I just posted the following in an older thread,
before finding this one. Here's my text:
notice today (7/31/00) that starting in August, my rate
goes from 12.99% to 22.99%. I'm not late nor
limit (People's Bank Visa).
I've tried to call
and talk to a real person, but get the recorded
message "Due to unusually high call volume,
take your call now, please try later." Yeah, even at
10:30 PM ET. I bet it's high . . .
thought one had the option of cancelling the card and
paying off the balance under the original terms
the case of changes one didn't like.
know what I can do to help the cause (letters to
I don't think my example is as far off the mark
as you seem to think. The dispute is over interst
charges, which are relatively small in comparison to the
In any event, the principal amount
is not "in dispute" since they are not arguing that
those costs were never incurred. The only argument is
over the appropriate interest rate, and therefore only
the amount of interest is in dispute.
People's Bank is O.K. But get real. They reported
negative earnings growth in this economy! Come on folks,
you can do better than that.
Rather than own a
downgrade company, try buying something on an upward
I�ve got a bank trading at 1.45 book, buying back $500
mil in stock, has a P/E of 9.2 and ROA of 3.58%.
Earnings are growing at 30% per year. This little gem
won�t remain a secret for long.
The bank is
IndyMac Bank (NDE). A merger that was booked on July 1st
this year created this awesome money
Sorry to talk about another bank on this board, but
it�s definitely worth checking out ~ assuming you like
In the world of lending, the term FICO refers to
a type of credit scoring system. If you have ever
wondered how these systems work, you might want to take a
http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/908 (for a vendor's point of view) or
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/pf/19981204.asp (for a journalist's point of
Ironically the word "fico" in Italian refers both to a
fig-tree, and a highly insulting hand gesture (sometimes
called "sign of the fig") ...
It's truly amazing that the lending industry would
choose this term given the vulgar
P.S. Was that short enough for you Jerry?
I think the operative elements of your example
are that the shortage was minor(0.1%), and an
unintentional error. I would that if I called you and told you
of the shortage, you would expedite delivery of the
missing unit, and all would be dandy.
not what I see the "whiners" saying. They aren't
claiming that they *never* have to pay: Only that they can
withhold payment until the dispute is resolved. Look at
this example -
You sell me 1,000 widgets for $
1,000. I need these widgets right now to build something
for one of my customers (just-in-time supply stream),
who by contract is taking delivery in 2 weeks. Only
900 widgets arrive, because you *intentionally*
shorted me (you figured out that if you short all of your
customers 1%, your bottom line will be substantially
inflated at year-end).
I call you and say, hey -
I'm missing 100 widgets: I need themn right away. And
you say, F-You - and you better pay the $ 1,000 you
owe by the end of the month (or else). Now the
contract is broken, and I certainly don't have to pay
antyhing until the dispute is resolved. That could be by
you having a change of heart and getting the parts to
me in time to meet my customers' needs. Or, it might
entail a legal battle, in which case I'd also be seeking
damages for the losses incurred when I couldn't fulfill
my customers needs. And if I were smart, I'd go for
some punitives too. In the end, you'd probably owe me
much more than I owed you for the 900 delivered
widgets (which I might still have to eventually
(begrudgingly) pay you for). I don't know about in NE, but
that's the way things are done here in the
This example, I think, is much closer to the arguments
that some of the PBCT (ex?)customers are
By the way, I never claimed to be a lawyer - I just
rely on the wisdom and expertise of friends and
Good weekend boys!
Financial Analyst; With the name shyster!!! You,
absolutly,positively,with out a doubt,100%,star studded,gold plated, pbct
employee of the YEAR!!! You. tell your bosses that fico is
really pissed at you, for name dropping.
two initial points:
1- for someone who
claims not to be an attorney, you certainly have a lot
of legal knowledge
2- you do seem to expend a
lot of energy defending this bank. a lot more than
most would expect from a 'concerned'
concerning my TransUnion battles. that is done, and there is
no residual damage. the fight now is with another
bank, and we have them dead to rights (that is, it is a
slam dunk case)
PBCT not going to back down
because I've called them names? well first they have to
identify me. I'm sure they have a lot of people calling
them names these days
I'm going to more or less
end this debate with some closing points, because it
is begining to bore me. PBCT raised our rates to
default level: Fact.
I'm challenging the legality
of that increase (not even going to bother with the
morality of it, because it is a no-win fight, and everyone
already knows we are dealing with a less than moral
PBCT has two choices: (A) they can
claim that the increase was not because of a "default"
(that is, use the we can raise rates at will clause).
in that case, I would definitely have them on a TILA
15 day notice violation (slam dunk; no contest). or,
(B) they can claim the increase was because of
"default", in which case they have breached the terms of the
card holder agreement, for the reasons I have
previously cited (that is, their only recourse under the
agreement for default, when they have been paid on time and
the credit limit has not been exceeded, is to
>close< the account.
so I've got them coming or
going, or more precisely, by the balls. and I am going
to squeeze until I hear some howling.
mentioned earlier (credit sharks) about credit card issuers
playing the "details" to their advantage. apparently,
Mark Vitelli cut class on the day they covered
details, because he left a giant hole for us to walk
through, and least in my case.
end of story/end of
discussion/ end of debate. the legal process has started:
we'll meet them in a court room, and let a JURY decide
who is right, what is fair, and what is legal. a fun
time for all, guaranteed
y_chromosom - when citing the "you must contact
through my attorney" approach, I think you meant FDCPA
rather than FCBA/FCRA. Or at least that's the one which
will apply more comprehensively, even though the other
ones offer certain protection in specific
I understand the notion that some folks dispute the
increase in finance charges, but I remain doubtful that it
is fair to withhold payment on the pre-existing
balance and the previous schedule of finance charges. You
certainly can push the edge of the envelope as you see fit,
and try the stretch argument that the whole contract
is breached, but that is really a gamble. If you
lose, you may end up owing much more than you bargained
for. As long as you feel that you know what you're
doing (e.g. have consulted with competent legal
counsel) ... hey, you are on your own and can do what you
As far as the acronyms, we've talked about TILA (see
post #462) and FCBA (#492) before. But I wanted to
share a few more reference sites with you
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
"Due to unusually high call volume, we cannot
take your call now"
Hearing that can be
frustrating, but actually your best bet towards getting the
resolution you want is to write a formal letter, rather than
wasting time on the phone with the call center
One of the local newspapers, the Connecticut
Post, ran a brief story this morning in the business
section about PBCT raising its credit card interest rates
for an additional 80,000 consumers. (Sorry, no link,
the article is not on the web)
It said there
will be a bump of 2% in the interest rate for most of
the affected people, and this change is starting for
the month of August. Presumably the letters are
already showing up on people's doorsteps. It also
mentioned this is about half of the credit card customers
for the bank.
Among the factors being
contemplated before raising the interest rate on each
individul account are the person's total relationship with
the bank (i.e. what other types of accounts do they
have) and a risk assessment based upon credit reporting
information (which I would tend to believe is being handled
by automated scoring methods, based on the sheer
number of accounts).
For those affected by the 2%
bump you may want to go back and read my post entitled
"Blame the Fed" which is #448 on this board before
taking it to heart as a personal affront.
are in the category of what some folks call "punitive
credit card interest rates" (i.e. high 20s) that's a
different story entirely. Keep in mind that a machine may
have evaluated your credit history rather than a human
being. If you feel the change is unwarranted then there
are many ways to approach the issue. The simplest way
would be to write a letter that lays out the facts from
your point of view in regard to your credit history,
and asks the bank to re-evaluate their increase. A
number of other folks who have posted on this board have
advocated more vigorous action.
As they used to say
in those commericals, you make the call.
There was a feature article entitled "Credit
Sharks" in the "Your Money" section of today's
Connecticut Post (a local newspaper in Bridgeport, where the
headquarters for PBCT is located). Subheadings within this
* Credit issuers masters of
* Buyer beware
* Banking fees rise in
Basically it reconfirmed a lot of what I've already told
you before on this board (e.g. so-called "fixed"
rates can be adjusted anytime with appropriate legal
notice, it's a result of both changing market rates AND
the lender's assessment/monitoring of your
creditworthiness, and banks are looking not only at your payment
history with them but also with OTHER
The article was not focused exclusively on PBCT.
Actually it listed a number of other card issuers that
have used the same style of "risk management" approach
to raise interest rates -- including First USA,
Discover, and Capital One. Several banking executives,
including Mark Vitelli of PBCT, are quoted in the
I did learn a few new things, though.
The CT Department of Banking knows about the recent
rate hikes at PBCT, including so-called "punitive
rates" in the high 20s, and basically their reponse was
as I predicted ... "there is no cap on interest
rates" For you history buffs, it's another case of
2) Yet another way you can be
considered a risky account, even if never late on your
payments, is if you carry a high balance on any of your
credit card accounts. The bank may feel you are a bit
too close to overextending yourself.
web link is available!