Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

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mikefixac
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Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by mikefixac » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:26 pm

We've had a home equity of $500K 10 years with Wells Fargo. Informed there were no charges if we didn't use the loan.

Today, we decided we don't want the loan, have never used it.

I called Wells Fargo to cancel loan and informed it would cost a little over $500. I asked what the charge was for. $8.00 is for something to do with a permit from the county and the rest is administrative fees.

Luckily my wife is an attorney, I call her "Bulldog". I just got Customer Service's number and left it on wife's desk.

It's always fun for me to watch Bulldog go to battle. Well's Fargo will not come out unscathed;-)

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by shawcroft » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:37 pm

Wow!
That's a surprise. We had a heloc with Bank of America which we opened in 1997 and never used,. They tried to charge us $100 ( "Administrative Costs") about a year ago when we closed it out. I showed them the original 1997 documents which I retained that said there would be no costs to open or close the heloc. Solved the problem.
Banks are getting quite inventive with fees. The price of cost-effective banking would now appear to require eternal vigilance.
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Meaty » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:42 am

If its in the contract you signed then i see no legal grounds for your wife to utilize during the discussion. It will likely be more effective if you simply ask to speak to a supervisor and request they waive the fee as a customer courtesy.

"Doing battle" just seems like a good way to raise your blood pressure and/or verbally beat up on some 20 year old phone representative who likely is talking from a script. Remember the old saying "you get more flies with honey rather than vinegar"
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by carolinaman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:49 am

I have a HELOC with Wells Fargo too. It was originally done with Wachovia in 1998 before their acquisition by First Union and then Wells Fargo. The termination clause says that I can cancel but there is no mention of any fees. I have no intention of terminating it but it is good to know about this in case I ever do terminate it.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by bottlecap » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:11 am

That's crazy. I wouldn't pay the thing.

I'd call up WF and tell them your selling the house and moving to Costa Rica. Then ask if you can max out the home equity line immediately before closing. One would think they'd shut that thing down fast and free of charge.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by NoVa Lurker » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:49 am

shawcroft wrote:Wow!
The price of cost-effective banking would now appear to require eternal vigilance.
Shawcroft
Yes, it seems the price of cost-effective everything these days requires eternal vigilance. This is a hot-button issue for me and my wife.

In the past year, (1) we've been double-charged on a co-pay from a dentist (I paid with a credit card at their office, then they sent a bill -- I didn't have a receipt, but I was able to show them the credit card charge), (2) we canceled cable and had them "accidentally" do an auto-withdrawal from our account, two months after we canceled (four months later, I got the refund check), (3) we signed a bill from a plumber, paid them, and then got a higher bill in the mail (which they later said was an accident), (4) we got a parking ticket associated with a car and license plate number that had nothing to do with us, but it was addressed to my wife, with our address (I drafted a letter to explain the mistake, and I haven't heard back), (5) we switched trash companies, and the outgoing company tried to charge a $30 cancellation fee, although their contract with the county prohibits them from charging the fee unless specified in the original customer contract, which it was not (we complained to county, and the company dropped it), and (6) multiple times, the grocery store has over-charged us for items that are advertised with card discounts (we have to go to customer service to complain, and they always refund us the money while saying, "That's weird, I don't know why that happened"). And that's just off the top of my head.

The mistakes never seem to go in the other direction, so I suspect all of this is somewhat intentional.

It's almost like price discrimination, where companies and governmental entities extract higher fees/prices from people who don't have the extra time/energy to fight this kind of stuff.

So the Wells Fargo thing doesn't surprise me. If people are paying off a significant outstanding balance, they may not notice the $500 fee. Wells Fargo is betting on that, I guess. Ultimately, you say "Wells Fargo will not come out unscathed," but the truth is, some phone reps will get yelled out, and they'll probably drop the charge eventually, but they won't pay any penalty -- so, in a sense, they do come out "unscathed."

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by nisiprius » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:17 am

I'm not at all surprised and I'd bet a nickel that you are on record somewhere as knowing about it and agreeing to it. I'm curious to know how it turns out.

With all due respect, the potential for drawing on a line of credit is valuable and to think you would get it for nothing is to think you'd be getting a free lunch. If banks are now assessing fees to people for not using their credit cards, why wouldn't they assess fees to people for not using their HELOCs?

If, as I suspect, you agreed to it--or it was in a fine-print grey-ink notification you were mailed--then I'd suggest giving a shot at writing a complaint to the CEO, asking for the fee to be reimbursed, saying nothing about legality but saying only that you feel the charge is unfair.
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by jimb_fromATL » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:25 am

Here's an idea to consider, assuming it IS in the fine print of your contract. If there are no fees for having it open and you don't owe anything then it costs you nothing.

Plus, if for some reason you need some cash for home repairs or upgrades in the ture and would rather leave your money invested elsewhere, you aleady have a source without having to apply for a loan.

Problem solved.

That will be 2 cents, please.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:37 am

I would have to reimburse my CU for the appraisal fee if I closed and paid off my HELOC within 24 months.
Perhaps WF added something like this to their newer HELOCs and neglected to review the fine print on your 10 year old contract...
Last edited by The Wizard on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by sscritic » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:42 am

I note that the OP never said that he read the contract. He left a phone number for the Bulldog, but not a copy of the contract. The OP has not been back. Maybe he is looking for the contract now. We don't know.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:42 am

Meaty wrote:If its in the contract you signed then i see no legal grounds for your wife to utilize during the discussion. It will likely be more effective if you simply ask to speak to a supervisor and request they waive the fee as a customer courtesy.

"Doing battle" just seems like a good way to raise your blood pressure and/or verbally beat up on some 20 year old phone representative who likely is talking from a script. Remember the old saying "you get more flies with honey rather than vinegar"
If it's not in the contract WF has no legal grounds for collecting the fee. We can't say without reading the contract but I do know that some banks agree "you get more flies with honey rather than vinegar" and are willing to try one on to collect extra fees.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by ASUGrad » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:43 am

Did you pay any appraisal, closing costs, etc. when you got the HELOC?

Many banks, not sure about Wells, will eat the cost of appraisals and closing costs of a HELOC if you keep it more than x years. However if you close it in less than X years they charge the closing costs back to you. The norm was $250 to $500 if you kept it less than 3 years where I use to work.

Now 10 years seems a bit long for that... :shock:

If that isn't what it is for then that is very bizarre.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by BrandonBogle » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:05 am

We should note that the other people talking about pricing issues at other companies and HELOCs with Wells Fargo are NOT the Op. Thus, for all we know, this loan was opened 6 months ago and as other mentioned, it could be a "if you close the loan within X time, you will reimburse us the closing costs", like I have on my loan with Hanscom (remain open 24 months with or without a balance, or reimburse closing costs).


EDIT TO ADD: Somehow I missed the 10 year part after the $500k mention in the Ops post, so ignore this post. Thank you G-Money for keeping me honest!
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by G-Money » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:08 am

BrandonBogle wrote:Thus, for all we know, this loan was opened 6 months ago
mikefixac wrote:We've had a home equity of $500K 10 years with Wells Fargo.
As a matter of course, I tend to take OPs at their word.
Don't assume I know what I'm talking about.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by BrandonBogle » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:17 am

G-Money wrote:
BrandonBogle wrote:Thus, for all we know, this loan was opened 6 months ago
mikefixac wrote:We've had a home equity of $500K 10 years with Wells Fargo.
As a matter of course, I tend to take OPs at their word.
Yikes, somehow I missed the 10 years part in the Ops post, but caught in other's replies! I will edit my post.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Fallible » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:09 pm

mikefixac wrote:We've had a home equity of $500K 10 years with Wells Fargo. Informed there were no charges if we didn't use the loan.

Today, we decided we don't want the loan, have never used it.

I called Wells Fargo to cancel loan and informed it would cost a little over $500. I asked what the charge was for. $8.00 is for something to do with a permit from the county and the rest is administrative fees.

Luckily my wife is an attorney, I call her "Bulldog". I just got Customer Service's number and left it on wife's desk.

It's always fun for me to watch Bulldog go to battle. Well's Fargo will not come out unscathed;-)
And let's hope Bulldog comes out ahead. The fee is excessive and I would guess the chances of getting it dropped would depend on wording in the original agreement or changes to it since then. As others have noted here, if the bank did change the original agreement, it probably would have been noted in tiny print as part of a general mailing. The last few years it's been more important than ever to read that tiny print to at least be aware of new fees.

I hope you'll let us know how Bulldog comes out.
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by leonard » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:44 pm

So, what happens if you simply leave the HELOC open and don't use it.

Also, how precisely would they collect the $500.

It's outrageous - but the "problem" seems in part manufactured - just something to get mad about when there would seem to be easy ways to make it a non-issue.
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by soaring » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:39 pm

mikefixac wrote:We've had a home equity of $500K 10 years with Wells Fargo. Informed there were no charges if we didn't use the loan.

Today, we decided we don't want the loan, have never used it.

I called Wells Fargo to cancel loan and informed it would cost a little over $500. I asked what the charge was for. $8.00 is for something to do with a permit from the county and the rest is administrative fees.

Luckily my wife is an attorney, I call her "Bulldog". I just got Customer Service's number and left it on wife's desk.

It's always fun for me to watch Bulldog go to battle. Well's Fargo will not come out unscathed;-)
Wells Fargo did the same thing to us in 2005 in Phoenix AZ. But their answer was... it is in the fine print...and yes in was. :annoyed
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by abuss368 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:57 pm

Another reason I do not like the national banks and avoid them as best as possible.

Most Line of Credits have an expiration date. Could you simply let it wait to expire?
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by denovo » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:14 pm

nisiprius wrote: If banks are now assessing fees to people for not using their credit cards,

If, as I suspect, you agreed to it--or it was in a fine-print grey-ink notification you were mailed--then I'd suggest giving a shot at writing a complaint to the CEO, asking for the fee to be reimbursed, saying nothing about legality but saying only that you feel the charge is unfair.
Have you heard of banks assessing fees for not using credit cards, I have not.

That being said OP should

A. Check Contract
B. Call and ask to speak to supervisor or go to local manager and complain and threaten to pull out your checking and savings or other accounts you have with them
C . Complain to Regional Manager

or D. Just leave it open
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Easy Rhino » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:44 pm

I would imagine some costs for the bank to release the lien on your house with the county. So it would also be interesting to hear what was on the original contract (and what other banks have done).

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by nisiprius » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:19 pm

denovo wrote:...Have you heard of banks assessing fees for not using credit cards, I have not...
I have, but I'm years out of date: the Fed put a stop to it.

http://business.time.com/2010/06/17/new ... edit-card/
one of the most nonsensical charges to surface was the “inactivity” fee. In other words, a fee for not using your card — for not buying stuff. New rules from the Federal Reserve will ban such an absurd fee, and they’ll also put a cap of $25 on late fees. The Fed’s new rules go into effect on August 22, 2010
Or, then again, maybe not:

http://www.squawkfox.com/2013/02/03/inactive-fee/

Not what I'd consider a perfectly reliable source if it weren't for the image they posted of the actual charge:

Image
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by john94549 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:09 pm

Nisi, I have a similar story. My Mom died in December. I called the credit card company to pay off her final bill (including any late charges). All paid, and card was supposed to have been shut down. Well, somebody at the bank forgot to shut it down. Then, in January, a bill arrives with a "late fee" of $35 for her not having paid a zero balance.

Needless to say, it was reversed, after the CSR supervisor and I had a good chuckle over the snafu.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by nhrdls » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:39 pm

I do pay my credit cad balances in full and was charged interest in one of the months. I did check my records and found out I had paid on time. Luckily I had older statement and checked if I had paid before due date. As it turns out I had paid exactly on due date.

Called credit card company asking why I was being charged interest when their printed statement shows that payment was received on due date. He also was confused and agreed that it should not have been charged. After some investigations, they found out that credits to your account happen during night while interest calculations happen in the morning. They reversed the charges, but I still wonder how many people have paid interest because of this system.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by mikefixac » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:11 pm

OP here. Thanks for all the comments. So far nothing has been done.

My wife will probably deal with this tomorrow. I sent her this thread so she can read my post and your comments.

Hopefully, she'll give a detailed account.

(I understand [commenters stated] what is meant about giving the company phone takers grief. Point taken, and my wife is sensitive to that too.)

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by sscritic » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:55 am

mikefixac wrote:OP here. Thanks for all the comments. So far nothing has been done.
What does nothing mean?

1) I haven't started looking for the documents.
2) I started to look for the documents, but I haven't found them yet.
3) I found the documents, but I haven't bothered to read them yet.

I think I am not alone in wondering what your documents say. Perhaps you could work through the steps of looking and finding and reading. Then let us know what the fine (or not so fine) print says.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by cherijoh » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:16 am

This thread caused me to pull out my documents for a HELOC that is about 10 years old from a different financial institution. There is no mention of any fees for cancellation; it just says if you cancel the HELOC you are required to return any checks or debit cards issued to draw against your credit line and that you are responsible for paying any balance you owe. I know at the time I asked about fees and was verbally told there were none. Since the contract doesn't explicitly state that there is NO fee for cancelling, I guess the bank could try and charge one if I were to cancel early. However, from a customer relations perspective that would be pretty dumb.

FYI, 10 years ago it was a totally different credit marketplace and there was fierce competition (at least here in Charlotte) to get your business. I was offered prime rate on the HELOC, a free checking account, and a free safety deposit box - all without any requirement to use the credit line. There were NO upfront fees; normally I would have had to pay for an appraisal but since there had been a very recent county-wide appraisal for real estate purposes, they waived the need for an appraisal. (My mortgage balance + credit line was less than the tax appraisal value).

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by bberris » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:40 am

leonard wrote:So, what happens if you simply leave the HELOC open and don't use it.

Also, how precisely would they collect the $500.

It's outrageous - but the "problem" seems in part manufactured - just something to get mad about when there would seem to be easy ways to make it a non-issue.
The heloc is a lien on the house. They collect when its sold.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by leonard » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:59 pm

bberris wrote:
leonard wrote:So, what happens if you simply leave the HELOC open and don't use it.

Also, how precisely would they collect the $500.

It's outrageous - but the "problem" seems in part manufactured - just something to get mad about when there would seem to be easy ways to make it a non-issue.
The heloc is a lien on the house. They collect when its sold.
I don't think it becomes a lien on the house until HELOC is closed and the $500 "charged". OP could just keep the line open.
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by bberris » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:32 pm

leonard wrote:
bberris wrote:
leonard wrote:So, what happens if you simply leave the HELOC open and don't use it.

Also, how precisely would they collect the $500.

It's outrageous - but the "problem" seems in part manufactured - just something to get mad about when there would seem to be easy ways to make it a non-issue.
The heloc is a lien on the house. They collect when its sold.
I don't think it becomes a lien on the house until HELOC is closed and the $500 "charged". OP could just keep the line open.
Really? You think the bank will keep the heloc open after the house is sold? I always thought a heloc means home equity line of credit. That would be a homeless no-equity line of credit.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Don_Qua » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:44 pm

This recently happened to me but with Chase. I took out a HELOC 10 years ago with WAMU that I've never used, I took out the HELOC as a just in case measure when I paid off my house. In the meantime Chase ate WAMU making me a Chase customer, Chase and I have never crossed paths because I avoid them like the plague. Chase wrote to me late last year saying that 10 years were up and if I wanted out of the HELOC I could do so for $72. When I reached Chase's customer service somewhere in the Philippines I was told that this was a fee that my county charged Chase to dissolve the lien on my house and that Chase was merely passing it on to me. I looked on my county's website and found mention of a $72 fee. I sent a check to Chase after rationalizing that I was paying $7.20 a year for 10 years of the comfort of knowing that the money was there if I ever needed it to fall back on. I await Chase's reply. Assuming that Chase and I are now done I will make an extra effort to not deal with mega banks like Chase or Wells Fargo ever again.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by donmichael » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:59 pm

I have a HELOC with Wells Fargo and they charge me $75 per year to keep it open, balance or not. And yes it's in the contract.
Don

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by sscritic » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:11 pm

Don_Qua wrote: I sent a check to Chase after rationalizing that I was paying $7.20 a year for 10 years of the comfort of knowing that the money was there if I ever needed it to fall back on. I await Chase's reply. Assuming that Chase and I are now done I will make an extra effort to not deal with mega banks like Chase or Wells Fargo ever again.
Why would you avoid a bank that gave you insurance that you could get money whenever you needed it for $7.20 a year? That sounds pretty cheap to me.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by G-Money » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:17 pm

sscritic wrote:
Don_Qua wrote: I sent a check to Chase after rationalizing that I was paying $7.20 a year for 10 years of the comfort of knowing that the money was there if I ever needed it to fall back on. I await Chase's reply. Assuming that Chase and I are now done I will make an extra effort to not deal with mega banks like Chase or Wells Fargo ever again.
Why would you avoid a bank that gave you insurance that you could get money whenever you needed it for $7.20 a year? That sounds pretty cheap to me.
Other financial institutions will give you that same insurance for no fee, and probably at a lower interest rate.
Don't assume I know what I'm talking about.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by fauji » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:31 pm

I was charged $500 when I sold my home but then WF gave us a credit after I called and mentioned that I financed our new home with them.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Don_Qua » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:47 pm

sscritic wrote:
Don_Qua wrote: I sent a check to Chase after rationalizing that I was paying $7.20 a year for 10 years of the comfort of knowing that the money was there if I ever needed it to fall back on. I await Chase's reply. Assuming that Chase and I are now done I will make an extra effort to not deal with mega banks like Chase or Wells Fargo ever again.
Why would you avoid a bank that gave you insurance that you could get money whenever you needed it for $7.20 a year? That sounds pretty cheap to me.
That was merely my rationalization. It's my policy now to avoid big banks in favor of credit unions or small banks. Besides, in this case it wasn't my choice to be a customer of Chase, I was absorbed by them.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by tbradnc » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:53 pm

We have a HELOC with a small regional bank and they charge $600 if the account is closed within 3 years of opening. I asked about it and was told that it was to cover the bank's expense for the appraisal fee and expense of opening and maintaining the account.

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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by mikefixac » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:09 pm

OP here.

Wife called Well's Fargo customer service today and had all charges dropped. It took her an hour on the phone. She kept requesting to speak to someone higher up. She was very professional--"You bitches ain't stealin my money".

Seems that the turning point was she stated she was going to have her dad's and brother's accounts removed.

As to a commenter mentioning they pay $75/year for their HELOC whether they use it or not, Wells Fargo charged us that too every year. We would just call and either ask to remove the charge, or if there was any problem, we said we then did not want the HELOC and they would remove the charge.

BTW, I'm still somewhat naive when it comes to banks. Though I have a high regard for Vanguard, my experience with Wells Fargo over the years has left me distrustful. I remember when I banked with them, whenever I would do I simple transaction, the teller always tried to sell me some financial product.

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Meaty
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Location: Texas

Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Meaty » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:18 pm

Glad it worked out. I think big companies generally waive fees if your a bit persistent.

Might not hurt to take "the bulldog" out for a nice dinner too. You'll still be money up and staying on the phone for an hour is worth something nice
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

madbrain
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Location: San Jose, California

Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by madbrain » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:00 pm

nisiprius wrote:
denovo wrote:...Have you heard of banks assessing fees for not using credit cards, I have not...
I have, but I'm years out of date: the Fed put a stop to it.

http://business.time.com/2010/06/17/new ... edit-card/
Good. However, if the card has an annual fee, the bank will continue to be allowed to charge it, even if you don't use the card.

Some HELOCs have annual fees too. The one I got from FirstIB does. It's $75, which is not completely unreasonable, though I wish it wasn't there, as I haven't tapped that HELOC.

mikefixac
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Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:00 pm

Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by mikefixac » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:53 pm

Glad it worked out. I think big companies generally waive fees if your a bit persistent.

Might not hurt to take "the bulldog" out for a nice dinner too. You'll still be money up and staying on the phone for an hour is worth something nice
Good advice. Just got back from The Lazy Dog restaurant in Brea, CA. Very good place, would've liked to have bought stock in the place, but privately owned.

Yes, wife will tell you she's bailed me out more than a few times.

Thanks to everyone for their comments. You guys are wonderful.

mikefixac
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by mikefixac » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:45 pm

Bulldog here:

Here is the hx of the loan. When my husband agreed to this HEL, he went to the bank and signed up. He brought it by my work, and unfortunately I did not have the time to thoroughly read it (my error) and signed it. In the fine print it stated that every year there would be a $75 charge if we did not keep a balance of $20,000. After year one, they charged us the $75. I noticed it immediately and went to my WFB and explained that I was not aware of the charge and wanted it waived and that if they insisted on charging me $75 per year that I would immediately close the HEL. The loan officer at WFB advised me that since I had a large amount of money invested in the bank, and since I had a PIM account with them that this fee would be waived; that is why I never bothered to look at it again.

When I called WFB today I explained all this. The first two individuals LIED as they do and stated that since it was "on the contract" that it could not be changed and they would not waive the fees. I explained to them that even if something is written on the contract, so long as both parties willingly agree to the modification, that a contract can be modified and that they COULD waive the fees. When they refused to assist me, I proceeded up the chain of command.

When they finally put me through to who they stated, "was the top supervisor there" I explained to him my situation. I explained my history with WFB, with Wachovia and with World Savings before them. I advised the "supervisor" of my conversation with the loan manager and gave him facts necessary to back up my statements. He was at this time vacillating as to whether waive the fees or not. I informed him that as soon as I got off the phone with him, I was going to be going to my local branch and withdraw all my money, my parents (I have power of attorney) and would be contacting my brother, a doctor, to withdraw all his funds as well; and when they asked me why I was doing this, I would advise them it was because WFB HEL department was not willing to fulfill with their end of the bargain to not charge us a yearly fee. It was at this point that he put me on hold for about 10 minutes, then came back and proceeded to tell me that after further investigation I was correct and that they "had" agreed not to charge us the fees and that I would be allowed to close the account without any penalty and not owing any fees. Please note: that legally I could take them to court and I WOULD WIN.. but I like to expedite things and I know that money talks with banks.

The moral of the story is the following: If I wasn't tenacious, if I didn't fight like a bulldog, then I would have had to acquiesce to their terms and had a HEL that I no longer wanted and I would have allowed a company as big and powerful as WFB to win this war. I don't allow that. I don't allow others to win a war when I am in the right. I, like my husband, am an honest person and would not avoid paying that which is due, if it was legally due. Always remember to fight.... and please don't be naive and think that the poor person on the other end is just doing their job... their job is to make the customer happy, and if they can't do it, then they, on their own, need to take the problem up the chain until the customer is happy.

Sincerly,
OP's wife.. aka The Bulldog

PS... I am available for hire!

Draak
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by Draak » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:53 pm

leonard wrote:So, what happens if you simply leave the HELOC open and don't use it.

Also, how precisely would they collect the $500.

It's outrageous - but the "problem" seems in part manufactured - just something to get mad about when there would seem to be easy ways to make it a non-issue.

Also in the fine print will be your authorizing them to take owed funds from any account you have with them. Banks started doing that several years back & they do not highlight it for you.

I had a car loan with my CU that had a line in it that in the event of my death, they could withdraw the full balance of the loan from my accounts immediately. That is the last loan they will ever have with me. They'll get paid, but they can wait in the probate line like everyone else.

denovo
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by denovo » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:58 pm

mikefixac wrote:, I was going to be going to my local branch and withdraw all my money, my parents (I have power of attorney) and would be contacting my brother, a doctor, to withdraw all his funds as well; and when they asked me why I was doing this, I would advise them it was because WFB HEL department was not willing to fulfill with their end of the bargain to not charge us a yearly fee.
Congratulations on getting the money back, I agree it is an unreasonable fee. But just one quibble. My only problem here is that you threatened to withdraw your parent's money. Brother's money, fair game, if he wanted to play along. You signed a power of attorney that creates a fiduciary duty also known as a duty of loyalty obligation in the corporate world. In other words, you are supposed to be a steward of their assets and well-being, and not use your power of the attorney to enrich yourself at the expense of your parents. In this case, you threatened to create transaction costs for your parents to benefit you and your husband.

As an attorney, you should know better, sorry if I came off as a scold. I know it was just an empty threat to some hapless bank teller, but still.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

sscritic
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by sscritic » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:21 am

Does an attorney have an obligation to read? This started because neither the OP nor the Bulldog read what they were signing. I wouldn't want to hire an attorney that couldn't be bothered to read the relevant documents.

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BrandonBogle
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by BrandonBogle » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:21 am

It's always amazing how different accounts are set up over the years. I had a Wachovia HELOC for about 3 years. It had no annual fee, no closing costs, and there was no charge to close it (not even the filling fee or whatever). Wells Fargo offered me a HELOC on my current property last year when I was looking, and again, it had no closing costs and no annual fee (didn't go far enough to see if it would have a closing fee), but Hanscom gave me a better rate (WF prime + 0.5% and Hanscom prime - 0.5%).

Op and Bulldog, glad it worked out for you in the end.

denovo
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by denovo » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:26 am

sscritic wrote:Does an attorney have an obligation to read? This started because neither the OP nor the Bulldog read what they were signing. I wouldn't want to hire an attorney that couldn't be bothered to read the relevant documents.
I think everyone here, incl. attorneys have signed things w/o reading. Cell phone contracts, cable contracts, heck after Dodd-Frank, all the disclosures and documents can reach up to a hundred pages. That's a lot different than using a poa to benefit you.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

DougS
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by DougS » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:25 am

Thank Dodd-Frank for things like this. Previously, people overdrafting their accounts would subsidise many of these "free" services. That option went away.

$500 exit fee seems excessive, but there is a cost to providing a line of credit. And presumably the OP saw some value in keeping one for so long.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:49 am

I believe Wells Fargo pushes fees hard.

I regrettably recommended a WF banking branch for a retired family member, because it was a two minute walk from their condo. It was for a simple checking account. Bad idea. They started pushing her towards "financial products" every visit. She had to threaten to leave if they ever did that again, it worked.

It turns out it's not just a checking account. It's some kind of premium account, and got hit with a minimum balance fee. After complaining, they were then able to switch to a normal checking account, and get the fee waived.

As someone that looks out for their elder relative, I find their practices bordering on shady. Lesson learned, stick to a credit union.

leonard
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Re: Home Equity Loan-Wells Fargo charging $500 to quit!

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:35 pm

Draak wrote:
leonard wrote:So, what happens if you simply leave the HELOC open and don't use it.

Also, how precisely would they collect the $500.

It's outrageous - but the "problem" seems in part manufactured - just something to get mad about when there would seem to be easy ways to make it a non-issue.

Also in the fine print will be your authorizing them to take owed funds from any account you have with them. Banks started doing that several years back & they do not highlight it for you.

I had a car loan with my CU that had a line in it that in the event of my death, they could withdraw the full balance of the loan from my accounts immediately. That is the last loan they will ever have with me. They'll get paid, but they can wait in the probate line like everyone else.
Just transfer any other accounts out before you close the HELOC.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

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