Post # 1000 Chase confiscates Ponzi scheme money

Signing off with our last post for 2010, which happens to be our 1000th post as well, is a really slimy JP Morgan Chase story that does a good job at illustrating how Chase looks out for itself first.

In the earlier part of this decade, a Ponzi schemer named Tom Petters was busy scamming people out of almost 4 billion dollars.  At the time, JPMorgan Chase’s own in-house hedge fund owned the Polaroid company and they cut a deal to sell it to Petters for almost $500 million.

JPMorgan Chase is now being sued by the trustee for the Ponzi scheme victims for $300 million and is accused of knowing the purchase was with money that was il-derived, but proceeding anyways so they could profit from it.

But the really bad part is that JPMorgan Chase is also accused of confiscating money that Petters had in the banks accounts just days AFTER HIS ARREST:

“This was JPMorgan trying to step ahead of the Ponzi scheme’s victims and creditors to the tune of $20 million bucks,”

In essence, Chase saw the writing on the wall and grabbed whatever it could to satisfy it’s own claims, regardless of whether they were entitled to it or any claims others might have had on it.

Chase’s philosophy must be that possession is 9/10 of the law.

Well now they are getting sued over it.  Good.

And happy new year!

Chase debt affidavits signed by Martha Kunkle? You might have a case?

Legacy debt might come back to bite Chase according to this Wall Street Journal article.

Credit card company Providian was acquired by Washington Mutual which was then acquired by Chase. Back in the early 1990’s, Providian had an employee Martha Kunkle who was a robo-signer responsible for many of the affidavits related to debt and debt collection activity. After Ms. Kunkles death in 1995, and apparently until very recently, other employees would routinely sign affidavits as Martha Kunkle. These affidavits were then passed on to debt collectors such as Portfolio Recovery Associates.

So, if you are being sued for Providian/WaMu/Chase credit card debt, check all of your documents to see if any were signed by Martha Kunkle, as you might have a good case.

One interesting statement in the article is worth noting for anyone being sued by Chase (or any other bank) for debt collection:

Large debt collectors such as Portfolio Recovery Associates and publicly traded rivals Encore Capital Group Inc. and Asset Acceptance Capital Corp. frequently buy delinquent accounts in bulk. Information about each debt sometimes is little more than a line in a spreadsheet with the borrower’s name and amount owed, according to lawyers who represent borrowers.

The point is, ask your bank or the debt collection firm to prove you actually owe them money.  They may not be able to do so.

Chase data export for business customers not working

Another day, another Chase technical problem. This one appears to be isolated to the download function for business customers (as that is the only report we have gotten) where customers can export account activity to Quickbooks or another accounting system. The downloads results in a message that no transactions are available, which is incorrect as Chase’s website clearly shows transactions that should be included.

The specific message from Quickbooks is “There are no transactions available, Please check again tomorrow”.

According to Chase customer support, this problem extends to ALL BUSINESS CUSTOMERS!

Response from Chase support: “We are researching the problem, which may take 3-5 business days”.

Nice to know Chase is able to get right on these problems and solve them. 🙁

Thanks to Chase customer Rob for reporting this to us.

Why you should be upset about losing free checking

Chase’s move to start charging former customers of Washington Mutual’s free checking accounts a monthly fee seems to be garnering quite a bit of media coverage, like this latest article.  All the media coverage and grumblings of Chase customers would lead one to believe this isn’t a very well-received change.

On the other hand, some argue that customers are just wining and shouldn’t expect all these freebies anyways.  It costs money to offer a service like checking accounts and customers should be prepared to pay for it.

So who’s right?

Yes, banks are a business and as such it is perfectly reasonable to charge for services, like checking accounts.   But the assumption that free checking isn’t a viable business model is simply incorrect.  It took me exactly thirty seconds to find a credit union near me that offers a totally free checking account:

At Menlo Survey Federal Credit Union, you pay no monthly service charge for your checking account and have no minimum balance requirement. Because Direct Deposit provides convenience for you and increases efficiency for the Credit Union, you first order of checks will be free if you sign up for Direct Deposit of your net pay.

Get it, the checking is free regardless of direct deposits or balance.  Signing up for direct deposit gets you an ADDITIONAL benefit of free checks.

Chase, on the other hand, has opted to create some truly obtuse rules for qualifying for free checking that almost  seem to be specifically crafted to piss people off; it’s almost as if they are specifically trying to demonstrate they simply don’t care about the customer.

But the real reason free checking is a very reasonable demand is that the banks, especially the big ones, really really need their customers.

You see, depositors are providing something a bank like Chase desperately needs, capital, and bank deposits are some of the best capital a bank like Chase can get, because it costs them very little almost nothing.  On the opposite end of the customer who has very little money in their checking account, is the customer that maintains a sizable balance and gets virtually nothing for it.  For instance, at current interest rates, maintaining a balance of $20,000 will earn you less than one dollar in interest per month.  Their rates are so embarrassingly low, it is almost impossible to find them anywhere on Chase’s website.

By charging you a fee when your balance is too low, Chase is basically telling you it wants to double dip; they get to use your money for almost nothing when you have a high balance, and zap you with a fee when you don’t.

Remember, there ARE options out there in the form of credit unions and small banks that offer free checking and good customer service.

Seriously people, time to stop grumbling and find a better bank.

Chase doesn’t want to help homeowner get current

Wow.  Here’s a homeowner who just wants a simple letter from Chase so they can move to get their mortgage current again.  Weeks of trying and the best excuse Chase can come up with is that they don’t have a single fax machine sitting around.  This might be one of the clearest examples yet of Chase intending to drive someone into foreclosure.

I have been trying for weeks just to get a 401k letter from these people. Every time I talk to collections, they tell me that they have mailed a new one, but then 10days goes by and nothing. Today I finally got tired of this. I talked to Customer Service to see if they could fax me a letter, but they are not able to access the 401k letters so they sent me to collections for help. HA!!

I spoke to “supposed” supervisor Angel in the collections department and he told me that they have no capability to fax in his entire office. When I asked for his manager he told me that he was the manager of the entire building. A building which apparently doesn’t have a fax machine. After repeated attempts to get some thing anything on paper he said the best he could do was mail me a letter. (Like the last three letters that I haven’t received I suspect.) Then he said he would transfer me to customer service and some how I got hung up on. (Who knew?)

This is crazy, are these people just trying to wait me out and foreclose. I am only 3 months behind, but if they would give me the letter I can get caught up and should be able to keep up from here. This is driving me crazy, these idiots seem to be able to get people to my house to drive by and take pictures but they can’t get me a stupid piece of paper that gets them paid.

What am I supposed to do?

Chase would rather sue than settle

I guess Chase just can’t be counted on to be reasonable?

James Shaw of Parsippany, who is being sued by Chase Bank, fits into two of those categories. Shaw, a former landscaper, suffered a hip injury and has been unemployed for three years.

He said he received unemployment compensation “on and off.” Finding it “tough to pay the bills,” he charged expenses to his credit card.

Later, he used what money he had to stay in his home and pay for necessities such as heat and electricity. The credit card payments had to take a back seat.

Eventually, Chase said he owed $17,784, and took him to court in July. Shaw, who is representing himself in the case, filed a response asking that the suit be dismissed.

“I’ve been trying to negotiate a settlement with them, but the amount of payment they’re looking for is more than I can afford at this time,” said Shaw, who recently had hip replacement surgery. His situation is at an impasse.

Read more …

Is Chase trying to kick out small business customers?

What is Chase up to?

They send out this letter giving the small business 5 weeks notice, that if they don’t start keep a minimum balance of $5k in their accounts, they will be charged between $180 and $252 per year to keep the account.  Supposedly, they think this will increase cash reserves on hand.  But $5k at 5% mortgage interest rates is $250, and since that is a minimum to have on hand, that costs just as much as paying the fees, so why should anyone stay?

Chase loan mod process still screwy, unchanged

Many times over the last year lawmakers and attorneys general, and even the White House have talked about how screwed up and unsuccessful the loan modification process has been, but that doesn’t seem to have changed Chase’s convoluted approach, if this story is any indication.

I have been experiencing all of the same frustrating experiences as many of your bloggers for the past 18 months. The long and the short of it is that, after over a year of providing multiple packets of requested documentation (at least 10 different times because either they never received what I sent, or because it took them so long to finally look at what I sent them that they needed updated docs, only to repeat the same delays and request for updated docs again), and while making agreed to reduced payments under a forbearance agreement, on July 16, 2010, I finally received a verbal approval over the telephone of a modification, approved on July 14, 2010.. ( I have the names of the 2 individuals I received this info from, and their phone numbers and extensions. Its my guess however that either they no longer work for chase and/or most likely their numbers and extensions have changed many times since then). I was told the exact terms of the modification and when the new payments would begin (Sept 1, 2010). I was told I would receive the packet in 7-10 days. After many calls requesting the modification package during the next 30 days, I still had not received it. Yet I was told in every instance of calling inquiring about the where abouts of the packet, that my file shows that iI had been approved on July 14, 2010 and the docs were coming.

As a homebuilder in Dallas, my business at this point has been relegated to remodeling and my income significantly reduced. I had foreclosures last year, and resulting deficiencies against me for a couple of houses I had built and couldnt sell for what I owed. I was forced into bankruptcy before ever receiving the modification package (which I never did actually receive) and chase then pulled the modification. I re-affirmed my mortgage with chase and have communicated to them that I am still ready, willing and able to commence payments in accordance to the terms of the modification that I was approved for. I have since been contacted by an attorney for chase (initially, 3 months ago, out of Houston), inquiring of my intentions. I have told her the story and that I still was willing to go with the mod terms. She said she would get with chase and just get this mod done.. Nothing has been accomplished since. Most of my calls and emails to her have gone unanswered and when I have been able to reach her, her response has always been that she has not heard back from chase. So, for over 3 months, an attorneys client has not responded to their lawyer regarding resolving a legal matter.

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