What a good bank looks like

Marketplace.org recently did a profile story on Umpqua Bank, and describes a bank that is hip, honest, reasonable, and wants to be different than what a normal bank has become. Here is what one customer has to say about them:

Staff is very friendly and courteous, and they have a lot of little perk things about what’s going on in the neighborhood. So if I need to know something I come over here and ask.

First Republic Bank, while perhaps not as hip or connected to the community, is also a bank that tries to create relationships with customers and goes out of their way to solve problems.

The question is, why are you still banking with Chase or Bank of America or another big bank?

Chase to discontinue debit rewards enrollment

Chase, seemingly looking to punish customers for new regulations they claim are eating into their profits, is discontinuing new enrollment in its debit card rewards program.

Full story here.

Chase’s compassion department

To characterize just how far Chase has come from being personal as a banking institution (you know, what banks used to be like), they are trying to foreclose on the home of a woman whose husband was killed trying to sell jewelry over Craigslist to be able to make their mortgage payments.

Nice going Chase.

CNN’s list of the 8 least evil banks

CNN recently named the 8 least evil banks.  Guess who didn’t make the list?  Yup, Chase.

Chase increases WaMu wire fee

From the horses mouth:

Dear Online Banking customer,

We’re writing to let you know that, beginning February 6, 2011, you’ll pay a $25 fee for each online domestic outgoing wire transfer you make.

We’ve updated the Wire Transfer Services Agreement to reflect this change.  The updated agreement will be available online on or after February 6, 2011. You can review the latest agreements online anytime by logging on and clicking the ?Legal Agreements and Disclosures? link at the bottom of any page. Your continued use of the Online Service acknowledges your agreement to these revisions.

Thank you for banking with Chase.


Chase Online Banking Team

Holding payment makes customer late

I surely would not what happened in this story past Chase:  The customer claims that they made a payment two weeks early but Chase held the payment and then claimed it was late, as a way to jack up the customers rates, possibly because they customer had a high balance.

For example, our Chase Visa which they changed over to Chase “Slate” Visa went from 14%, to 16% to 18% finally all the way in one fell swoop in Jan ‘09 to 29.99%, the maximum allowable by law. Their reason? We were late on our payment, we called our bank to ask how a payment made 2 weeks in advance was somehow late? Their response, Chase held the payment until after the due date, then processed it.

This is illegal right? Not at the time it wasn’t, Chase claims they did no such thing and basically said prove it. Anyway fast forward to Jan ‘11 and I’m still fighting to get our rate lowered since we are NEVER late and they know it. Their response and this is a direct quote “It is not Chase Bank policy to adjust interest rates at customer request”

Is Chase missing documentation on ALL WaMu loans?

Just received this from a reader:

I talked with an insider at the FDIC and there’s STRONG indication that Chase does NOT have the original (paper) promissory notes and contracts to prove that it owns the $176 billion in loans that it bought from Washington Mutual for little more than 1% of the face value (they bought it for $1.88 billion and get to keep all our payments though they never loaned out that money originally and likely bought WaMu with our taxpayer TARP funds!).

The FDIC swooped in to minimize its own insurance costs…they shut down WaMu in ONE day and sold it to Chase for even cheaper than Chase’s cheapest offer to WaMu while WaMu was functioning. WaMu wasn’t allowed to receive bailout money, it was closed just 9 days before the TARP funds were given to Chase. As of nearly 2 years later, August 2010, Chase still hadn’t “completed” its purchase of WaMu yet has been collecting and enforcing those $176 billion in loans.

The FDIC also never SPECIFICALLY assigned any of the loan inventory to Chase. This means Chase has no specific proof that your loan belongs to it. Chase doesn’t have the original paper note (it was likely shredded and they only kept digital copies) and it likely doesn’t have any ASSIGNMENT CONTRACT proving that it owns your loan either. Since the FDIC sells off different assets piecemeal to different buyers, Chase wants us to believe that Chase bought everything at once, but there is no specific proof since the individual loans were never separately assigned/sold/inventoried. Chase might be trying to retroactively fake that documentation now, and they might just get away with it.

Chase begins charging WaMu customers who had “free for life” checking accounts $10/month now starting Feb 8th, 2011.

LET’S DO A RUN ON THE BANK and take out all our deposits on February 6-7, 2011 to MAKE THE POINT that Chase can’t keep our business with these tactics.

WaMu had only 9% of its deposits removed before the FDIC shut it down in ONE day (September 25, 2008). What if we get everyone we know with a Chase account to withdraw our deposits at the same time? If it exceeds 9% of Chase’s deposits, let’s see what the FDIC does and call their bluff on whether or not they legitimately shut down WaMu in the first place if they don’t do it again for Chase!

Chase representatives at high levels are aware of fraud in the origination of the WaMu loans but continues to deny fraud through its fraud department (no ethical conflict of interest there, right?) to keep customers paying, even though they DON’T HAVE THE PAPER PROMISSORY NOTES OR ASSIGNMENT CONTRACTS to prove that they have standing to enforce these $176 billion in loans through the courts. They are counting on customers being too scared to stop paying and get sued.

How can we get the word out as quickly as possible regarding withdrawing all our money from Chase by Feb 6-7, 2011? With smaller deposits, Chase won’t be allowed to make exponential new loans (for each $1 we have on deposit with them they can borrow 7x-10x from the Federal Reserve to loan right back to us at higher rates than what they’re paying on our savings and CD accounts, so withdrawing our money will have 7x-10x the exponential effect on Chase’s future business.)

Can you help me tweet this? I don’t have the following that you do to make this happen in time. Thank you!

There are a number of other indications that Chase is having trouble proving ownership of loans, including

  1. A number of cases where it could not prove ownership and lost its foreclosure battle in court
  2. The sending of unsolicited loan modifications to customers who are not behind on their payments. This could be a thinly veiled attempt to get them to resign loan documents to re-establish the document chain.
  3. The explicit attempts to get customers to resign mortgage paperwork.

Given all these other indications we see that Chase is having trouble proving ownership of loans, it seems entirely plausible that Chase might have such a big hole in their loan documentation.

The devil made him do it

Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon has blamed new regulations for raising fees and forcing poor customers into the ranks of the unbanked, but several prominent bloggers are calling him out on that statement.

The truth is, once they lost the ability to bilk poor customers with lots of unreasonable and unregulated fees, they lost interest in “serving” them.

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