BoA: No Credit, Even For Rocket Scientists

If you have any lines of credit and you use them to manage your financial flow, you should evaluate your personal money matrix so you’re ready in case all of them get cut. They’re cutting lines of credit even for rocket scientists like reader Rocky. That’s right, he’s an engineer in the aerospace industry, has never overdrawn, never been late, never incurred NSF charges, and has 3 Masters and 2 MBAs. Overnight, they cut his four lines of credit. Apparently his only crime was simply having them. He called multiple times and got nowhere, only to be told to talk to a credit counselor. A credit counselor? Bank of America, he doesn’t have bad credit, he has no lines of credit because you just cut them all. His story, inside…

Rocky writes:

I am writing this letter to state unequivocally the damage that is being inflicted upon not only this citizen, not only this economy, but every honest and hardworking individual in this country that has, for the past months, and continues to be, held hostage by the Banking Industry of this country.

I like many who have been impacted have had all credit lines blocked, or closed. Not because I have ever overdrawn the accounts (I haven’t), not because I have ever been late for any payment (I haven’t), not because I have ever incurred NSF charges in any account in any bank (I haven’t).

I am being held hostage, and have effectively had all of my accounts frozen or locked. I have (or the better word would be had), overdraft protection on my primary checking account, which is with Bank of America. This overdraft line is used as a lifeline by me to balance out obligations when I need to use it. It is routinely flat lined (zeroed out), every 60 to 90 days max. With no warning whatsoever, this account along with three other lines of credit with Bank of America has been locked. I have called Bank of America, and spoken with numerous account managers, all to no avail. Just to get this line unfrozen. On my last call, I was advised to contact a credit counselor.

I always have, and continue, to handle all of my credit responsibly, and the fact they (BOA) could find no late payments, and all payments were substantially over the minimum required, and all accounts have been continuously reduced, was of none of their concern.

I now state something that is an undeniable fact that is presently going on in this country as I sit composing this letter. The Banks in this country are not part of the problem, they are the problem. There are undoubtedly millions of small business men and women such as myself, who have worked hard to build up good credit records so they may have access to credit when they need it, but have had credit lines, and financing needed for their business frozen, locked or terminated.

The Banks in this country, particularly Bank of America are forcing millions of Americans into involuntary bankruptcy. I write this letter, not for myself, as I am not there yet, but I see the pain on the faces of many of my fellow citizens who I know are.

To add insult to injury, one line that I have used that did have a 5% rate, has jumped to 24.99% while simultaneously being locked. When I called Bank of America to see about reducing this rate for the remaining balance, I was read their standard script that there was nothing less available. Again, as I have stated previously, the Banks in this country (Bank of America) in particular are contributing in a large way to forced involuntary bankruptcy and default of millions of American citizens.

When credit will loosen up, is no longer the question. I fear the real question we must now come to grips with is IF credit will loosen up. The brutal truth is I can see no hope if Banks are allowed to punish responsible productive individuals and businesses with financial strangulation. They have clearly become so fearful of giving bad credit out, they now give NO CREDIT out. These Banks need to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” until THEY get it.

I am employed in Engineering by a major aerospace company, and I will very soon have my third Masters Degree and my second MBA. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be able to figure this out, but if it was required, I qualify. In addition I have a second business and am a Licensed Real Estate Broker. In spite of the downturn in the Real Estate market in Arizona, I would be able to weather this economic storm if only the banking industry would be reasonable, but along with credit these are two commodities that are in short supply these days.

Respectfully,

Rocky W.

(Photo: jurvetson)

Comments

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  1. nataku8_e30 says:

    I’m guessing the MBAs are what set off an alert – I wouldn’t trust an MBA with any credit…

  2. failurate says:

    Perhaps the issue is using overdraft protection as a regular line of credit?

    • emis says:

      @failurate:

      +1 on this…

      “…overdraft line is used as a lifeline by me to balance out obligations when I need to use it. It is routinely flat lined (zeroed out), every 60 to 90 days max”

      So from BoA’s perspective you are overdrawing your checking account on a regular basis? This a red flag dude, that is the reason you got your credit pulled.

      Overdraft is not meant to be used as a line of credit to help you float between months–you would be much better off using credit cards for as many of your regular expenses as possible (groceries, gas, utilities, etc) and then paying them off every 60-90 days. It’ll cost you about the same in finance charges and your bank won’t perceive you as being a check bouncer.

      • JohnDeere says:

        @emis: you are wrong. i went into the bank one day and asked for overdraft protection that wasnt tied to my savings account. they said sure and said i would get a card in the mail and just stick it in a drawer and forget about it. it turns out it was a credit card with a $5000 limit. and i use it all the time as a credit card and have carried a balance on it for the last year. and i have had the card for atleast 3 years. his problem is he wasnt a good customer. good customers make the banks money he should have went over the limit, he should carry a balance. all the things he said he did not do is what caused this.

        • failurate says:

          @JohnDeere: I think the difference would be that while you were using your credit card, you probably had at least some money in checking. It sounds like this guy is going below zero on his checking account to access the overdraft protection.

          • JohnDeere says:

            @failurate: ahh maybe. but they make an extra $10 off me if i do that. i didnt quite get that from the story but that could well be it then.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      @failurate: I love engineers, truly love them. I work in IT as a corporate trainer and I teach and support engineers every day. So I can say that this is just one more typical example of fluffbrained, unrealistic, outside-the-box engineer creativity that I make a living FIXING every day in the engineering database. Phooey.

    • ScottRose says:

      @failurate:

      +1 agreement from me as well.

      Also, as the article didn’t go into details we don’t know the amounts of credit involved. Let’s say an aerospace engineer (or licensed real estate broker, whatever he’s actually up to nowadays) has 4 LOCs with $250,000 between them.

      How much could he be making a year? $150K if he’s doing well?

      I’d cut his credit too in this economy, even without the over-drafting.

      Of course, those are all just assumptions, but without specifics I can’t necessarily feel bad for the guy.

      • ScottRose says:

        Sorry, LOC usually means letter of credit. I meant credit line (line of credit, as I wrote it).

  3. Saboth says:

    I’m just curious as to how locking, removing or denying credit will get these banks and credit companies out of trouble. Especially when dealing with good customers. Is it their purpose to actually lower their profit so that they can get *more* government bailout money?

    I can see limiting credit to people with poor credit that can’t pay it back, but a majority of these stories where companies double or triple interest rates or lock credit lines concerns people with average or very good credit. How is this good business?

    • QuantumRiff says:

      @Saboth: Because if you have a 10,000 credit limit on your card, (or line of credit) even if you have only $500 on it at the moment, they have to treat it as if they gave you the full $10,000. (because in theory, tomorrow you could wake up and go buy a very big TV and max it out.)

      So if they cut you down to $5000, they only have half as much money out on loan, and can do other things with the $5000 left over, like buy a new executive wastebasket, or give a home loan, or whatever..

    • Harlan says:

      @Saboth: The problem is that, as I understand it, when you get a line of credit with a bank, that line of credit shows up as a liability on their balance sheet, but they only get to mark a balancing asset if you actually borrow some money. And their balance sheets are currently totally F’ed, because they have way more liabilities than they should (or, more accurately, because a lot of their assets were in the form of crappy mortgages that turned out not to be worth much). So if they expand their credit, they make their solvency issues worse, not better, and that scares investors even more, making them more likely to go under.

  4. conquestofbread says:

    Great letter.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @conquestofbread: Content wise, yes. Random capitalization of banks, engineer, banking industry, not so awesome. I’m such a nitpicker with that, I know. There’s just no reason to capitalize banks unless you’re naming a specific bank (like Bank of America).

      My favorite line was:

      “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be able to figure this out, but if it was required, I qualify.”

  5. smythe says:

    Wht d y nd 2 MB’s fr? Srsly, wld lk t knw th rsnng bhnd ths.

    • zero_o says:

      @smythe: you beat me to it

    • aedude01 says:

      @smythe: Unlike millions of Americans, some of us actually enjoy learning.

      • nataku8_e30 says:

        @aedude01: Yes, nothing allows you to penetrate the great questions of the cosmos like an MBA…

      • Nigromancer says:

        @aedude01: But having 2 MBAs is redundandt. It’s like saying you have two bachelor degrees in the same major. What’s the point?

        • MostlyHarmless says:

          @Nigromancer: @Tsubasa: It is probably hard for you to wrap your head around this concept, but there are More Than One things you can do an MBA in.

          A very tiny list from [www.wharton.upenn.edu] :

          MBA Majors
          All MBA students are required to fulfill the course requirements of at least one major. The program offers 18 MBA majors. Five credit units, specified by the academic department, are required for most majors.

          Accounting

          Business and Public Policy

          Environmental and Risk Management

          Finance

          Health Care Management

          Insurance and Risk Management

          Management
          Entrepreneurial Management
          Human Resource and Organizational Management
          Management
          Multinational Management
          Strategic Management

          Managing Electronic Commerce

          Marketing
          Marketing Management

          Marketing and Operations Management (joint major)

          Operations and Information Management
          Information: Strategy, Systems and Economics

          Real Estate

          Statistics

        • MrBlastotron says:

          @Nigromancer: How is having 2 redundant? You can get them in different fields of study just like a Bachelors. Therefore, your example makes no sense.

    • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

      Consumerist: We can always find SOMETHING to blame the victim forâ„¢.

    • YardanCabaret says:

      @smythe: One for work and one for the ladies, duh.

    • nakedscience says:

      @smythe: Why not? Is it any of your business? Did you just make this uselss comment because you’re envious and had nothing else to whine about?

      • b01000100 says:

        @nakedscience: Pot, meet Kettle. He is black too.

        Perhaps smythe was curious, like his comment reflected. I too am curious as to why a person needs 5 Masters degrees. I see a story like this and, while I hate BoA just as much as the next guy, I really would like to know the reasoning behind it. It is an interesting subject and, as a fellow life=long student, I would certainly not mean to be rude by asking it.

        In reality, what are these comment sections for? How many stories have we heard about poor customer service on this site? How many stories about banking issues have we heard on this site? How many stories about poor customer service when dealing with banking issues have we heard on this site? It comes down to people emailing Consumerist with a story, Consumerist posting the story, and then us reading it. After reading the stories, we are left with questions and/or thoughts. Using a comments section allows us to voice those questions and/or thoughts. Our hope should be that we can find feedback on what we post without being disemvoweled or having people talk down to us for being the curious sort we are.

        Perhaps you can save up all of your useless comments and post them in your own blog about consumer affairs. After you have done that, you can set your comments section to require admin approval before any posting. That will make you happy!

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @b01000100: I had a professor who had many, many masters degrees and several PhDs. He loves learning, and he happens to be very good at it. He’s a respected professor and an expert in his field, so a lot of education helps when you’re looking to publish papers or set yourself up for teaching positions in the future.

        • econobiker says:

          @b01000100: “I too am curious as to why a person needs 5 Masters degrees.”

          Apart from echoing some other folks ideas- some consider education as a hobby. And if your company is paying for it…

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @smythe: Sigh. The obvious answer would be that the MBA was useful to him to understand the business side of the industry – you know, the people who oversee the money and budgets. It’s not like you’re qualified to run NASA just because you’re a rocket engineer…you have to understand the business. Obviously since he’s an engineer, he has got the science side down. The MBAs are a way of understanding the financial side.

      • Nigromancer says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: That’s unrelated to the fact that he has 2 of them. One alone would be sufficient for your reasoning. Two is redundant.

        • Sparerib says:

          @Nigromancer: All of his information about his education and employment is hearsay without accreditation anyways. The interest in the story is that he uses his overdraft line to support his lifestyle and is in turn surprised when his credit is locked.

          • Corporate-Shill says:

            @Sparerib:

            Well Said.

            • Anonymous says:

              @Corporate-Shill: From what I understand, in order to get a second degree, you don’t have to repeat classes you’ve already taken. You’ve already taken them, they count towards the next degree. So if there are only 5 classes that differ between MBA’s, you’d only have to take those 5 classes.

      • Erwos says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: But _two_ MBAs? There’s something weird about that – if you want to continue your education in the field, keep reading the appropriate journals, or maybe go for a doctorate in Management. A second MBA is very hard to justify financially, and I’d be curious as to the reasoning behind it. It may not be a bad decision if he had some very specific reason for doing it (eg, first is from community college, second is from Wharton). But I don’t know where he’s finding the time to run two jobs, a masters degree, and an MBA all at the same time.

        But… if his education doesn’t matter, or so claim some folks, why is this trumpeted loudly in the title of the post and in the post itself? I’m not blaming the OP yet, but I’d like to see some follow-up. When I see stuff like this at my job (which is customer support-related), I generally see someone trying to bully their way into getting a resolution they don’t deserve by “going public”. The “OMG I AM AN OPPRESSED AMERICAN LIKE YOU” language sets off huge alarms in my head, because it seems like it was written for maximum emotional impact, to distract from the other side of the story. Did the Consumerist even follow up on this guy’s little letter, or are we supposed to believe every word of it is true because he found Consumerist’s email address?

        (I say this as a second-year MBA student with an undergraduate degree in hard science, who actually worked in aerospace (at NASA) as well. That makes me a “rocket scientist”, too, I suppose. Don’t disemvowel rocket scientists!)

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Erwos: Then you’d be rckt scntsts…your questions are legitimate, and indeed I wondered why it was trumpeted…I just think that when people do that kind of thing, when they trump their education, it’s because they want to convey that they’re smart people and that they have a handle on their finances. For some reason there is a lot of association with the concept that being educated means you’re responsible. In many cases it’s true, in many cases it’s not. Surely there are plenty of responsible and uneducated people. And then there are plenty of irresponsible PhD holders. But it’s something people use as a way of showing they aren’t deadbeats because they seem to be successful professionally.

      • Anonymous says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Sigh. While you make a good point, you also seem to have missed the point of smythe’s comment. Smythe wasn’t questioning why an engineer would get an MBA. That is obvious. Smythe’s point is why get TWO MBAs as opposed to ONE MBA. A possible answer being many schools offer different types of MBAs that are combined with other degrees aside from the standard MBA. For example, Boston University offers dual degree programs in a number of specific sectors. After getting the standard MBA, it may behoove someone to pursue another MBA with a specific concentration or in a dual degree program to enhance their knowledge in a specific area.

      • David Rodriguez says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: My first reaction was to have the same question as smythe. I don’t think he deserved to get disemvoweled.

        Yes, many people get multiple degrees, and it’s great that they do. What doesn’t make sense is getting the same degree twice. Getting 2 MBAs seems like getting 2 Masters Degrees in Spanish Literature. What is the benefit of repeating?

    • I speak Jive. says:

      @smythe: Wow, this deserved a disemvoweling? I think the poster was really just asking a question (a question I sorta wonder about also).

      • Vanilla5 says:

        @I speak Jive.: I assume it was for the unnecessary snarky-ness and irrelevance to the overall issue.

        • smythe says:

          @Vanilla5: I really wanted to know…. not sure why I got disemvoled?

          And for all the snarky comment’s about some of us wanting education.. I have a degree in electrical and mechanical engineering and am currently going back for my MBA…

          The guy seems pretty smart, I just don’t understand why you would go back for a 2nd MBA and I was hoping to learn why. (Did he go to a better school the 2nd time? Have a different concentration? Neither seem to be very good reasons to me, I would like to know)

          It was an honest question, and in no way did I blame the consumer for anything. You know what they say about assumptions.

          • nakedscience says:

            @smythe: ” I really wanted to know…. not sure why I got disemvoled?” Perhaps because it had nothing to do with anything?

            • Saboth says:

              @nakedscience:

              I’d have to disagree. They included the number of degrees he has in the original post, and includes that in their argument as to why it is illogical for him to have his credit line reduced (I don’t agree with them that it was relevant), but the fact is, the OP included that information in their argument, so it obviously was relevant in the author of the article.

              • MostlyHarmless says:

                @Saboth: It was relevant only as a side note, which established the OP’s credentials as being particularly intelligent and hard working – atleast more so than a biig percentage of the populace. It shows that the OP is a responsible person. Typically NOT someone who would default on payments. Also, it is an indicator that he has a high and stable income.

                • smythe says:

                  @Lucifer_Cat: Thank you for that wonderful post restating what I had already posted. I am fully aware there are different concentrations, but if you actually read your little synopsis you would have noticed that the concentration is only 5 credits in this case out of the 19 required to get your degree. Wouldn’t you be better off just taking courses you wanted instead of repeating the 14 core courses? (maybe this is what the OP did, of course I may never know since you all buried my questions with your worthless “relevance” posts.)

                  @jake7294: If you actually read the content instead of searching for grammatical mistakes you would have noticed that I have one degree and am working on my second. ” I have a degree in electrical and mechanical engineering and am currently going back for my MBA…”
                  You may also have noticed that I am an engineer and not an English Lit major. However I do have a good place in mind for that apostrophe.

                  It seems that everyone here is to busy irrelevantly posting about my irrelevant post to actually consider my question and offer a plausible answer.

                  • MostlyHarmless says:

                    @smythe: Read what others have posted before accusing them of not reading.

                    I’ll let you figure it out yourself.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @smythe: Just because you don’t consider two MBAs a valid exercise in time and energy, doesn’t mean the person in question thought it was a waste. People pursue education sometimes for the sake of learning. It’s simple.

            • trujunglist says:

              @pecan 3.14159265:

              That’s apparently not what he was suggesting. To me, when someone comments “I really want to know” it’s a way on the internet to say “i’m not being flippant, not being a dick, not blaming the OP, not being sarcastic, do not take this the wrong way, can we just discuss this briefly and then I’ll be on my way?” The fact that this is necessary speaks volumes about how people are predisposed to act on the internet. The fact that people still don’t get it speaks volumes about how people are predisposed to act on the internet.

              • smythe says:

                @trujunglist: Thank You!!!

                At this point I’m just hoping that the OP will send me a private message and let me know, maybe the answer can save me some time and effort since I’m currently getting my MBA and as much as I like it I don’t think it would be the best use of my time to do it again.

          • jake7294 says:

            @smythe: You have all those degrees yet you do not know the proper placement of an apostrophe?

            “And for all the snarky comment’s about some of us wanting education..”

      • nakedscience says:

        @I speak Jive.: It was and is 100% off-topic.

    • HFC says:

      @smythe: Obviously, he graduated from the Wrigley Doublemint Business School.

    • David in Brasil says:

      @smythe: Not all MBA degrees teach the same skill set. Yes, there may be core courses that are common, but the school I attended had specialized MBAs for health care, for manufacturing management, for project management, etc. So, for those that may enjoy learning and networking at business school, it’s not unusual to have more than one MBA.

      And that writing without using vowels looks like something from the third grade.

      • Erwos says:

        @David in Brasil: Are you just saying that it’s not unusual to have multiple MBAs, or do you have something to back that up? Because while I could see getting an MS in Healthcare Management (or Finance or whatever) and an MBA, I seriously doubt many people are doing multiple MBAs just so they can specialize once in finance and once in healthcare management. It’s an expensive waste of time compared to just getting an MS (most schools offer dual-degree programs with an MBA and MS for this very reason!).

        Most MBA programs have _specializations_, but these are not like engineering specializations where the course load is completely different in the second half of the degree.

        • David in Brasil says:

          @Erwos: I agree with you (one was certainly enough for me), and no, I don’t have quantitative evidence, but I do know more than one person who has more than one MBA, each in different concentrations. Some people just like school, I guess.

        • oneandone says:

          @Erwos: My first thought was that he received one of the MBAs (and some of the other Masters) in a different country. Sometimes people who are already very educated need extra credentials or specialization when trying to establish a career in the U.S.

    • shakes says:

      @smythe: First I vote for this post be revoweled

      I will avoid commenting on whether or not having 5 degrees is a good idea or 2 MBAs for that matter. I for one do not think there is anything wrong with learning. However higher learning does come with a price tag. The average price for an MBA is $40,000 a year. So $80,000 for your two year program. Depending on where the other degrees were earned the price is likely similar. There are of course lower cost options as well. In any case he could have quite a considerable amount of student loan debt. Even if he was deferring this debt by staying in school the bank would still need to take this into consideration when evaluating his risk factor. Student loan debt is essentially unsecured so it would be considered very risky.

      There is also the fact that he currently lives in AZ and unfortunately, as he pointed out, has the worst housing market in the country. If he owns a home he very well could be upside down in it.

      You also have the fact that he often uses his overdraft account and from what I gather caries a debt on his other revolving credit lines. The banks would take this into consideration as well.

      Of course this is all speculation on my part. His school could be paid for through scholarships/work. He may not carry debt on his revolving credit lines. His house may be in an area of AZ where the values have held or he may not own a home. From what he says he has a good job. Of course his credit standing and debt to income ratio is not the issue here at all.

      The issue is a complete lack of understanding regarding the financial markets by Rocky and quite frankly many other confused consumerists. I have a hard time giving Rocky any slack here as with his multiple degrees and should have taken a few finance classes. The simple fact is that due to multiple factors credit lending has tightened considerably. Bullet points here being subprime mortgages, predatory lending, wall street scandals, global recession etc. What many seem to have a hard time dealing with is the solution that problem.

      The short story is that unsecured, especially unused unsecured debt needs to be significantly reduced. That is why many hard working, never pay late, I have a great credit score individuals have had their available balances reduced or cards canceled. Financial institutions only have X amount of dollars to lend at any given time. That amount varies depending on an array of factors such as government restrictions, cash holdings, real property, market securities etc. Think Oceans 11: On a normal night the bank has X in its vault but on a fight night they have Y to cover the bets. A key factor in turning our economy around will be to free up lending capital for secure loans such as homes and autos. Unfortunately this means that many credit cards are going to have to be closed good customers or bad.

      Ok I think this comment has gotten long enough. I didn’t plan on getting preachy. There have just been a lot of posts on credit reduction/cancellations as of late with little response as to why. The bottom line here is that if your citi card was just reduced from 25K to 5K and you never really utilized that 25K this is why.

  6. WBrink says:

    No, the issue is how bad BoA’s balance sheets look. I suspect if this consumer goes to a different bank- perhaps even a regional thrift over a national chain if possible- he will receive a different experience.

    • winner says:

      @WBrink: Or an international such as HSBC who just INCREASED my line of credit. FYI.

    • Harlan says:

      @WBrink: Spot on. Get credit cards with several different banks, and keep your primary account in a credit union if you possibly can.

      • Coelacanth says:

        @Harlan: Generally a wise idea, but the entire industry is either slashing credit limits or hiking rates. It’s hard to find a safe haven.

        Sadly, I’m even a “good customer” for the time being. Well, an “okay” one, since I don’t miss payments.

  7. GothamGal says:

    Seriously, the comments from this story are about his education? That makes me sick.

    • Nigromancer says:

      @GothamGal: A.) You get sick too easily.

      B.) The comment that got disemvoweled that started the the main discussion above was why he had 2 MBAs, not why did he have 5 Masters. It seemed redundant and definitely stands out since you almost never here about someone having 2 MBAs.

  8. RStui says:

    Hello People: Credit Unions.

    That is all.

    • thegirls says:

      @RStui: Credit Unions rock, but that doesn’t help the millions of people and business that up until now, have primarily relied upon banks to for their credit needs.

      • cabjf says:

        @thegirls: That’s the point: if people started shunning the banks, they would either change their ways or not have any customers left.

    • WBrink says:

      @RStui: Someone like me, who travels once a month (sometimes internationally), could never primarily use a credit union. Plenty of people are like me or have similar reasons.

      • failurate says:

        @WBrink: Why not? I have travelled and not had a problem with my credit union. I can use almost any ATM. I can move my money around via their website, pay my bills and so on.

        I live about 100 miles from my closest branch and haven’t had a single problem.

        If you pick one with a decent web presense, travelling should now be an issue.

  9. Steven Pryor says:

    I wish I had two MBAs…. or even one for that matter.

    At least I have a job.

  10. DjDynasty says:

    Great, and I have two cards with BofA and I hope they don’t get locked, but they are both pretty well maxxed, So I’m a great customer in eyes of the credit industry, and a bloody fool in the eyes of everyone else on main street

    • Radi0logy says:

      @DjDynasty: I’m in the same boat – I just put a large sum on my credit card to buy my finacee an engagement ring so all of a sudden I have a pretty sizeable balance. I guess it wouldn’t matter too much if they canceled the card but I would still be mad about it.

      Now if they jacked up the interest rates, THEN I’d be seriously pissed off…

  11. Raider007 says:

    BofA called me last week and told me the same thing…
    My BofA card has had a zero balance for almost a year, and much like him, never a missed or late payment, and always over minimum…

    I asked if I could do anything about it, and the rep on the other side said no, it wasn’t up to me and this was out of my control.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Raider007: BofA is acting crazy with someone else I know who has accounts with them.

      While the OP’s problem may be related to how often he uses the overdraft protection I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s really because they’re doing this to everybody.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    Bank of America recently offered me a credit limit that was about twice what I have now when I called up to pay by phone. Being a little shocked and confused at this offer I politely refused. The CSR asked me if I would like the offer mailed to my house anyway so I could look it over, which I agreed to.

    Any explanation for this act of largess?

    • Russell Miller says:

      @Blueskylaw:

      They did this to me too, except it was a new card with 6 times the limit I’d had previously. That was about three months ago.

      I think this guy is likely a heightened risk for some reason – it might be the fact that he is incurring overdraft protection so often. Yes, he has a “good reason” for it, but to the bank it looks like irresponsibility.

    • HurfDurf says:

      @Blueskylaw: Well, just maybe it’s something along the lines of getting a raise at work one week, then fired the next because they now cannot afford your inflated salary.
      I have a credit card with BoA (my highest limit, actually), paid off, and about 2k in credit owed with someone else. I am unemployed but able to make over the minimum payment. I know that transferring my 2k to BoA for 1.99% would save me money, but I am so scared that they will see this as an assault, then charge me the absolute highest limit they can in interest 3 months down the line. So instead I stick with paying my higher but not bad interest rate to this other company that by all accounts has been pretty good to me. I feel a somewhat symbiotic relationship with them.
      I’ll keep paying you that higher interest, and you don’t destroy me from the inside.

  13. winner says:

    I mean – this is just silly. Why does anyone need four lines of credit? Something is off.

    That said – BoA is the devil and I am in the process of closing all of my accounts with them. Sweet, sweet day.

    • Nigromancer says:

      @winner: Everything is a bit off about the writer.

      He has 4 Lines of Credit
      He has 5 Grad Degrees
      He has 2 MBAs.

      Does this guy just collect things?

      Anyhow, I think they are getting rid of the less profitable customers so they can sap the money out of those who are constantly incurring the highest charges and, thus, the highest returns.

  14. legwork says:

    He’s right. It seems that, while moving to fee-based income and ultra-complex investment strategies, the large banks have forgotten how to provide the basic functions our society relies upon.

    In my extended family, the only lines of credit that have remained unharmed are with local banks.

    If the big guys aren’t interested, should there be a nationalized set of basic banking functions?

    Small & local is looking better all the time.

    • bikeoid says:

      @legwork: “Small & local” – Exactly my experiences. Local banks are the remaining strength. They have money to lend because they have lent responsibly in the past.

      Small & local, and Credit Unions!

  15. deadandy says:

    The one common thread I see is that B of A doesn’t seem to be making a whole lot of money off this guy. Maybe they are axing the accounts like his in favor of people who routinely carry a balance?

  16. Pylon83 says:

    I’m not sure why his education is even relevant to this, other than to toot his own horn. Further, he should understand that he’s not being punished for being a good customer, he’s being punished because there are a lot of bad customers that are killing the banks by not paying what they owe, usually because they overextended. Doesn’t he remember when he was in school and the whole class was punished because a few kids were being bad? Yeah, that’s what’s going on. I too have to question the frequent use of overdraft protection as a simple line of credit. I’d expect an MBA to be able to concoct a slightly better financial structure.

  17. Pithlit says:

    Am I missing something? He says he never overdrafts his accounts, but then he says he used his overdraft line on a regular basis. Overdraft lines aren’t meant to be used as an account to be dipped into like that. That’s exactly why B of A froze his credit cards, I bet. To them, that looked like very risky behavior. Unless I read that wrong? Credit card companies have been acting very sketchy lately, but I think this is one case where they may have had cause.

    • sleze69 says:

      @Pithlit: I have to agree. If you are responsible with your checking, you NEVER hit your overdraft. Don’t write checks for money you don’t have.

      Of course, I have on occasion used a credit card to float for a month but if I didn’t have them and had to use cash, I would just adjust and cut my spending.

      Also, I don’t think smythe should have been disemvoweled. The guy bragged about his education making it fair game to comment on.

      • Pithlit says:

        @sleze69: I mean, if he’d only done it once or twice because of a mistake, it would be one thing. I’m not a finger wagger. People make mistakes. But it sounds like it was something he was doing on a regular basis. Some hoo hah about using it to “balance out obligations”. That’s not what it’s for. Credit card companies have been absolute scum lately, and I hate to take their side on a story. But, I don’t think he’s blameless here.

    • hadees says:

      @Pithlit: I have BOA and although I never use my overdraft protection it is linked to my credit card. So maybe he was writing checks for some reason knowing that the credit card would pickup the remainder. All I know is i have roughly $30k of credit with BOA with a zero balance. Even though I never use it I don’t want to loose it say if I loose my job or something.

  18. sirwired says:

    Err… I hate to say it, but if I was a banker, and routinely had a customer drawing on his overdraft line, I would want to drop him like a hot potato too.

    An overdraft line is not designed or intended to be a revolving line of credit. It is designed to help you avoid bounced check fees if you end up on the wrong side of a check float.

    Routinely drawing on that line tells me that somebody, despite all those fancy degrees, cannot balance their checkbook.

    If he wanted a “lifeline” and new he was running low on funds, he could have drawn a cash advance from his credit card or used a “signature” line of credit with the bank.

    • Pithlit says:

      @sirwired: Right. Okay, not just me. I know a lot of people tent to start looking at that overdraft protection as just another credit line after awhile, figuring they’re paying it back, so what’s the problem? But that’s not good, especially from the bank’s point of view. It’s still overdrawing on the account.

  19. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    So wait – he uses the overdraft protection every 2-3 months?

    I need to hear more about this story, and I don’t really care about his education. Some of the most brilliant people I know are emotionally and socially stunted. They don’t give an MBA in people smarts.

  20. theblackdog says:

    Someone who regularly invokes their overdraft protection is going to look like a bad risk to the bank because if he can’t even manage his money properly now when he has a job and can play the bills, what will happen if for some reason he loses his job or gets hit by a car and ends up with a gigantic hostpital bill?

  21. adamczar says:

    Has he checked his credit report? Maybe someone is running up fraudulent charges without his knowledge and BoA sees it and makes the decision to freeze his accounts. I know *he* doesn’t think he’s ever gone over limit or missed a payment, but maybe that a-hole who stole his credit card info did and now he’s paying for it.

    You can have 2 MBAs and 18 PhDs but that doesn’t mean you’re going to check your credit report regularly.

  22. Ezra Ekman says:

    What has happened to the OP, as he has already pointed out, has happened to thousands or millions of others… with one exception:

    “To add insult to injury, one line that I have used that did have a 5% rate, has jumped to 24.99% while simultaneously being locked. When I called Bank of America to see about reducing this rate for the remaining balance, I was read their standard script that there was nothing less available.”

    Nope; sorry BofA, but that’s not legal. The OP needs to call them up and dispute this aspect. If all of his credit accounts are with BofA, and assuming that nothing negative has recently appeared on his report (has he checked since this has happened?), BofA is the only party that can answer why they’ve done it.

    But even if they stick to their guns on closing the accounts, he’s got a minimum of 30 days *after being notified* (which it sounds like was recently) in which to either accept the new terms of the agreement or decline them. If he declines, the APR goes back down to the original rate and the account is closed with a balance. Not ideal from a credit perspective, but it’s better from a financial perspective. Plus, when he declines the terms, HE is the one choosing to close the account, not the bank. That also looks better on his credit report (not as good as it would if it had a $0 balance, but still better than if the bank closed it), and he should make sure the bank reports it as closed per customer’s request, not per the bank’s decision. If they balk at reverting the APR back to its original rate, gently remind them that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (and Bank of America’s own terms, for that matter) requires them to give adequate notice before changing the terms of the agreement, and also requires that the customer be allowed 30 days from that notification to decide whether or not to agree to them. They’re breaking their own rules, as well as federal law, if they do anything else.

    Frankly, I think he’s talking to the wrong folks. Rocky, you may wish to call Executive Customer Relations, e-mail one of these executives, dropping them a line on Twitter or using one of the other methods that the Consumerist has reported on in the past.

    Don’t forget to update us on how it goes. The best way to track which method has the best result is by aggregating the results of stories like yours. Good luck!

    • failurate says:

      @Ezra Ekman: Just speculating, but I think BoA would be able to say they were not applying new terms, but were applying default terms of their original agreement. He would then have to contest as to whether repeatedly making use of the overdraft protection put him in default status.

      • Ezra Ekman says:

        @failurate: They can say whatever they want, but he’s clearly not in default unless he’s violated the terms of his agreement. According to the OP, he’s always paid more than the minimum balance, never missed a payment or made one late and never gone over his balance. I don’t see how a default clause would apply unless, as you point out, repeatedly using overdraft protection constitutes a default. If it’s not spelled out as being such in the agreement, he’s not in default, case closed. Of course, it not being spelled out in the agreement doesn’t necessarily prevent BofA from claiming it’s still so, but it does mean that if it ever went to arbitration, he’d have a good case. I don’t think arbitration would be necessary, though; he just has to speak with the right person, NICELY. See my other posts about honey vs. vinegar, and my previous post in this thread about who to contact. Best way to get their attention: write a letter, have it notarized, and send it via certified mail to the office of the CEO:

        The Office of Ken Lewis, Chairman and CEO
        C/O Bank of America
        100 North Tryon Street
        Charlotte, NC 28255

        You can also fax it to 704-386-4578, but I’d recommend the notarized and certified mail route first. It says you’re more serious and am willing to spend time/money (around $15-25 for a notary public + $3-5 for certified mail with return receipt) to see it through.

        By the way, Rocky: DON’T USE OVERDRAFT PROTECTION UNLESS YOU HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE. It’s considered the same as a cash advance, which means a] the finance charges are higher, b] there’s no grace period, and c] it looks bad on your credit because cash advances make it appear that you’re living beyond your means. Either keep cash in your account or stop writing checks. Otherwise, you ARE living beyond your means.

        Finally, if you’ve verified that nothing else is wrong on your credit (by getting a copy from each of the three bureaus, or by getting an all-in-one from one of them), I’d ask BofA what, precisely it was that flagged your account. If they pull out that BS “talk to a credit counselor” line again, tell BofA that THEY are the only accounts ON your report, and thus, THEY are the ones making the decisions. There’s nothing else to change, and BofA would know more about the situation than any credit counselor could.

    • Erwos says:

      @Ezra Ekman: You had no idea what’s legal or not without having seen the terms of the contract he signed.

      • Ezra Ekman says:

        @Erwos: No offense Erwos, but I’ve got three BofA credit cards, myself. The terms are universal for certain card types, excluding specific rates. Otherwise, BofA could be held liable for discrimination. In any case, you can’t sign away certain rights, regardless of what the agreement actually says. The Fair Credit Reporting Act defines what they can and can’t due, and under what timelines they can do it. Even if you sign a contract that says the FCRA doesn’t apply, it still would.

  23. rhobite says:

    What does he mean by “lines of credit”? Credit cards? Home equity? Personal line of credit? I understand one of them is overdraft, what are the other 3? If he has an overdraft line which he regularly uses as a cushion, he shouldn’t really be surprised when the bank questions his ability to plan his finances.

    • TEW says:

      @rhobite:
      I know a couple of small business owners who are in the real estate game and they have personal lines of credit just in case a renter does not pay up and they need some quick cash. They have more than enough money but it is tied up in some frozen investments. It won’t matter anymore anyway Bof A is going downhill real quickly and I bet it will be the next AIG.

    • Pop Socket says:

      @rhobite: I have a BoA checking account with an overdraft line of protection. It’s a pretty standard product they bundle. The ten dollars they charge per incident is small potatoes compared to an accidentally bounced check that can run over a hundred bucks in fees and charges.

      And yes, I have used it for cash flow control on occasion. Beats a payday loan.

  24. warf0x0r says:

    I have one BS and I would just go somewhere else. If BoA doesn’t want you as a customer when times are bad stick it to them when things get good by never doing business with them again.

  25. Eugene ElJefe Cook says:

    Why, again, does someone get “two MBAs”? This seriously seems like a self-fluff piece.

    Three masters, maybe, depending on their subject matter…but “two MBAs”????? I also agree with the other commenter…why in the world is he using his overdraft protection every 60-90 days, if he is such a well educated and adept, contributing member of society?

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Eugene ElJefe Cook: Some M.B.A. programs are designed for people looking to go into management in specific industries like health care management or financial management.

      Since he has two jobs I’m guess that the first M.B.A. was relevant to one job but not the other.

      • Erwos says:

        @Rectilinear Propagation: Those aren’t MBAs, then. MBAs, by design, are general programs with specialties. If you manage to get out of an MBA program without a good grounding in general business skills, your MBA program failed you miserably.

        You can get specific masters degrees in health care management, finance, or whatever. Again, those aren’t MBAs.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, the target of this complaint is wrong. It’s not Bank of America’s fault (well… it is but not in the way suggested). This is not a customer service problem – it’s a system credit problem.

    In one easy story, you’ve described why the banking system needs to be cleaned up immediately and any delay to clean up merely causes more damage.

    I’m not surprised to hear that BoA are cutting lines of credit – I would also not be surprised if Citilink were as well. Those banks will be cutting lines of credit because they can’t borrow money themselves – because the market believes they’re insolvent so people who lend to these banks may not get their money back. (Important note: bank depositors lend to banks but in the US their deposits are insured by FDIC so you will get your money back as long as your account qualifies – there’s a limit of at least USD 100,000. I don’t want to start a bank run here…)

    It is Bank of America’s ultimate fault because they’re (likely) insolvent because they made a large number of bad loans.

    To the OP: there’s no point complaining to BoA. You should find a reputable solvent bank and ask them to help you out. I don’t know what lending conditions are at such banks but I’d hope your record would allow you to get things going. As a small note of criticism, you probably should have worked this out earlier and diversified your lines of credit. Oh well…

    Unfortunately, all banks are getting tarred with the same insolvency brush because credit markets are not working all that well. This will probably mean that lines of credit are hard to get everywhere for the forseeable future.

  27. B says:

    I’m with BofA, those rocket scientists are a shifty bunch. You never know when they’ll rocket off to the moon, and skip out on their bills

  28. Anonymous says:

    It seems that there are a lot of these stories where people with financially responsible habits are having their credit lines cut. Am I the only one who believes that banks seem to be cutting their “losses.” If you aren’t paying interest and never incurring fees, where is the benefit for a bank to keep for credit line open. There is no benefit for them. Hurray for banks that are trying to compensate for failed risky investments by putting all their stock into risky investments. Dang, i stabbed my self juggling knives, maybe i should try juggling raccoons. logic is fun.

  29. Nastrodoodimus says:

    Here is my best suggestion, pay cash for everything.

    If you cannot afford to pay cash; you probably don’t need it in the first place.

    If you are trying to build or repair your credit, start with a card and a $250 or $500 limit so you don’t get yourself in trouble. Credit problems are created by the user, not the card itself, but the credit card companies will charge your soul to the Devil if they can get away with it. If they could get cards in the hands of pre-schoolers, they would do it.

    I was faced with this same dilemma from several credit card companies.

    Never was late or missed a payment, only to have them jack my rate sky high. When I called them they gave me jibberish or offered to lower it for a 6-month period or some other crap. What did I do? I played the shell game and transferred to another card with 0% interest for 18 months. I said bye-bye and transferred the balance the next day.

    There is a balance transfer fee usually of 1-3% of the balance being trsnferred but it comes out less than what you would pay for the bump in your interest rate. Great because you are not doing business with the shysters anymore, which is worth its weight in gold to me.

    If the new card is giving you 0% interest for 18 months, try to pay off the balance before the end of the introductory terms.

    I will never use Citi, Chase, AMEX or Discover again. I don’t need them. I didn’t close the accounts and after not using them for a period of time you will get a letter stating they will close the account due to inactivity (because they are no longer gouging you and making money on you). Oh well! The funny part is after they close my accounts due to inactivity, they send a twice-weekly mailer, sometimes daily, telling me I’m pre-approved or begging me to come back. Fat chance asswipes!

    My credit score is sufficient enough to where I don’t have to worry about the credit hit. They are all in bed together, credit card companies, banks and credit bureaus, so what can you do? Interesting, that a person who pays cash for everything is punished by the three reporting agencies, banks, credit card companies, etc., when they try to buy a car, house or whatever. If you miss a car payment or are late on the mortgage, they justify that as a reason for jacking your rate.

    The best thing to do is go “green” i.e. cash and get rid of the twats; this being the only true way to fight back.

  30. nakedscience says:

    @b01000100: Wow, that was a long comment that was both useless and 100% off-topic. Good job.

    • b01000100 says:

      @nakedscience: awww, I love you too!

      Do you not see to trap we are in? Please count the number of useless and 100% off-topic posts you have made on this very story and report back to me. After that, I will make yet another useless and 100% off-topic post to respond to you and the cycle will repeat. Please, save me from that hell!

      Hugs and Kisses,

      Your friendly neighborhood binary man

  31. darthsodomizer says:

    the end is nigh

  32. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    I recommend going with St. Mary’s and Affiliates Credit Union (www.smacu.org). No, they can’t complete with availability of services (my branch doesn’t even have a change counter) but they claim to be the oldest credit union in the country and didn’t need a bailout. If you’re not a multi-million dollar organization they can likely meet your needs. Additionally I feel they have one of the best web addresses, ever:)

  33. techstar25 says:

    Five years from now if banks like BoA and Capitol One are still around, they are going to have a lot of customers who quite simply will refuse to do business with them. I know I’m one of them. I’m keeping track of banks who are screwing me right now by quadrupling my interest rate or locking my lines of credit, and when my “debt snowball” is finished in about 18 months, I’ll be done with those banks FOREVER. There are alternatives (credit unions).

    Look at what happened to Circuit City. People will not put up with bad customer service. When the economy turns around, people are going to remember which companies raped them and which companies stood by the their customers.

  34. Corporate_guy says:

    I think he explained why banks are doing this in his final paragraph.

    “In spite of the downturn in the Real Estate market in Arizona, I would be able to weather this economic storm if only the banking industry would be reasonable, but along with credit these are two commodities that are in short supply these days.”

    Banks probably don’t want to carry people through the slump with credit. If the slump lasts too long, they will have given you thousands of dollars in loans right before you declare bankruptcy.

  35. originalread says:

    I’m thinkin he only has 3 degrees which two are MBAs. ie. Masters in Engineering, MBA with a concentration in management, and an executive MBA.

  36. winstonthorne says:

    That’s like hitting someone with a bat and then telling them to take an anger management class.

  37. metaled says:

    They cut them because they are not making any money on them! I got a letter yesterday from BofA, cutting my credit limit almost $7,000! They lowered it to exactly what I owed. The only reason I can think that they did not cut it off like the rest of the stories I hear on here, is that I OWE THEM. Most of the stories are, I am never late, I always pay it off completely…. That is your problem… They don’t make any money if you use it like that….They need that monthly interest rate. If you pay it off monthly in full… They don’t make the big bucks… they figure you can go a month and just start using your ATM card… Believe me, those new fees will make them more than you paying everything off monthly! (tongue-in-cheek).

  38. sventurata says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: 2 MBAs? Holy debtload, Batman!

    Unnecessary disemvoweling, moderators. Easy on the leash.

  39. JustThatGuy3 says:

    At the end of the day, when BoA said “we’ll give you an $X credit line at Y% interest,” they never said “and we’ll make that $X line available to you forever.”

  40. Brontide says:

    “That’s right, he’s an engineer in the aerospace industry, has never overdrawn, never been late, never incurred NSF charges, and has 3 Masters and 2 MBAs. Overnight, they cut his four lines of credit.”

    Ok, but that tells us nothing about his income, credit score, or the risk exposure the bank was taking ( total dollar value of all lines of credit ).

  41. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I think that is a very well written letter.

    Thankfully, only my mortgage (small affordable house, fixed rate) is with BofA. I do have checking and savings accounts there, along with a debit card, but I’m not using them right now, and have just maintained a tiny balance in each of abt $100. BofA is stuck with my mortgage, since I have never had a late payment with them, ever. But, from the story above, it sounds like BofA would cut my credit if they could find a way.

  42. james.c.obrien says:

    I’m sorry, but I think the entire point of this financial meltdown has been missed completely. The problem is that Americans simply owe too much money.

    As of this year, consumer debt has outstripped GDP. In short, Americans owe more than we make.

    The problem is not that we need banks to loan MORE to stabilize our economy, we need precisely the opposite to happen. What BofA did is actually the prudent thing to do, given what got us in this mess in the first place.

  43. kwsventures says:

    Forget dealing with an bank that accepted TARP funding. Just go straight to Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Chuckie Schumer to get your credit line.

  44. INsano says:

    Rocky the Rocket Scientist? Seriously? Cartoon Network that hard up for ideas?

  45. ADismalScience says:

    We’re so warped in our perspectives at this point that credit is viewed as an inalienable right or some sort of utility like electricity or water. I’m sure they had reasons! You may not agree with them or find them relevant to your business plan, but hey – find another bank. I’m sure you can find one, you’ve got 5 degrees and absolutely no other relevant information that might have led to this.

  46. Anonymous says:

    There is allot of confusion regarding why banks are cutting/declining/removing etc. trade lines already established for long periods of time. Many banks have recently installed or have come to rely on behavioral management software that decides a customers ability to pay down the road, based on forecasting models, statistics, and a variety of other mathematical formulas.

    These formulas are all different but take into account stats from insurance companies who are supposed to have – and do have – some of the best stats people in the business on predicting or trending and or doing future models on people/customers etc.

    Much of this software was installed for other reasons, fraud analysis etc. and has now been used to do modeling on customers behaviors patterns that take into account a wide range of a customers background from a wide array of databases that most people are either not aware of or not privy to.

    Using this software today for the banks is a way for them to model/trend and or protect the depositors (always referring to their basic tenet of the depositor needs to be protected) and this software is a major investment for them and is used effectively to protect the bank and the money.

    Many people see this new assault and ask why me. Because in the past before these software packages were installed, people with credit or credit cards were looked at a differently ie. maintained scoring models, utilization models, etc. and should be OK for trade lines above and beyond the norm. Today however, the banks have indeed tightened up, and it seems either random or in mass, and no one can truly figure out why they are targeted for changes while others are not, especially using same scenario modeling, ie. guy has 750 score and everything else in line and gets a raise in trade lines while same guy next door with same situation gets nailed and or locked or trade lines reduced.

    It started out by people noticing that all of a sudden if they used their AMEX card at Wally World, suddenly they saw Trade Lines reduced. This suddenly caused people to wake up to behavioral models being applied, ie. shop at Wally World with an Amex equals must be having credit problems or money problems or some other misfortune; since shopping at Wally World shows a need to save money or shop at a discount etc.

    As more banks start applying this new technology to their platforms you will see an increase in this type of activity. The reason a CSR has no answers is because it’s a computer program making the decision, and often there is no easy explanation available to a standard CSR, much less a senior rep. Whie this is “NOT” always the case, this is becoming more and more predominant in the industry and considered normal business practice.

    In this OP’s case, there is more than likely something in a database somewhere that has tagged him as a higher future risk, and based upon that tag it has exchanged this data with other databases which finally reached the bank, and the software running the trade lines reacted to it.

    It coud be, and this is purely speculation on my part, that because he was extending himself with additional debt load, possibly due to getting another MBA, and that his income statements did not show an increase, rather showed he stayed the same income and took on additional debt, coupled with his need to overdraft for 30-60 days each few months, might have had a reason or bearing on the computer to restrict him or reduce him from his credi/trade lines or further lines, and or locking him out of what he already had.

    He also could have had other factors that he is not mentioning in his post that contributed to the trade lines being changed. Anyone who is over drafting on a routine basis, even if they are paying off the debt or zeroing it out. is probably someone who is or “MAY” have financial issues down the road, no matter what his degrees are or his job is.

    It doesn’t matter about what you do in a work field or your scoring models of the past, as much as it matters about what external databases are gathering about you and saying or sharing with other relational databases. It is that issue which probably caused him to suffer. The fact that he can’t get a clear answer is evident (at least to me) that he is the “victim” of a software program that is now being used in 80-90 percent of the banks stateside today.

    Remember, it isn’t aways about scores today, it’s more about everything you do on a daily basis that counts. They watch, monitor, grep data on a hourly basis about everything you do in life, from where you shop, how much you spend, when you eat, when you go out of town, and where, and what you do each and every minute of the day. This data is then compiled, then dissected, and then patterns are determined, and then decisions are made and the data is then shared with other databases that end up right at your doorstep and or front door of your bank.

    This is just the new way. Lastly this does not address the raises in interest rates or any issues with people going from 5 percent to 24 percent rates, as this is an entirely different set of algorithms that are used to determine the risk versus reward for the banks.

    Thank you

  47. jp7570 says:

    The issue is not the number of Rocky’s degrees, it is the fact that BoA continues on this path of self-destruction. Does anyone believe that a major bank like this can continue to exist given these practices? It would not be surprising if BoA were gone by 2010.

    The “too big to fail” characterization of corporations like BoA and AIG is not a sustainable policy. Yes, it is a damned shame that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of employees’ jobs are jeopardized by the mindless selfishness of their executive leadership. But the sooner we rid ourselves of these toxic companies, the sooner more responsible ones can rise up and replace them.

    American taxpayers now have a stake in any company that has received bailout money, TARP funds, or other stimuli. Without question, these companies must be required to be as responsive to taxpayers as they are to their other shareholders.

    If Kent Brockman were on the BoA Board, he’d say “I, for one, welcome our new overlords.” (joking, folks.)

  48. Dethzilla says:

    Well… it may or may not have been mentioned but He only has a LINE of Credit for Overdraft protection, he never actually uses them.

    I think the reason they cut his credit lines is because 1. He didn’t need them. He’s done an admirable job of managing his money and the credit was there just in case for a safety net. 2. BoA cannot make money off a person who manages their money effectively. he has checking accounts however he never mentioned his savings account. He’s payed all his lines of credit off or payed more than what was due lessening the amount of money that could be made off interest.

    I agree that’s it’s BS what they did. These banks don’t like responsible customers.

  49. sumgai says:

    Just because you have 5 advanced degrees does NOT mean you are good at managing your personal finances. There is ZERO relation, so the poster’s assertion is completely void. In fact, most brainiacs with that many degrees are usually so into their field that they can’t handle regular daily duties, like combing their hair or changing oil in their own car. These people are so far into their own heads that they can’t handle daily duties. So, I certainly don’t feel badly that just because he has these degrees they’re not giving him the benefit of the doubt. If he’s not paying his mortgage, he’s not paying his mortgage.

  50. Corporate-Shill says:

    He is actively overdrafted for his checking account and wonders why the bank suddenly declares him a credit risk and closes down his additional lines of credit?

    Yo, dude, overdraft protection is for MISTAKES, not an active line of credit.

    Oh, BTW, my credit union offers signature loans. No questions asked, just write a check and they will covert it to a personal loan. A hell of lot cheaper and less risky than using the overdraft as some sort of personal loan system.

  51. BritBoy says:

    I can appreciate the OPs dismay, but it would seem we are missing details here or at least have some inaccuracies. For example, the OP says :

    “Not because I have ever overdrawn the accounts (I haven’t)”

    Three sentences later he says :

    “This overdraft line is used as a lifeline by me”

    So Rocky, do you use the overdraft line or not ? If so, an it appears you may be using it repeatedly as part of an ongoing pattern, I can understand BoA wanting to close the lines of credit.

    I’m not defending BoA, I think they are marginally awful. But they are in a tight spot themselves and acting to close what they perceive as ‘risky’ lending. Repeated use of an overdraft could well be viewed as risky lending and only prudent for them to stop.

  52. Everett Vinzant says:

    We need to set a few things straight here. First. Banks are in business. They are designed to work with businesses. They are not now, nor have they ever been about customer service. It is unsurprising they do so little to assist people. When people are a profitable business, they’ll assist people. People are not a profitable enough business for banks. Unless you are a business (and a mid to large size one at that), the best place for you is NOT a bank.
    The best place for people, individuals, couples, etc., is credit unions. They are about people. They are about service. They are NOT about profit. Deal with a credit union. It’s what the banks want, and it’s what people need. My interest rate on my credit cards is unchanged through my credit union. My overdraft protection doubled this week.
    As for having four lines of credit… what does it matter? Maybe four lines of credit separate his expenses, business expenses, family expenses, and school expenses. Great way to track tax write offs. Moot point though. Big picture: Banks are inviting people to go elsewhere for service. This way the bailout money is kept in the bank while nobodies there. So it becomes income for the people that work at the bank. Raises, bonuses, etc… You can’t just abandon a pile of money, you might as well shell it out.
    It’s okay to write these letters. Great, go ahead. However, when your done, go to a credit union. Post a letter to the CEO of BofA and let him know you’ve done that. Have other people add their name when they do it. This way EVERYBODY knows the banks are getting their way. People are going where they’re wanted. Then when nobody is left using banks, they DIAF… hopefully.

  53. Anonymous says:

    B of A raised my credit card interest rate from 6% to 28%, though I’d never missed a payment and have very good credit. They told me I needed to talk to a credit counselor, too. Could not have been more condescending about it. From what I hear, they’ve been doing this a lot lately.

  54. RobotVampire says:

    Yeah BoA did this to me recently too, I had a Visa with them (as well as checking and savings), have never been late, always pay over the minimum, model cardholder. The card was a balance of around $8700 with a limit of $23,000. I paid $4000 last month and noticed on my new statement they had cut my limit to $6000. That card was my buffer, now it’s gone, no warning, nothing.

    Admittedly I have quite a bit of debt, but it’s in large part due to having two kids under 3, one with medical problems so my wife has to stay home. I make pretty good money, but it some sudden big expense come up now, we’re boned.

  55. mantari says:

    1] BoA is desperate.
    2] You pride yourself in being a rocket scientist, yet you failed to provide yourself source redundancy. (Ouch. Sorry!)

  56. flyromeo3 says:

    Despite him having all these multiple degrees he still doesnt understand what having over draft protection is.

    Its not to live on, on a monthly basis. All that does is protect you in case you have insufficient funds.

    wow,..MBA’s and Ph.D couldnt even teach him that. What a pity.

  57. smythe says:

    Oneandone,

    That makes perfect sence if that is the case, that was the kind of answer that I was expecting.

    Thank You

  58. pax says:

    At least those of you to whom this has happened seem to have been notified. I had a line of credit with BoA that was recently closed and I never found out until today, when I tried to access it (I had been carrying a zero balance on it for well over a year). Thanks, Bank of America! At least now I have NO accounts with you, and I plan to keep it that way.

  59. du2vye says:

    I just had one of my credit cards reduce my limit by $3k – down to my balance, without notice. I hadn’t missed any payments and paid more than minimum. When I called I was told I’d get a letter in the mail and they wouldn’t reconsider. I got the letter today – 3 weeks after my limit was reduced and the reason: “lack of open real estate account”.

    Huh? That’s a laugh. I own my home, free and clear. There is no mortgage or threat of foreclosure and that’s a risk? My problem is my credit report looks like I maxed out my credit card v. having available credit. I have no idea what this might do to insurance payments or other credit accounts I have. But this does make it seem like even usually credit-worthy people could be considered poorer risks due to no fault of their own. Everything seems to rest on the credit score.

    When I went on line, I found thousands of people complaining about reduction in credit limits from all cards and banks. Am Express, MNBC, Citibank … all of them did the same things; no notice, very recent and “just because they can”.

    Without allowing available credit, the only income credit cards can get will be from increasing fees and interest rates. A person doesn’t need to have their limit reduced to feel that effect.

    The more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion this guy did. Banks and credit cards monopolized and were strangling the US economy and holding us hostage. No industry should have that kind of power.

    And this is happening at a time when more people might need credit to tide them over. I don’t see this as a coincidence or accident. I see this more of a way for banks to undermine public policy. I didn’t vote for banks to be in control of the US economy.

    I hope banks and credit cards are nationalized. The sooner the better. Then I bet owning a house wouldn’t be considered a credit risk.

  60. Mr.Kvetch says:

    Now I’m confused…

    I, too, use overdraft protection. I have it pull from an auxiliary savings account, instead of a credit card, and about 3 or 4 times a year an automated payment goes through before a paycheck does (or I just do something forgetful) and the overdraft protection has to kick in. Offen times I check my balance and do a manual transfer before the end of the day and prevent the overdraft from finalizing.

    My question is; would BoA consider this risky behavior and would they use that to limit my credit card card?

    I ask because I got my nasty-gram from BoA yesterday… here’s that story as copied and pasted from another kvetch of mine.

    BEGIN KVETCH…

    I just got my rape letter from BofA yesterday and got a 10.75% increase.

    I went from fixed 9.99% to 20.74% variable starting May. All this despite holding a zero balance on the card, not a single late payment in 3 years, and this week being my 9 year anniversary with them.

    “It’s nothing you did, it’s just the current economy”.

    That’s OK… I’m keeping the credit card and transferring our family’s $10K+ in liquid assets to a local credit union. Sorry BofA… It’s just the current economy.

    END KVETCH.