I have had an Orchard Bank Secured Credit Card for a little over a year now. I make ALL of my payments on their web site and have set up my bank to make these payments as Preauthorized Debit payments so as not to waste time with wire transfers or bank holds. I have NEVER been late with any payment and ALWAYS make sure there is plenty of time in advance. I have tried to be a great customer for this company.
On April 18th I made a payment of $292.00 on my $300 secured card. Now understand, this is a secured card, I sent them $300 in the begining. I pay THEM (all the fees the charge) for the priviledge to use my own money on their card. My payment paid off my entire balance (not over due) and was to post to my account on April 20th. On paril 20th I noticed they posted the payment, but my availability was only $7.00 and they were "holding" $291 of my $292. I called and was told they had to wait for the money to be in their bank before the would release it to my account. I told them that this was a direct preauthorized debit and confirmed with my bank that the funds were with them. I was told it would be later that day or tomarrow and I would have the funds available. On April 22nd, the funds were still being held. I sent an email vis their web site complaining about this. I got a reply that under the card agreement, they had up to 14 BUSINESS days (not real days) to make the funds available. I requested a copy of that agreement and was told they would send it to me within 14 BUSINESS DAYS ! - the same time frame. I inquired as to the rules and stimpulations to close my account, insted I got an offer to refund half of my annual fess to keep my account open. I accepted, but still wanted to documentation sent to me. On April 24th, my availability went up to $9.00 due to $24.50 being refunded to me for half of my annual fees and I had a refund from a merchant from a previous transaction in the amount of $60.81. I inquired why only $9.00 available? All total, Orchard Bank had $377.31 credited to my account on a $300 secured credit line. At minimum there should be a $77.31 availablity. Again I was told it would take up to 14 BUSINESS days. I called the Secretary of the Federal Trade Commission and was told they get many complaints regarding this compnay and its parent company HSBC (Household Bank) and that House Hold Bank is spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to deregulate everything from fees, telemarketing tatics, to no call lists. I was instructed to send another email to Orchard Bank demanding my funds be released or written justification sent vis email or over night express. I was told to send this attention account supervisor and to a Mrs. Julie Davenport, Deputy General Counsel for Household Bank. I have yet to get any reply.
I would be interested in joining any Class Action against these companies. Also, I would paricipate in any movement to regulate these type of companies that prey upon low income/low credit consumers.
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida