According to the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Bank of America has been ordered to pay $727 million in consumer relief because of its “illegal credit card practices.” It’s very sad to watch financial institutions keep pressing legal boundaries in an effort to make money in deceitful ways. No wonder it was so hard to get the first director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray, named to his position by Congress.
Banks know that what they're doing is improper. CFPB Director Richard Cordray has said, “We have constantly warned companies about illegal practices related to credit card add – on products.” Yet banks keep repeating this wrongful behavior. In fact, Cordray has said, “Bank of America both deceived consumers and unfairly billed . . . [them] for services not performed.” He then added that the CFPB will not “tolerate” such behavior.
Specific Wrongful Acts BOA Committed – Per the CFPB
- Actual fees being charged for first 30 days of coverage for certain services. If consumers failed to cancel during an initial stated period of time, the CFPB indicates they were not actually receiving something free but were enrolling in certain programs;
- Complete enrollment processed for credit protection services. Consumers were misled while speaking to a bank employee over the phone that they had not yet conclusively signed up for service – when in fact, that's exactly what BOA had just done;
- Incorrect information given about benefits of credit card protection. BOA has apparently misrepresented how long consumers will be protected by certain services. Also, some customers were told that they'd be receiving a $25,000 death benefit by enrolling in a specific program – when that was actually not the case;
- Unfair billing practices. People who regularly review their monthly bank statements know how confusing many of them can be. According to the CFPB, BOA goes one step further and frequently “bill[s] consumers for services they did not receive” and also unfairly applies interest and fees to some accounts. It now appears that some of these practices were committed from late October 2007 through September 2011. These wrongful acts “resulted in about 459 million in harm to consumers.”
It's rather alarming to see how often banks charge illicit fees against customer accounts instead of trying to improve their financial circumstances.
If you've been deceived by any bank or financial institution, be sure to contact your Peachtree City consumer protection attorney to learn more about your rights. You may be entitled to obtain compensation or mitigating acts under the FDCPA (Federal Debt Collection Practices Act).
If you believe that you’re a victim of any abusive debt collection practices, contact the Law Offices of Georgia consumer protection attorney Shane Smith so you can learn more about your rights under federal and state consumer protection statutes. Call (770) 487-8999 today to schedule your free initial consultation.