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Complain To FDIC?

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xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Hi, folks,
In a couple of PM's between me and Pam Crowley, I related this story concerning my wife's experience with a sloppy bank and the FDIC. She suggested I post it here and let everybody comment:

My wife, Tracy, recently applied for a JCPenny credit card in her own name (already had an account in mine). The bank which handles Penney's credit cards denied her credit. In the denial letter, they listed only the FDIC as the party to write to if she had any questions, or if she wanted to know the basis for the denial. So, she wrote'em. The FDIC wrote back, saying that they weren't a credit reporting agency, but that they'd look into the matter. They treated her simple inquiry as a complaint, and started a <full blown> investigation of the bank's lending practices. Within about three days of the date on the FDIC's reply letter, Tracy got her credit card and a letter of apology from the bank. Apparently, they found a lot of maggots when they kicked over the bank's rock. She got a letter from the FDIC explaining the results of their investigation, and that the matter should now be cleared up, yada, yada, yada, and that their investigation of the bank was "ongoing."

All of which got me, the TP Research Collection Manager, to going, "Hmmmmmm." FDIC won't do anything about a mortgage broker, but they might well be interested in any bank's attempt to pressure appraisers into changing things on a report, as well as fraudulent practices which get discovered during an appraisal review. It appears that FDIC interest isn't something banks want to earn.
Now, we all know they can't investigate he-said, she-said complaints. But if you give these guys something they can verify, some kind of documentation about a possible offense, they appear to be more than willing to investigate. And it ain't gonna be a good week at that bank.

Anybody else have experiences with FDIC?
 

David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Jim,

I cannot be 100% sure I "get the whole picture" from your account. It would be good if, say, Pam would write-up her understanding of how things must have transpired, and if one other person maybe did the same, or for you to rewrite it from a different "frame of reference" so to speak, or in different words -- so that, with the combination, we get several perspectives and wordings such that questions and misunderstandings might be "fixed" before they start -- BTW, I realize what I just wrote needs the same treatment, and also understand that it takes more effort and creates more to read than "us readers" sometime have time and/or interest to invest...

(My grandmother use to write in some of her letters to me when I was a child: "Sorry, if I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter"!)

Alternatively, I could read it again and again and think about it a good bit over time, and thereby perhaps answer some of the questions I have all on my own -- and may or may not be right about my conclusions. (Again, what I just wrote could use the same "Triangulation Techniques" for better clarity...)

However, the following may be germane regardless
of my understanding or misunderstanding of the whole
situation you depicted:


Steve Vertin, MAI, use to post often to AppraisersForum and was a favorite for many of us -- a great guy who always gave well-thought-out sound advice, for instance. He must have gotten on to other things, is just too busy, or for some other reason no longer gets around to posting very often any more. However, in one of his last series of posts -- that went on for a period of several months and ultimately included an article or two in one of our "in print" national appraiser "newsletters," was about his experience with one of our national "Lender Regulators" in regard to a formal complaint he had submitted to them (complete with much documentation) about a specific egregious example of lender pressure. In specific, if I remember right, they were not going to pay him for an expensive commercial appraisal report he completed for them because they did not like the value conclusion, which ruined the deal. The lender in question had suggested that if he was interested in any more work from them -- and indeed, interested in even getting paid for the current work in question -- he would "reconsider" his valuation findings. (Translation: He would "play ball" or else.)

The regulator (you have heard of them many times before -- we are also taking about one of "The MAJORS" here) reviewed the complaint, as many of us did too, and basically told Steve to "Get Lost." And there was also the implication that he (Steve) was the real deviant in this situation -- not the lender. That was clearly BS, of course, and it told appraisers across the Country -- by way of this forum and that newsletter -- what was really going on. He was treated just the same way other true Americans have been treated who are forced to become "Whistle Blowers" these days. Generally they are fired, and the guilty are quietly given praises and raises.

People who believe Department Heads at US Cabinet Level Positions and all of their respective "underlings" (who are themselves the heads of our federal agencies) do not get their Marching Orders from the very top, are very naïve (and therefore, are also a bit dangerous).

No particular slam on Bush, even though no one could deserve it more, well except for maybe Clinton. Actually these two are more "one and the same" than the average citizen is likely to have any idea... For example, Most people have no idea that they are the best of buddies, "professionally" speaking.

There is an upside though. We are catching on en masse.

Real fast.

dcj
 

xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
David,
The whole point was that a relatively innocent consumer inquiry to FDIC, requesting something from them that they don't do, triggered a major investigation of a large bank.

Your story didn't end as well. The general rule with bureacracy is if you don't get it done right the first time, go see his boss.

I don't mean to present this as a "silver bullet"; there aren't any. Just something else to try which, if you get the right bureaucrat, may cause a wonderfully satisfying ruckus.
 
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