Bank of America Complaint - Overdraft Fees: Bank of America Steals Money from Customers
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.
WHY IS THIS LEGAL?
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