It’s Fatherhood Friday at Dad-Blogs. Check it out.
Maybe you haven’t noticed, but there’s a recession in these here parts.
Therefore, like most Americans who aren’t filthy rich, we here at the Daddy Files mansion are performing a little belt-tightening and doing away with some of more frivolous expenses. Those luxury items like the private jet, one of our yachts, groceries, clothing, etc. And as the financial Wonder Woman of the family, my proactive wife is always keeping our long-term financial health in mind.
For those of you unlucky enough to have credit card debt, no doubt you’ve felt the pinch lately. And by pinch, I mean soul-sucking corporations anally violating you with the threat of HUGE interest rate increases while simultaneously decreasing your credit limit to the bare minimum, or in some cases, closing your account altogether.
And that’s if you’re lucky enough for them to give you notice.
This was made abundantly clear yesterday when MJ took my car off-Cape to get fixed. I needed four new brake pads, a new battery, tires balanced and rotated and an oil change. Grand total: $630. Ouch. I don’t know about many of you, but we don’t exactly have $630 just sitting around. Therefore we were going to have to use our one active credit card which we keep in case of emergencies like this one.
The credit card was issued by Bank of Bailout America and my wife used it successfully yesterday morning to fill up the gas tank, because she doesn’t get paid until tomorrow. Then she dropped the car off with the mechanic.
And what she did next will live in infamy…
She had the nerve…no, the audacity…to call Bank of Bailout America. And during that call — which involved a TOTALLY SEPARATE ACCOUNT UNDER HER NAME — she inquired about our options on a credit car with a fairly hefty amount of previous debt we racked up when she lost her job (she was fired by — you guessed it– Bank of Bailout America). Basically she wanted to see if there was anything we could do to lock in at a lower interest rate, because we won’t be able to afford going from 17% to 33% APR. The Bank of Bailout America troll was less than helpful, and basically told us to stick up heads up our asses and wait for Armageddon.
But hey, it was worth MJ trying right? After all, we’re responsible customers. We don’t have any late payments. My credit score is near 750. Oftentimes good customers are given a break.
But all of that ended when MJ went to pay for the car repairs, and was told the card was no good.
Confused, she called me because the card is in my name and banks don’t give out personal information to non-card holders. So I phoned Bank of Bailout America thinking it must be some mix up.
ME: “Hi, my name is Aaron Gouveia and while my card worked this morning, it doesn’t seem to be working now. Can you tell me what’s wrong, because my wife seems to think you canceled the card.”
SATAN: “One minute sir…OK. Well, it appears your wife is correct. Your card has been canceled.”
ME: “Excuse me?”
SATAN: “Yes sir. Your card was canceled today when we looked at your accounts and became concerned about the high amount of revolving debt.”
ME: “Are you kidding me? That card had a $3,500 limit and I owed $600 on it. And my wife is literally at the mechanic trying to pay for my car repairs. Where is the friggin notice? Who cancels a card without telling a customer?”
SATAN: “The letter informing you of your account deactivation is being sent out today, sir.”
ME: “Oh, well that’s helpful. You cancel the card FIRST and THEN notify me? No wonder you idiots needed taxpayer money just to stay afloat.”
ME: “No no no, I’m not done. I want clarification here. Let me ask you a series of questions and you answer yes or no. Now, did I have any late payments?”
ME: “Do NOT call me sir. Answer the question.”
SATAN: “No, you had no late payments.”
ME: “OK. Good. Now, did I not owe a measly $600 on the card?”
SATAN: “That’s correct but…”
ME: “Nope, no talking yet. So you’re telling me I have no late payments and I’m nowhere near my credit limit. So that begs the question, why on fucking Earth would you cancel my card without telling me?”
SATAN: “Sir, we became concerned about the high amount of revolving debt…”
ME: “Bullshit! My wife called about a separate account today, and you’re telling me it’s pure coincidence that minutes later an account under MY name is suspiciously canceled?”
SATAN: “Sir I’m not aware of any conversations involving your wife.”
ME: “You’re not aware of much, are you? If you were you wouldn’t have purchased Merill Lynch without full disclosure. And you wouldn’t need public money to stay afloat because your business practices are terrible. Meanwhile your Chairman is on a friggin sailing vacation while your company frantically searches for a new CEO. So fuck you. Fuck your shady company. And lick my hairy ass!”
OK, so I made up some of the ending but you get the point.
This stuff makes me absolutely sick. Banks like this one are penalizing the hard-working middle class, who do nothing but bust their asses to pay their bills on time. And when we saw trouble on the horizon in not being able to afford increased payments, what did we do? We called the bank, took a proactive approach and tried to stay ahead of the game. Work with them instead of against them.
But look how that turned out. They used that conversation as an opportunity to run my credit (which I’m not even sure is legal) and cancel a credit card that I seldom used, but desperately needed at that moment in time. Now we had to take money from our mortgage payment to cover the car. Next we’ll have to dip into MJ’s IRA and take a penalty for early withdrawal to pay the mortgage.
Do you see the debt spiral this creates?
I guess the moral of the story is to not care about anything. When times get tough, default. Because if you even try to do the right thing you’ll end up getting kicked in the nuts.
But I, for one, am not going down without a fight. I’m writing letters to all my state and federal legislators. I’m writing this blog. I’ll Twitter the fuck out of this story, the stories of others in similar situations, and every single negative item in the media. Especially if it concerns Bank of America, those corrupt bailout assholes!
Meanwhile let this be a lesson to you. If you have a credit card with a balance, check it and the credit limit. It’s probably been changed already. And check your rates because they’re going to skyrocket. And if you’ve been treated as shabbily as me, let it be known. You’re not the only one.
This is not how things should work.