SunTrust Denies Taking Automatic HELOC Payments, Then Stops Taking Them

Steven opened a free checking account with SunTrust, the bank that holds his mortgage, because it was free and convenient. But something strange started to happen: payments to his home equity line of credit began to magically disappear. His local bank staff denied that this was happening or that it was even possible, but it kept happening. It was convenient, so he didn’t look too far into it. Until the auto-payments that never existed stopped.

He writes:

As a SunTrust Mortgage customer for nine years, and a SunTrust Bank HELOC customer for the same amount of time, I decided to finally accept their offer of a “free” Signature Advantage checking account because they valued my banking “relationship.”

A month or so into the new account, the first thing I noticed is that my HELOC monthly payments began to be automatically withdrawn without any knowledge, authorization, approval, or consent on my part. I went into two different branches and explained what was going on – both times I was greeted with employees who had neither the power nor knowledge to understand, much less address, this issue. Like sheep, they looked me in the eyes and denied the bank takes automatic payments – even on their own loans.

Frustrated, but lacking more time, I decided to accept this “feature” and live with it. Automatic payments worked great for a year-and-a-half.

Until this past Spring, when again – without any warning, advise, communication, knowledge, or fanfare – SunTrust stopped helping themselves to my money with automatic monthly payments to their loan. Accordingly, as in the past 18 months, I made no manual payment.

Now, I’ve got two 30-day-late dings on my credit because they did not follow-through with their pattern.

To the end, SunTrust is denying they ever took the money without my authorization, and deny stopping what they fail to acknowledge was happening to begin with.

Writing letters and speaking with CSR’s was akin to speaking to a butter dish.

That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure that automatic payments go through, whether you asked for them or not. That’s a lesson that everyone who depends on auto-payments learns eventually….don’t learn it the hard way.

At that point, it would probably be time to start writing to the butter churn, perhaps firing off e-mails or paper letters to executives. Now, of course, Steven has exactly what he asked for in the first place: the payments that allegedly never existed in the first place no longer exist.

For now.