If you don't think there's a blogging angel looking out for me, may I present Johnny and the Panty Raiders singing "Money". Now, let me refinance your home with no hidden fees!
Seriously, it's not just that we citizens apparently have to become a bank to get any help from this Congress...
...it's that big corporations actually figured this out in the '90s.
At the end of this commercial it says Ditech is a GMAC company. GM? Like the car company bailed out by us taxpayers?
GMAC (Ditech) used to be a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors (GM) . However, the carmaker sold 51% of the business to a group of investors including private-equity firm Cerberus, Citigroup Inc. (C) , Japan's Aozora Bank Ltd. (JP:8304) and a unit of PNC Financial Services (PNC) in 2006.
Soon after, GMAC was hit hard by the housing meltdown, partly because it was a leading subprime mortgage lender.
Does anyone think it's a coincidence that the deregulation of the banking industry was spearheaded by Mister "Freedom Works" himself, Dick Armey?
I know I'm way behind the times on this...everybody knows corporate America went into the financial business because there was big money to be made and no one was watching. But it got personal with me due to a bill I received and contested last month.
I have one store credit card that I got because with the credit card you can get big discounts at said store. I have had this card almost two years and I pay off the small balance, if any, every single month. (This, by the way, is known in the credit card industry as being a "deadbeat." They make no additional money off of me or my account.)
There was a problem, that I admit might have been my fault, with my online bill pay, where two bills were scheduled to be paid in November rather than October. That meant store credit card was being paid a month late. I noticed the error and changed it... but not in time.
You know where this is going....
In addition to charging me 24% interest for my outstanding balance, they slapped on a $39.00 late payment fee.
I wrote them a letter. At the time of my writing I had already corrected my error and paid off the balance on the card completely. There was ZERO due on the bill, they could see that when they investigated my account.
I explained that yes, it might have been my error, and I understand they did not receive payment on time so the interest would be due, but that as a good customer I expected them to refund me the exorbitant late fee, that fee being outrageous and completely arbitrary. If they wanted me to continue to use the card and shop in their store they could render good-will by not screwing me.
"After reviewing your account, we are unable to comply with your request to remove the requested fee(s). ...We appreciate you as a valued cardmember and hope you will continue to enjoy shoppping in our stores, catalog, blag blah blah..."
Here's the deal: this store sends me coupons totaling the same amount as the late fee at least every two weeks. I'm sitting here with three coupons totaling $40.00 off anything in the store right now, which I have no intention of "enjoying". They can kiss my ass.
But let's face it, this store is not in the business of selling stuff. They are in the 'screwing the consumer with a credit card addiction' business. And here's the fine print punchline, printed right at the bottom of their letter to me:
Account is owned by GE MONEY BANK - Member FDIC
GE? As in, General Electric? General Electric owns the credit card accounts of JC Penney?
Yes. Yes they do.
Wanna really turn your stomach? GE also owns credit card accounts for HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS.
Dear JCPenney: You fucked with the wrong muckraker.
cc: Senators Bernie Sanders and Al Franken