• Report: #627558

Complaint Review: CHASE BANK - BANK ONE

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  • Submitted: Fri, July 30, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, August 09, 2010

  • Reported By: Concerned_citizen — Fort Collins Colorado U.S.A.
Internet United States of America

CHASE BANK - BANK ONE Extreme ripoff, punishment too great for bounced check, Internet

*Consumer Comment: Making Money the Easy Way

*Consumer Comment: I didn't miss the boat; I OWN the boat!

*Consumer Comment: You all missed the point

*Consumer Comment: You missed the boat

*Consumer Comment: Good Advice

*Consumer Comment: Welcome to "new" banking...

*Consumer Suggestion: Why do you have to remember the balance?

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My wife wrote a check for $8.00 from her checking account, and it took longer than expected for the recipient to cash it, so she temporarily forgot about it, and spent the money that she intended to keep in the account for it.  After spending the money, her account balance was less than $8.00, and that is when the recipient tried to cash the check.  Then, Chase charged her a $39 "fee" as a penalty.  This "fee" caused her balance to go negative.  So far, it sounds relatively fair, but Chase did not cover the check.  It would have been fair to charge some sort of penalty (as long as it's not too much), if they did cover the check anyway, incurring an overdraft, but it is definitely unfair that they would charge this while still leaving the check unpaid, while the recipient still didn't get his or her money.  Chase did not provide any goods or services in exchange for their "fee."

It gets worse.  In the meantime, my wife deposited some more money into her checking account, without realizing what was going on.  This was enough to bring the balance positive again, but only up to about $6.00 and change.  At this time, the recipient's bank tried to run the check one more time, to see if they could get their money.  Chase still didn't cover the check, because it was short, this time, by less than $2.00.  Remember that the checking account balance would have been over $45.00 if it wasn't for the unfair "fee" they had just charged her a few days prior.  This would have been more than enough for the check to have cleared just fine.  However, Chase slapped on another $39 fee, for the same check not going through, all the while the recipient still not getting his or her money. 

Not only that, Chase slapped on another "fee" of $15 a few days later, as a punishment for having a negative checking account balance for a certain number of days, even though it was because of their two $39 fees that it was negative in the first place!  The recipient still didn't get the intended money from the check, and my wife was charged a total of $93, over ten times the amount of the check that bounced, and even though Chase still didn't contribute a penny of their money toward the check (it didn't cost them anything), and they still did not contribute any goods or services in return for this.

No doubt my wife has learned her lesson to watch her balance very closely and to remember every check she has written until it clears, and I'd understand that the bank should have the responsibility of doing something to discourage irresponsible behavior, but I still believe that how they handled this situation was unfair, and excessively punitive.  I believe that this behavior of theirs crosses the line into profiting at her expense, and getting rich off the backs of the poor.  I believe that this was predatory behavior on Chase's behalf, and the financial equivalent of kicking her when she is down, and taunting her by asking "why don't you get up!?" even though they are the ones who have just been kicking her.  It also gives the impression that Chase actually likes it when people mess up like this, so they can profit from the "fees" that they impose as a result.

Only trust Chase with your money if you are sure you are good enough at bookkeeping that you can avoid making mistakes like this, ever! 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/30/2010 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/CHASE-BANK-BANK-ONE/internet/CHASE-BANK-BANK-ONE-Extreme-ripoff-punishment-too-great-for-bounced-check-Internet-627558. 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

Making Money the Easy Way

AUTHOR: Skiper - (USA)

Did you make money on that $49.00 you charged?  If so, what's the fuss?  Why make it miserable on the check writer.  One mistake, a person pays for his mistakes, and you still persecute him by not allowing him to write checks.  I can understand if he didn't learn from it.  This only applies for a check written for a small amount.
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#2 Consumer Comment

I didn't miss the boat; I OWN the boat!


I own a practice where people pay me usually by check.  I offer other options but I do accept checks.  When the check is written and given to my assistant, two copies are made  and on the copies is a pre-printed, simple statement with my policy regarding return checks.  One copy is handed to the client and the other copy, after it is initialed by the client, is scanned into their file.  They initial directly below my policy after they are asked to read it.  My policy is this:  All checks returned by the bank, for any reason, are charged by my office $49.00.  In addition, all work for that client stops on the day the check is returned and will not commence until the check and fees are paid. After the fees are paid, the client is no longer offered the convenience of check writing and can use one of the other options available to pay for my services.  The check writer is put on notice when we accept their check of the ramifications should the check not be paid.  I have had two complaints to my governing board regarding this policy and both times my policy has been found appropriate and legal. 

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#3 Consumer Comment

You all missed the point

AUTHOR: Skiper - (USA)

The point is not wether she overdrafted $8.00.  The point is that the bank charged her $39.00 for a lousy $8.00 loan.  Banks make millions of dollars on this one issue alone.  Banks have become legal thieves.  If I loaned $8.00 to someone, and I charged him $39.00, I would be in jail. Someone should open up a national bank with a policy of charging just $10.00 for an overdraft.  Millions of people nationally would switch over!!
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#4 Consumer Comment

You missed the boat

AUTHOR: Skiper - (USA)

You missed the boat.  The object is not whether she overdrafted.  The object is the legal thief that steals $39.00 from thousands of people.  Banks know that people will make mistakes.  For that mistake they steal an enormous amount of money from the consumer.  Wake up, Banks make billions of dollars in this way.  If I charged someone $39.00 for an $8.00 or  $9.00 loan, I would be crucified!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Good Advice

AUTHOR: Bman - (United States of America)

The commenter gave sage advice. We are in the center of a huge take over by big business whose sole design is to make people work for them and provide maximum profits even if they provide nothing much in return like in your case. Please keep in mind that all banks now function in this manner due to business as usual on Wall Street where no regulation was stopping their shady business practices since (at least) President Reagan. Though it is not quite what you are dealing with you may wish to watch the film MAXED OUT to understand the banking system of today. If you wish to know what started everything watch the film THE END OF POVERTY? with a case study LIFE AND DEBT. I would also suggest considering a Credit Union (or smaller bank) instead of a Big Bank - granted they have similar fees yet may be more appreciative of your service? I too had problems with CHASE and paid $250 in fees for a $500 credit allowance. I have since closed them down. I had experienced a similar problem many years ago where a bank (which had the appropriate amount of money in my account) bounced check after check after check. I was able to prove that they were wrong, since I keep all receipts, yet it was a real wake up call. I almost lost about $360 on that problem alone! Back then we would receive statements two weeks later when most of the damage had been done. Recently I have had a problem where QUICKEN LOANS took a deposit from my credit card, which went over the credit limit, and then I was put into a negative debt cycle. The loan institutions take DEPOSITS for everything and anyone and seldom return the money even if (like in my case) they offered NO services. So I am now in another learning experience that has cost me $500! Maybe the amount you mentioned is not as bad as this lesson? Now I keep a budget which functions as a record of expenses, which keeps me on top of my finances, and this has helped me stay clear of additional problems. I also have access to a computer and check my finances daily.

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#6 Consumer Comment

Welcome to "new" banking...

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

Okay first of all apparently you or your wife have never heard of a register.  Because if you had you would have never made a statement like this.

My wife wrote a check for $8.00 from her checking account, and it took longer than expected for the recipient to cash it, so she temporarily forgot about it,

- You see IF you used a register and wrote that check down in it when she wrote it there would be no "forgetting" about it.  This not only goes for checks but ANY transaction you make.  On-Line, Phone, ATM banking does not know about a transaction you make until they receive it.  And while most transactions you make on your Debit Card will show up very quickly, due to various factors it could be up to several days before some debit card transactions show up.  Then of course for checks you are relying on the person to deposit the check, which as you found out you can not guarantee when that will be.

 but Chase did not cover the check.

- Okay banks have always had the right to refuse checks AND charge a Returned Check fee, that is not the "new" banking I am refering too.  In the recent past(even up to a couple of months ago) it would have been very likely that they would have covered the check and assessed an Overdraft fee.  But you see a fraction(and it was really a small fraction) of people who refused to manage their account complained and got it so the banks now give people the option if they want overdraft protection.  So unless you "opt in" if you do not have enough money in the account to cover a particular transaction they will decline it at the point of sale.  Now, this in itself is not a bad thing. 

The new regulations only cover Debit Card and ATM Transactions, so they would not even have applied in this case.  But because they have the right to either pay or decline the check(at their option).  It is very unlikely that they(or any bank) is going to continue to cover checks in a majority of the cases.  Instead they are playing a bit more "hardball" in deciding if they are going to pay a check or not.  So if you want someone to blame, then blame the other irresponsible people.  Who think it is the banks responsibility to tell them when they are out of money instead of them taking personal responsibility over their own account.

Now, it could have been worse for your wife depending on who she wrote the check to.  If she wrote the check to something like a credit card, they will also charge you a returned check fee.  In addition to that if you are late because of that you will get hit with a late fee and additional interest.  If this was written to a store they have the right to charge you a fee as well on top of the amount of the check.  But a lot of stores instead of dealing with it themselves are turning the check over to the local District Attorney and letting them collect on it through a "Check Restitution Program". 

No doubt my wife has learned her lesson to watch her balance very closely and to remember every check she has written until it clears

- Again the best way to "remember" is to keep a written register of ALL of your transactions.  It only takes seconds to write the transaction down and subtract it from your available balance.   I can just about guarantee you that you and your wife have taken longer dealing with the after effects than it would have to keep a register in the beginning.

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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Why do you have to remember the balance?

AUTHOR: MovingForward - (United States of America)

It really is too hard to remember your outstanding checks, debits, ach transfers etc. Your wife has probably learned her lesson, but really the easiest way, as others have mentioned before, is to write down every transaction in your check register. If you don't use a check register, then use some sort of accounting software.

If you or your wife like to spend down to the final dollar like your post suggests, then put in enough to have a small cushion for just those types of "unexpected" expenses. The best way to avoid any fee is keep your own running balance in a separate location not associated with the banks online transactions so you can cross check your balances with the bank's balances. Once you get in the habit of doing this, you will never have a NSF fee or any other type of insuffient funds fee.

BTW, you must have not signed up for the 'overdraft protection' and that is why they did not pay the check. IMO not signing up is a good thing, but you now know what they are going to do: not pay the draft and still charge the fee. So it is more important than ever to keep an accurate record of your balance. Its not the banks job to keep your actual balance (prospectively), their job is to keep a record of the transactions presented to them and notify you of your balance retroactively. There is always a lag time between what you know your balance to be and what the banks record is showing.

No, I do not work for a bank or financial institution. I am your everyday average joe that hates to pay fees to anyone so I keep a close watch on my accounts and keep a register so I don't have to pay any fees. I also have a small cushion in case I make a small error in my math.


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