Worst of the Worst: Wells Fargo Bank

At the time of The Mortgage Crisis, I had friends who had been totally screwed over by Wells Fargo Bank, and the stories they told about the unwillingness of Wells Fargo to give a single ounce of consideration, let alone admit any wrongdoing, were awful. My own experiences with Wells Fargo were that MrsHound and I had Mastercard and Visa accounts with them for, as of now, well, over forty years. Also, a few years back, our mortgage was taken over by them, and we had to make our payments to them the last fifteen or so years until it was paid off. In all these dealings, they were difficult at best and miserable at worst to deal with, over even the smallest of issues. One instance stands out when I made a credit card payment and inadvertently transposed a couple of numbers and on a payment of something like $150.00, the payment actually made was like 20¢ short. The good people at Wells Fargo refused to reverse the fee, something like $29.00, that they imposed for failing to make the full payment by the due date.

Well, beside everything else that I do, I'm a city commissioner for the city I call home. This requires that I attend six commission meetings per year, for which the city pays the grand sum of $50.00 per meeting. After deductions, I take home the grand sum of $45.52, six times a year. Well there was a commission meeting this month, and my check came in today's mail. Late this afternoon I needed to pick up a few things at the grocery, and I figured I'd stop by the

bank and deposit the check. My “real” bank is, and has been for decades, Bank of America, but, the local branch, just a few blocks from home, is in the local mall, and today being BLACK FRIDAY, the traffic into and getting out of the mall was going to be impossible. But, the check is drawn on a Wells Fargo account, and there is a Wells Fargo a couple of blocks from the mall, in it’s own little business park, away from the crowds and traffic. So, I think, go to Wells Fargo and cash the check instead of fighting the traffic to deposit it at B of A.

Bad idea.

So, I drive to Wells Fargo, and go inside and go up to the teller’s window, present the check, my ID, and my Wells Fargo Mastercard. Well, it turns out that it matters not a bit the the check is written on a Wells Fargo account if the person cashing it does not have a checking or savings account there, they will not cash the check without imposing a fee. It mattered not one iota that I had these credit card accounts there or that I paid them thousands and thousands of dollars over many years in mortgage payments. No checking account and no savings account meant that they would keep $7.00 of my $45.52 in fees, a whopping 15.4%.

There are several practices that banks are allowed to get away with on a routine basis that are just plain disgusting, and this is one of them. Another is that they can say your due date for a payment is a Saturday or a Sunday, but also say that as those days are not business days, unless you make that payment due on Saturday or Sunday by the prior Friday, it is not posted until
Monday, and is considered late and subject to not just an ungodly fee, but also a bad mark on your credit. Many, many year ago, I went into a Wells Fargo branch on a Saturday to make a credit card payment said to be due the next day, Sunday, and the receipt I was given was actually dated the following Monday. I never made that mistake again.

These “small” fees add up, and cost consumers a fortune and add millions of dollars of profit to the coffers of Wells Fargo, and other banks. These are the types of things that were not addressed by the The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, but should have been. If ever there is Congress that cares at all about the well-being and needs of the people, rather than about ignorant tea bagger wackos who vote against their best interests and the common good, then maybe, someday, there might be legislation that prohibits such practices.

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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