Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Citibank’s New Motto: Citi Never Takes Blame

In a previous post, I shared a letter sent to Citibank over an unwarranted increase to my annual percentage rate on my credit card. This is a growing occurrence for card members in recent months, even after legislation aimed at curbing the nefarious practices of financial institutions. In brief, I had opted out of any changes in terms to the card member agreement that would have astronomically increased my APRs in November 2009. This effectively closed my account. Then I opened my February statement, which reflected an increased APR at the default rate of 29.99%. Protesting the absurd, and unwarranted, increase, I refused to make a payment for the apparent violation of the card agreement on the part of Citibank. That pretty much catches you up on the story thus far.

After several recent inquiries, I finally received a reason for the increase. In one letter dated March 26, 2010, “S. Larson” (who seems a fictitious persona) states, “the increase was due to your default under the Card Agreement.” According to a supervisor I spoke with on April 3, the alleged occurrence for this default was the October 2009 billing cycle. My November statement does reflect that payment did not post until the day after the due date; nevertheless, when the payment post is not the problem of card members, especially when proper payment arrangements are made by the due date. In fact, in my case, two more payments were made on my part within two weeks of each other following the one in question.

However, a second letter, also dated March 26, 2010, and again signed by the peculiarly epitomized “S. Larson,” states the increase was due to my default for not making payment for the February 2010 billing cycle. This is true, as earlier stated, as I refused to make a payment due to the already increased APR. Nevertheless, as that billing cycle already reflected the increase, this would be impossible as the initial reason for it – which tells me Citibank is trying to cover for their failure to adhere to the card agreement. As such, I maintain, like many other card members also confronted with increased APRs, there was absolutely no justification for the increase, as I have never defaulted nor been late with a payment up to and including all billing cycles in question before it occurred.

A Rhode Island lawyer filed a lawsuit in November 2009 on behalf of a card member who faced the same problem with Citibank. According to the latest, he is trying to make it a class action lawsuit.

Lawsuit Filed Against Citibank For Raising Interest Rates

Citibank Raised Credit Card Rates Without Cause, Suit Says

No matter the case, all card members affected by the unscrupulous practices of credit card companies like Citibank should take up this gauntlet. The United States is known as a land of law; time for Main Street and the American people to take back this country by use of the law against Wall Street and their bailed-out, taxpayer-funded enterprises.

©2010 Steve Sagarra

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