Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just when you think the matter is finished:

Yesterday, March 4th, I thought I had put this B of A matter behind me and would not have any further use for this blog.

This morning (3/5/09) at 10:48 I got an incoming call from a the B of A Office of the CEO Ken Lewis, from a Matthew Taft (813 805-4873) who referenced my earlier complaint and asked if anyone had explained to me ‘why’ my account was closed. I told him that I had various conversations on the matter with B of A but that aspect of the matter had not been resolved.

He related to me that the issue was my Social Security number and that it seemed to have been used elsewhere and that flagged it as potential fraud and the account was flagged by their Risk Management and the account closed.

My response was that I was not surprised the SSN was used outside the Kennesaw area as I had a condo in Florida (the original bank used for my monthly SSN deposit was in Florida).

He further related that B of A first establishes an account and then subsequently it ‘verifies’ the information using CheckEx to look for bad checks and does further background with the major credit reporting agencies.

I then asked him why I had not received a letter stating which of the 3 major credit reporting firms had provided B of A with the information that caused them to abruptly close the account.

This was clearly an uncomfortable subject and he back tracked a bit claiming that there was a ‘soft’ and a ‘hard’ enquiry and that this was a ‘soft’ one and no letter needed to be sent.

At this point the man was clearly off message and went into a longish story about how they had a problem in California with illegals opening accounts and they had to verify accounts so as to make sure that no illegals opened accounts with B of A, he then went further into the traditional Bank of America ‘circle your wagons’ mode and dropped back on the “the opening agreement you signed states that we can close your account at any time and we did so”.

Times like this you wish you had a tape recorder running just so you could put it online.

Here is what I learned with this B of A ‘admission against interest’ conversation with the Office of the CEO:

The Bank of America is in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act in that they are running credit reports, probably through their Risk Management office and NOT providing the required letters to consumers listing the credit reporting agency(s) providing this negative info which they obviously use in making their determination as to continuing your account or closing it.

This is a violation of the FCRA and the information will be passed on to the appropriate Federal agency as soon as I can determine which office it should be sent to.

Update 3/5/09 6:35 PM

I spoke again to Mr. Taft who told me that he would find out if a credit report had been obtained in this matter and if it had that he would provide the relevant information for me.

I have put a second seperate post on the Rip Off Report, you can see it at: and it is reproduced below FYI.

Bank Of America Polices are deceptive and anti-consumer, Marietta Georgia

I had a problem with Bank of America which I posted seperately on this forum but I wanted to post here what I learned about the B of A procedures in opening accounts so readers would not have to wade through my own problems to find these 'tips' or warnings. You can find my post by putting into the search block 'Bank of America Georgia' and read the whole post, but here is what I learned.

1) B of A will open your account as you sit there in the office, they will accept and credit your deposit and you will leave thinking you now have an account with them. However, this opening is only tentative and is subject to 'verification' which they do after you have departed. They look at the Chekex system to find any bad checks, they do a background via the major credit bureau(s) and based on any negative or even questionable information, they will immediately close your account and a few days later a letter full of 5 paragraphs of boiler plate will show up. By then now about a week after you thought you had opened an account you may have written checks which will of course now bounce.

2) If you establish an account in an area outside where your credit reports show you as living this will cause their 'Risk Management' department to abruptly close your account and the letter mentioned above is sent to you. They do NOT bother to ask you if you have moved or have a condo in place A and a house in place B or ask for any explination as to why you are applying in NY but your credit report shows an address in Fla, they immediately jump to the conclusion that there is some ID Fraud, close your account and your checks bounce.

3) Bank of America will NOT send you any notification that they used one of the 3 major credit reporting agencies to obtain the negative information that they used in making their decision to close your account (ie: deny you credit). Federal regulations require that any firm who uses such credit reporting agency information in the course of making their decision to deny you credit that they must notify you of the name and address of the agency used in the form of a letter which you can then submit to said agency with your request to have them provide you a copy of the report that they had furnished to B of A.

You may find that you have a receipt for an opening deposit, checks show up, the debit card and pin number arrives but this account you thought you had was closed 2 days after you opened it.

You can find this info at my blog site: