Thursday, July 12, 2012

On being held up at the bank

Update: I suppose I should first apologize for blaming this mess on Bank of America since, as I realized on my drive to court this morning, our accounts are now at Wells Fargo. It was wrong of me to lash out at such a fine institution as Bank of America (or this, or this, or this) when it was Wells Fargo I meant to call out. It just goes to show how much I pay attention to the home finances, I suppose.

My wife manages our household budget. I have no desire to deal with the home checkbook and the mortgage and light bill and water bill and grocery bills. Running the business side of my practice is more than enough hassle to deal with on a monthly basis.

Our home accounts are with Bank of America Wells Fargo while my business accounts are with another bank. If you know my wife you'd wonder why she'd be doing business with a banking behemoth like Bank of America Wells Fargo. I would've expected her to use one of the local credit unions in our neighborhood (but that's another story for another day).

Twice a month I deposit a check from my firm's operating account into our home account to cover bills and expenses. On July 2 I went to the  Bank of America Wells Fargo near our house and deposited a check into their ATM machine (quite convenient, actually).

The following weekend my wife tells me she got a letter from  Bank of America Wells Fargo that a bunch of checks she'd written had bounced. She wanted me to check with my bank about it. So, earlier this week I went online and pulled up my business account information. There I saw that the check I had deposited into our  Bank of America Wells Fargo account had cleared my bank on July 3 (this date is important).

My wife then calls  Bank of America Wells Fargo to ask them what was up with the check. She said the person she spoke with told her that some new federal regulation required banks to hold random deposits made through ATMs for up to 10 days to combat fraud. She then said the bank told her the hold was still be on the check for at least one more day. Then she said the person told her that if the check had been cashed at the window and deposited there would have been no delay. I was apoplectic when she told me this.

So let's get this straight,  Bank of America Wells Fargo  You claim you placed a hold on a check written on my firm's account because the feds require you to place holds on random checks deposited in ATMs. The check in question cleared my bank the next day. You have been holding my money for your own private gain while charging NSF fees for checks written on the account. You are generating income for your own operations by holding money that was placed into your trust for deposit in a customer's account. That's called conversion.

And do explain to me, Mr. Banker, the rationale for holding a check deposited in an ATM but not a check presented for cash and deposit. You have no idea in either scenario whether that check is any good or not. Holding that check does not prevent bank fraud. It does allow your bank to take out an interest-free loan for a few days, however - at your customers' expense.

How many other people have you victimized by this scheme,  Bank of America Wells Fargo? How much have you borrowed from your customers without paying interest for the use of their money? How much income have you generated by charging those customers NSF fees on the money you held?

And, need I add,  Bank of America Wells Fargo was one of the banks with its hands out for a bailout check.

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