Navy Federal Credit Union / overcharged
Navy federal paid some checks my son had inadvertently bounced just before he lost his job, and as expected, charged a $25 fee. Instead of letting him make payment arrangements to bring his account back into good standing, though, they continued to run the checks through their system (Less than 10) and over the course of two months ended up charging over $1200 in overdraft fees.
He is in the military reserve and did receive pay from drill weekends and doing honor guard for veteran funerals, so he had some money coming in even though he had lost his job. Nfcu took every cent he paid into that account, though, and used it to pay overdraft fees as they continued to add more fees every week!
When they had drained his account of every cent, they then proceeded without notice to drain my accounts, because I was a joint owner with him. They took over $600 from my accounts, leaving us financially insolvent and having to borrow money to pay our rent that month.
They also tried to take money from another child's account because I was a joint owner on his account. They took a few hundred dollars out, transferred that money without any notice, to pay for their bogus overdraft fees, until I wrote to the board of directors again and informed our congressman. Then they returned the money, again with no notice - - very sneaky.
I spoke to a customer service manager who said that was too bad about our accounts being drained but there was nothing he could do, and I should have read the fine print that a joint owner's accounts can be drained. Well, it is in their disclosure statement, but I have talked to several other people with accounts at nfcu who said that was never done to them, even to the man whose wife overdrew their joint account by a few thousand dollars - - they never touched his private account to cover her overdrafts! So, it seems to be a very subjective process whose accounts they raid.
They do not give notice, either, they just begin transferring money, and they do not even specific what account it is going to - - the accounts only show the notations 'transfer to other' or 'transfer from other', so it took me a few days to catch on to the sneaky behavior.
I faxed letters to the company president, who ignored every one of them. I wrote letters to the board of directors, not one of whom contacted us to assist. Not one!
At that point I had to contact our congressman, and suddenly - - after nearly three months of having our accounts drained, my son was told that he could close his account and the bank would then stop adding fees. I do not know why they did not tell him that before they had taken over a thousand dollars from him. One rep said it would take 30 days to close the account.
But when we received another letter adding more overdraft fees for the same items, we called again and that rep closed the account within 24 hours.
I wrote and demanded the return of all but the initial fees, but was ignored yet again. The only correspondence we ever received were a few letters from someone named j. S. Cooper on stationery without an address, advising that he or she had been directed to respond to my letters, and he or she considered the matter closed.
The next issue involves a small loan (A few thousand dollars, he paid 3/4 of the cost in cash) my son took out to purchase a new vehicle. He applied online at nfcu, and they granted him the loan. They sent him a check to sign and turn over to cleo bay honda. At no time did any rep from nfcu or cleo bay tell him that the vehicle would be used for collateral, and we never received one piece of paperwork for him to sign off on regarding the loan or using the vehicle as collateral. That made sense because being military, they knew they would get their money one way or another, and the loan was relatively small.
However, since nfcu was taking every cent he made to pay for bogus overdraft charges, he could not make payments on the vehicle loan after he lost his job. He explained this to nfcu and the loan reps, but nfcu said it wasn't their problem, and the reps said they didn't care and continued with their threats.
We received calls several times a week, even after telling them to stop, and those calls were always threatening. The reps were always belligerent, and would tell my son they were going to repossess his vehicle, and they would end up shouting so loud I could hear them across the room. One time his brother picked up a call, and without even verifying who was on the phone, the rep began shouting and threatening his brother, and discussing personal financial matters. She did not even verify the identity of the person to whom she was talking!
We notified our congressman of these calls and wrote the board again, and the calls stopped within a week or so. However, next we heard from the saleswoman at cleo bay honda, killeen, texas who sent an email to my son. She said in her email that she 'heard' he was behind on his loan payments, scolded him, then told her to return the title to her! No other explanation, so of course, I replied to her email asking who she was talking to, advising her she was breaking privacy laws by discussing financial information without my son's permission, and asked why she wanted the title back.
This made no sense since honda was paid in full, and the loan was from nfcu to my son. However, sue ramirez never had the courtesy to reply to my email. I then contacted the dealership manager, brian hoenig, to let him know what was happening. Even though I did it by forwarding sue's email to my son, and my son gave him written permission, he refused to discuss anything with me.
It is apparent though that nfcu called cleo bay honda and discussed my son's personal financial information with sue and their finance department and told her to get the title back so they could repossess the vehicle.
We have now received a copy of a petition from the texas dept. Of transportation advising my son that cleo bay honda is suing the state to have the title rescinded and changed! According to the letter from the tx dot attorney, he was receiving a copy because he has an 'interest' in the vehicle - - I should say so, with $16, 000 paid into it!
In the meantime, nfcu seems to be doing their best to cause my son as much grief as possible, because - - four months after his semester ended, my son received a letter from the va saying he owed them over $200 for benefits to which he was not entitled! The letter was unsigned and did not specify which benefits, or give any information other than he owed them and what they would do if he did not pay.
Another issue we had with nfcu is that they appear to be retaliating by causing problems with my bank account. I lost my credit card and ordered a new one through their site. I received and activated it, but spent most of a week trying to use it. It was declined every time, when I had several hundred dollars in my account. The reps kept telling me there was no problem with it. Finally, after trying to make a purchase after another paycheck had been deposited and having the card declined again, I called a rep who did not have her head up her backside. She told me that someone had changed the data in the personal information fields, including part of my name and address. Someone had also linked the card to my son's account instead of mine - - had to be deliberate since our last names are different.
Another incident involved a trip from texas to the east coast for a military graduation for another child. I used my card across five states, and made charges from a few dollars for lunches to over $100 for hotel accommodations. A few days after I returned home, it was the third time I had used my card, it was declined!
When I called customer service, the rep told me that the security department had 'closed' the card because they believed there were unauthorized charges. The problem with that was that the charges they were questioning - - four out of the several dozen we made on the trip we had just completed - - were for amounts ranging from $3 to approximately $25 - - all for insignificant charges like lunch, one itune song, etc.
Even though charges had been made for months from texas (Me) and my son (Georgia) , the security department never questioned those. Nor did they question any of the charges made on our trip in louisiana, mississippi, or alabama - - only those five small charges from texas and georgia.
I sent another letter to the directors - - again, no response at all.
So, we have been in touch with our congressman because nfcu's banking practices are sneaky, underhanded, and if a lot of what they are doing is legal - - it has to be marginally so! They are unresponsive, and they are vindictive.
Their website alone should tell you this, because I had to hire a researcher to go into special databases to find out their physical address, phone, fax, and the names of their directors. I sent 12 letters out every single time, one in particular going to bill briscoe, vp, regulatory compliance and public policy - and we never received one response, not even from mr. Briscoe.
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