I Pit Bank Of America!

I’ve never pitted anyone before, but this case is just so outragous that I had to vent. I am outraged at Bank Of America, a greedy corperation who doesn’t care at all about the normal person.

Here is thestory . But in case you don’t want to read it, here is the cliff notes. If you do read the article, you can skip the next 2 paragraphs.

Matthew Shinnick, a resident of San Francisco, put some bikes up for sale on Craigslist, and recieved a check from someone for $2,000 drawn on a Bank of America account. He was suspicious that the check might be bogus, so he went to a BoA branch and asked the teller if the check was good, and if there was enough money to cover it. The teller said it was a good check, so he said he would like to cash it. He signed the back of the check. The teller went to the manager of the bank, who saw a note on the account about fraudulent activity, and called the police. The police came to the bank and the next thing Matthew knew he was being arrested in the middle of the bank.

 The police booked him, and after spending the day in jail with real criminals he was able to post bond. After about 24 hours the DA dropped the charges, but Matthew wanted the case exponged so that the arrest wouldn't show up at the wrong time in the future. After he spend about $14,000 in legal fees, and after the bank amitted its mistake, a Supreme court judge dismissed the case.

Matthew Shinnick now wants an appology and for Bank of America to refund the $14,000 he had to spend to clear his name because of their mistake. And they REFUSE to do anything. They are protected against a lawsuit because of a 2004 CA Supreme court ruling, and refuse to give him an appology.

Doesn’t this sound like a classic case of corperate greed?! How hard would it be to be a good company and admit they SCREWED UP! I think the guy is being VERY resonable about his requests, but the DAMNED Bank Of America Corperate goons think that since they can’t be sued, they don’t have to do a DAMNED thing!

So, local cosumer advicate and nationally syndicated radio talk show host Clark Howard has put forth a challenge for all his listeners to withdraw any money they have in Bank of America in order to hit them where it really hurts. After only 48 hours after he made his plee, his listeners have withdrawn over $7,000,000 from the bank.

Bank of America should be ashamed of what they did, and I hope Clark Howard is successful in getting Bank of America to admit that what they did was wrong. What do my fellow dopers think about this travesty?

Too bad it wasn’t $700,000,000.00 withdrawn.

Forget the Bank of America, it’s the government that really pisses me off here. They come off like a buch of fucking thugs. It seems to me that if they made him jump through $14k worth of hoops to clear his name, the state should pay it.

Well, I guess BOA isn’t known as Bunch Of Assholes for nothing.

About time somebody pitted these bastards! I’ve spent Og knows how many hundreds of dollars in overdraft charges over the years because some BofA higher-up, in his wisdom, decided my direct deposit should go in at 6:00 am on payday instead of at midnight like everybody else’s. So, quite often, my checks have been entered into the system before the direct deposit was.:mad: I finally wised up and started mailing my bills the day before payday. Fortunately i get paid on the 15th and 30th.

Has anyone looked at the Google ads yet? They’re advertising in their own Pit thread! :confused:

Yeah, what BofA did was pretty much SOP. They were given a fraudulent check and so they informed the police. They didn’t really do anything wrong, as portrayed in this story. They probably should have been more aware that this guy could feasibly be a victim, but in this case, the main problems were caused by the police (SFPD heavyhanded? Never!). I’d like to see a bank try to convince a bonafide scammer to come to the back and “work things out.” It seems Shinnick’s rage is misdirected.

The Hagberg case is much more troubling, as it was a false positive. The bank there incorrectly identified the check and perhaps has more liability.

Sorry, but this was totally the police at fault here. The bank got a bogus check, they called the cops, and the cops screwed up.

I had a similar situation happen about 20 years ago. I got a bad check for a gun I was selling and took the check to the bank. They called the cops, the cops gave me a lecture about taking checks from people I didn’t know and filed a report on my behalf. Everyone was pretty sympathetic towards me. if there to be mad at it’s the police.

Yeah, why would the police arrest the guy who specifically came into check the bad check. Sure, he might be a scammer. But it’s not something I’d automatically assume, and was based on little-to-no-evidence.

I think this guy has a very good false arrest claim, unless the BoA manager told the police something incorrect, in which case he has a very good claim against BoA for false accusations.

Um … not for nuthin’, but you can’t really blame the bank if you’re writing checks on money that hasn’t shown up in your account yet.

Since that equals approx. 1/2 of 1% percent of their assets, I doubt they care much.

As long as you’re waiting for it to clear before giving them whatever you’re selling, what’s wrong with taking checks from people you don’t know?

How much is $14,000 compared to their assets?

Less then 1/2 of 1% percent of their assets.


By my calculations. They don’t care, nor should they.

Nothing really. But this was a face to face transaction…I had already given him the gun and he was long gone. This was before eBay had even ben thought of. I was pretty naive at the time.

What I don’t get is why the teller didn’t have the visibility regarding the fraud alert when he originally asked her if it was a valid check, though it probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome in this particular case. Maybe he would’ve decided to rip up the check and wak away instead of trying to cash it, avoiding the whole debacle.

Also, if it had been a smaller amount and the teller less inclined to take extra confirmation steps, and the person trying to cash the check was the one trying to steal money, they might’ve gotten out the door with the cash.

Either the teller didn’t follow proper procedure and provided bad information at first, or BofA is keeping their front line of theft prevention, the tellers, in the dark.

Banker checking in (I don’t work for B of A). I’m not going to hijack the thread by explaining why A) the bank had little to no control over when your check posted, and B) the exact time that your check posted had nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not you’d have been overdrawn, but if you do want to know so you can avoid this sort of thing happening again (note: it’ll happen with pretty much every bank on Earth if you carry on using these assumptions), email me. RolandOrzabal “at” gmail.com.

Yes, Bank of America certainly dropped the ball here, to put it lightly. Checking account notation is SOP for every teller, branch manager, phone banker, or anyone else who might have occassion to access your account info. When asked about the status of the check, the teller should have accessed the account (he did), verified the funds (he did), and checked the account history and employee comments to see if there was anything off about the account status (obviously, he didn’t). This is not difficult to do, and would have saved this poor man a world of trouble. CTTDSWHC, sometimes an account is being monitored by the fraud department for suspicious activity, but hasn’t actually had “Fraud Status”-proper put on it. In that case, the fraud monitoring would be noted in the account memos, which, as I mentioned, should’ve been checked before the check was accepted in the first place, as a matter of course.

I’ve been saying for quite some time that ALL banks – my own employer included – need to greatly increase the time and manpower devoted to training branch employees on proper procedures (including “how not to be fucking imbeciles”). Maybe if this story keeps getting press, it’ll light the fire under B of A’s ass to start doing this, and others in the industry will follow suit.

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Big mega-banks suck. Why would anyone have an account with one?

My advice is to put your money in a small, community bank and/or credit union.

Agreed. I don’t know that the guy in the OP has an account with BofA, but the check he was trying to verify was drawn on one.

When I get a physical check, I try to take it to the bank it’s drawn on whenever possible. More than once, the bank hasn’t wanted to cash it for me, but they’ve never called the cops on me. I’ll consider myself lucky!

Care to explain this, CS? You certainly have the right to hold the opinion that a large corporation has no moral responsibility to its clients. But weren’t you the person fulminating about a decline in values a while back?