I opened a Secured Credit Card account with Orchard Bank in September 2005 with a $500.00 secured deposit. I maintained my account in excellent status and never missed or submitted a late payment. However, I was unable to ever raise my credit limit (without an additional security deposit) or qualify for an unsecured credit card with Orchard Bank. I was being charged a 29% interest fee.
I requested an interest rate reduction in November 2008 which was denied. When I advised them I would pay off my account and close it, the suddenly offered me a reduction to 13.25%. I received and email confirming this amount. However, I later received a letter stating this rate, but also stating the the interest rate would never be lower than 15.99 percent. This was just pure double talk and deceptive trade practice.
I decided to just pay off the card balance; which I did in February 2009, and closed the account on 24 February 2009. When I called to close the account, I was transferred to a supervisor who would not take "No" for an answer and kept trying to offer me incentives to keep my account open. I adamantly refused to do so and demanded that my account be closed and that my Secured Deposit be refunded. He finally relented and did close my account. He stated that my Secured Deposit refund would be processed and submitted to me within 30 days.
On March 26th, 2009 I called to followup on my refund only to be told that it had not been submitted for refund. I have begun initiating demands for an immediate refund of my Secured Deposit. However, I am being told that it will require an additional 30 to 45 days.
I have initiated complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Texas Attorney General. Additionally, I plan to seek legal action against HSBC Orchard Bank and Household Financial Services for fraud and deceptive trade practices. From what I have already learned on the Internet, I feel that it might be possible and reasonable to seek a Class Action Lawsuit against these Institutions to combat their predatory practices.
Sugar Land, Texas