On September 29, Bank of America announced its now-defunct debit card fee. Since that time, according to the Credit Union National Association, 650,000 Americans have moved their money to credit unions. That’s more in a little over a month than in all of 2010 combined. And that’s just credit unions, it doesn’t count community banks. And it doesn’t count what will happen tomorrow, on Bank Transfer Day… I’m sorry, I mean Chase Pride Day.
For far too long, Americans settled for a little convenience and fed their money to the finance machine, lured by the promise of a free ATM on every block. They handed over money to Wall Street banks with this kind of loving concern for their customers:
A family in Utah sold their home earlier this year and thought they had rid themselves of their Bank of America mortgage. That is, until they received a foreclosure notice several months later for a house they no longer owned — all over a $1 coding error.
It wasn’t until several months after they had closed on the sale that the family’s accountant informed them that somehow they still technically owned the house and that they were now months behind on their payments and in danger of foreclosure.
So the wife contacted BofA who informed her that there appeared to be a $1 error that was holding up the title transfer.
These banks have disgraced themselves and destroyed the largest market in the world – the residential home mortgage market. They continue to steal homes, intimidate and bully customers, and cause untold suffering. And these are the firms that the state and federal regulatory structure is about to throw a lifeline to, with a whitewash settlement on foreclosure fraud.
In this era of no accountability, Americans have few choices. But they can choose not to participate in a broken system. They can seek out banks and credit unions that respect them and favor their business. And they have been doing so already, in record numbers.