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Credit Card Rate Hikes: Devious Practices Online

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San Antonio, TX"I always pay my bills online and I have never been late with a payment and never over my limit," says Patricia Frank. "All of a sudden, the Bank of America and Chase Bank raised my interest rates from 7.9% to 22%! They need to put this information online if they are going to raise your rates--they are very devious." This is clearly another example of credit card abuse.

The bank told Frank that she was notified by mail of the raise in rates and that they had the "right to raise them whenever they wished." Talk about deceptive business practices!

Credit card deviousnessFrank doesn't remember getting any notification of credit card rate hikes in the mail. "I might have got something but it must have looked like junk mail," she says. "Besides, why would I bother to read my mail from the bank when I do all my banking online?"

"The most frustrating part is the brick wall you hit when you try to talk to them," adds Frank. "They have their standard little speech and I had no satisfaction until I notified the [comptroller for federal currency]—and that was thanks to your website.

"Your articles keep me abreast of potential risks or problems and I was surfing for a way to deal with these credit card companies—that's when I saw your article about an [elderly gentleman] who complained to the Attorney General.

After I complained, it was amazing how fast I got a response from the Bank of America credit card company. All of a sudden they became amiable and ready to discuss my 'issues and concerns'."

But were they willing to change Frank's high interest rate back to her original contract? "They agreed to lower the rate but we never got to specify an amount because I said the original rate needed to be restored," she says. Then Frank transferred her balance immediately to another bank. "They couldn't care less—but they did say that they would refer me to another department to refinance my home, consolidate a loan..." She won't be doing business with the Bank of America again. But it wasn't over.

"Now I have trouble getting them to close my account," says Frank. "I have emailed and they tell me to phone. I called twice to cancel my account and it is still open. In fact they charged me interest after I closed the account. They charged me $48! I finally talked to a cooperative customer service rep and this charge was removed two weeks ago—but only because I've been keeping watch. I really think they get away with a lot if you don't keep on top of your finances.

"I had the same experience with Chase Bank, concurrently with the Bank of America," says Frank. Understandable—these companies swap information. Then she complained again to the federal agency: they monitor financial institutions and will send notice of consumer complaints.

"I think the Bank of America still owes me but I have washed my hands with them," says Frank. Chase refunded $700 in interest and restored her interest rate to the original fixed rate. "But they are both unscrupulous," she adds. "I would support a lawsuit against them; there are a lot of other people who may be unaware that issues can be fought. These credit card companies are unfair and they shouldn't get away with it."


Credit Card Rate Hikes Legal Help

If you have been a victim of any unfair practices by your credit card company, including substantial rate increases, unfair penalties or broken promises, and would like to take a stand by participating in an action against them, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [Credit Card Abuse Lawsuit] who will review your case at no cost or obligation.


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