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Banks Clearly Exploiting The Unemployed And Poor

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Some might not give a damn about the unemployed and poor... But the banks take it one step further and are taking a red hot poker and shoving it up their asses.

I mean, what the fuck. How did the banks get the contracts to issue government money, and then they profit from the government funding and the "customer" all at the same time?

Is anyone still shocked the Occupy movement is rolling along???

Who gave the government unemployment money contracts to the banks???

See what I'm talking about here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w0UPxXYIDk
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Some might not give a damn about the unemployed and poor... But the banks take it one step further and are taking a red hot poker and shoving it up their asses.

I mean, what the fuck. How did the banks get the contracts to issue government money, and then they profit from the government funding and the "customer" all at the same time?

Is anyone still shocked the Occupy movement is rolling along???

Who gave the government unemployment money contracts to the banks???

See what I'm talking about here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w0UPxXYIDk

Banks are leeches that suck off others like the big 3.Jamie Dimon and the rest of the CEO's could care less about the poor and the unemployed out there. Money is their GOD and Corporate Greed also.Government funding is a lot of crap helping these banks with Obama at the helm.
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
I don't understand the prepaid or "Reliacard" debit card thing in the first place. Why the heck doesn't the government just say, give us your bank account details, and the benefits are direct deposited. The government saves money not having to print cheques, issue cash, or whatever, then the recipient can decide what bank, what cards, what fees and so on.

Wouldn't this satisfy all parties? Except the big banks because it gives the user more choice. I mean, unemployment and poverty is stressful enough, one may laugh and say, ha ha why don't you research it online... Remember these people are worried enough about whether they will eat for the day.

I am familiar with the argument that, "oh, you can withdraw cash for free when you purchase something at retail". Yes, where it is possible it is helpful, but WTF is an ATM for? Retailers are now the ATMs? And I'm sure we've all seen these retailers with minimum purchase etc. for cash out.

In the meantime Senators are worried about Google vs Apple. What a bloody waste of time and taxpayer money.

http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle29580.htm

Banks Extract Fees On Unemployment Benefits

By Janell Ross

November 01, 2011 "Huffington Post" -- Out of work and living on a $189-a-week unemployment check, Rob Linville needs to watch every penny. Lately, he has been watching too many pennies disappear into the coffers of the bank that administers his unemployment check via a prepaid debit card.

The state of Oregon, where Linville lives, deposits his weekly benefits on a U.S. Bank prepaid debit card. The bank allows him to make four withdrawals per month free of charge. After that, he must pay $1.50 for each visit to the ATM and $3 to see a teller. Managing his basic expenses, including rent, bus fare and groceries, typically requires more than four withdrawals, he says. Unexpected needs -- Linville recently bought a sport coat for $20 to prepare for a job interview -- entail more. He's afraid to withdraw his full benefits in one shot, knowing that the bank could sock him with a $17.50 overdraft fee if he exceeds his balance. So he pulls out small amounts of cash as he needs it, incurring about $15 in fees in the last two months he says.

"I'm so broke," Linville said, his voice expressing resignation that this is simply how the world works. "But I don't really have any other options."

Across the nation, people receiving a range of state-furnished benefits -- from unemployment insurance and food stamps to cash assistance for poor families -- are facing similar options and reaching the same conclusion. In 41 states major banks and financial firms have secured contracts to provide access to public benefits via prepaid debit cards. And banks are increasingly extracting hefty cuts of these funds through an assortment of small fees. U.S. Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other institutions hold contracts to distribute these benefits on prepaid debit cards.

When Bank of America announced plans to charge regular banking customers a $5 monthly fee to use their debit card created a wave of public criticism. But the lesser-known fees attached to prepaid debit cards are already extracting money from the most vulnerable Americans -- those unable to pay their bills and feed their families without public help -- in the midst of stubbornly high unemployment and soaring rates of poverty.

"The big banks have actually figured out a way to make unemployed workers a profit center, one that only grows as things get worse," said Angela Martin, executive director of Economic Fairness Oregon, a nonprofit advocacy group for low income and poor families.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, said unemployment recipients are clearly informed about the fees that pertain to their debit cards. She added that the cards provide a convenient and economical service, because they allow holders to use them to buy goods at stores and withdraw cash back without incurring a fee.

Prepaid debit cards often look a lot like the debit cards which many Americans are already familiar with. But the cards can carry a range of fees for basic banking activities such as visiting an ATM, making a purchase, checking one's balance or paying a bill online.

Six years ago, states distributed $55 billion in public benefits via prepaid debit cards, according to an estimate from Mercator Advisory Group, which monitors the consumer payment industry. By last year, that figure had ballooned to $133 billion. Mercator does not track how much of that money was handled by banks.

There are some hints of how much money is flowing from America's poorest families to banks. In 2008, California's welfare families paid $8 million in surcharges to access their cash welfare benefits, according to a Western Center on Law and Poverty analysis, which advocates for the poor. Surcharges paid by welfare recipients will exceed $16 million this year, the Center projects.

The revenue generated from providing access to public benefits on prepaid debit cards has become particularly important to banks this year, said Lauren Saunders, a managing attorney at the National Consumer Law Center in Washington, D.C. A 2010 federal law capped the swipe fees banks can collect from merchants when consumers use ordinary debit cards. But those caps do not apply to the prepaid debit cards used to withdraw unemployment benefits and other forms of cash assistance.

In several states, the public benefits debit card business involves a largely captive audience that must exert itself to find an alternative means of securing its money. A half dozen states force the unemployed to receive their benefits on prepaid debit cards, according to a May study released by the National Consumer Law Center.

In Oregon, jobless people who apply for unemployment benefits are automatically given their weekly benefits via a U.S. Bank ReliaCard unless they expressly opt out and furnish information about a personal bank account to establish a direct deposit.

Six Oregon residents interviewed by The Huffington Post said that when they applied for unemployment benefits online, the state's website did offer them the opportunity to set up a direct deposit instead of relying upon a prepaid debit card furnished by U.S. Bank. But the page on which they were offered the options did not clearly lay out the fees that can be incurred with the debit card option, they said. Another section of the Web site does list the fees, The Huffington Post found, but locating that information requires looking on a separate page.

Between July and September, U.S. Bancorp secured $357 million in revenue through the division that includes its prepaid cards, according to its most recent earnings statement. That was more than one-fourth of its total revenues. The bank refused to say how much of this revenue was comprised of fees from its handling of state unemployment benefits.

The fees are the sole source of revenue the bank derives by handling unemployment benefits and court-ordered child support payments in Oregon. The state does not pay the bank for issuing debit cards or administering the payments. Oregon's treasurer will begin negotiating a new contract in November. A request for proposals from other banks has not been issued.

For the state, the cards minimize the need to mail checks or manage transfers to myriad banks. Since 2007, Oregon has saved at least $11 million on printing, mailing and other costs associated with the unemployment program alone, said James Sinks, a spokesman for Oregon State Treasurer Tedd Wheeler's office. State staff estimate that over the course of the contracts, about 40 percent of people in both programs have used ReliaCards, Sinks said. The remainder receive funds via direct deposit.

Sinks described the notion that fees are unfair, abusive or out of touch with consumer spending habits as "specious" and "laughable." People can always obtain cash without paying fees by making a purchase at a store where customers can request cash back.

"The card was negotiated the way that it was to make people's money available to them at the lowest cost," said Sinks. "Are there fees, yes. But there are ways for people to access their money for free and there are robust ways to do that. I don't believe that most people are paying fees."

But several unemployment benefit recipients in Oregon said it was quite difficult to switch to direct deposit after they learned of the fees on their prepaid debit cards. Many recipients complain that their unemployment benefits are so limited that even an unwanted pack of gum purchased to access their benefits without fees amounts to a consequential expense.

A woman in the southern Oregon town of Grants Pass who enrolled in the state's unemployment program in 2007 said she did not receive a notice of fees until several months after she incurred some $220 in surcharges. A Portland man who enrolled in August and receives $507 in benefits each week said he cannot find a U.S. Bank ATM or retail store where he can remove more than $200 at a time, forcing him to pay fees to get all of his funds.

Linville, who lost his job as a data entry clerk in August, said he was not aware of the fees when he signed up for the U.S. Bank card on Oregon's unemployment web site but later received a schedule of fees in the mail. He has a bank account but thought the U.S.Bank card would give him a way to pay bills immediately when his unemployment benefits arrived. Often, Linville is so short on cash that he pulls money off the card to pay bills on the same day they are due, he said. If he can, he pays the bill with the debit card, a retail purchase that does not carry a fee. But, that is not always an option.

"I try to use it the best way I can really," said Linville, 39. "But it's not that easy to plan a way around those fees. You just pay them and you move on to the next problem."
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
"For the state, the cards minimize the need to mail checks or manage transfers to myriad banks."

This is sheer stupidity by the government, state, federal, whoever responsible.

You have a person's Name and their Bank Details.

You do one transaction a week per person, all online.

"Manage transfers to myriad banks" significantly increases costs? That makes no sense. It's all just an online transfer. In a world with online purchases soaring and banking on smart and dumb phones and by SMS, this is sheer idiocy.

Something definitely smells fishy.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Some might not give a damn about the unemployed and poor... But the banks take it one step further and are taking a red hot poker and shoving it up their asses.

From the perspective of the poor, everyone shoves a red hot poker up their ass. Perpetual bad choices are very, very expensive.

Quote:
I mean, what the fuck. How did the banks get the contracts to issue government money, and then they profit from the government funding and the "customer" all at the same time?

Are they supposed to get the contracts and not profit from them? The customers with regard to the poor are terrible at all facets of their money management, not just those that involve the banks. They'll pay their landlords a late fee once a month. They'll pay the late charge on their cell phone bill. They do it everywhere. Poor impulse control isn't just an issue with banks.

Quote:
Is anyone still shocked the Occupy movement is rolling along???

The Occupy movement isn't still rolling along. The same semi-employed perma-protesters and a bunch of professional homeless people sitting in a park isn't rolling along. All polls show their negatives growing quickly.

Quote:
Who gave the government unemployment money contracts to the banks???

Obviously the government did and they will continue to do so because dealing with poor people is very expensive and time consuming as most people who are gigantic train wrecks are prone to be.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

From the perspective of the poor, everyone shoves a red hot poker up their ass. Perpetual bad choices are very, very expensive.



Are they supposed to get the contracts and not profit from them? The customers with regard to the poor are terrible at all facets of their money management, not just those that involve the banks. They'll pay their landlords a late fee once a month. They'll pay the late charge on their cell phone bill. They do it everywhere. Poor impulse control isn't just an issue with banks.



The Occupy movement isn't still rolling along. The same semi-employed perma-protesters and a bunch of professional homeless people sitting in a park isn't rolling along. All polls show their negatives growing quickly.



Obviously the government did and they will continue to do so because dealing with poor people is very expensive and time consuming as most people who are gigantic train wrecks are prone to be.

Seriously, we all know that sometimes people make bad choices, including you and I, and that seeing others making mistakes, and sometimes the same mistakes, is frustrating. But the idea that everyone who receives government help is a "gigantic train wreck" is so hatefull, it's verging on evil.
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post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Seriously, we all know that sometimes people make bad choices, including you and I, and that seeing others making mistakes, and sometimes the same mistakes, is frustrating. But the idea that everyone who receives government help is a "gigantic train wreck" is so hatefull, it's verging on evil.

That's nice. You don't have an argument or point to stand on so just call it hateful and evil.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

That's nice. You don't have an argument or point to stand on so just call it hateful and evil.

Is someone worth arguing with about details if they lump "the poor" into the catagory of "giant train wrecks"?

It's remarkable to me that you even dare, not least because you are a bright guy and it makes you appear the opposite.
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post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Is someone worth arguing with about details if they lump "the poor" into the catagory of "giant train wrecks"?

It's remarkable to me that you even dare, not least because you are a bright guy and it makes you appear the opposite.

Poverty strongly correlates with education, lack of marriage, and illegitimacy of children. Perhaps I shorten that to giant train wreck for brevity, but it doesn't change the facts.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #10 of 32
So there is an incentive to NOT be poor. good!
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

So there is an incentive to NOT be poor. good!

I'm glad someone cares.
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post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Poverty strongly correlates with education, lack of marriage, and illegitimacy of children. Perhaps I shorten that to giant train wreck for brevity, but it doesn't change the facts.

Sounds to me like you unaware of the effects of poverty. Sorry, it just does.
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post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Sounds to me like you unaware of the effects of poverty. Sorry, it just does.

Well dismissive waves of a hand don't count for much in terms of expertise.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Well dismissive waves of a hand don't count for much in terms of expertise.

Trump, I agree with you here, the poorest in society are the one's most likely to make the worst choices. So we have banks exploiting that. Wonderfull.
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post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post

So there is an incentive to NOT be poor. good!

The poor are just stagnant and the middle class pretty soon will be non existent.Who the hell wants to be poor!The GOP Party gives a shit less about the poor anyway.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

From the perspective of the poor, everyone shoves a red hot poker up their ass. Perpetual bad choices are very, very expensive.

If you have any sense of proportion then you would view the CHOICES taken by the banksters that resulted in the economy tanking, and then blackmailing Congress into bailing them out for $trillions in corporate welfare ... as being bad CHOICES. Not just bad one, but CHOICES made, in which the participants were fully aware of the catastrophic damage that would result.. and has.. and is still ongoing.

The actions of serial criminals, and sociopaths.
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post #17 of 32
Wait, the banks "blackmailed" Congress into bailing them out?

A simple Google search returns ample evidence that the banks were forced to take bailout money whether they wanted it or not.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #18 of 32
Let me get this straight: People are given a prepaid debit cards...in other words, free money...that's not theirs. OK. Got it. But...what's this? They are then complaining that banks are charging fees when they access "their" money?

Beggars can't be choosers. Write it down and remember it.
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post #19 of 32
So, you are cool with banks siphoning some of your tax money away at the expense of poor people who really fucking need it?

 

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post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

So, you are cool with banks siphoning some of your tax money away at the expense of poor people who really fucking need it?

What's the alternative? They are going to "siphon off" some of the money because they are providing a service. They are going to make SOME money off their contract. So how much should they be allowed to charge? Oh wait, maybe we should tell them how much they can charge to "protect consumers." But wait, then they might find other ways to rape the land and...cough...make money.

Oh, and why do I suspect you don't give a damn about what it costs taxpayers? Why do I suspect that this is just another ran against evil, heartless, corporations?
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post #21 of 32
I'm cool with me giving my own money to people who really need it, rather than having my money taken from me under threat of violence with the excuse that it will be given to people who really need it.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

If you have any sense of proportion then you would view the CHOICES taken by the banksters that resulted in the economy tanking, and then blackmailing Congress into bailing them out for $trillions in corporate welfare ... as being bad CHOICES. Not just bad one, but CHOICES made, in which the participants were fully aware of the catastrophic damage that would result.. and has.. and is still ongoing.

The actions of serial criminals, and sociopaths.

What about the CHOICES made by the goverment....they chose to force subprimes down everyone's throat. They CHOSE to effectively buy 90% of all mortgages. And now we're supposed to have the same "deciders" fix the problem through regulation. Of course, regulation is what caused the problem to begin with. You can attack the banks all you want. The government is the worst actor on the stage.
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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

If you have any sense of proportion then you would view the CHOICES taken by the banksters that resulted in the economy tanking, and then blackmailing Congress into bailing them out for $trillions in corporate welfare ... as being bad CHOICES. Not just bad one, but CHOICES made, in which the participants were fully aware of the catastrophic damage that would result.. and has.. and is still ongoing.

The actions of serial criminals, and sociopaths.

The choices that tanked the economy and CONTINUE to tank the economy are those made by governments. The only reason banks are hurting is because they are holding so much government debt which BTW, is often part of their reserve requirements.

The serial criminals and sociopaths are those who have been preaching a war on poverty for multiple generations and watched all indicators that were supposed to be improved instead fail and get worse while trillions have been spent.

Speaking of banks, I'd like to chime in and tell you all that I love mine. I bank at one of the top 5 largest banks in the U.S and moved there from a credit union. I have multiple checking and a half dozen savings accounts there, all free of course. Bill Pay is free. They have ATM's all over the place and one of the reasons I moved to them was because of their fantastic investment account options. I basically never have to pay for my stock trades. (I'd have to trade at a very high volume to end up paying, basically day trade) The other point was when I moved these accounts, the credit union was lagging badly on adding Bill Pay options and as someone who does almost all my banking online, many of their websites look like badly designed jokes.

My bank is awesome to me.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The choices that tanked the economy and CONTINUE to tank the economy are those made by governments. The only reason banks are hurting is because they are holding so much government debt which BTW, is often part of their reserve requirements.

Exactly.

Quote:

The serial criminals and sociopaths are those who have been preaching a war on poverty for multiple generations and watched all indicators that were supposed to be improved instead fail and get worse while trillions have been spent.

But trump...things would have been so much worse! And the state of poverty just shows that we're not spending nearly enough!

Quote:

Speaking of banks, I'd like to chime in and tell you all that I love mine. I bank at one of the top 5 largest banks in the U.S and moved there from a credit union. I have multiple checking and a half dozen savings accounts there, all free of course. Bill Pay is free. They have ATM's all over the place and one of the reasons I moved to them was because of their fantastic investment account options. I basically never have to pay for my stock trades. (I'd have to trade at a very high volume to end up paying, basically day trade) The other point was when I moved these accounts, the credit union was lagging badly on adding Bill Pay options and as someone who does almost all my banking online, many of their websites look like badly designed jokes.

My bank is awesome to me.

I've had mixed experiences. Right now I'm with USAA, which is frankly AMAZING. I get a fixed rate credit card at a relatively low rate. I get BillPay, financial planning tools, mobile deposit (works fantastically), and get refunded all ATM fees. They will negotiate new car pricing for you as well (haven't used that). I'm also a member of my state employees credit union, which is great for loans and credit cards. Getting a car loan is as easy as filling out an online form and waiting for a check to come in the mail.

With other banks, my main problems have been technical weirdness, customer service, etc. I had a problem with TD's BillPay and with Wachovia's customer service, so I canned them. PNC was OK. I dislike Bank of America and US Bank. In fact, funny story...one of my car leases was through US Bank. I got a new car, and because I had made an extra payment timing-wise, they had to refund me several hundred dollars after the fact. They waited weeks, so I sent them a letter complaining about the delay, and an invoice for a $25.00 customer "late fee." I got two checks...one for the payment, and one for $25 a few weeks later! I am the 99%.
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post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Let me get this straight: People are given a prepaid debit cards...in other words, free money...that's not theirs. OK. Got it. But...what's this? They are then complaining that banks are charging fees when they access "their" money?

Beggars can't be choosers. Write it down and remember it.

Er... no, the point is that the unemployment money given by the GOVERNMENT is being SIPHONED AWAY by the BANKS.

See, government gives someone $100 a week, say. The banks take a slice of that, eg. $1.50 per ATM transaction on their own ATM network.

So, the banks are taking government money. The poor notwithstanding, the banks are essentially stealing from the government.

The issues are:

1. If you have direct deposit of benefits from the government then you are not subject to these ludicrous fees.

2. These fees (pre-paid debit cards given to the unemployed) are OUTSIDE of the regular fees banks charge. Like I mentioned, $1.50 transactions for on-network ATM transactions. Any regular person would say this is undesirable and look for a different bank.

3. Government agencies eg. Oregon state officials say this arrangement of paying benefits through only one bank helps efficiency, which I call bullshit on. In this day and age how hard is it to direct deposit a certain amount of money in one's bank account electronically, for individual, small business, big business, government, or otherwise.

4. The unemployed and poor are less likely to be in a frame of mind to understand how to manage their money.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Exactly.

The craziest thing about this is half these bank rants are largely based on blaming Jewish people for all the world's problems.

Quote:
But trump...things would have been so much worse! And the state of poverty just shows that we're not spending nearly enough!



Quote:
I've had mixed experiences. Right now I'm with USAA, which is frankly AMAZING. I get a fixed rate credit card at a relatively low rate. I get BillPay, financial planning tools, mobile deposit (works fantastically), and get refunded all ATM fees. They will negotiate new car pricing for you as well (haven't used that). I'm also a member of my state employees credit union, which is great for loans and credit cards. Getting a car loan is as easy as filling out an online form and waiting for a check to come in the mail.

With other banks, my main problems have been technical weirdness, customer service, etc. I had a problem with TD's BillPay and with Wachovia's customer service, so I canned them. PNC was OK. I dislike Bank of America and US Bank. In fact, funny story...one of my car leases was through US Bank. I got a new car, and because I had made an extra payment timing-wise, they had to refund me several hundred dollars after the fact. They waited weeks, so I sent them a letter complaining about the delay, and an invoice for a $25.00 customer "late fee." I got two checks...one for the payment, and one for $25 a few weeks later! I am the 99%.

Yeah, we've gone around about car loans over the years. I was just thinking about my cars the other morning. My truck is a 92 which makes it quite old by the reasoning of many. Yet the second a car can't be lent on anymore, the value drops dramatically which means the value isn't in the vehicle but in what someone will lend on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Er... no, the point is that the unemployment money given by the GOVERNMENT is being SIPHONED AWAY by the BANKS.

It's not being siphoned away. The reality is that you need to give banks business of some sort to get things free from them. It's clear that the banks give them a certain number of transactions for free and the number is high enough to easily get the money out of the government account and into their own account.

Quote:
See, government gives someone $100 a week, say. The banks take a slice of that, eg. $1.50 per ATM transaction on their own ATM network.

What is really clear is this is happening because the people receiving the money have no bank account of their own and while receiving free government money, use that account in a manner that is the same as their own personal checking account.

So the reality is this. The government gives someone a $100 a week. They go in four times a month and withdraw the money from the government card and place it in their own checking account. Per your link that would lead to exactly zero charges of any sort. However what many are doing instead is simple taking the government card and treating it as free money. They wander around and whip out the EBT card to pay for whatever strikes their fancy and just eat the fees.

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So, the banks are taking government money. The poor notwithstanding, the banks are essentially stealing from the government.

The banks pay fees for those transactions.

Quote:
The issues are:

1. If you have direct deposit of benefits from the government then you are not subject to these ludicrous fees.

Yes but you can't have direct deposit if you've ruined your ability to have a checking account by writing bad checks. You also can't have it directly deposited if you have garnishments and judgements against you that you are worried this money by be taken to satisfy.

Quote:
2. These fees (pre-paid debit cards given to the unemployed) are OUTSIDE of the regular fees banks charge. Like I mentioned, $1.50 transactions for on-network ATM transactions. Any regular person would say this is undesirable and look for a different bank.

These fees are being paid because the accounts aren't meant to be checking accounts.

Quote:
3. Government agencies eg. Oregon state officials say this arrangement of paying benefits through only one bank helps efficiency, which I call bullshit on. In this day and age how hard is it to direct deposit a certain amount of money in one's bank account electronically, for individual, small business, big business, government, or otherwise.

It certainly has to save money over the printing of checks, the issues of pseudo money in the form of food stamps, etc.

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4. The unemployed and poor are less likely to be in a frame of mind to understand how to manage their money.

They are less likely to care when it is free money rather than earned money. If you have to earn the value of something, then you simply don't squander it.

Here's a quote from a Huffington Post article about this issue.

Quote:
Banking experts say the real money lies in the fees the bank collects for a range of services. When the state first contracted with Bank of America, the list of potential fees the bank was allowed to collect included a $1.50 charge when a customer visited a bank ATM or teller more than once per week, a $1.50 charge for use of an out-of-network ATM, a $1.50 charge for speaking to a customer service operator more than once per month, and 50 cents for entering the wrong PIN number at an ATM more than four times or requesting more funds from an ATM than remained on the card................The state asserts that people who are prudent, timing their withdrawals while adhering to the limits, can secure all of their funds without charge.

These shouldn't even be real issues. You don't treat it like a debit card. You treat it like a means of getting your money and do so once a week and you are fine.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

See, government gives someone $100 a week, say. The banks take a slice of that, eg. $1.50 per ATM transaction on their own ATM network.

So ? ... If I take my NON-GOVERMENT atm/debit card and get cash or make a purchase, I get charged a fee... why should the freeloader's () use of an atm card be subject to different rules than anyone else ?
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Er... no, the point is that the unemployment money given by the GOVERNMENT is being SIPHONED AWAY by the BANKS.

See, government gives someone $100 a week, say. The banks take a slice of that, eg. $1.50 per ATM transaction on their own ATM network.

So, the banks are taking government money. The poor notwithstanding, the banks are essentially stealing from the government.

Dude, you're in bizarro world on this one. The banks are "stealing" by transparently collecting fees for a service they've contracted for? How about the government, which is ACTUALLY stealing OUR money and GIVING it to the "poor?"

Quote:

The issues are:

1. If you have direct deposit of benefits from the government then you are not subject to these ludicrous fees.

Ludicrous? Again, bizarro world. The fees are relatively small...around $1.50.

Quote:

2. These fees (pre-paid debit cards given to the unemployed) are OUTSIDE of the regular fees banks charge. Like I mentioned, $1.50 transactions for on-network ATM transactions. Any regular person would say this is undesirable and look for a different bank.

So? They are outside the normal fees because they are not normal cards.

Quote:

3. Government agencies eg. Oregon state officials say this arrangement of paying benefits through only one bank helps efficiency, which I call bullshit on. In this day and age how hard is it to direct deposit a certain amount of money in one's bank account electronically, for individual, small business, big business, government, or otherwise.

Yes, because you're infinitely more qualified to judge "bullshit" than the people that actually look at the data every day.

Quote:

4. The unemployed and poor are less likely to be in a frame of mind to understand how to manage their money.

No fucking shit. They are also getting free fucking money. And they are complaining about getting charged a fee for making more than 4 ATM withdrawals a month...withdrawals of other people's money.

We're giving people fucking debit cards for no other reason than they aren't working or don't make "enough" money, and you're screaming bloody murder for the people GETTING the money. Oh my God.
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post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Ludicrous? Again, bizarro world. The fees are relatively small...around $1.50

Okay I don't know about you guys but you like a good deal, right? Never mind the poor, but, y'all like a good deal, right?

With my account, with one of the other "big four" banks here in Australia, I pay $5 a month, some major and smaller banks have no fees. Unlimited ATM withdrawals on their ATM network. No charges for the debit card.

1. Do the major US banks offer this kind of service? If not, why?

2. If not, do you accept paying $1.50 for every on-network ATM transaction? Do you accept $1.50 for every on-network ATM transaction over 4 times a month? Sure, you can withdraw just 4 times a month and not be charged but sometimes, you know, you may have unexpected cash needs, you want that flexibility. 4 times a month as a limit, to a regular person, is... annoying at best.

3. If US major banks offer this simple, affordable service that I enjoy (which is open to anyone), why can't unemployment beneficiaries just use a bank account like that? Why this "special" kind of debit card thing? Why not a regular bank account, regular debit card? What benefits does it offer? This is the part I don't get. Added complexity for no reason other than state/federal government sanctioning of lining the bank pockets, it seems to me. Sure, I may have no authority to claim how this may not increase government efficiency, but, come on, like I said, we're all technology aware here, direct deposit into bank accounts is no biggie.

When I was in San Francisco 10 years ago I had a Citibank account and debit card. Can't remember the details on the fees, but it was nothing outrageous.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I'm cool with me giving my own money to people who really need it, rather than having my money taken from me under threat of violence with the excuse that it will be given to people who really need it.

What violence are you referring to?
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

What violence are you referring to?

Try not paying taxes and see what happens.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

3. If US major banks offer this simple, affordable service that I enjoy (which is open to anyone), why can't unemployment beneficiaries just use a bank account like that?

They can and your link notes specifically that if they give the state permission to directly deposit the funds into their own checking account, that there are no fees possible.

Quote:
Why this "special" kind of debit card thing? Why not a regular bank account, regular debit card? What benefits does it offer? This is the part I don't get. Added complexity for no reason other than state/federal government sanctioning of lining the bank pockets, it seems to me.

You obviously haven't dealt with the poor or lower classes. It's pretty simple. Before the state would have sent them a check and they would have been expected to cash it or deposit it into their checking account. If they do anything like that now, direct deposit or cash out or withdraw the entire amount of the benefit, then they have no fees and all is well in the world.

The problem is that many poor folks don't follow the rules. They are impulse driven, have a lack of education and a lack of foresight. So they see an Apple iPod and want it and they will write a check for it. The check bounces but they have their Apple iPod. It dings their credit, racks up a bunch of fees and eventually puts their name into a system like ChexSystem. When that happens, banks won't let them open a new checking account and they must resolve the problems with their old checking account.

So you see the problem comes from taking this benefit and asking for it to be dribbled out over the week while using the card like your own checking account. If you write a check to me and I ask the bank to cash it slowly a dozen times for varying amounts with regard to how to disperse the funds, that would certainly be more work than handing me the cash one time from the check.

So why do the poor not take the benefit as a lump sum and avoid the charges? Some of them are self-aware and want to protect themselves from themselves. They know if they have all that money burning in their pocket, they will spend it on whatever impulses hit them. The flip side of it is just laziness. They could take it as a lump sum and manage it, but hey, it is free money, it shows up every Friday and why work to manage it when I can just whip out my card and use it when the fancy strikes me.

Quote:
Sure, I may have no authority to claim how this may not increase government efficiency, but, come on, like I said, we're all technology aware here, direct deposit into bank accounts is no biggie.

I think you're stuck in a disconnect on the understanding here. The possibility of the fees goes away completely if the state can directly deposit the funds into the person's own checking account. The fees only become possible if the person cannot or will not do this and wants to use the funds being received from the state on the state debit card like their own person checking account.

This is from your first link....

Quote:
He's afraid to withdraw his full benefits in one shot, knowing that the bank could sock him with a $17.50 overdraft fee if he exceeds his balance. So he pulls out small amounts of cash as he needs it, incurring about $15 in fees in the last two months he says.

Again this is from your article....

Quote:
In Oregon, jobless people who apply for unemployment benefits are automatically given their weekly benefits via a U.S. Bank ReliaCard unless they expressly opt out and furnish information about a personal bank account to establish a direct deposit.

Same article...

Quote:
Six Oregon residents interviewed by The Huffington Post said that when they applied for unemployment benefits online, the state's website did offer them the opportunity to set up a direct deposit instead of relying upon a prepaid debit card furnished by U.S. Bank. But the page on which they were offered the options did not clearly lay out the fees that can be incurred with the debit card option, they said. Another section of the Web site does list the fees, The Huffington Post found, but locating that information requires looking on a separate page.

From my article....

Quote:
At first, her benefits were direct deposited to her Bank of America checking account.

In August 2010, unemployment officials summoned Gortman for a benefits review during which she says she was strongly encouraged to sign up for a prepaid debit card. Gortman resisted. Fearful that the agency would delay her benefits if she did not submit, she says, Gortman signed the form. A few weeks later the card and a brochure came in the mail. The potential fees were disclosed in the fine print, she says, but she initially missed them.

Quote:
She received a few checks, and then the state sent her a debit card, though says she has no recollection of applying for one.

Even now that she is cognizant of the fees, she is afraid to switch to direct deposit, fearing a resulting gap in her weekly benefits. Her family's finances are so tight, she says, that any delay puts them behind on the bills.

Now again, I've dealt with this class of people for a long, long time. The news article notes that both people mentioned could easily go to direct deposit and avoid all fees. They blame other parties or conveniently don't recall how they came to end up on the prepaid debit card but the ability to fix it is pretty simple. There's a reason they won't. The articles won't dig into it but as a landlord I know why they won't. Their checking accounts are either closed and their names are in ChexSystem or they have their accounts sit empty on purpose and won't make deposits because they have judgements and garnishments that the banks might grab the money for first. As someone who has gotten judgements against people, I know that's one of the things you do to collect it. You take the judgement to a bank and when some money comes in, they just grab it to fulfill the judgement.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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