Banks have hesitated to adopt technology that would let us scan paper checks at home for deposit. The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act allows banks to exchange electronic images instead of paper checks, but USAA, a credit union associated with the military, is currently the only bank to offer customers a check scanning option. Sure, it’s easy enough to stand on line for a teller or wait for an ATM, but we fear sunshine and people and prefer to stay indoors, thank you. Assuming it was free, is this something you would use if it was offered by your bank? Vote in our poll, after the jump.
This morning, Mary logged onto her USAA bank account to check her balance and was surprised to find that her rent check had been cashed twice while she was asleep. She was eventually able to get through to a human and get the problem addressed, but it wasn’t easy. And she may not have been the only one affected.
“A few months ago, the pipe under my front lawn which leads to the water main, as well as two of my neighbors’ pipes, burst as a result of city firefighters cleaning the hydrants and shutting the water off too quickly. There was a nice little stream going down the street until the city came and shut off our water the next day, routing our service through a different (unaffected) neighbor’s pipes. The Water Services Department informed us that we were financially responsible for hiring a plumber to make the repairs, and that if we failed to do so within 30 days, we would be disconnected from our neighbor’s service. All of the estimates we got from plumbers came in around $1,500.”
When we wrote about the glories of subletting your apartment while on vacation, we mused that renter’s insurance might cover it if your guest damages or steals stuff. While talking to USAA today about our renter’s insurance policy we asked them about this and they said nope, it doesn’t. You’re still protected from all the normal things, like fire, flood, and falling space probes, but not by the actions of someone you’ve invited into your home. So, we’ll just continue to beware and use our best judgment and not sublet to sketchy people. Other people with lower risk tolerances will disagree, and we’re okay with that.
USAA dropped a goose-egg in my mailbox today, a letter informing that there’s a new arbitration agreement being added to my AMEX contract. Lovely, I just love being stripped of my rights to a trial with due process.
Those with option-ARM mortgages ratcheting up to a higher APR in October, take note: A well-polished piece of advice for home owners is that mortgage payments, including principal, interest, insurance, and taxes, should not be more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income, according to the August issue of the USAA member magazine. Individual situations may vary, but the basic idea is not get more house than you can afford. Around 28% gives you enough to take care of day-to-day living expenses and food and gas and going to see Transformers and whatnot.
We got a flier in our recent USAA bill announcing they’re now letting customers deposit checks from home. Just sign and scan your checks and send it in through the USAA website. As far as we know, USAA is the only bank to offer this service to consumers.
Here’s what’s happening on the other side of the phone line when you call into customer service with your inane questions…
• UPS Takes a Year to Deliver Package. What else is rotting in the UPS warehouses across America?
In all the the various shenanigans and nightmare-drenched, neo-Kafka retellings of financial institution experiences, one company swoops to the top among Consumerist readers.