What can I call a banker and not be thrown in jail

I called him a sleaze, a crook, a rat, a thief, a used car salesman, a liar and a con man. Will the police be waiting for me when I get home?

OK, a little background -On March 5, I called the bank to find out how much I owed on my truck. They told me it was $20 or so. I asked if there were any other fees or payments I had to make. The woman I talked to assured me that’s all there was. I sent them the money.

I called back on the March 10 to make sure everything was in order. And I was assured that my truck was paid off in full and I would be receiving my title in no time.

I called back again on March 22 to find out where my title was. They said they were certain it was in the mail. I called back today, March 27 and they told me that “Well, there are some more fees you have to pay before we can release your title.”

$584 worth of fees.

It turns out that while I was out of the country for three months two years ago, I didn’t make any payments. I admit I screwed up. It was a last minutes thing that I got the chance to leave and yada, yada. My fault, I admit it.

The minute I returned I sent them a check to cover the three months plus the next month’s payment, and I asked them if there was anything else, and I heard nothing.

Well, they contacted a collection agency and repo company apparently and never told me.

I found this out today when I was told about the $584. I repeatedly asked them how much I owed both in writing and in my calls and this $584 never came up until now. So did I cross the boundry on my name calling of the bankers.

Will the next time I go to the ATM at my own bank will the little machine print out “You insulted our friend, and we won’t let you have any of your own money until you apologize.”

Will those computerized signs outside all the banks between my workplace and home immediately become “TVtime rude to bankers and needs to wash his truck,” as I drive by?

I did not use profanity or call him anything obscene and it was not in public unless he put it on the speaker phone and it didn’t sound like he was in a cave so I don’t think it was.

So am I in trouble?


‘Darling Fascist Bullyboy, Give me some more money, you bastard. May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman, Neil.’

Probably not. But it’s likely you’ve scuppered your chances of avoiding the extra $584.

The argument that for two years they said nothing about extra fees and indeed quite recently told you that you were free and clear is a strong one. At the least you should have been able to parlay this into a reduction of what’s owed. But once you start calling people names, you lose the argument by default.

Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. I was just so floored by the whole thing. I just lashed out I guess. My compliments on your use of “scuppered”, though.

Call back tomorrow and apologize. Explain the situation and state your case again, calmly, and firmly insist upon knowing why you were never told about these fees. (Also, if the bank contacted a REPO company, why did they never show up?!)

And you aren’t in any trouble. Bank employees deal with irate customers daily.

As a side note, I believe the collective noun for a group of bankers is a “wunch.”

Crook, thief, and con man are accusations of violating Colorado laws, so (unless you can prove that he actually has violated those laws), you have slandered him in front of witnesses. He could sue you for slander. But that is a civil case, not criminal, so the police would not be involved.

Sleaze, rat. used car salesman, and liar are probably not actionable terms, since they don’t imply transgressing any Colorado laws. You could probably get away with them.

Actually, he is a Texas banker and who knows, in Texas maybe they are honorifics.

A reminder for Mr. Time.

I spent some time doing customer service at a bank, and got my share of irate customers. Many times I agreed with them. I was sympathetic. Banks are evil. And so forth.

My message is basically: don’t shoot the messenger. Whoever you yelled at probably had nothing to do with anything. Unless they were rude…in which case yell away.

Not that I don’t agree that you are getting screwed over (again, what are banks for?), I am just sensitive to the poor (literally) people who just happen to be answering the phone.
Interjection over.

Please continue…


If I may continue the interjection :smiley: , I have been in Banking and Finance for 14 years, and if you think you hate the Banks in the America, in Australia hating the Big Banks is a national pasttime.

I have had my fair share of irate customers also. Unless you asked to speak to a supervisor/manager the person you were talking to had zero authority to waive/discount those fees. And had zero input into creating those fees. If they were overdue/collection agency fees even the typical supervisor likely has not authority.

AS to your orignal question, nothing bad will happen to you, presuming you can live with the fact that the person on the phone after hanging up no doubt turned to his cube-mate and said, “wow, check out this asshat I just had on the phone, what a prick”*

  • [Please note I am no way calling you a prick TV Time just imparting the usual content and direction of the conversation after a customer service type person has hung up from an irate customer. ]

Also, you have blown your chance of having those fees waived. When in customer service, I try and help my customer, even to the point of where I am able of refunding some fees or similiar as a sign of good faith, etc. Once the yelling and names start though - Bam!, Mr Stoic Professional arrivals, Sorry Sir, … Company Policy,… I understand but sorry can’t help, … if you refer to your contract here you will see … blah blah blah.

IANAL, but…
The OP indicated the conversation took place over the phone, and not in public. If there was no third party, there may not have been slander. According to my journalism law classes, the libel sort of defamation requires transmission to a third party. IOW, If I write you a letter, I can call you anything I want and accuse you of anything, and it wouldn’t be considered libel if I didn’t communicate it to a third party (say, by sending a copy of the letter to your wife as well, or the local newspaper). I don’t know if slander works the same, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does since they are just two different forms of defamation.

A lot of people assume banks are reputable and, in this case, are apply a scale of fees they have advertised somewhere. It’s my experience (in the UK) that isn’t usually the case and that, instead, someone has conjured up the figure because they see an angle to make money from you.

It’s basically blackmail “Okay, you’ve paid for the truck, but you can’t have the title until you give us what we demand”.

They’re parasites, and nothing more.
I would really insist on seeing a breakdown of the fees charged referenced to the banks own terms and conditions. Failure to do so within 14 days will result in you issuing proceedings in the (obviously Civil) Small Claims Court - assuming you have this low cost legal remedy available over there.

TV time - as a comparison, you might find this encouraging and unplifting. It begins - this is a current campaigh, btw:


Wonder what the portmanteau’s parts are.

No, but by your own admission you indicated that your payments were not made on time. As a general rule, I try very hard not to piss off anyone who has access to my financial information, prepares my food, works on my car, etc. (more on this later) One can’t really be too paranoid (adjust tin-foil beanie aligned with grid-magnetic north, 13 deg. declination) when it comes to this stuff.

Seriously, a debt gone to collections is really nothing to fool with. It can have a cascading effect on your life if you aren’t careful. Good credit is the key to everything else. You’ve also indicated that you have a bit of a temper - which is a fatal character flaw when it comes to this, because buearacratic drones, if pressed, delight in provoking the hot-head types because it renders one unable to think clearly. What if you had shot off your mouth to your boss, instead of a receptionist on the phone?

Get the payment arrears taken care of, and with time, your credit and everything else will straighten out. But you’ve got to learn to divert your anger away from people who really can’t help you, but possibly hurt you in ways you can’t even fathom. It really is a small world.

Wanker and bunch?

There were no payment arrears. I paid all of the payments required. I had asked them about any extra payments. I had asked them about any penalties. And everytime I asked them (until 22 days after I paid what I was told was my final payment) I was told I was fine.

If I did, I misspoke. I know of no one that would call me a hot head or apt to lose my temper. But saying that, after you have been assured for roughly a month that you have paid everything necessary to finally pay off a bill and then to have some hemroid say “Oh by the way, you still owe over $500,” did set me off.

Is this a bank with a local branch, rather then call, I suggest you go to the local branch and talk to a banker. This might be easier in person.

Which is why Ned Kelly is an true dinkum Aussie Hero :smiley: