Pesky, Annoying Banks and Credit Card Companies

3 08 2007

Okay, this is one thing that I have got to comment on.  Have you ever received a notice from your bank indicating that they will be changing your account?  Hmmm?  They change the terms and conditions of your accounts without your prior consent, then charge you up the Gangees with all sorts of bank fees for online banking (which I personally DO NOT recommend, more on that later), charges for cashier’s checks, charges for getting checks printed, charges for, well, you get the idea…..

 

 

Has it not occurred to anyone that this is illegal?  When you open a bank account, the Federal Reserve mandated a long time ago that this is an agreement between two parties, and cannot unilaterally be changed?  For those of you who don’t understand, this means that no one side can change the agreement without the others’ consent.  Yet banks (and credit card companies) do this every day.  Why?  Because people don’t know better.  No one bothers to keep up with that stuff anymore. 

Tell me, how many of you out there actually READ those pesky terms and conditions of every credit card, every software package, etc.?  I bet you don’t.  I do, but mostly because I want to know what I’m getting myself in to.  (Yes, I know – I have no life!) 

I recently received a notice from my bank, SunTrust (who used to be Sun Bank) indicating how they’re changing the “Features and Benefits” of my account.  Now they’re going to start charging me $15 a month for these “Features and Benefits” of which I have absolutely no use for, other than the ‘free printed checks’ feature and the ‘zero required balance’ feature.  I simply use this account as a flow-through account.  Why on earth would I pay to keep money in an account that isn’t earning interest, and be charged for not having $1,500 in the account at all times (while it’s not earning interest)?  I might as well keep my money in a money market account and simply write a check or two to cover my monthly expenses, as needed.  Then I can at least be earning 5% a month on that money until I need it.  Hmmmm.  Brain surgery?  Rocket Science?  I think not.

 

 

Our biggest problem here in America is that the general public is not educated enough to go seek out these rules and regulations, of which there are far too many.  We have become an over-regulated society, and we have allowed the attorneys to make it so.  There’s no such thing as the ‘right thing’ anymore.  People claiming responsibility for what they have done?  Nope.  Point the finger at someone else.  It’s the politically sexy thing to do. 

People, we are responsible for our own actions.  You have GOT to start getting that through your heads!!!  You cannot sign a contract agreeing to whatever it is these companies want you to agree to, then try to claim to be ignorant! 

What I have been told by several attorneys, is that if I wish to open an account with a credit card company, and we’ll use Chase Corporation as an example, I read the terms and conditions and then I cross out/off parts that I refuse to agree to (such as sharing my personal information to third-parties), initial it, make a copy for my records, and send those terms and conditions back to the company along with my application.  My attorney friends (of which I have many) tell me that if they accept and process that application and issue me a credit card, they have agreed to my changing those terms.  So far, I have yet to test that theory.  But I can’t wait!!!

 

Please, if there are any lawyers out there, please let me know your thoughts on these usury laws.  I always like to have more than one opinion on this, or any other legal aspect.

See, I figure that if everyone started reading those pesky legal conditions, no one would apply for credit cards.  Thus begins the cascade effect.

  1. No one uses credit cards – harder for people to go into debt.
  2. We go back to a cash-based society.
  3. The value of the dollar goes back up, because it’s simply not just paper anymore. 
  4. These companies will have to change the way they operate in order to business, making them more accountable, which will start yet another cascade effect.
  5. This new cascade will make companies large and small more accountable; however it is my hope that becoming more accountable will lead to less ‘red tape’ and less legal shenanigans. 

It’s called HONOR, people!  Whatever happened to honor?  You make a promise – you keep it!  You borrow $20 – you repay it!  You borrow your brother’s bike – you return it in the condition in which you borrowed it, or better!  It’s simply a matter of DOING THE RIGHT THING!!  It isn’t exactly a difficult concept!

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