So, since WaMu failed...do I have to pay this credit card bill?

:smiley: Okay, I’m pretty sure the answer to that is yes. But how does this work, exactly? Does some other creditor take over administration of my account? What, exactly, does it mean when the headlines say the bank “failed”?

The answer is yes. JPMorgan Chase is generally going to be your creditor. According to the WaMu website, for now, continue banking as normal. When things start to migrate over to Chase, they’ll let you know more.

What about WAMU’s liabilities?

What would the answer to the op be if a bank failed and nobody bought it? COULD a bank fail and nobody buy it?

WaMu’s deposits slipped so low that it no longer had the liquidity to meet its obligations, so the government (the Office of Thrift Supervision) seized it and sold it to JP Morgan Chase, who now owns it. From your perspective, nothing has changed…you still have to pay your credit card debt, if you had bank accounts at WaMu, your money is still there. It’s just that JP Morgan Chase is going to be running things from now on.

So Chase bought WaMu?

How is Chase buying WaMu different from Chase buying, say, Bank One? They did that a few years ago, my former Bank One accounts are all now Chase…but no one said Bank One “failed”. Is it because they sold their accounts to Chase voluntarily, without being seized first?

I’m sorry, I’m truly an idiot when it comes to this grown up sort of thing…

Yes. The seizure part is what is considered “failure.”

Chase acquired them as well, although most of WaMu’s bonds will be worthless. Sucks if you own some.

Sure. When that happens, the bank is taken over by the FDIC (or the NCUA if it’s a credit union) and the insurance fund writes checks to cover any deposit accounts up to the insured limit. (They typically seize the bank on Friday and begin cutting checks over the weekend; a rare example of speedy government service.)

In this case, the government really, really didn’t want that to happen, because WaMu is so big that covering all the deposits would represent an enormous drain on the FDIC insurance fund. They actually went behind the management’s back to broker the deal with Chase, then seized the bank and sold it in the wee hours last night.

I think WaMu was involuntary. The feds didn’t want the world to wake up to the closed doors of WaMu, so they said, “Dudes, you’re screwed, here’s the new boss” and got Chase to pony up.

AFAIK, it’s business as usual, banks are open, ATM cards will work, credit card bills and HELOCs and mortgages are still payable. I think the WaMu employees will have a new signature on their paychecks, but that’s all that should change.

Ah, got it. Thanks, all!
Grumbles and takes out the checkbook.

I’m paying bills right now, and notice the splash screen for WaMu now says “Welcome to Chase!” and has a nice little list of information those of us that bank with WaMu:

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The absolute last thing Chase wants is to cause a bunch of WaMu customers to empty out their accounts–after all, that’s what killed WaMu in the first place. So they’re going to be making every effort to keep things exactly the same for you for the foreseeable future.

One odd thing was that this morning on the radio immediately after a local news report about the WaMu situation, they played a WaMu ad. Even the announcer commented upon the odd juxtaposition.

Ed

Chase bought WaMu for 1.9B. Who gets the 1.9B?

It is? It’s not related to the ongoing mortgage fiasco?

I don’t get it . . .

Well, it is and it isn’t. AFAICT, the current clusterfuck in the mortgage market is causing a tremendous loss of confidence in other areas of the economy, which causes people to want their money back from their banks just in case the trouble spreads.

Yahoo is reporting it was a good old fashioned “run” on the bank. IANABanking expert, obviously, but isn’t that when a whole bunch of people panic at once and withdraw all their funds and the bank doesn’t actually have all that cash on hand to give them, much less to pay their employees and the light bill? Like in Mary Poppins when Michael started crying, “give me back my money!” and the adults overheard and started rushing the tellers, afraid the band wasn’t giving people their money?

Yes, everything I learned about finance I learned from children’s movies.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/25/news/companies/JPM_WaMu/index.htm?postversion=2008092612

What about CDs?

CDs are FDIC insured, but that doesn’t come into play here. Your CD account is now a J P Morgan Chase account:

From http://www.usnews.com/blogs/planning-to-retire/2008/09/26/how-the-washington-mutual-takeover-will-affect-consumers.html