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Dear Banks and Insurers

When Mr. & Ms. Main Street had problems with unemployment, insolvency, medical costs and debt starting in 2000 and onward, you told your flunkies in Congress "Tough. Let the Market™ Decide". You bade them pass legislation making it harder for individuals to file a clean bankruptcy, and they bowed and did it. You told me "It doesn't matter if you're unemployed, you still owe us money. Borrow from family, get a loan, yada yada". When Citi fucked me over on the one card I was keeping current because of other cards deliquent, they said "Touigh. It's just business. It's our rules. Pay your bills now."

But now, when the shoe is on the other foot, they say "Oh, help us, help us, for the public good! We're too big to fail, waaah, waaah, waaaah!" Your obliging servants in Congress once again have said "Yessa, Massa." and passed huge bailouts. Now you're whining again, "Unfair", because the new administration wants some actual oversight and accountability for our taxpayer money! Fuck you all!

We won't forget this. We won't forget that you said "Screw You, we got the money, we make the rules." when you were riding high, and owned Congress and everything else. We won't forget that you came back, after being deregulated at your own request so that the "Market™" could decide, and begged for handouts because you got caught in the trap of your own greed, then whined because we wanted to know how you spent it and why you fucked up in the first place.

I'm still plotting how to cut you bastards out of my life. I have to do credit, because my life, medical expenses and savings are not all fully funded by my income. But I'm heading there. Each rate increase, each "late fee" (often a penalty for paying my bill a mere day before the statement comes out), each bill insert advertising junk life insurance, all of these things make me hate you more and more.

You have no fucking clue at just how deep the anger goes. You have been paying less than 1% on savings for over a decade, but charging a minimum of 15% interest on credit (often 20% to 30%), plus huge fees for the most piddling of offenses against your ever changing rules. Do you think we can't do the math? Don't you realize we wonder where the difference goes? Do you really thing we're that stupid or math impaired?

When we protest even a small fee increase, we get attitude, arrogance, and even more penalties. What rational person wouldn't be pissed off by that kind of nonsense? Do you really think that the public is made up of doormats? Do you really think that reality TV circuses will keep us distracted enough?

And insurers? More money for less coverage, less paid to the people who actually do the work, and snotty attitudes when we demand what you state we are due in our contracts? Then you go and unilaterally change the terms of those contracts to provide less benefits while increasing premiums? What kind of idiots do you take us, and our employers, for? Do you understand that the reason behind the push for single payer health care in this country is you and the obscene profits you make from people's suffering and financial ruin? Do you realize we look at our medical debts, the denial letters that you send, and then at your obscene profits and see red in more than just our own balance sheets? You take us for fools. We aren't.

You guys are lucky that Congress is holding your feet to the fire, quite frankly. You see, the mob is an ugly thing. If the mass of people even get a hint that you're not being held accountable for what you do with their money, well, they tend to form mobs and do ugly things - see the French Revolution for examples.

Go ahead and link, this post is public.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 16th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Have you contemplated moving to a credit union? There's still fees, and whatnot, but not as usurious, I'm told.
Mar. 16th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
The difference between banks and credit unions is that banks are owned by investors and credit unions are owned by the depositors. This makes credit unions have more customer-centric, yet cautious, policies. At the height of the mortgage craziness they would not make no down payment or no documentation mortgage loans. They do have to charge some fees to pay their expenses, but they aren't under the same pressures to make lots of profits for wall street.
Mar. 16th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Depends on the credit union. And the bank.

Most CU's require a buy in fee. And some will still have minimum balances, min balance fees, atm fees and what not.

And just like banks, if you find a good one and they merge with another one, your good deal can be toast even if no fee changes are in the schedule or the change over paperwork.

My spouse just ran into this situation with her CU. And the bank I was in was siezed and taken over.

Pity there's no small local banks with reasonable policies left. But they were all bought up by the banks which are failing...

There's always going cash based but its impossible to cash a check anymore without paying someone a big fee to do so... (Another service that used to be free thats gone...)
Mar. 16th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Two years ago we had two creditors who were merciless in trying to get money out of us even though I proved to them that we were incapable of paying anything to them because we were stretched past our income limit - two people living on the disibility income of one person ($1400/mo), me unable to find even temporary employment, and other problems.

Now, we are paying on those two debts and the creditors are bending over backwards to not antagonize us. I still do not have access to any medical treatment so if I get ill I am very SOL. My SO has some coverage through the VA, but if it is not related to his "service connected disability" he is SOL. He has some Medicare, but since we cannot even afford the 'mimimum office visit' charge, he is, effectively, SOL.

I remember when a free clinic was free. Now, you need $30 to even think about walking into a 'free' clinic.

Personally, I think that all lawyers and bankers should be forced to live on 10% of their income. They would still live grander than the rest of us, but they might get a clue-by-4.
Mar. 16th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)

Well said ... and let us not forget, one of the things that kicked off the French Revolution was the banks defaulting.
Mar. 17th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Well said. Thank you.
Mar. 17th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
Well Said, Ravan
Well done Number One Daughter-san! I have managed to rid myself of credit cards -- and caused myself some financial and cash flow problems by so doing. Still, it is nice to only use my ATM cards or PayPal debit card. If I really want something that takes a credit card I can buy a gift Visa or Mastercard for about a 6% up front fee.

I can also use PayPal's one time credit card plug-in after doing a transfer of funds from my bank to my PayPal account. Since that takes some time, it makes me think a bit about whether or not I really need the items. I use auto-checks online, PayPal, or direct bank withdrawal or money orders for my bills. Cash goes for local purchases. If I don't have the money, then I can't buy it. When there is no money for gas, I stay home!

As for credit unions vs. banks, I agree that it depends and many do get swallowed up by bigger c.u. organizations. Also, they can be stinkers on loan terms and repo'ing when you are late or violating the terms of their own contracts, particularly repayment arrangements that are all agreed to verbally in the case of job changes. Even if the head of the c.u. has agreed, they may decide to change and call the loan or repo with little or no notice.

Their regulation and appeal process is also somewhat convoluted compared to that of banks. It is extra important to read their fine print in loan documents as they often have a payment consolidation clause for multiple loans so that one cannot choose to pay off one loan and let the other lapse for a month or so without them calling all loans due and repo'ing any collateral put up for any of the loans, even if that loan is current. It happened to a friend of mine --- and the c.u. had actually lost her payment!

Love you -- pls read you email @laubenheimer.net & reply --- tnx. Did I tell you how proud I am of your excellent rants?

I worked for AIG when it was Connecticut General --then went to CG. Their execs always were arrogant s.o.b.'s who espoused "creative financing" for their clients and worked very close to the law --- sometimes close to flaunting it! (One of the reasons I quit them here)

Reason Obama et al won't let them fail is I believe they hold the mortgages on some prime business and gov't office real estate. They are part of the mega-fund insurance group that backs most of the smaller banks & insurance companies nation-wide. If they fail, shopping malls and lots of skyscrapers/apartment complexes et al will end up in foreclosure.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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