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Bank Of America Charges Interest On A $0 Credit Card Balance

By Pat Garofalo on November 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm

"Bank Of America Charges Interest On A $0 Credit Card Balance"

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Bank of America has been involved in a slew of consumer catastrophes recently, from stealing a woman’s pet parrot and foreclosing on a home that had literally been destroyed by a hurricane to putting an elderly couple into foreclosure for paying their mortgage too early. This week, Bank of America agreed to a $410 million settlement for charging excessive overdraft fees (which won’t even cover the money the average BofA customer lost unfairly).

In the latest example of BofA’s consumer ineptitude, the Chicago Tribune reported that the bank charged a man $39.23 in interest on a credit card bill of $0:

Roger Greenwood thought he had heard of every conceivable bank fee. Then he received his September credit card bill.

Bank of America charged the Jacksonville, Ill., man $39.23 in interest — on a $0 balance…His statement clearly showed that between the credits and his payment, Greenwood paid off the entire $5,734.13.

Of course, if there is a $0 balance, there is nothing on which to be charging interest. Both the Tribune and the Consumerist contacted the bank, which said the problem arose when one of the merchants Greenwood interacted with credited his account with $1,450. Bank of America, for whatever reason, decided that the merchant’s credit didn’t count towards Greenwood’s balance, and therefore charged him interest. As the Tribune explained, Greenwood “would have had to overpay his balance by $1,450 to avoid the interest charge.”

Bank of America is a huge institution, so some mishaps are almost inevitable. But the bank has shown an extremely consistent pattern of incompetence, which has manifested itself not just in headaches like the one Greenwood faced, but in improper foreclosures and seizures of property. As one BofA customer put it, “Bank of America is ruthless in their incompetency.” (HT: Huffington Post Business)

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Econ 101: November 10, 2011

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