TBTF Banks Enter Payday Loan Business with 500% Interest Rates

If you thought the TBTF banks couldn’t stoop any lower, think again.  If this doesn’t prove without a shadow of a doubt that the more you coddle and bailout the big banks, the more brazen, criminal and out of control they become.  I guess entering the slumlord business and running the food stamp program just wasn’t good enough. In their latest scheme, we find that JP Morgan (of course), Bank of America and Wells Fargo (Uncle Warren’s pet) are at the center of what can only be called a global loan-sharking business that prays on destitute American citizens.  Basically, the way the scam works is payday lenders set up shop overseas in locations such as Granada, Belize or the Isle of Man in order to avoid various state laws against payday loans.  The key link in the chain are the TBTF crony banks who process the loans and facilitate the interest charges, which can be well over 500%.  So what’s in it for the banks?  Huge fees of course.  Absolutely disgusting, but par for the course for these guys.  From the New York Times:

Major banks have quickly become behind-the-scenes allies of Internet-based payday lenders that offer short-term loans with interest rates sometimes exceeding 500 percent.

With 15 states banning payday loans, a growing number of the lenders have set up online operations in more hospitable states or far-flung locales like Belize, Malta and the West Indies to more easily evade statewide caps on interest rates.

While the banks, which include giants like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, do not make the loans, they are a critical link for the lenders, enabling the lenders to withdraw payments automatically from borrowers’ bank accounts, even in states where the loans are banned entirely. In some cases, the banks allow lenders to tap checking accounts even after the customers have begged them to stop the withdrawals.

For the banks, it can be a lucrative partnership. At first blush, processing automatic withdrawals hardly seems like a source of profit. But many customers are already on shaky financial footing. The withdrawals often set off a cascade of fees from problems like overdrafts.

Some state and federal authorities say the banks’ role in enabling the lenders has frustrated government efforts to shield people from predatory loans — an issue that gained urgency after reckless mortgage lending helped precipitate the 2008 financial crisis.

Yeah guys, that’s what you get for NEVER prosecuting them.

While the loans are simple to obtain — some online lenders promise approval in minutes with no credit check — they are tough to get rid of. Customers who want to repay their loan in full typically must contact the online lender at least three days before the next withdrawal. Otherwise, the lender automatically renews the loans at least monthly and withdraws only the interest owed. Under federal law, customers are allowed to stop authorized withdrawals from their account. Still, some borrowers say their banks do not heed requests to stop the loans.

Ivy Brodsky, 37, thought she had figured out a way to stop six payday lenders from taking money from her account when she visited her Chase branch in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn in March to close it. But Chase kept the account open and between April and May, the six Internet lenders tried to withdraw money from Ms. Brodsky’s account 55 times, according to bank records reviewed by The New York Times. Chase charged her $1,523 in fees — a combination of 44 insufficient fund fees, extended overdraft fees and service fees.

Jaime Dimon, America’s best bankster, no doubt about that.

For Subrina Baptiste, 33, an educational assistant in Brooklyn, the overdraft fees levied by Chase cannibalized her child support income. She said she applied for a $400 loan fromLoanshoponline.com and a $700 loan from Advancemetoday.com in 2011. The loans, with annual interest rates of 730 percent and 584 percent respectively, skirt New York law.

Ms. Baptiste said she asked Chase to revoke the automatic withdrawals in October 2011, but was told that she had to ask the lenders instead. In one month, her bank records show, the lenders tried to take money from her account at least six times. Chase charged her $812 in fees and deducted over $600 from her child-support payments to cover them.

“I don’t understand why my own bank just wouldn’t listen to me,” Ms. Baptiste said, adding that Chase ultimately closed her account last January, three months after she asked.

I am truly concerned for the future of the mafia in America, their entire business model has been taken over by JP Morgan.

Full article here.

In Liberty,

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