Fifth Third Bank / unfair banking practice
Fifth Third Bank is dispicable in their banking practices. About four years ago I moved from the Kalamazoo Michigan area to a small town in NE Georgia. There are no branches for Fifth Third Bank anywhere near this small Georgia town, so I attempted to close my 5/3 bank account in favor of opening a new account at another bank that has branches in this small town. When I attempted to close the account, I learned that I had a debt to 5/3 to the tune of around $2, 200.00. That was a valid debt. Fortunately, I was traveling to St. Louis which has a few 5/3 branches, so I went to a branch and paid them the entire amount to bring all the debt to ZERO and asked them to close the account. Well, apparently, by the time the $2, 200 hit that account, a charge for Overdraft Protection was hit that account, so that brought that account to negative 35.00. I was not aware that this occurred and thought that my 5/3 account was resolved and closed.
Several months later, I got a call from 5/3 indicating that I owed them around $130.00 (because they kept charging that account Overdraft Protection every month from the time I "thought" I had closed the account). Of course, I was upset, but I opted to roll-over and pay the money. Fortunately, I was still traveling to St.Louis and went to the same 5/3 branch and had them pull up the account to get the current amount owed (again, around $130.00), and paid them the money and requested that they close the account again. Well, the same thing happened! Apparently, between the time I physically handed the cashier the money (and again requested they close the account), but before the 130 was applied, another Overdraft Protection fee was applied...and of course, that brought the account to a negative balance. Of course, I was not aware this had occurred until a couple of months later in June 2010, I got a call from 5/3 to say that I owed them more money ($77.00 this time). At this point, I became very upset, but tried to reason with the 5/3 representative by walking them through the sequence of events. My arguments fell upon deaf ears and the representative (as well as others in subsequent phone calls) insisted that I needed to pay the money before the account could be closed. At this point, I just kept telling the representatives that I refuse to pay any more money, they needed to waive the fees and close the account.
Eventually, the calls stopped and I forgot about the whole matter. Well, last week, I got a letter from an attorney out of Colorado called Lukehart & Associates demanding payment of $785.00 (as of the date December 27, 2010) to resolve the 5/3 matter. Incredible!!! I am not sure how the amount this attorney claims I owe went from 77.00 to 785.00 in just 6-7 months, but that is what this attorney stated in his letter. I responded to his letter with a letter of my own and sent it registered mail and walked through the entire scenario. I also demanded a full accounting of the claims and suggested that he recommend to his client (5/3 Bank), that they drop the matter. Of course, I fully expect the attorney to continue to pursue this matter, I am sure it is going to cost me more money one way or another.
Anyone who has a suggestion of how to fight back against this harrassment, I am certainly open to suggestions.
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