Don’t Accept the Run-Around (or Getting Run-Over)
The good old days are gone. Years ago, banking was a local affair. In many communities, bankers knew their customers personally and treated them as more than just an account number. But many local banks have been gobbled up by bigger banks, which may themselves be consolidated into huge national banks such as Bank of America or Wells Fargo. Much has changed. And not necessarily for the better.
What’s at Stake
You have a right to expect three things from a bank:
- to keep your money safe
- to keep your personal information secure
- to treat you fairly and not take advantage of your trust
Unless you keep your money in your mattress, you have no choice but to trust the bank.
The bank betrays your trust. There are dozens of ways bank misconduct can occur. The bank may allow a criminal to withdraw your money by fraudulent means, such as a forged check or fraudulent wire transfer. Your credit card number could be stolen or compromised. The bank might even allow someone pretending to be you to open an account in your name. Beyond these criminal acts, the bank may treat you unfairly even in “legitimate” transactions by engaging in unfair or predatory lending or debt collection practices.
Numerous laws protect consumers from these practices. Consumer lending, including lending by banks, is governed by federal laws such as the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). In South Carolina, mortgage lending is further regulated by the South Carolina High Cost and Consumer Home Loans Act, and other parts of the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code. Theft of funds from accounts is also covered under South Carolina law. Certain acts committed by banks may also violate the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.
We are experienced in litigating all of the above claims in federal and state courts in South Carolina. We represent both individuals and businesses that are victimized (including in cases of employee embezzlement).
Even if your bank tells you that you are responsible for the loss, contact us. We may be able to help you recover the money that you have lost, or help you to get compensation if your data is compromised.