77-Year-Old Man Sues Bank Of America Over $10,000 In Undisclosed Fees – Wins

77-year old Peter Gossels won his 8-year lawsuit against Bank Of America for $10,000 in undisclosed fees the bank assessed when he deposited a large check drawn on a German bank. The elderly lawyer argued that the bank failed to disclose the exchange rate when he conducted the transaction.

He might not have won had the bank not accidentally stapled to a deposition a “secret rate sheet” that was handed out to tellers daily and told not to show to customers.

The case cost Gossels well over the disputed value, but he said, “This is the only way banks will learn not to cheat its customers.”

Man beats bank [Boston Globe via Bloggingstocks]
(Photo: meghannmarco)


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  1. headon says:

    Fear no man, unless he has a law degree and a breifcase.
    Go Go Gossels

  2. Hoss says:

    Since I live in this lawyer’s congressional district, I can say from experience that if he had given this issue to his congressman, Barney Frank chair of the House Financial Services Committee he would have gotten immediate attention, say countless hours of his billable hours. I encourange anyone with a similar issue to contact their representatives who have the resources to search the law

  3. bless this man.

  4. rmz says:

    “He might not have won had the bank not accidentally stapled to a deposition a ‘secret rate sheet’ that was handed out to tellers daily and told not to show to customers.”


  5. firefoxx66 says:

    Good on this man. I wish I had the time/money to teach big corps a lesson like that. I wonder if they actually learn, though?

  6. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate B of A? I haven’t? Okay, I will: I hate B of A.

  7. Buran says:

    “Despite it all, Gossels still banks at the same State Street branch he has always used, which is now operated by Sovereign Bank.”

    So… he gets bent over, sticks it to them as a matter of principle (great!) and THEN CONTINUES USING THEM? C’mon, you’re just giving them incentive to continue this crap! GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

  8. Buran says:

    @loquaciousmusic: And I hate the “credit unions solve everything” whores.

  9. Crazytree says:

    the funny part is that the scumbags from BofA didn’t hand that rate sheet over during discovery, only by accident.

  10. SOhp101 says:

    A friend of mine had some unsatisfactory work done by a body shop which then tried to ‘make everything all better’ by claiming that they would take his car to a detail shop that “only works on Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Ferraris, etc.”

    Later after he picked his car up, he found a piece of scrap paper that had an address/phone # on it. When he called, it turned out to be a completely different shop that was definitely lower caliber, but they still did a satisfactory job. Would the actions of the body shop be considered fraud (where legal action and restitution could actually be pursued)?

  11. cde says:

    Jeez, how wrong is this article? He sued FLEET, not BOA. BOA just bought Fleet somewhere in between 1999 and now.

  12. @Buran: I don’t belong to a credit union. I’m still with B of A because of ADP and direct deposit issues with my paycheck.

    I do, however, love me some ING Direct!

  13. synergy says:

    Here’s for his taking one for the team.

  14. Hoss says:

    @cde: I can’t figure out how you are interpreting the article as being inaccurate. He made the deposit in 1999 when the bank was called Fleet.

  15. azntg says:

    Also, while Mr. Gossels might be banking at the same location, it isn’t o&o by Fleet/BoA anymore. The article says that it is operated by Sovereign Bank, which I believe is a different bank company (or brand, if it turns out that Sov. is a subsidiary of BoA LOL)

  16. jesirose says:

    @Buran: Because the next bank he goes to won’t try to screw him too?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Most people are probably not aware that if you are depositing a large check in foreign funds into a local bank, the exchange rate is something you can negotiate with the bank. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to need to cash a $0.5 million check denominated in US dollars into a Canadian account. After shopping around several banks, we were able to get an exchange rate several percent better than the posted rate and saved quite a bit of money.

    Anything at a bank is negotiable if you make it worth their while.

  18. Kloud says:

    @Buran: We don’t like you either (along with your incessant comments on every story posted here).

  19. Blueskylaw says:

    I took out a CD from BoA and got an extra ½% on it by opening up a checking account with them (their suggestion that I only needed a Dollar in the account), all of a sudden I am getting charged $18 a month for not having a certain amount in checking. I immediately canceled my CD and checking account and said good riddance to them (I think I actually said F U but I can’t remember because my head was on fire). BoA will never see a penny from me again, unless of course they become the Monsterlithic Mega Bank by taking over everyone else, but by then the comet that’s on it’s way will make make the point moot. :(

  20. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    Play nice, please.