Bank of America is making an 11th-hour push for inclusion in the upcoming Worst Company In America tournament. Starting in February, folks with BofA mortgages who don’t have BofA bank accounts will see their current 15-day grace period for making payments cut by 40%.
From MSNBC’s Red Tape blog:
Consumers who use the bank’s online payment tool, Mortgage Pay, will risk a $6 fee if they fund payments using another bank’s checking account and the payment falls during the final six days of the traditional 15-day grace period. Consumers who make payments from Bank of America accounts are not subject to the fee.
So… it’s not really a grace period anymore for those people, is it?
Gail Hillebrand from Consumers Union (the proud parent of Consumerist) had this to say:
Let me get this straight. They tell you that you have a grace period, (then) they say, ‘Oops, you only have half of it if you don’t bank with us,’… That doesn’t seem fair. … This looks like a new ‘gotcha,’ and we have enough of those already.
Many of the people with BofA mortgages don’t have an existing checking account with the bank because they didn’t get their mortgage from BofA to begin with.
“You don’t want to have to go around changing your checking account every time someone buys your mortgage,” said Hillebrand, who says the way to avoid this problem is to make your payment before the grace period even kicks in. “This is just one more way to extract money out of you that you don’t expect to have to pay.”