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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 09:27 PM

11. Why People Hate the Banks By JOE NOCERA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/opinion/nocera-why-people-hate-the-banks.html

A few months ago, I was standing in a crowded elevator when Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, stepped in. When he saw me, he said in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear: ďWhy does The New York Times hate the banks?Ē

Itís not The New York Times, Mr. Dimon. It really isnít. Itís the country that hates the banks these days. If you want to understand why, I would direct your attention to the bible of your industry, The American Banker. On Monday, it published the third part in its depressing ó and infuriating ó series on credit card debt collection practices.

You canít read the series without wondering whether banks have learned anything from the foreclosure crisis, which resulted in a $25 billion settlement with the federal government and the states. That crisis was the direct result of shoddy, often illegal practices on the part of the banks, which caused untold misery for millions of Americans. Part of the goal of the settlement was simply to force the banks to treat homeowners with some decency. You wouldnít think that that would be too much to ask. But it was never going to happen without the threat of litigation.

As it turns out, this same kind of awful behavior has been taking place inside the credit card collections departments of the big banks. Records are a mess. Robo-signing has been commonplace. Collections practices hurt primarily the poor and the unsophisticated, just like foreclosure practices. (I sometimes wonder if banks would make any profits at all if they couldnít take advantage of the poor and unsophisticated.) MORE

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