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Predatory Lending Issues

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      By now most of you are aware of the issue surrounding predatory lending.  This incorporates not only sub-prime mortgage lending, but also fair credit practices among many credit card companies/banks.

      I have had a major problem with my MasterCard account through Bank of America.  Several months ago, I accidentally went over my credit limit and was charged a $39 fee.  This was not so bad, as it was my error. However, BofA also raised my interest rate from 7.9% to 21.9% with the same monthly bill!    I called and have not been able to resolve the matter.  Only last week I received a letter saying that my interest rate had been raised to 24.9% effective 01 May 2007.  No reason was given to this increase.  I have excellent credit and have not had any problems with monthly payments, no further over-limit charges, etc…  

      Fortunately, I am able to write a cheque for the full amount and did so yesterday.  I also took great care in telling BofA exactly what I think of them and to cancel the account immediately.  

      Bottom line…. They lost a LOT of interest in the long term, made an enemy of their bank, and I wish to formally put in a complaint regarding their actions and tactics. Anyone know exactly who to send my complaint to?

      Are any of you also falling victim to this type of predatory lending?  

      This is a VERY valuable lesson about not being in debt.  Part of simplistic living is about retaining control over your own life and your money.   Please do not find yourself in the same (or worse) situation as I did with a credit card company/bank.


        Brandon, the same thing happened to me with the same company – Bank of America.  I was late with a payment and was charged the late fee and then my interest rate was jacked up to 24.9%.  Apparently, if you read the very very fine print in your agreement, it says they have the right to do this.  In the news lately, there has been talk of a law being made to make this practice of credit card companies illegal.  I hope something is done soon.  What I did was transfer my balance from my Bank of America credit on to a card with a lower interest rate.  I am not closing my credit card account with Bank of America.  I feel that what this company did is inexcusable no matter what their credit card agreement says.  I do hope the legislation can change things.  Everyone should be very careful to pay their credit card bills on time and to keep track of their interest rates with each statement!


          I had a problem with Chase Bank.  They purchased my WAMU account where I purposely had a credit limit of only $500.00. This was a business account that was normally paid in full from time to time.  I had a balance one month of $256.00.  When I received my bill Chase Bank had lowered my credit limit to $250.00 and charged me a $45 overlimit fee.  This occured during their transition, so the payment I sent was not processed for nearly 21 days after I had mailed it.  The following month I received a second overlimit fee, AND a late fee.  In addition, they had raised my interest rate to the very maximum the law allowed.  When I called to inquire I was told that no one who answered the phone had the authority to assist me, they just fielded calls.  I sent full payment immediately.  Much to my surprise I received a bill for $45 overlimit the third month!  I again called them.  They informed me that the overlimit fees were charged on balances held during the past 30 days!  So, in essence I was charged a late fee for their error and three overlimit fees, one of which was charged to me when I was unaware of the reduction in my limit.  I phoned until I was blue in the face!  Although they were not rude, they were no where near being helpful or apologetic.  Now, when I receive anything from Chase Bank I mark it “return to sender”.  If they choose to be dishonest they will at least pay the cost of return postage!

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