Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bank of America’s Latest Credit Card “Missed Due Date” Scam

Update February 9, 2009: The worldwide financial crisis has made it harder on banks and credit card companies are facing rising delinquency rates and defaults. The problem of the moving due dates scam has only gotten worse. New Federal rules will go into effect in July of 2010. Until then you can expect an increase in this unethical practice. Read the following article for important details and then read today’s update: Bank Credit Cards and the Moving Due Dates Scam

Original Article Starts Here:

While the Bank of America defends its program of catering to illegal immigrants by offering credit cards to those who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history, it appears to have found another way to pay for this costly policy.

The Bank of America, the 5th most profitable company in the world, is once again playing with the credit history of those American citizens who have the best credit history. The BOA is now punishing its most consistent paying and low risk customers!

RED FLAG!!! RED FLAG!!! RED FLAG!!!

If you have a very low-interest BOA credit card, this warning is for you!

You probably feel very unconcerned because you’ve set up an automatic bill pay to pay 2-3 days ahead of the due date, right? Wrong. You can easily be a Bank of America target!

The BOA appears to have deliberately designed a billing system to periodically generate payment due dates that are 5 to 6 days earlier than normal in an effort to catch automatic bill payers in a missed due date scam! As soon as the earlier than normal bill pay date is missed, your credit card interest rate will zoom up to as much as 25% and you will be assessed a whopping $39 late fee.

BOA pulled this stunt in October 2006 and again this January. A friend who knows that I’m a blogger wanted me to alert all Americans to this highly unethical practice. I was allowed to inspect his consistent payment records and saw that his last scheduled due date was January 6th, so you would expect that the next scheduled due date would have been February 6th. The BOA, however, suddenly squeezed the next scheduled due date back to January 31st. This trap generated a sudden jump in his interest rate and a big late fee.

My friend’s attempts to get satisfaction from calling Customer Satisfaction have been totally unsatisfactory. He moved up the call ladder and asked for a manager. That has been met with typical responses: “He’s not in this office today,” or “You can be assured that he will return your call.” NOT!!!

Bank of America’s ready explanation is that the due date is printed on every statement. Well, what if you happen to be out of town when this sudden due date jump occurs? I’d like to see someone in Congress sponsor a bill that would force credit card companies to give ample notice (say 3 months) before changing a due date.

Here are some typical complaints lodged this past month with Consumer Affairs.com:





David of Buford GA (01/31/07)Long term customer with BOA (5 years) and
have 7 accounts with them from Savings to LOC. I signed up for a promotional
rate on a balance transfer to their credit card. 7 months for 1.99%. Transfer
several thousand dollars and have been incorrectly billed every month for 6
months. Each month I make a 45 minute call to Credit Card Services and each
month they admit the mistake and then credit me the difference for the
mis-charged interest. This month they admitted the mistake but said that we
refuse to credit the interest because they had done it every other month. They
refused to abide by the terms of the contract.


Erin of Sterling Heights MI (01/29/07)
We have been a good
paying customer with Bank of America since 2004; in Feb 2006 they made a policy
change that if a payment is not paid AND POSTED on the due date a late fee will
be applied. Since this time I have had nothing but problems, the computer system
will not allow for same day payments and many times we are paid the same day as our due date. We have paid over $200.00 in late payments in 2006 almost all of
these payments I made the day it was due and yet it posts the next day or two
days later. Then we are slapped with a $39.00 late fee. Twice they have
increased the interest rate from 11.99 to 24.99. They have only adjusted the
late payment twice and the interest rate charge once. . .


Bruce & Cindy of Soledad CA (01/29/07)
On 1/20/06, we went online to make a direct payment from our Bank of America account to our B of A credit card. Our due date was 12/23/06, so we knew that we had plenty of time to make the payment. On 12/26/06, I checked our account online & the account was showing the payment was returned unpaid with a $39.00 return check fee & a $39.00 late fee. I promptly called them & we were told that the checking account number was entered wrong. I told them I had a confirmation number & for them to fax me the transaction. They told us they could not provide that info.


We accepted this offer because of the 0% interest through 9/07.
They are now charging us 7.9% & 19.9% interest. There is no way it should
take 6 days to process a payment that's linked directly into your bank account.
They waited 6 days to process so we would be past our due date & lose our 0%
interest rate. Our checking account number was entered correctly & they
can't provide us otherwise. This has caused extreme financial stress on us.


The list of complaints goes on, but you get the point. I wish someone out there with some knowledge could explain a simple strategy to keep this from happening. In the mean time, spread this information far and wide and either get rid of your Bank of American credit card, or set up several automatic payments monthly.

Update: My friend just told me that he finally found a manager at BOA who was able to correct the situation. After reviewing my friend’s excellent payment history, the manager agreed to correct the situation by removing the late fees and returning the interest rate to the earlier low rate. Additionally, the manager said that he understood what it looked like to consumers, but that this was not the case. He said that for accounting purposes, they must sometimes squeeze payments in order to get twelve payments within the year. My friend pointed out that BOA should give ample notice to credit card customers when they anticipate a future jump-back in due dates.

Oh you will love this . . . My friend, a big blog reader, told the manager. “I see that BOA is getting into hot water over their policies of offering credit cards to those who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history.”

The manager told him that Bank of America is really catching big heat from the Blogosphere about the illegal immigrants, and that they are reading the blogs daily!!!

Good work and Hat Tip to Uncooperative Blogger and Liberally Conservative for keeping the BOA plan for illegal immigrant credit cards on the front burner!

See Also Bank of America Sucks.com ( a forum for the multiple complaints against BOA) and H/T to Freedom Folks


Note: Kenneth D. Lewis is Chairman, Chief executive officer, and President of Bank of America.

As CEO of Bank of America, Lewis leads one of the world's largest
financial institutions, the fifth most profitable company in the world and the
sixth most highly valued company in the world by market capitalization as of
December 31, 2005. Bank of America serves 55 million consumers and business
clients through almost 5,900 retail banking offices in the U.S., corporate
banking offices in 150 countries, almost 17,000 ATMs and the #1 online banking
and bill-paying service in the nation.


Source: http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/index.php?s=company_bios&item=7

Update November 25, 2007: More banks are pulling the following scam so after reading this article, please read You and Credit Card Due Date Roulette, which explains how you can pay one credit card late and suddenly all of your credit cards make an outrageous jump in interest rates!!! It’s called the Universal Default Clause.

41 comments:

  1. Bruce and Cindy's experience is really a warning sign. I received a very suspicious email from Bank of America yesterday. I do not have an BOA account, but I didn't like the email.

    This thing about cc's to illegals just shows how unethical Bank of America is, and how little lack of concern for American citizens they have.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    Maggie
    Maggie's Notebook

    ReplyDelete
  2. I posted on the BOA and the illegal aliens/no social security cards yesterday. I had not hear about this scam of changing the due dates.

    The only way to use a credit card is NEVER have payments set up through a bank automatic pay system. Always check your account on-line. And always pay the entire balance, never allow items charged to go over and cause you to pay. It's a rip off.

    ReplyDelete
  3. From 1979 to 2000, I was an on-and-off customer of BofA; you'd think I would have learned my lesson sooner. The first two times they nickled and dimed me to death. The last time, they enticed me back with a "free" checking account that suddenly started costing $6 a month after about a year. When I closed it to move to another bank, the teller said, "Your account could have stayed free if you had your income directly deposited."
    Of course, no one had bothered to tell me that before.

    Now, BofA's decision to give credit cards to illegal aliens gives me one more reason to despise them. I hope they get socked big-time with unpaid debt and fraud.

    I have found a wonderful bank, totally free. Everyone who banks at BofA, go immediately to your nearest branch, close all your accounts and take your money to Washington Mutual. In one year you will save big money through free checking (with free checks for life), free bill pay, free phone calls to customer service, free everything. You don't have to be at the mercy of BofA anymore!

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  4. The manager told him that Bank of America is really catching big heat from the Blogosphere about the illegal immigrants, and that they are reading the blogs daily!!! ..YAY...well thats hopeful isnt it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've tagged you with a meme. sorry. Go here for instructions:

    http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2007/02/meme.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bank of America’s ready explanation is that the due date is printed on every statement. I’d like to see someone in Congress sponsor a bill that would force credit card companies to give ample notice before changing a due date.

    USA Bank Directory

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  7. I got hit by the date trick.It changed five days on me over two months.I did not catch it and it cost me 39$.late fee.I too called the bank and bass pro since it was under their name.Bass pro said they have no control over the bank.We'll I control my money they won't see any more of it!As for the bank they don't care either so I've cancalled four cards by them one to go.What's really bad it they are my bank too.You would think since they tell me I'm a valued custemor they would work with me wrong.There are lots of banks who would like my money that's where it will be going.They got me once it won't happen again with them at least.

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  8. Bank of America is evidently exceeding its authority. Don't they have enough earnings already? If they continue this way, i'm afraid i'll have to switch over to a
    Discover credit card or to American Express services.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you do not satisfy with credit cards or service of that bank, it is always not late to switch over another.

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  10. NorthGAConservativeFri Jun 08, 12:07:00 PM 2007

    While you are referring to one company, I challenge everyone to look around and realize that this is not an isolated incident. Look at the entire credit rating system in itself. Look at other companies across any number of industries.

    In the end, large corporations with no end of attorneys and money can and will do whatever they wish regardless of the law, for in the end, what is the real punishment?

    Many current executives hide behind the wall street excuse, or that they "owe" it to their shareholdes to return the maximun value. BofA is no different.

    And I have even worse news for many, those seemingly "American" companies, arent. They are not global so it is going to take more and more effort to dislodge those bad apples.

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  11. Northgaconservative You made some very good and true points. Many banks are pulling this scam. But as with all wars you have to pick a target to expose and in this case BoA is the biggest!

    ReplyDelete
  12. A real save credit did not exist until today. Complicated gadgets did not help at all. Dragon Credit Card Network offers the first safe and secure use of credit cards online and elsewhere. Contact your local bank and ask for details.

    www.vondar.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. My checking account is with Bank of America and I also have a credit card with them and use their online bill-pay. Last month I swear I paid my credit card bill on time but my bank statement and online bill-pay show that I missed a payment! (the credit card bill was a measly $89 and I have thousands in my checking account - why would I miss a payment?)

    I have no proof sadly to dispute this with them - it's just my word against their system. (This month I printed the online bill pay confirmation page.)

    I've never had a late payment in about 10 years of having a credit card. I always pay off the entire balance on time - I just use a credit card like cash. I can't believe this happened to me and I have no way to prove it otherwise.

    Has this happened to anyone else? I just searched on Google and found this blog... I think Bank of America is more sinsister than simply switching the due-date on their credit cards.

    ReplyDelete
  14. it is a sinister plot and more banks are doing this type of thing. Please go read yesterday's update "You and Credit Card Due Date Roulette" at http://faultlineusa.blogspot.com/2007/11/you-and-credit-card-due-date-roulette.html

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  15. Hey All,
    I think it is better we call this card:
    BANK OF ILLEGAL AMERICAN CREDIT CARD

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd also like to point out how B of A likes to hold transactions. I've noticed (but have no proof) that a lot of transactions will hit my account the day before my scheduled direct deposit (paycheck) is due. It happens with such frequency I can't imagine it to be a coincidence. I think they are intentionally trying to overdraft my account. Luckily they haven't been successful.

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  17. Hello All:

    One very important truth is that BANK OF AMERICA, was one of the biggest bank contributors to this disgusting administration.

    Another truth is back in the Reagan administration appeared the bank deregulation or "President Reagan gives power to banks to do what they want, whenever they want and for whatever reason." And the banks became fraudsters and loansharks legally.

    It has gotten worse now. Bush took their money so he won't sign any laws that penalizes those crooks and protects the innocent consumers. Well Bush and his croonies are bigger crooks.

    Bottom line, we need change and soon.

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  18. Another thing back when there were laws against banks and before the internet. You could legally mail your payment on the due date and if it had a postmark of that date, they could not charge you a late fee.

    Now it has to arrive before the due date and if mail is lost for whatever reason, even if bank lost payment, too bad postmark date is not admissible. It happened to me, so now I only pay online manually. I keep track of the due dates and pay.

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  19. We are talking about the biggest crook, BOA, but all credit cards are pretty much the same.

    The problem is with the economy the way it is, its hard to payoff the cards.

    And I've heard some cards are now closing customers accounts if they are paid in full or if you don't use it too much.

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  20. I too noticed the holding of debits and credits on my BoA checking account and it's annoying.

    In April they snagged me with the credit card due date trick on both of my BoA cards. I called CS and the rep immediately told me the due date should not change by more than 2 days and reimbursed the late charge. I guess I was lucky. However, the Rates rep refused to lower my rate from 29.99%. I am sending a very professional and courteous letter to the corporate HQ once I find the address. :-)

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  21. Alex,

    It's interesting you posted your feedback in regards of this experience. I wonder if it will become a class-action law suit eventually. My fiance' was offered 0% for 12 months from BofA and we "bit" the bait. We set the monthly bill pay to be originated from our Wells Fargo checking account. Two months down the road we receive the statement in regard of the late fee and the interest rate at 29.99%. Having a "banking background" I made a call for my fiance' and what representatives told was a bunch of pretty BS. To make the story short - last month we realized that we are again charged a full interest rate and have three late fees, etc tagged onto the account. It took us two days to get through to Managers of the Client Satisfaction team and they stated that according to their survey (!!!) their customers preferred to have multiple due dates and that is why BofA changed it sometimes by two days or so. This whole explanation didn't make any sense - they were lying through their teeth. Being fortunate enough to payoff the balance in full - almost 5k - we closed the account with them. I hope the justice prevails some day. This is a crazy experience...

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  22. I think all the credit cards are about the same. No use switching.

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  23. All credit cards are not the same. In my job I deal with making payments to several different credit cards. Couple that with my own experience, and I'll tell you that American Express is GREAT! Chase and Discover are pretty good, too.
    Bank of America is absolutely horrendous and the goal now is to get all of their cards paid off so that we never have to deal with them again.

    In addition to the grievances mentioned, let me add another one: they allow due dates on weekends, but will not accept payments on weekends, even online. Even though your bill is due on Sunday, you'd better pay by Friday (before 3:30) or you'll be LATE! If you got online Saturday to schedule your payment, you'd have to schedule it for Monday. Even if you are inside the bank making a payment after 3:30 the day before the weekend due date, the teller will look you in the eyes and tell you that your payment is late! Does your statement tell you this? No! Your reward for this so-called "late" payment? A $39 late fee and a probable increase in your interest rate and/or losing promotional rates. Enjoy.

    If you can, get rid of any ties you have to Bank of America. Pretty much everyone is better than them.

    While you're at it, get a card that gives you GOOD rewards, such as 5% cash back on gasoline purchases.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I see your blog has something to do with the Bank Of America. Although, at the present time, one can not do without the bank services, still I think it could have been better without them. People face so much problems and misunderstandings because of these financial establishments. Learn on other people’s mistakes from www.pissedconsumer.com. It is a very informative and helpful site.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Each American these days has a few hundreds of dollars debt with his credit cards. And still banks keep on issuing them. Sometimes credit cards cuase serious financial troubles for the card holders since many companies issue them to get money and then disappear. On this great site www.pissedconsumer.com you will find customers’ reports about different Credit Cards frauds.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Finally!
    A blog worth reading on forward until the end! :) I really admire the wording in this blog, quite precise to the details but I just might change one or two things, never-the-less, bravo on well choiced words mate.. Very very good knowledge to have along the road of life! p.s.>> Thanks for sharing, I actually picked up some knowledge on this one :)
    -Have an amazing day!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nothing new for BOA to be doing this. It has or was an old scam that NCNB(now part of BOA) used for years to make money. They also used the scam of debiting all outstanding checks before crediting the deposit when one had direct deposit from the State or Federal Gov. My check was always in the bank on the 1st unless the 1st fell on a weekend then the money was deposited by the Federal Gov on the last working day of the month. NCNB made a habit of debiting all auto drafts before crediting my check thus creating at least 4-6 overdraft charges. It mattered not that I always had more than enough to cover the checks in my savings and other accounts. The same thing occurred with credit cards as is occurring now. I got tired of fighting every month and closed all my accounts with NCNB/BOA, they attempted to hold part of my account to "cover" any unpaid checks or debits that might come through. I had none got a court order and got my money. I won.
    BOA? Time to shut them down. All depositors who have a good standing should withdraw and move their accounts to ANY bank but BOA.

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  28. Thanks for posting this. Count me as another victim of Bank of America's shady billing and late fee practices. They neglected to bill me at all until quite a few months had passed. Then out of nowhere I received a statement saying I owed a particular amount in late fees. I paid it at once, only to receive a bill with a new late fee just two weeks later. Their staff were confrontational and completely unhelpful from the time I first signed up.

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  29. BOA is back at it again. Just paid my card off last month and found out today that they moved my due date up one week without any electronic notice! Yes it is on the paper statement and thankfully I checked that via the web today.

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  30. Thanks for the info we will have to post this warning again!

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  31. so what can we do about the B of A unethical business practice ( interest rate increase ???? please anyone advice ??
    it amazing how you can me mugged, and you cant do anything about it , and you can complaint to anyone , and you cant reverse the damage

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  32. i also have been a victim of Bank of America .....i had been in the fixed 5.9 percent through MBNA THEN they changed hands to B of A which i had got the card and rate through being a member of the quarterhorse association...they kept sending me email to pay.... in april i paid 140.00 , 120.00 and 326.00 !!!!!!!! i have confronted them on this with no repsonse....i would like to no where this money went? it all have been debited out of my checking account... i called today to also find out that they have jacked up my interest rate to 27 percent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am furious... and i will never deal with this bank ever again! i feel they are dishonest and crooks... our goverment needs to do something to protect Amercians from this kind of conduct from credit card companies

    ReplyDelete
  33. Complain to the Better Business Bureau. Although the VISA due date switching is in B of A's agreement, it is not consumer friendly. And by placing the notice on your bill and getting it to you within 14 days, B of A is in federal compliance; but again not consumer friendly.

    When my MBNA card was assessed a fee that I felt was wrong, I tried to get it reversed at customer service to no avail. So I filed a complaint at BBB and the MBNA corporate office called me apologized and reversed the fee.

    B of A is so large, that BBB complaints may not help, but who knows?

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  34. BofA just did it to me too now. They more than doubled my interest rate because I supposedly was late a 2nd time due to them moving the due date forward without any notification other than it being on my statement. They never even told me about being late a 1st time, I thought they were always paid a few days ahead of the due date but apparently they caught me once before by moving it forward 5 days.

    My current bill is due on the 1st. As far as I know that's what it always has been and I've always paid it before that. Their excuse was that this last bill was actually due on the 30th. I paid it on the 30th online without even realizing that was the actual due date but it didn't post to their side until the 31st. By moving the due date forward over the month boundary they made it so I had 2 payments due in 1 month. How is that fair?

    I obviously canceled my card since there's no way I'm paying that crazy interest rate on my outstanding balance. The lady on the phone at BofA said my due date could move 5 days either direction. Had they told me that after the 1st time I was supposedly late, I certainly would have not let it happen again. Never again. Bank of America sucks and I won't use them again.

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  35. Late or not, $39 is an excessive fee for any mistake, it affects the poor, the ones that really need to count their pennies, obviously they want to screw as many as possible, is another industry going on with millions of dollars collected (stolen) every month. Similar to ticket industry from the police.
    More policies and laws they make the more moneys they make!

    A way to avoid this, change banks.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well… I visit your website first time and found this site very useful and interesting! Well… you guys doing nice work and I just want to say that keep rocking and keep it up!!!!
    Adam

    Credit card offers

    ReplyDelete
  37. " .Hello,

    'Yes', the Cart can be used for subscriptions.

    Majority of our merchants' buyers are actually international. Sadly, not a lot of local users are accustomed to buying things online.
    It does not include a website (although we also offer that service separately). You can get any 3rd party to do the website and we will just integrate with them.
    regards
    www.google.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am really enjoying Bank of America’s credit blunders even though it personally affected me.

    I have had a BofA business Visa credit card for over 8 year, I have never made a late payment and I can’t remember going over the maximum balance.
    Last October I called Bofa to dispute the 25+% interest rate. I had a $16k credit line that I had about $10k on where I made 2-3 times the minimum payment every month. I would utilize the credit line frequently so the balance was reduced only slightly each month. After escalating the call the representative declined my rate reduction request stating that it was because I kept a high balance.
    In January, after clearing the account of all but $16 I called back to get my rate reduced. After an extensive inquire into my business finances and operations they once again declined my rate reduction request. They stated that I had too much signature credit outstanding, this is due to a $180k secured loan being recorded as unsecured. I am going through the big three credit reporting agencies to clear that matter.
    So this weekend I am on my way out of town on business, I pull out my trust BofA business card and call to check the balance, woo hoo I have over $15k available. While on my way out of town I go to fill up with gas and the card purchase was declined. After searching around I call Cust service and find that BofA closed my account, upon inquiring further I find that they closed it due to a financial review of my business and personal credit.
    I call them on their usury good standing interest fees and they close my account. I have all of my personal and business banking as well as 2-3 other credit lines with BofA. I am in the process of pulling all my business from BofA, they are truly the definition of bad business.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The lady on the phone at BofA said my due date could move 5 days either direction. Had they told me that after the 1st time I was supposedly late, I certainly would have not let it happen again.

    ..................................
    http://www.creditcardcompares.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Good day, all...

    I have a very "mashed potatoes" boring story about BofA screwing up my daughter's credit card and credit.

    Louise always pays her balance in full for the past 10 years. Three years ago, she had a bogus $30 charge appear. She called the BofA and disputed it, and they took it off her account... End of story, so she thought. Two months agoe she was applying for a mortgage, and this $30 charge STILL shows up as "in dispute", so the lenders won't touch her.
    Now, For a month has been given the run around from BofA, and there is no end in sight.

    Any suggestions of "effective measures" to take?

    thanks for your time.

    ReplyDelete