Sunday, April 18, 2010

Citibank: Making Gordon Gekko Proud

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I have been in a dispute with Citibank for the past few months. As an olive branch to them, reluctantly gracious in refunding a few hundred dollars of unwarranted interest as a result of an equally unwarranted APR increase, I was going to make a payment that would bring my account up-to-date. However, their continual attempts to contact me by telephone concerning my now past due account after I informed them in several letters - including a "cease & desist" - that I would not pay due to their violations of the Card Member Agreement, which I have previously expounded upon, and would retain legal counsel over the matter, they also now have violated my consumer rights as governed by the Fair Debt Collection Protections Act. As such, I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission due to their failure to heed the “cease & desist,” and may seek legal action concerning the violation separate from any class action lawsuit pursued in relation to the aforementioned ones.

What is not surprising throughout this ordeal is the attitude of Citibank, oblivious and unmoved by their actions concerning this matter. Why should they care about the problems of the indebted American people, when they had far worse problems requiring $45 billion in taxpayer money to alleviate them? After all, this is the same Citibank that moved operations to South Dakota in 1981 solely to take advantage of that state's maximum interest rate on loans - which, at the time, was the highest in the country. All in order to circumvent usury laws that made consumer lending an unprofitable business. As well, Citibank has been, and still are today, accused of improper assessment of late fees, settling a $45 million lawsuit over the practice in July 2000; part of the settlement included a proviso that Citibank would not assess late fees as long as payments were made by midnight on the due date. Just two years ago, the company settled a $14 million lawsuit covering 53,000 customers whose accounts were cleared of over-payments and double payments in an "account sweeping program" between 1992-2003. Like the bailout money, they obviously misleadingly believed the money belonged to them and not the people. Little wonder that Portfolio ranked Vikram Pandit, who received a total of $10.8 million in salary and stock compensation in 2008 as his company sank and sought federal bailout funds, the 20th worst CEO in America.


If you are feeling squeezed by a similarly unscrupulous creditor, here are some information/resources for fighting back against the greed and corruption that is Wall Street:

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (HTML

©2010 Steve Sagarra

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