Skip to comments.Suddenly, bank account was gone
Posted on 05/03/2010 5:12:21 PM PDT by Kartographer
When Hope and Matt Hughes stopped for supplies at a pet store last month, they thought the trouble with their debit card was just a glitch. But it turned into a financial crisis.
They quickly discovered that their bank, Wachovia-turned-Wells Fargo, had deducted $4,059.82 from their checking account, wiping it out.
It was no glitch. It is called the right of setoff or offset, a long-accepted practice dating to early English common law.
(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...
I’ve executed offset - as a last resort - many, many times. Probably 98% of the time it was a pleasure because the debtor was such a jerk.
Wait till Obama care kicks in-it wont be the bank withdrawling money it will be the IRS
Sounds like the bank did make a serious mistake but I sure would want to know more about those other loans before I pass judgement on this one.
It is quite possible they had gotten in over their heads through poor judgement.
Note to idiots in article: remember to pay off your loans... or if you do not plan to pay, move your money out of the bank that you owe money to.
what happen to them had to suck.
Just remember, whoever controls your money controls you.
Well, this is kind of a “he said, she said” thing. But it sounds as if they took their account because they ignored all requests to repay a student loan. And it also sounds as if there was plenty of warning.
I guess there is one moral to the story. If you’re planning to fink out on your debts, don’t do it in a bank where you also have funds deposited.
It wasn’t so “sudden.” If I read the article correctly, the wife thought she had six months from her graduation to pay off. It’s been a year. And didn’t she notice some months ago that the bank was deducting a certain amount of money from her account? Why didn’t she or her husband contact the bank and work something out?
Sorry, but the story sounds fishy. I’ve heard of set-offs and they are a legitimate practice. Simply put, don’t pay off your obligation (or work something out with the lender) the lender has a way to get its money back. Otherwise, if the lender can’t recoup the money owed from too many consumers, it’s going to go under.
Look for the Obama administration to forbid setoffs and force banks and other lenders into bankruptcy.
Proving once again that there are consequences for the choices one makes.
You mean if someone owes me 10 and I have 5 of theirs , I can keep the 5 ? Shocking .
Sounds to me like they brought the misfortune upon themselves.
"...Now, the couple, who rely on Matt Hughes once-a-month paycheck from Kimberly-Clark, have had to sell possessions on Craigslist, tap into his 401K and negotiate with creditors so they dont put their house and car loans in danger..."
I don't want to jump too hard on them, because I don't know the details of their lives, but...she took out a loan, with terms and conditions. She just graduated, they have a house, at least two cars, possessions and he has a 401K.
I don't want to put TOO fine a point on it, but don't people normally live in an apartment coming out of school, drive beaters and so on until they get on their feet and get a nest egg?
These people don't sound like they should have been able to buy a house. That sounds like one of the reasons we are in the state we are in.
I’m not a big fan of banks but I recently had Chase forgive $10,000 on a credit card where my wife owed 13,000.
My wife had to quit her job suddenly because of Hepatitis C and was unable to pay the $500+ per month due on the card.
It was not easy and it took nearly a years worth of paperwork to accomplish it but they shaved the 10 grand off the total.
You read correctly.
“why did they think that they could fall behind on these obligations and the bank not take action?”
Because they believe they are entitled to whatever they want without consequences
It sounds like they made the student loans their very, VERY last priority to the point of not even paying them anything at all. I wonder how much of that attitude was due to seeing other people simply not pay their student loans back, and nobody ever came after them.
I understand the provisions in the healthcare legislation for student loans had the proviso that you could pay back the loans at 10% of your DISPOSABLE income each month, and after twenty years, the rest would be forgiven.
Boy, if that is true, such a deal. Take out $200K to go to Harvard, and pay back...what? What if I only have $10 of “disposable income” each month...sounds like free government pie to me.
Anyone else remember seeing that tidbit in there?
Yep. It is a last resort. And not many places will take the entire amount of the loan unless they are real deadbeats, just what is in arrears. These people didn’t sound like they were deadbeats or they would have pulled that money out before all this happened. I think it’s a bit of a mix up.
Why do I have the feeling, reading this, that this is like one of those guys in New York with the little upside down cups on the table...:)
Happened to my son's ex girl friend once. She got an income tax refund and had it sent to her account at the bank she had just included in a bankruptcy.
How dare that bad bank! /s
BUT, one thing does seem to stand out and it is common to several people I know who have found themselves in the barrel:
Communications from the bank, especially those dealing with the current spate of bad home loans, are confused, contradictory, and seem to the borrower to be intended to lead to failure.
The remedy for this is small claims court. The cost of filing against the bank is minimal, and the result will either be a reversal of fees (inclding filing costs) or a victory in court when the defendent bank fails to show. Sometimes simply a letter to the branch manager threatening legal action is all it takes.
I bet if that lady did some cost-benefit analysis on how much her degree cost against the extra income she can expect to earn with it, it's a net loss.
Higher education has become a scam. The universities and the government conspire to bury young people in debt before they understand just what it is they're setting themselves up for. Meanwhile, the universities sell their student info to Citibank and MasterCard to put the finishing touches on the scam.
College professor are nothing more than unofficial union goons these days.
Wait till Obama care kicks in-it wont be the bank withdraw
ling money it will be the IRS
Perhaps...sounds like they had her graduation date wrong. Still, even with that mixup, it sounds like she should have started paying in December.
You are exactly right. “Disposable” income is a very easy thing to manipulate in your favor if you know what you’re doing.
Student loans and tax delinquencies anyway. It was pretty stupid to have their checking account with the same institution they were delinquent with.
Not any more - instant gratification now. I want everything and more that my parents have and I want it now!
“Higher education has become a scam...”
BINGO!! They take just as much advantage of the young and inexperienced as the mortgage scamtsters
That was my point. They don’t sound like they should have had a house, they should have been living in an apartment or something. Granted, even buying an older car now can require a loan for some people. Those $500-$1000 cars sure don’t go as far as they used to.
This is not the first time reading about Wells Fargo.
Illegally they tapped into a disabled person’s account that held only social security money. That is specifically not allowed. They eventually returned the money but then slapped an exorbitant fee on the disable person.
This is a bank to avoid at all costs. Seems sub-humans work there.
Sounds that way to me too. Look at where they ran into trouble: at the pet store! I know that pets can bring joy into people's lives, but they are a luxury; if you can't pay your bills you can't afford a pet.
Especially with Wells Fargo. They are the kings of offsets.
“You mean if someone owes me 10 and I have 5 of theirs , I can keep the 5 ? Shocking .”
Another way, one time I had a check for $25k that bounced.
I called the bank several times requesting whether the account was good for a lesser amount, lowering the amount each time.
When I finally got an answer that the check for $22,500 was good I took $2,500 cash to their bank and deposited it into the customers account, went to another teller and cashed the check for $25k!
Thanks PB. Obama’s reform package will call for a jubilee year for debt?
I was very lucky, and I bless my good fortune to be married to a woman who has good common sense, doesn’t feel the need to buy stuff, and is into saving and money management.
I owed over $1200 when we got married (Okay, a very large chunk of that went to an engagement ring, I admit) but we bought a very small house (standard 1963 ranch style with turquoise appliances and a red shag carpet!) a year before we were married and drove our cars for a while.
I am not someone who spends money like water, but I do subscribe to the “you could be hit by a bus tomorrow and what good will it do you” mentality.
We compliment each other well...:)
I missed that...the pet store!
We once had the IRS empty an account without notice for a tax debt we didn’t owe, and several years later we finally got it back, without interest and not so much as a thank you note. The experience soured me on banks, not to mention the IRS.
The IRS does already, and has been doing it for years.
Why, these people owed the money and had for months been notified by the bank.
I had people who owed money to IRS. They tend to send many written notices before they go off taking it from their account or paycheck.
I love it when they say “you can’t do that” and I say “I just did”
Better yet, never keep your money in a bank that you owe. It avoids unpleasant misunderstandings.
Don’t keep all your money in one bank.
Yep - that happened to an old friend of mine - declared bankruptcy and was amazed that the bank took the little bit they scraped into savings - where they owed money! No notice necessary!