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Politics & Power

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With Banks Abandoning Their Customers Why Should We Worry About Paying Them On Time?

Since the government bailed out the banks, they have been dumping on good customers and raising their interest rates at a furious pace. Good customers who have paid their credit card bills on time for years have seen their interest rates raised to upwards of 30% and in many cases cards have been cancelled or credit lines cut for suspect reasons. When the cards are cancelled or their limits cut, the cardholder’s credit score drops either due to a cancellation showing on their record or their debt to credit ratio rising. Once that happens the banks can raise their interest rates based on them being a higher risk because of a lower credit score. It’s a vicious cycle with everyone losing except the credit card companies.

Given the way that the banks are treating consumers, why should we care about their bottom lines? Since they’ve already messed up our credit scores by canceling our cards or lowering our limits, why should we care about making payments on time? The truth is we shouldn’t. The banks have made it quite clear that now that they have the federal bailout money they couldn’t care less about what our circumstances are. Maybe it’s time to give back a little of that cold shoulder we’ve been getting from the banks.

Frankly, I would advocate defaulting on the cancelled cards and waiting for the eventual settlement offer that will come once the card is far enough past due. You could pay off the card for pennies on the dollar if you have the patience to wait and deal with the harassing phone calls. They have already messed up our credit and left us hanging out in the breeze. Why should we care if they lose money on the deal? If they had cared about their customers and treated them with some respect instead of squeezing them dry and then throwing them away, their customers would still see paying their bank as a priority on payday. In the face of the treatment customers are getting from the banks, we should stop looking out for them and start looking out for ourselves. If default is cheaper in the end, I say default.

As an aside though, I should point out that you should not openly refuse to pay your bills. Just tell them that you will pay them as soon as you can without giving them a specific date. If they get pushy just hang up. They will keep calling but you can either let the machine get it or keep hanging up on them. They don’t even have the decency to hire Americans to harass their customers so offending the call center staff should not really be of great concern to you.

I should also say that if your bank has treated you well and worked with you to preserve your credit score and keep your payments manageable you should appreciate that they are a good institution for you and do what you can to keep up with your payments. There should be a level of give what you get with the banks. If they’re good to you, be good to them but if they’re screwing you, screw them right back. Let them spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to collect your debt only to end up settling for less than they would have been paid if they had just treated you right. It’s time for banks to feel the same rejection we have been feeling from them.

We have put up with loan-shark-like interest rates and American workers getting laid off in favor of outsourced labor so the banks could make more money because we wanted and needed credit. If they are going to pull the plug on us then we should pull the plug on them as well. They have taken billions in tax dollars but are dragging their feet on addressing their customers’ needs with home loan modifications and outright screwing them over with their credit cards. They jack up interest rates and then cancel or cut credit lines so we pay more for money that was borrowed under different terms because we can’t afford to pay it all off at once. The banks abuse their customers because they know we are over a barrel with our debt. So why should we care if they lose some profit on our debt? We shouldn’t.

As for the argument that if we all act like this it will just lead to another collapse; it’s a crock. People defaulting on credit cards was not what caused the collapse of our economy. Banks doubling as investment houses and then getting stupidly creative with multi-billion dollar investment banking shell games is what caused the collapse. Thinly veiled pyramid schemes under the guise of commodities trading was what caused the collapse. Profit at the expense of workers was what caused the collapse. People being a few days late on their credit card bills once in a while was not the frigging problem. The banks screwed up and we bailed them out. Now that they have our money they are packing up their tents and moving on like the snake-oil salesmen they appear to be. If some CEO loses his bonus because thousands of wrongly-treated customers tell his bank to go take a long walk off a short pier, oh well.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer| Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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