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Information for everyday Americans

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Does your bank work for you?

This story has legs. December 20th, High Ridge, Missouri. The Purcells enjoyed a winter solstice yule fire in their yard last night. It is nice to know that money isn't necessary for holiday cheer. While Ed can't purchase his prescriptions, everything seems to be going along well for this couple married for 35 years. When asked what he would do in an emergency, Ed said that he might be forced to use a credit card. Now here is the interesting part. Ed got a credit card through Monmouth University that was issued by MBNA with a very reasonable interest rate. BOA swallowed up MBNA and has uped his rate to 29.24%. Now there used to be a word for such exorbitant rates- usury. It used to be illegal until the banks got financial control over our lawmakers. Seen in perspective, BOA is using exorbitant bank fees to force the Purcells into borrowing from the loan shark. Again, they may be dressed in suits, but the activity is until recent times illegal.

 

 

Scrooge 2006. December 20th, Fenton, Missouri. Revised 7:30 p.m. In a repeat of the timeless yuletide tale, we have been given this item about a couple in the greater St. Louis area. Edwin and Launi Purcell of High Ridge were planning for a Christmas in 2006. Like many of us these days, their funds are a bit tight. They had enough to cover all of the bills coming in, but the rent check was due. They figured they would try to float the rent check with the hope that the landlord would not rush right down to the bank. The worst that they figured that might happen, would be that the rent check would bounce and they would be assigned a late charge. The rent would be automatically covered when Ed's automatic deposit from work posted and they hoped that grace would let them slide through.

 

Ed says he remembers the days when his dad would take him around to the local businesses at Christmas time. There was always a little slack because people trusted one another. The doctor (his dad) handled his own accounts and payment was based on the ability to pay. He could send a patient to the drug store across the street and the prescription would be filled even if it would be the following week until the patient’s husband got paid and they could cover the bill. Every household in the neighborhood had running accounts with the butcher, the baker and the grocer. You might get cut off from buying doughnuts until you could square your account, but you could always get a half loaf of bread gratis if you needed it. Everyone was a little extra generous around Christmas. It was the way that people were expected to behave. That was America.

 

As things happened, the other bills didn’t reach the bank until the rent check did. They could have paid all of the items and then, knowing that Ed had an automatic deposit coming, honored his rent check and charged him $35.00 for the overdraft. That would only seem reasonable. But, this was not the America Ed grew up in. Instead, they processed the rent check first and then proceeded to extract $35.00 for each of the other nine items. $35.00 grew into $315.00. The automatic deposit registered and more bills came against the account. Ed and Launi were not worried because they knew they had sufficient funds to cover the charges. They even bought a couple of Christmas presents. The bank didn’t think it was necessary to tell them right away about the overdraft charges, so they bought food to eat. Suddenly, there was another $140.00 in overdraft charges. In just over a week, the Purcell’s had been charged $455.00 in overdraft charges. Without the charges, they would have covered all of their expenses. Trying to make recompense for the sudden new debt, they deposited a $100.00 check they had received for services and cancelled the gifts that had not yet been sent. Although the company sent notification that the funds had been credited back to the account, BOA refused to post them because they were electronic transactions and “the Purcell’s account was already showing insufficient funds”.

 

Jessica Beye, Banking Center Manager for the Fenton Commons Bank of America, said: “It states clearly in the disclaimer we give our customers that we have the right to take funds from our clients accounts in this manner”. “We have done nothing wrong, this is standard banking procedure”. It is interesting that the Bank of America goes to great lengths to take funds from those that are most in need yet panders to the very rich. 

 

These are the times in which we live. The rich are made richer at the expense of the poor. While this has been the general theme of history, it does seem as though the soul has gone out of America. The vicious attack on those that cannot protect themselves, has reached unprecedented levels. The depraved is the norm not the exception. This Friday's editorial will address the way our government has stood by and let our citizens be sold down the river for the benefit of big business. The numbers will startle you, but it should come as no surprise. Now is the time for the common people to rise up and end this violation of the American way of life. We hope you will join us.