Is Your Bank Taking You and Your Money for Granted?

Written by: John Landers

For the last several years, it seems the banks have served as the poster child for how not to treat your customers. The industry took a serious hit to their image after the robo signing scandal that was revealed in late 2010. Lenders subsequently foreclosed on millions of homeowners after lining their vaults with bailout money from the government, after the financial crisis in 2008.

The five major banks, Citibank, Well Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Ally Financial, reached a settlement with a federal and state negotiating team and agreed to pay $26 billion to 49 states and the federal government earlier this February this year.

Many do have the opinion that their banks have taken them and their money for granted. Fed up with endless fees and customer service issues, people are fighting back in a number of ways and changing banks.

Social Media

Bank of America gained a reputation early on for it administrative problems processing home loan modifications to help financially struggling homeowners.  In fact, according to a MSN real estate article,  an independent film maker out of San Diego who was fed up with the treatment he received from Bank of America took to social media to air his grievances regarding his own loan modification application.

De Veau Dunn,  made a  short film  about the institution’s reply and called it “Bank of America Wants You to Die,” and  YouTube channel for  customer upset with  the bank’s service.

De Veau Dunn, elicit the help of a friend actor to portray a bank manager as they discuss the bank request in two different letters, that the borrower produce a  copy of his own death certificate, bank statements, pay stubs,  tax returns,  and  proof of  child support payments—although Dunn is not a father.

Dunn’s complaint to the bank manager who instructs him to email the paperwork to the bank again as proof of the lenders request for the strange paperwork.

This use of social media has cause many banks and other  businesses to hire  staff strictly for the purpose of  monitoring social media sits and resolving issues before they become viral and containing negative feedback from  disgruntled customers.

Bank Transfer Day

After a Bank of America announced it would begin charging debit card holder a monthly fee back in 2010, relationship between big banks and consumers took another a serious public relations blow. The incident eventually led to a movement, which encouraged changing banks and moving money from the big bank accounts to credits unions. In 2010, 600,000 consumers closed accounts at major institutions and opened credit union accounts.

In November 2011, more than 1.3 million people opened accounts at credit unions, according to National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) report. As of early 2012, more than 91.8 million Americans owned credit union accounts.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Launched in the summer of 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) serves as a financial industry watchdog charged with overseeing the interest of consumers in the financial marketplace. The agency initially started taking consumer complaints regarding various credit card issues. In October this year, the CFPB began accepting grievances regarding bank accounts, mortgages, auto, personal and student loans.

Consumers who feel their bank is taking advantage of them can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau via the agency’s hot line or on its agency website.


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