Banking fees, Occupy Wall Street and one of our interviewees


Dorothy Carlos, whom we interviewed early in 2010, sent us an email this week.  She wrote about a fee she was charged by her bank, without any explanation.  She challenged the fee and was told it was $10.00 charge for a fax sent to another bank that requested information on her mortgage!

The imposition of this fee prompted Dorothy to write to us and express her support for the Occupy Wall Street movement:

“I am writing you to make a comment about the OWS and how very important it is and what just happened to me.  I received my statement for my Mtg [mortgage] and noticed a $10.00 amount listed which just said OTHER with no explanation for the charge.  I called Wells Fargo to inquire about this charge and was informed that this was due to the fact that another institution had made an inquiry as to my pay off and this charge paid for the fax that WELLS FARGO had sent. This is just another way these banks are ripping off borrowers  A Charge for a fax and then no explanation for it, just added on to your mortgage payment. I only wish I was able to leave this banking institution but I can at least let others know of their banking practices and hope borrowers stay away.”

As a result of protests sparked by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Credit Union National Association estimates that 40,000 consumers opened accounts on November 5, “Bank Transfer Day,”  transferring $80 million in savings into credit unions across the country.  Between Sept. 29 and the first week of November, 650,000 consumers opened new credit union accounts with a total of $4.5 billion, said Patrick O’Keefe, communications spokesperson for the association.

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