• Report: #558276

Complaint Review: Beneficial - HSBC - Household Finance

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  • Submitted: Thu, January 21, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, February 12, 2010

  • Reported By: James — Hillsboro Oregon USA
Beneficial - HSBC - Household Finance
Internet United States of America

Beneficial - HSBC - Household Finance HSBC - Household Finance HFC is charging me over 35% interest on my loan Internet

*Consumer Comment: I know how you feel and wish you well...

*Consumer Comment: Now what?

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HFC is charging me nearly 35% interest on my loan, which exceeds Oregon's Usury Laws by close to 3X!

I live in Portland, Oregon and wanted to establish a second mortgage line of credit so applied to HFC along with two finance companies. After going through an extensive credit review with all three companies, HFC had the highest rates by at least 6% over the next highest - we went with Wells Fargo... HFC came back to me with with a follow-on offer of a $9,000 unsecured line of credit at 18% interest, which I accepted as a 'rainy-day' emergency line of quick credit. 

I did max out the credit line several times but never had a balance long enough to make monthly payments. Never late, I would usually pay off the balance within the next month or so.

Year before last, along with millions of other people, I watched all my retirement fund spiral into the toilet while the the banks and HSBC's where bailed outed by the Fed. [continued below]....
..... I used my HFC credit line and credit cards to makeup for losses I was incurring in my retirement fund in anticipation of the market recovering after the bailout... Ha, Ha, the joke was on me and several million other 'Boomers'! Once the dust settled, my retirement funds had lost 90% in value and I all my credit lines were maxed out. I started making monthly payments for the first time. In the three years I have had the HFC credit line I have NEVER been late, have alway either paid off the balance or made more than the monthly minimum.

In January of last year, I received a letter from HSBC saying my credit worthiness had changed and that they were increasing my interest rate to a level that reflected what they felt would enable them to feel more secure, so they nearly doubled my rate to 34.990%.  I know of no other finance company that is unscrupulous enough to change an interest rate to a point that abuses the definition of Usury!

By the way, as for the definition of Usury - Oregon has established a tiered structure in its statutes when it comes to usury laws in that state. The general usury rate for personal loans in Oregon that are below $50,000 is 12%. In the alternative, the usury rate for personal loans made in Oregon can be set at 5% above the discount rate for commercial paper. At the same time HSBC doubled my interest, they were enjoying a 'prime' commercial rate from the Fed of about 1.5% What a ripoff!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/21/2010 11:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Beneficial-HSBC-Household-Finance/internet/Beneficial-HSBC-Household-Finance-HSBC-Household-Finance-HFC-is-charging-me-over-35-558276. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

I know how you feel and wish you well...

AUTHOR: Mrig - (U.S.A.)

Yes, HFC does charge interest rates that exceed most state's usury limits. However, in the 1970's the Supreme Court ruled that money or credit lent out by a national bank is governed by the usury ceiling of the state in which the BANK IS HEADQUARTERED. This is why most banks are headquartered in South Dakota and Delaware, places that have less stringent usury laws. This does not bode well for consumers because the only people that are held to usury laws are individual persons but banks are exempt from those restrictions!

With that in mind, usually HFC lent money out to people who hadn't a prayer of paying it back, namely because the interest rates were so high AND were variable once the accounts converted to revolving accounts. And once the accounts converted to revolving accounts, a person might NEVER pay them off; at least not making the minimum payment because interest grew faster than your ability to repay on principal. 

The whole thing was a trap that violated the principles of good faith and fair dealing. Many people have suffered because of their unethical conduct.  If they are going to sue you, you might consider unjust enrichment as an affirmative defense. Meanwhile, you ought to write your attorney general and compile as many statements as you can from them to even see if the computations for interest were done correctly etc. A forensic accountant might help...best wishes.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Now what?

AUTHOR: Northwest - (U.S.A.)

If HFC is operating outside the law, are you going to report them to the authorities?
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