Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Possible Credit Card Scandal?

Just the other day I received a letter from Chase, my credit card company informing me they were closing my account. Chase gave me the following reasons:
1. Too many open bankcards with high balances. (I have 3 bankcards open, the highest balance is $4, 323.)
2. Too few open accounts with time on file greater than 24 months. (All three bankcards were opened in 2004)
3. Average length of time since bankcards opening is too short. (4 years or better for each card)

I've never been over my limit, I've never been late with a payment, I pay more than the monthly minimum, but bam! out of the blue, they just close the account. It's no big deal, there was only about $1,110 on the card anyway, I was gonna close it after I paid it off this summer. I wondered if Chase has been doing this to other good standing customers, so I did a quick search. I found this letter:

Dear Chase, Your practice of closing credit card accounts of long time customers that are in good standing and that have not expired without notifying them first is not in line with your stated business principle of "We must act in the customers' best interest, not once in a while, but constantly". You recently closed two of my account, stated that they had no recent activity. I expect that when this is reported to the credit bureaus I will see a drop in my credit rating because in closing those do accounts the credit available to my decreased by about $23,000. Now I'm a self employed business man and my good credit rating is a key component to enabling me to obtain and maintain liquidity and cash flow during difficult economic times. I do not know the extent of the damage yet, but your actions will have a negative effect on my business and personal finances. I understand you are trying to protect yourself from further losses and limit your exposure. I would suggest that you not do it on the backs of long time customers in good standing; you are going to need us later. Reactivate my accounts.

Then I found this letter:

I have been a WAMU credit card holder since 2007. Then Chase came along and bought them out, things were going ok so far. I do have a balance of about $2500. on my card right now, which I am faithfully paying off.

I have never ever been late on any payments with WAMU in the past, and never been late on this card since Chase took them over .....nor have I ever been late on any other credit cards I have. I have also never been late on my house payment and car payment either...

So imagine my surprise when I get a letter in the mail from Chase this week telling me they have closed my account. They stated 1.) 'the available credit on my bankcard is too low', and the 2.) 'average length of time since bankcard(s) opening is too short' and 3.) 'too few accounts paid as agreed compared to total accounts'

1.) I only have 2 major credit cards, Chase and another one and yes they are high balances, but I am never late and pay more than the minimum each month trying to get them paid off quickly, and then I have about 4 other small retail cards, with tiny balances, on 3 of them (under $100.00) and one is paid off!

2.) All of my cards were opened in 2007 or before .... so I am not sure how that second item on their list applies to me... my accounts are all 2 years old or older!

3.) None of my accounts (credit cards) or loan payments (house & car) have ever been late on any of these accounts we have, so I dont understand why they said 'too few accounts paid as agreed'

It just burns me up that after all these years of faithfully paying on time every month all my bills, that they just close my account like this.

I have been working for the past 3 years trying to rebuild our credit up so that we can get a new home loan with a good interest rate so we can move into a better house, and now this happens! My credit score , and rating did not need this kind of damage! It's just not right that they can close my account and damage my credit like this.

There were many more examples, but I won't post them here. I was also curious, because as I was reading I came across instances where the interest rate was hiked way high prior to closing the accounts. Sure enough, I checked mine, the previous month my interest rate was 6.9, but on today's bill the interest rate was 18.24. I wasn't late with my payment, but for some reason Chase increased the rate anyway.

What I'm wondering is why? So, I called and spoke to Charles in the Chase customer care department. He told me that they have so many accounts that people aren't paying on that they've decided to close accounts. Does that make sense? Close the accounts that are in good standing because so many others aren't paying on time or even paying at all? Is Chase setting themselves up to show a record loss in order to get some bail out money?


Durango said...

Geez. That is so annoying. I was burned in the WaMu meltdown when Chase took over. They bounced checks when there were thousands in the account. And other annoyances. And now Chase is doing this type stuff to innocent victims? It's so frustrating. There is no where to turn to get some sort of fix.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

I've always been told that having a credit card is sorta like playing with poisonous snakes.