CitifinancialFraud alert

Citi Financial made an automatic deduction from my checking account a week earlier than we agreed to which caused major overdraft penalties from my bank.

Up until July, my account had been set up as an auto deduct from my personal savings account on the 10th or 11th day of every month, which is the days the Citi customer service representative allowed me to choose when I initially set up my auto pay.

Unfortunately, being charged on the 10th or 11th day created a situation where late charges were showing up on my monthly Citi statement. I always followed up on these late charges with a phone call to Citi and was always told that it’s a computer generated error and not to worry about it. I was nervous that Citi was reporting me to the credit agencies for paying late every month. Since the computer system automatically sent me monthly statement showing late fees, I thought the same computer system could be mistakenly reporting me as being late, even though I was being told that I was technically not late until after the 15th of every month, so I would not be assessed any late charges from Citi.

After I made several calls on this matter over the last few months, I was told that the easiest way for me to resolve this error on my statement would be to switch my auto deduct date from the 10th or 11th to the 4th day of every month. Since I no longer wanted to see late fees on my statement, I agreed to change my due date to the 4th, although asked that the new date go into effect in September 2010 rather than August. Since I made my July payment on 7/11, I needed more than 24 days (from 7/11 to 8/4) to budget for my payment. I’m not in a financial position to make two payments within a 24 day period, although I was budgeting to do so for in September.

Note, I voluntarily switched the dates in which Citi was to deduct my payment. I switched the dates because of the advice a Citi representative gave me to resolve a continuing glitch on my monthly statement which was generated by Citi’s computer system and not from an error on my end. I agreed to switch my dates voluntarily with the understanding that the new date of the 4th would start in September rather than August. Unfortunately, the payment was taken from my account on the 4th of August, which was a week earlier than I was supposed to make a payment, which caused severe overdrafts to my personal checking account. The overdraft are now at the point where I could be facing a huge financial hardship and will have a negative balance in my checking account for at least 30 days from today if Citi cannot resolve this for me. I’ve called my bank (Citizens Bank) and they are not willing to help me with this matter and said it is clearly an issue I need to resolve with Citi Financial. I spoke to a local consumer protection group and an attorney for advice and they suggested I attempt to resolve this with Citi.

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