking with her mother.
PepperElf on 09/02/2009:
or take her money out and put it in a box
then you never spend money you don't have
tnchuck100 on 09/02/2009:
JR, join the crew here who refuse to see the real problem. You just don't get it. No amount of explanation will ever get through to you. We are not bantering legal vs illegal. The issue is ethics. Which BofA (and many other big banks as well) fail at miserably.
MaggieMcT on 09/02/2009:
KingJames, I guess my "blinders" are what keeps me from getting hit with overdraft fees. So, I'll keep 'em.
PepperElf on 09/02/2009:
but this "real problem" would vanish instantly if people took better care of their finances
BokiBean on 09/02/2009:
Yeah, in a perfect world...

Ain't going to happen.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
TRICHUCK: What ethics exactly are you talking about? Did the bank do something that was not known or could not be readily learned? Did they lie? Did they steal money? Did they fail to follow the rules? Did they trick the op into making a mistake? Please define what "ethics" you say were violated.

What about the ethics of the op? She knew she had a $100.00 in her account and a coming $107.00 electronic payment, thus knew she actually was overdrawn by $7.00. Instead of a deposit, she then made two withdrawals - literally taking the money from the bank without their consent. Explain the ethics of that. Then she cast blame on others for mistakes she made. Where are her ethics? The bank followed the rules and is called unethical while she knowingly overdraws and is excused? What sense of morality is that?
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
Actually, JR, she forgot about her automatic payment coming out. But, the point of her complaint is the ordering of how the stuff comes out... not the fact that she overspent. She's angry that things are posted from largest to smallest... not how she spent things. That's the whole point of the complaint.
BokiBean on 09/02/2009:
Actually JR, you bring up a good point. One of the problems with the reordering of credits and debits by banks like BoA is their complete failure to inform their customers that it will happen in the event of an overdraft.

People are completely blindsided. Many customers are under the impression that funds will be rejected on a debit card if they are not present in the account when the card is presented.

You can look on BoA's site right now...and you won't find ANY mention of the reordering of debits and credits anywhere on it. The ONLY time their customers get notice of this, and it in the fine print then, is AFTER they have opened an account.

Not so all.
BokiBean on 09/02/2009:
Mistakes can and do happen, that's the human condition.

Find a bank that doesn't try to take advantage of that fact.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
I understand her complaint, but what basis does she have to be mad at others, when her actions set the ball in motion? If I cheat at cards in Vegas, can I reasonably complain that the casino took back not only the money I won by cheating, but the money I won honestly. Or when charged with battery, can a defendant reasonably complain because he did not punch the victim as alleged, only slapped her around some.
JR in Orlando on 09/02/2009:
I certainly agree that banks have many things in fine print and do not highlight their procedures. If one saw this when opening an account, however, the person then is on notice of this practice BEFORE bouncing a check. I do agree that too many people are unaware of how a debit card actually works and its limitations. Yet, when the bank rejects the debit card, then we get complaints like that yesterday from the woman overseas who was denied access.

I would like to see debit card withdrawals be a minimum of $100 to prevent multiple NSF fees, but then we would have complaints the rule kept them from eating at McDonalds. I wish people did not game the system or try to live on the float, so that business in general could offer more help to people who are in a financially tough time.

MsIndependent on 09/02/2009:
Thank you everyone who has stopped by to read my post and comment on it. Whether you are in agreement with the primary issue or have an opinion to state on the matter, I appreciate that we have all been able to share a discussion on this and respect each other's viewpoints. I also want to make sure that all of you have seen that I updated the post, to include this information about the practice that Bank of America uses to reconcile consumer's transactions:

... Bank of America recently settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged it (and by extension, Fleet Bank, LaSalle Bank and U.S. Trust Company, which it acquired during that period) changed the posting order of transactions and embarked on other activities in order to increase the revenue it received from non-sufficient funds fees, overdraft fees and similar charges. The lawsuit, which was settled for $35 million, also alleged that the bank failed to warn customers that certain transactions were triggering fees. Even though Bank of America denies any wrongdoing, it is agreeing to pay up to $78 per account holder. ...
PepperElf on 09/02/2009:
and don't forget to pick up the check book ledger
it'll save you a lot of trouble
Anonymous on 09/02/2009:
and don't forget that one last jab at the op.

oic you already did. good job.
Eloise on 09/02/2009:
MsIndependent, very classy!
grandma005 on 09/02/2009:
Stew-Where do you bank? I know of no Bank that is paying 3.5% interest on checking accounts. I checked online Banks and the most that is being paid is less than 2%.
DigitalCommando on 09/02/2009:
JR said "but what basis does she have to be mad at others, when her actions set the ball in motion?"
Oh now I get it. So if you get into an accident that's your fault and the other driver yanks you out of the car and pounds your head into a pancake, that's OK because YOU set it in motion?. Note to self: don't drink the water in Orlando.
clinares on 09/12/2009:
I've had constant problems with BofA.

I call and complain and they return part of what they purloin.

I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and The Office of the Comptroller of Currency. below are their web sites where you file a complaint electronically. I also found this organization and filed a complaint with my congressman.

everyone here should do the same.
CoonCatOne on 10/16/2009:
I was sooooo pleased to hear that some customers have had luck fighting B of A. Congratulations!
Anonymous on 10/16/2009:
So you spend money and think you have money left, an auto payment that YOU set up comes through and you blame the bank for the NSF fees? Auto payment are drafts that clear BEFORE anything else. Why don't you use a register and write your auto payment in it every month?

I have my student loan auto drafted at the end of every month. My second paycheck (payday twice month) comes the 3rd week of every month. I ALWAYS deduct that amount from my register just for this reason.

It is called being responsible for your actions. YOU messed up. Regardless how it happened, you still didn't have enough to cover it.
ThatGirl1244 on 04/17/2010:
I've recently had to go through the same problem.
For you magic register people who are absolutely perfect in every way because you write everything down--Figure this out.

I rarely use my Bank of America checking account because I have had problems with the reordering in the past. However it's convenient to keep it because my savings accounts and credit card are all linked to it.

I had $101 in my account. I filled my gas tank up and the total was $20. So I had $81 left, or so I thought. Two days later, I went to the bank and deposited $60 in my account. According to my receipt, I had $140 in the account. I then went to the store and bought a few things, my total came to $15. So in theory, I had $125 in my account. Later on that night, I decided to pay off my credit card, when I looked at my checking account online, nothing was in the red or bounced. I transferred over $120 onto my credit card, which left me with $5 in the account.

A week later I went in to check in on my account to make sure nothing crazy was going on (because I've had issues in the past) and sure enough, I had overdrawn my account twice. The bank did something I've never seen it do before, it reordered my transactions in the order that cleared first and then by size.

So the $120 transfer cleared first (which over drafted it), then it took out my $20 gas purchase (that I made TWO days before the transfer), then it put my deposit of $60 in (which took me out of the negatives), and then it took out my $15 purchase.

So tell me, am I irresponsible for this? Did I not take care of my finances? Because even if I had written this all down in a register, it still would have happened.
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Hit Your Hard Working Customers When They’re Down. B Of A’s Motto
Posted by on
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- My letter to BofA: I’m sure my story is not uncommon, and surely less disastrous than what some of your customers are experiencing. Recently I underwent a salary cut of about 30%. At the same time I was dealing with a foreclosure on a property I still owned in my hometown of Chicago.

Back in Oct., ’08, with my foreclosure there were city building violations having to do with required repairs that I could not financially have completed. Thus I lost the property and incurred numerous fines by the city, for which by a court order, emptied my BofA checking account which had barely enough funds to pay for rent, child support, and other necessary bills. There was a domino effect of overdrafts. BofA was kind enough at that time to reverse some of these.

Then recently earlier this month, there was a charge by a rental car co. which appeared and then disappeared, then reappeared. At the time I had sufficient funds to cover the charge yet the final charge posted was actually higher. If the post date of this charge had been dated the latter actual date of confirmation, I would have not overdrafted eight (8) times (x $35 for each totaling $280). I was charged $35 for $3 - $5 transactions, which caused again a domino effect of overdraft charges on my badly needed funds to make ends meet. (This week the shortage may also cause overdrafts due to automatic withdrawals.)

I had asked the branch manager if they could have some consideration and reverse at least 3 of the overdraft charges. Basically they advised they cannot and are not allowed too. The same with your 1-800 customer service.

All of this, not too mention BofA’s nickel and dime charges I see on every statement, is a ruthless policy by BofA to try to make up for losses being felt elsewhere in the banking business, correct? Would not it be fair if there was an overdraft charge for every $50 or $100 that a customer overdrafted? Instead of charging $35 for every $1, $2 or $3 overdraft? Make justifiable sense?

Regardless, this letter is to notify you that this very unhappy customer will be closing his accounts with BofA ASAP, and will certainly not recommend BofA, and recommend that people stay away from BofA so as to not get ripped off and taken advantage of. And believe me, I am very involved in the Hispanic community in Los Angeles as well as in the top U.S. cities where we do business and support Hispanic community organizations. Basically, I’ve had it with BofA!

I also understand that in the next year, B of A will be charging a $39 fee per overdraft with up to ten (10) overdrafts per period. That can devastate a hard working family that needs to put food on the table and pay rent or mortgage. But I guess you need to make money on the short term. We’ll see what happens in the long term.
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Anonymous on 04/23/2009:
I'm sorry you're having such a tough time here. The actual fact of the matter is that your transaction occurred when you used the card, not when the debit was presented by the merchant. If your account can't cover it when you used the card, they got you. In tough times, you may want to rethink the use of a debit card. It's an expensive addiction.
gary777g on 04/27/2009:
I have taken to calling Bank Of America "WORST bank of America". I have experienced MANY of the horrible practices that others have, but one of the worst ones was when I made a car payment IN PERSON at the place I got my car, that place electronically processed my check and was paid instantaneously out of funds in my account. I checked with WorstBankofAmerica and yes, the check had been paid, the funds removed from my account and that was that. Right? WRONG. Three days later, through an unfortunate error, my bank was told that I owed back child support and my account was frozen/garnished. (I in fact owed NO child support of any kind, and this was resolved later with that gov agency, but that is another story, and YES WBoA screwed me on THAT deal too!) Anyway, Worst Bank went BACK in time and tried to tell me that the check I had given for the car payment was now not good, even though it had been paid out and cleared days before.. WBoA tried to reverse the transaction electronically, and added the amount back to my balance MINUS $35 overdraft fee. Then the next day, it was back out of my account and was 'under review'. Then the payment was again added back to my balance and another $35 fee was assessed to my account. This went back and forth FOUR times, until they were finally successful in taking the money BACK out of the car dealer's account. Back and forth this went, charging me each time they tried to reverse the transaction, until finally it worked and THEN the car dealer charged me for a bounced check (which they could not understand, as they take precautions to accept only good checks - by processing them electronically!)... In the end, after the whole child support fiasco was resolved, I was glad to have $17.49 left in my account. I closed the account, and the WorstBank teller asked if I had a penny. I gave her a penny, she gave me $17.50. Guess what? She did not deposit the penny. I got a letter letting me know of the overdraft situation - for A PENNY! THAT I HAD GIVEN THEM! The surprise was when they had 'waived' the overdraft fee! WOW! Thanks, Worst Bank of America.
marioech99 on 04/27/2009:
I know that in my case (above) the transaction occurred when you used the card, not when the debit was presented by the merchant... though my point is that this practice of charging $35 plus for multiple overdrafts often under $5 is unjust and a legal scam to screw the hardworking customer, so the banks can make up for losses elsewhere. Wait til they lose these customers. One bank should lead the way to fair practices and fees for overdrafts!!!
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"Bank" of America indeed
Posted by on
I wrote the following letter to Bank of America today. I didn't feel the need to be more specific; they have heard all of the complaints before. Just Google "Bank of America" and "Unethical" and see all the results it produces. They have developed a devious system of policies, practices, fees and holds that assures that they will take as much as they possibly can from their customers. It is confusing enough to assure that even the cleverest customer won't be able to make sense of it all and inconsistent enough to keep us all guessing. Just a few examples of ways that they stick it to their customers:

- Make a deposit and funds will be held anywhere from 0 to 12 business days before they become available. I have talked to several representatives now in an attempt to gain an understanding of what determines how long the hold will be and not a single one has been able to lay out the criteria for me. The gentleman with whom I spoke today told me there isn't a rule at all. "It just depends," he said.

- Make a deposit in an ATM and you receive immediate credit for the first $100 of your deposit. The rest becomes available later. Make a deposit at the counter and all of your funds are held; none of it becomes available until later. If you're me. If you're my boyfriend, apparently, the results are different, but please don't ask anyone to explain why that is or what criteria are used to determine who gets credit for what when, I have tried, and no one knows. "It just depends," they say.

- Say your available checking account balance is $300 and you have $100 in funds pending until… you know, whenever they feel like making it available (“It depends,”). On Monday, you slide your debit card seven times. Each purchase is for $5, so your purchases total $35. These appear on your account as "Pending," the funds don't immediately debit. On Tuesday, you slide your debit card again, for $300. This too appears as pending but now, Bank of America "As a courtesy," changes the order of the transactions to assure that the largest of your purchases clears first. Your $300 purchase clears the account and for each of the remaining seven you are charged a $35 overdraft fee. You are charged a total of $245 in overdraft fees rather than just $35, even though only one of your purchases was made when you had insufficient funds. Never mind that additional $100 that was in the account; those funds were pending, so they weren’t really yours. And they’re all gone now anyway, and your account is still negative by $170 when the funds do become available, thanks to the fees they charged.

I find all of this beyond disgusting. And so…

April 13, 2009

To Whom It May Concern,

Add me to the ranks of customers who have been dissatisfied with Bank of America's practices. Add me to the ranks of customers whose financial struggles during this economically challenging period in history have been compounded by the fees, holds and inconsistencies that are the Hallmark of Bank of America's policies. Add me to the ranks of customers who have no illusions; we know that Bank of America, in response to the impact that the country's economic downturn has had on financial institutions, is attempting to regain some ground by passing the expense to its customers.

Bank of America, ever attempting to grow black mountains from red valleys on the graphed landscapes of profit and loss, worsening our country’s state of depression by depleting the limited resources of the people who make up its population in every way conceivable. Bank of America, a rapacious pecuniary beast, alarmingly short-sighted in its predatory approach, seeing red and opportunistically devouring any unsuspecting capital in its path; no regard for the impact of its actions on the economy as a whole, no regard for the individuals it abuses, no regard for the implications of its actions. Bank of America, hoisting the common man by his ankles to shake, and shake, and shake… until his pockets are turned inside-out and every last cent has clattered to rest atop a heap that is never tall enough to quell such a gluttonous appetite. How apropos, then, to be dubbed Bank of America, as it is indeed just that; a bank, a heap, composed of the laboriously obtained earnings of common Americans. Then, wild eyes aflame, the creature climbs atop its ill-gotten mountain of dollars and dimes and roars a mighty roar, the subtext of which rings clearly in the ears of its customers: “Every man for himself; let the weak perish.” (Although some of us hear only two short words, the first of which is most certainly not “Luck.”)

Add me to the ranks of Bank of America customers who can only slide our hands into our empty pockets, shake our heads and say “For shame.”

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goduke on 04/13/2009:
Remember Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life. He ran a bank. Banks aren't always on the customer's side. BOA is one of the worst.

Consumers do, however, have to get with an understand of modern technolog in banking. It used to be that you could write your grocery check on Thursday, deposit your paycheck on Friday, and all would be good. Not anymore. As techology becomes more and more sophisticated (and it will continue to get more sophisticated), transactions are becoming viewed as being real time. What that means is that when your card is swiped for a transaction at the store/restaurant/online merchant/etc., you have to consider that money gone, and you can't "respend" it, planning to have the cash deposited in time to cover things. It just doesn't work that way anymore. Right or wrong. Up or down. Moral or immoral. Ethical or unethical. It's the way it works, and you have to live with it and plan for it.

As for the order and holding of deposits, there are obviously rules, as its all computerized and automated. The teller and ATM don't do anything except log the transaction. The system applies the rules. The bank is probably a bit reluctant to disclose most of those rules because they don't want folks to make transactions based upon thinking that money should be available on day X, and then making the bank responsible for any detriment.

I'm not a fan of BOA by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn't put my money there to save my life. And while they are very rules focused and not willing to make exceptions, the real time nature of debits from the account is the coming thing.
tnchuck100 on 04/13/2009:
Eloquently put!

Too bad they are unable to fail. They are so big and powerful they ALMOST own the regulatory agencies. They have full access to customers accounts and unending methods to extricate those funds from those customers. And ALMOST unlimited access to our tax money as well.

goduke, the "real time" ability is only used when it increases the banks revenue. Never to the customers benefit.
goduke on 04/13/2009:
Banks don't give each other access to their data. If I take a check drawn on a Chase account to a BOA bank, BOA can't immediately tell (electronically) that it's a good check. It still has to go through the clearing house process. You may not like it. You may think that it's a sin against the nature of the universe. But it is a fact.

Banks do have access to the payment terminal data in real time, and operate as if the payments are real time. Again, you may not like it. You may think it's a sin against the universe, but it's still a fact.

At the end of the day, people can't spend money they don't have yet. I know the economy is tanked. I know peoples' income is stretch spider-web thin, but people cannot spend money they don't have yet. If they do, it's going to come down on them.
Anonymous on 04/13/2009:
Chuck, it's not only not eloquently put, it's not even true. The guidelines for Funds Availability are set by the feds. Among other rules, you have to be provided a copy of the Funds Availability policy when you open the account, and also any time you request one. Further, it has to be posted in every branch. So when the OP says things like "The gentleman with whom I spoke today told me there isn't a rule at all. "It just depends," he said." you just have to cast the entire post into doubt.

Slam them for the things they do wrong, there are enough without having to make them up.
yoke on 04/13/2009:
If you have $300 in the bank why are you spending $335?
SLR+ on 04/13/2009:
If you ever thought you are simply a source of income for the bank, you are seriously deluding yourself. Any time they can give themself a raise, compliment of you, they will.

Build yourself a cushion (even if you can only afford $10 a paycheck) and you will be able to cut your "BOA Bonuses" dramatically.

Here's another way to build: Every time you write a check or use ATM, round up the dollar amount you put it in your check register. If you're not using your register, START with your next pay check.
madconsumer on 04/13/2009:
"They have developed a devious system of policies, practices, fees and holds that assures that they will take as much as they possibly can from their customers."

in all my years, I havr never had anything happen to me.

"It is confusing enough to assure that even the cleverest customer won't be able to make sense of it all ...."

their policies and fees are stated clearly in the account agreement.

again, in all my years, this so called manipulation has NEVER happened to me. one day people will learn how to maintain a bank account.
old fart on 04/13/2009:
I haven't had an overdraft in 35 years and I'm no math wizard!

get with it folks, stop blaming the bank's policies for YOUR shortcomings...

Start a check register, subtract the amounts from your check book EVERY time and balance it at least once a month..


Anonymous on 04/13/2009:
Stuff happens. If they've never run a bad check in my place, they just pay the fee my bank charged me, plus the amount of the check. Everyone parts friends. There are hundreds of non-irresponsible ways a person can overdraft. It IS wrong when the banks turn a customer mistake into a chance to reap hundreds in unearned fees. It could be clearly published that the bank can shoot your kid in front of you if you write a bad check. Kids would get shot. Why? People make mistakes. The banks know it and try to reap as much as they can from them.
madconsumer on 04/13/2009:
"There are hundreds of non-irresponsible ...."

non-irresonsible; is this even a word?

irresponsible, = not being able to maintain duties.

non-irresponsible = doesn't this cancel out the non part? and actually equal responsible?
Anonymous on 04/13/2009:
Sorry mad, I'm not biting. Flame-bait elsewhere.
Patio Furniture on 04/13/2009:
EmanuelleDexterity is making a valid point. BofA is on a rampage of extortion. My interest increases on BofA credit card were deemed, "due to a BofA policy change. I was advised my "fees would be increased."
Today I discover my ATM card is being charged $1 per transaction. No specific notice. Is my checking, savings, Ira's, and Keep the change, all formerly free--being charged monthly fees? No communication from BofA.
On April 8th, I sold stock from a BofA IRA and they stated their settlement date would be April 14th. Who knows what date they will distibute to my account?
Cust. Rep. said that decades ago it took 5 days to physical transfer stock. Therefore, BoA now has my money instantly, but still follow the historical settlement time.
In April, BofA commenced a nation-wide extortionist scheme upon their hostage customers. I'm ending all business with them.
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