Move Your Money Out of the Big Banks

Move Your MoneyWould you continue to patronize a restaurant that offered shoddy service and food that made you sick? Or a plumber who always arrived late, charged twice what he quoted you over the phone and kicked your dog as he left your house? Would you send your kids to a preschool where the teachers gave special attention to other peoples’ kids and told you your kids aren’t worth the effort because they’ll never amount to anything?  Of course you wouldn’t.

So, why would you keep your checking and savings accounts at a bank that denied you a home mortgage loan modification after nine months of leading you down the road toward foreclosure by telling you not to make your monthly payment (because they won’t consider a loan modification if you’re current) and all the while losing every document you faxed, mailed and sent to them by overnight courier?  Why would you use a credit card issued by a bank that continually nails you every month with unintelligible fees they seem to have just made up and deducted automatically from your checking account? 

The Big Banks—Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase and Citibank—you know the ones we bailed out in 2008 because they were “too big to fail” after they had recklessly pushed adjustable rate mortgages and home equity lines on home buyers like street drug peddlers, but who now it seems refuse to lend to anyone? Well those same banks have now spent billions of our money on lobbyists to defeat or undermine every consumer protection regulation or proposed regulation, no matter how weak, that has since been proposed or enacted.  Bank of America recently announced a $5 monthly fee for the use of debit cards by their customers—in other words they will gouge their customers for the privilege of accessing and spending their own money. Why would anyone, passively accept such mistreatment and continue to give them business?

I’m a debtors’ bankruptcy lawyer. I work for regular, hardworking people to get them out of debt to the Big Banks. And every day, I see more and more abusive behavior by the Big Banks. Every day, when someone in this country files for bankruptcy protection, Wells Fargo flagrantly defies the Automatic Stay of bankruptcy law by placing an “administrative freeze” on their Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts so they can’t access their own money. They can’t access their automatically deposited paycheck, pay their mortgage or withdraw money for a car repair. So, why does anyone bank with such a bully?

I support the Move Your Money movement. It’s a simple idea. Just close your checking and savings accounts at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase or Citibank, and move your money to a small, local bank or credit union that has ties to your community.  To find such a small, local bank, the Move Your Money Project has set up a website to help you locate one. I know it’s a hassle. You’ll have to ask your boss to automatically deposit your paycheck to a new account. You’ll have to reconfigure all your online bill payments. But even though it might be a bit of a hassle at first, you would drive a few more blocks to patronize a restaurant that didn’t spit in your food, right? The very largest banks have demonstrated time and time again that they have absolutely no interest in the well being of Main Street or regular, middle class Americans. They have zero loyalty to our nation or our economy. In their reckless pursuit of profit at any cost, the biggest banks have led us astray and nearly destroyed our economy in the process.

Get your money out of the hands of the biggest banks.  Don’t let them profit from your hard earned dollars while they show utter contempt and disdain for you and other middle class Americans.  Congress is never going to punish them for their reckless behavior. But we can if we all simply move our money.

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