Firstar Bank Complaint - No one will return my telephone calls - because they know they are in the wrong.

Review by webfamily@aol.com on 2001-10-01
SCHERERVILLE, IN, USA, INDIANA -- I am a Firstar customer and need your help.

I purchased a car and obtained a loan from First Star--Loan payments were made on time for about 2 years and recently we fell behind by 3 payments due to some personal financial difficulties. We worked with one of your representatives Janet at X2628 (1-800-879-1897) at the Cincinnati Center in collections and were told that a payment of $608.70 would bring us current. (Janet has been extremely helpful by the way throughout this whole ordeal.) On September 4th we made that payment which was accepted and we were current at that time. This can be verified as paid by the confirmation number of #7440.

On September 19th at 1:30 a.m., after just coming home from the hospital to shower and go back to the hospital as my 17-year old son was involved in an accident that day and was staying at the hospital all night and was scheduled to have 3 hours of surgery the next day, a repossession company came to take our van. I showed proof to the man with the repossession company that I had paid Firstar on 9/4. I already had my bank statement showing a photo of the electronic check your system printed out and cashed and cleared through my bank, plus the confirmation number. He told me that did not concern him, and stated that if I did not turn over the vehicle that the police were going to be called and would forcibly remove the vehicle. He told me that as of 6:30 p.m. that evening the printout showed that the payments were in arrears. He said he received the information from a company called US Bank. I told him that we do not pay to US Bank, we pay to Firstar. When did our car payments get taken over by US Bank? We were never notified of this. THE CAR SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN REPOSSESSED. There was no notification that the car was going to be repossessed, and in fact, we had paid the money as agreed to with the Firstar representative on 9/4/01.

I didn’t even have a telephone number for US Bank since I make my payments to Firstar and called the repossession company the following morning to ask them how to contact US Bank. When calling US Bank, they didn’t have any payment information listed and instructed me to call Firstar. I thought that would be an easy process, but I was proved wrong. It took about 15 calls to get one release to be processed even though Firstar could clearly see in their system that our payments were current. They did not issue the release until the very end of the day after 9 hours of phone calls and then I was told the release could not be used that day because the repossession company closes at 4:00 PM. Amazing. All this while my son was having surgery. Then to make matters worse, the repossession company stated that even though the vehicle was released by Firstar, I would have to pay a $380.00 repossession fee! This was not right at all, but more calls to Firstar’s collections office did not get any response. I was working with Patricia Jackson at the collection office at X6249 (1-800-879-1397). Patricia was the person who got the release of the vehicle.

Other calls to First Star were never returned --- at least 5 or more. I tried to contact Firstar many times on 9/21 and even waited until 2:00 p.m. to leave to get the vehicle so that I could get there before they closed, as they were not open on the weekend. I had no choice but to drive the 1.5 hours one way to pay the $380 dollars for getting the car out of repossession. We needed that vehicle back quickly so my wife could get to the hospital with my son and I could transport our three other children back and forth to school. This was only adding more stress on my family. My wife had to be gone from our son in the hospital for four hours so that we could drive a very far distance during rush hour and into a very bad neighborhood in Chicago. None of this should ever have happened. What really is upsetting is that in speaking to US Bank, the company who issued the repossession order, they didn’t even have the correct or current information in their system. How can they be issuing repossession orders when their systems are printing out incorrect information. My family has faced considerable additional hardship due to your systems not being linked correctly between Firstar and US Bank.

I then started the process on Monday 9/24 to get the $380 returned to me or credited to my account as another payment was now due and I had just unnecessarily paid $380 of money out of my checking account which was already marked to go to that month’s payment and also to my telephone bill. I made the scheduled car payment to Firstar on 9/25 and now this was surely causing us additional financial hardship. I was told by Patricia Jackson in collections that she did not have the authority to refund the $380 and that only her supervisor Ellie Moore X6235 (1-800-879-1397) could handle this. I left Ms. Moore at least 10 phone calls from Tuesday through Friday of last week, none of which were returned at all.

On Friday 9/28, I called the main number and asked if she was even in the office and was told she was. I requested a message be gotten to Ms. Moore twice on Friday via the main line – once in the morning and once after lunch. When I called after lunch I was told she was out to lunch. No calls were ever returned so I was left with no other alternative than to start to send out for help via these information networks. I have e-mailed all the listed Firstar addresses on the internet and now am going to be using whatever means I can find hoping someone can help me resolve this issue by directing this to the person who is ultimately in charge of the collections area. All the facts and proof are evident and show that the reason this happened in the first place is due to your systems not being linked and showing the correct status of our account with US Bank.

Payments were made on the vehicle as agreed to in my discussion with Janet in collections. Then 3 weeks after your company received the agreed upon payment and the account was current, the car is repossessed. This all occurred at a time that was extremely stressful to me and I am extremely upset with the ability of the office dealing with this to respond to me with any type of an answer, discussion etc. surrounding this issue. Please direct this to anyone who can help me with this issue.

There was no reason for this to happen -- if only they would have called me back when I called many, many times this wouldn't have gone this far. This is no way to treat a customer.

To help keep me as a potential future customer, I would like the following:

I want a refund of the $380 I had to unnecessarily pay to get my vehicle back. If I had waited to get my vehicle back until Ms. Moore in collections called me back, I still wouldn't have my vehicle back.

At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident. Thank you for your time.
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2003-09-03
Posted by Anonymous on 2001-11-20:
I have been a Firstar customer for about 18 months since my bank merged with Firstar and changed its name. Now I find out, from recent ads in the Sunday newspaper, that another name change is coming. They didn't even have the decency to notify their customers of the upcoming name change to US Bank. A simple note on my monthly statement would have been sufficient. I'm moving my money.
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-02-07:
This bank sucks, you should change banks asap eventhough the loan may still be there.Firstar screwed my wife and I out of a 400.00 transfer from one acct to another,and again screwed us on a 500.00 deposit that showed up on our statement as a check that had no transaction number. the bigger they get (mergers) the worse they get and seem not to care!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-09-03:
Firstar Bank (Jerry Grundhofer) acquired US Bank (Jack Grundhofer)in 2002. Jerry's bank sucked. Jack's bank sucked even more. The "new" US Bank is just a combination of two sucky banks. Avoid getting a Grundhofer 5 star screwing by staying away from US Bank. For more information about US bank, check out http://www.usbank-5starscrewed.0catch.com

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