Category Archives: News

Bank of America Cancel Debit Charge

The people were heard. Bank of America has announce that they will follow Wells Fargo and Chase Bank and not charge their customers a $5.00 fee a month to use their debit card. After months of bad press and threats from customers that they would move their accounts to other banks, including smaller local banks, Bank of America decided to reverse its course.

It will be interesting to see the affects of the original announcement will have on the Bank. How many customers did move their money and how will continue to do so because of the bad taste left in their mouths.

Debit card charges

In a reversal of policy, Chase and Wells Fargo announced that they will not charge their customers for using their debit cards. The retail banking arm of JP Morgan Chase will stop charging customers a $3 a month fee for using debit cards. Chase which operates in 23 states along with Wells Fargo & Co. which operates largely in the Western parts of the United States has also decided to terminate their planned charged as well.

Now only Bank of America which continues with their plan to charge their customers $5/month to use their debit card and the plan is catching a lot of heat.

Jeff Lowe – Debt to Income Ratios

When it comes to buying your first home, one of the most important thing is qualifying for the mortgage for your real estate property. Banks focus on what is called your “debt-to-income” ratio. Debt to Income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income, before taxes, that you spend on debt. This includes but not limited to your, monthly housing costs, including principal, interest tax, insurance, and homeowner’s association fees, if applicable. It will usually also include your monthly consumer debt, credit card bills, student loans, installment debts and etc. So the less debt that you have, according to Jeff Lowe, Chicago Real Estate agent, the better chance you might qualify for that loan from the bank. Jeff Lowe says that is not the only thing but it helps to have a low debt to income ratio when you want to buy that house.

BofA Settles Overdraft fee case

Bank of America has agreed to pay $410 million dollars to settle a federal lawsuit alleging the company charged excessive overdraft fees against it customers. The law suit was a combination of several lawsuits filed in 14 different states, all consolidated into one federal case in Florida. Other banks involved in the suit were Wells Fargo and Citibank.

Consumers alleged the bank processed the payments in a way that caused more overdrafts.

Customers pay overdraft fees when they spend more money than remains in their accounts. The fees can reach $35 apiece. Before federal law changed this summer, banks frequently charged overdraft fees on numerous transactions in a single day.

Testing Fee Choices

According to the AP, Bank of America is going to run a pilot program in three states that will allow its customer menu of checking accounts with a variety of fee options. The testing will be done in Georgia, Massachusetts and Arizona. The test includes ways to avoid fees by linking multiple accounts, credit cards and even investment accounts with its Merrill Lynch unit.

The aim is to make fees clearer for customers, while encouraging them to bring more of their financial activity under the Bank of America umbrella.

Bank of America Loan Fraud

The state of Arizona is alleging that Bank of America Corp. violated consumer fraud law by misleading consumers trying to get home loan modifications.

The bank also violated the terms of a 2009 consent agreement it signed requiring the bank’s Countrywide mortgage subsidiary to implement a loan modification program, According to the Attorney General office.

Hundreds of homeowners kept making their mortgage payments because Bank of America repeatedly assured them their loan was being modified. Instead, many lost their homes anyway, according to the Attorney General.

Bank of American Delay Foreclosure

Bank of America is delaying foreclosures in 23 states as it examines whether it rushed the foreclosure process for thousands of homeowners without reading the documents. The move adds the nation’s largest bank to a growing list of mortgage companies whose employees signed documents in foreclosure cases without verifying the information in them.

Bank of America isn’t able to estimate how many homeowners’ cases will be affected, Dan Frahm, a spokesman for the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, said Friday. He said the bank plans to resubmit corrected documents within several weeks.

The document problems could cause thousands of homeowners to contest foreclosures that are in the works or have been completed. If the problems turn up at other lenders, a foreclosure crisis that’s already likely to drag on for several more years could persist even longer. Analysts caution that most homeowners facing foreclosure are still likely to lose their homes.

This is becoming a problem that many Attorney General will have to look into and put pressure on many banks to comply with foreclosure laws.

Wells Fargo Order To Pay Back Fee

A California federal judge ordered Wells Fargo to change what he called “unfair and deceptive business practices” that led customers into paying multiple overdraft fees, and to pay $203 million back to customers.

Wells Fargo adopted the policies beginning in 2001, and they became widespread across the banking industry. It is unclear how the ruling would apply to the rest of the industry.

The ruling detailed the experiences of two Wells Fargo customers who used their debit cards for multiple small purchases, and were then charged hundreds in overdraft fees because the order the purchases were cleared by the bank depended on the amounts. The judge found the customers, who were part of a class action, were not properly informed of the bank’s policies on processing payments and were unaware the bank would allow debit purchases to go through when their accounts were overdrawn.

Small Business Lending Bill

According to the AP, President Barack Obama is going after Senate Republicans who have stymied his proposal to create a $30 billion fund to help unfreeze lending for credit-starved small businesses.

Obama made clear that it’s not only a policy disagreement, but a reason for voters to steer away from Republicans in November’s pivotal Congressional elections, which will determine whether Democrats keep their majorities in the House and Senate.

“When America is just starting to move forward again, we can’t afford the do-nothing policies and partisan maneuvering that will only take us backward,” he said.

The Republicans naturally seen it differently.