You can bank on us!

One of the reasons I blog is to give me a chance to rant about stuff like the following:

Paul Reviczky is an 89 year old man who lived in his small house on Sheppard Ave. W. in Toronto. Paul was content to live out his last few days in peace and quiet in the house he had called home for the past 50 years but then someone got a hold of some info on Paul, went to a bank, and put a mortgage on his house without his knowledge. [Reference Link]

One thing led to another and now the bank has foreclosed on his house and he is out in the street! It is totally beyond me how something like this could have happened.

First of all the bank should have done a better check on the person applying for the mortgage and if not, I would think that THEY were on the hook for giving money to someone through fraud.

Instead, since the banks have a lot more power than some small guy on the street, they went after Paul and decided he was responsible even though he had absolutely nothing to do with anything!

It’s almost like a comedy of errors except that I can assure you that Paul is not laughing. How this twisted bit of logic came about that Mr. Reviczky was responsible in any way is mind boggling.

This seems to be a perfect example of “might makes right,” since the Banks have enough pull to go after anyone, for almost any reason, no matter how flimsy or twisted their logic seems to be.

A further example of this is when I had a cheque bounce a few months ago because I was about two dollars short.

NOW, the reason I was short was becaus the bank took out five dollars in service charges for something or other on the same day and decided that it was the cheque that had to be returned, not their charges.

Oh yea, and then they charged me thirty five dollars for the bounced cheque so I was about forty bucks in the hole anyway.

I have since changed banks but I don’t think they really give a shit. P.T. Barnum once said: “There’s a sucker born every minute!”

Your pissed scribe;
Allan W Janssen

28 thoughts on “You can bank on us!

  1. Not that it changes the utter wrongness of the situation but you said:

    Paul Reviczky is an 89 year old man who lived in his small house on Sheppard Ave. W. in Toronto. Paul was content to live out his last few days in peace and quiet in the house he had called home for the past 50 years but then someone got a hold of some info on Paul, went to a bank, and put a mortgage on his house without his knowledge…One thing led to another and now the bank has foreclosed on his house and he is out in the street!

    And the article said:

    Reviczky, a retired tobacco farmer who lived elsewhere, was using the rental income from the home to help out his relatives in Hungary.

    I had much sympathy for the man already: There was no need to embellish.

  2. Large organisations rely on financial muscle and the weakness of the little man.  They probably know that they are in the wrong, but have decided not to take the hit on their loss, knowing that there is no way this man can afford to challenge them. I don’t know what the laws in the US are, but it needs him some way to say “Prove it”. The first thing I would do is ask for an audit trail- where did the money go. Also report to the police, and then get as much publicity as possible. If it hits the right headline then no doubt the bank will look at his claim further.

  3. Sorry to double dip- have just read the article, and related ones on the site. I also feel sorry for the purchaser, after all, thay are also out of pocket.  The blame lays with who ever decided that it was legal to sell.  However, as solicitors and bankers are one big corrupt club, nothing will happen.

    Bank story.

    On the 1st of every month I have a standing order that moves £600 to another bank. The money doesn’t arrive until the 4th/5th. Why? Even if there are non banking days (eg weekends) the computers work 24/7.  Amazingly if I take money out at a cashpoint at anytime, my account updates instantaneously.

  4. Canada is now enacting legislation to stop these fraud cases from impacting the owner, but it is too little too late for a lot of them. Besides, why should they even have to make this a law. It seems to me that banks can’t just do whatever the hell they want but what do I know.

  5. Read the linked article.  The summary is inaccurate on several factual points.

    The man did get screwed over, just not in the way described here.

  6. There were several articles concerning this guy and the one I read first made no menttion of where he lived, just that he owned the house.
    None of this has any bearing on the facts of the matter that fraud was commited and he paid the price for it without even knowing what was going on until after the fact.

  7. If there is a hell, that’s where these guys are going. Hopefully a giant demon PMIA-type hell. “So, you like to screw little guys, huh?”


  8. Dude Canada needs to get with the times.  California’s had laws that prevent this kind of shit from happening for almost a decade now.

  9. I was going to mention that we’ve had similar things happen in America a few years back and most places have legislation against this sort of thing these days.

  10. I had a bank cash a money order check I sent for an Ebay item I won.  When I never received the item I got suspicious.  Sure enough I looked at the money order they allowed someone to sign it with a signature that was not anywhere close to the name it was written to.

    My question: what the fuck good does this signing bullshit do if no one looks at the fucking signature?  I signed a credit card transaction in my friends name and it was accepted.  He signed his as Johnny Web, even though his name was Matt and his last name starts with an “L”.  I signed a transaction as Jesus and it was accepted (I was curious as to how far I could go).

    Then if you try to deal with the bank to get your money back they say there is nothing they can do, and it is hard to tell exactly what the signature says.

    To which I reply fuck you, you money hoarding assholes.  Is it not enough you have a finance charge for every time I sneeze, but when it is obvious there is a mistake made by you it is my fault?  Banking is probably one of the only industries where almost no one goes out of business, they just slow down and get bought out.

    angry  angry  angry


  11. I’d like to add to Last_Hussar’s

    On the 1st of every month I have a standing order that moves £600 to another bank. The money doesn’t arrive until the 4th/5th. Why?

    Does this happen where you chaps live? In the UK, the banks like to take a minimum of three working days to process a transaction that takes place at the speed of light (in the fibre-optics, at least), thus denying the customer the interest that would otherwise accrue. Which is, frankly, taking the piss. Banks are just about the most immoral international businesses on the planet – they take our fucking money, invest it in any dirty shit that gives a good return, treat their customers like something found floating in a sewer, and then pay their senior management obscene quantities of what is again our fucking money!

    And even if a touch of Chinese whispers crept into the original tale of the guy who lost his house, the true story still demonstrates what total arseholes the banks truly are…

  12. Well put Silvermute, I have the same problem with my bank, except instead of it being with specific transactions, I have the problem with all transaction.  Any transaction I have with my bank takes at least 2 days, sometimes 7, and this is without using checks (I use my Visa check card instead).  The only transactions that are instantaneous are deposits before 2:00P.

    Then there is the wire transfers.  Why is it they charge $7.00 to process a wire transfer that cost them absolutely nothing.  In fact by wire money to my account I am saving them money in processing, labor, mailing, etc…

    Fuck banks!

  13. I don’t know how apocryphal this is, but I’m sure that I’ve heard that the Swedes decided that they’d had enough, and by customer demand the banks were forced to start registering transfers and deposits the instant that they were registered on their systems – just like the profiteering bastards do with our withdrawals and bills all the fucking time!

    To which one can only add “right on, Sven”. You know what, Webs, it would just take enough of us to say “fuck this shit” and take our business elsewhere (although I’m buggered if I know where…). Let us man the barricades forthwith!

  14. Silver: although I’m buggered if I know where

    In Oz we have Building Societies as well as the banks.
    I’m lead to believe their charges are less although I don’t deal with them cos I’m too lazy to change – I shoulda been a conservative.  wink
    I don’t do computer banking; the only personal experience I’ve had with the time it takes is a coupla months ago when one of my mates ‘sent’ me (via his computer) $300 one evening and it took till the 2nd morning to land in my bank – I was mildly amazed it wasn’t instantaneous.

  15. I am a member of a credit union and I am pretty happy with it.  The interest rates are a bit better than at the local banks and they deposit before debiting.  Credit unions are known as to be the place to get signature loans and car loans, they also do home loans.  There is no incentive for them to do anything shady or deceptive.  Banks HATE them because their overhead is generally lower and they are expected to just break even, any profit they may make is returned to members. I also believe that the loan default rate is drastically lower for credit unions than for banks.

  16. Then if you try to deal with the bank to get your money back they say there is nothing they can do, and it is hard to tell exactly what the signature says.

    I don’t know what bank you are dealing with, but in regards to your checks, if the signature is not yours at the bottom, the bank is charged with knowledge of that.  Any check they accept that does not have your signature on it is their dime, as long as you bring it to their attention when you notice it on the statement.

    The above mentioned incident happened in Canada, and I note that Canadian law is different.  That said, even under Canadian law, the bank, the aggrieved homeowner and the innocent purchaser, all have recourse against the lawyer who was either in on the scam or was negligent in his notarial duties.  In the event of the latter, it is the malpractice carrier that is on the hook.

  17. IDM: I am a member of a credit union

    We have one building society  left in this town – the other one turned into a bank.

    Elwed: a very amusing experiment. wink
    My signature has evolved from fairly intricate in my early 20s to very simple now – an ‘e’ with a coupla circles.
    I think if I said it took a second to do I’d be lying – it’s a lot less although if I lose my place (my head’s coordination with my hand) at any time during the ‘e’ I have to start again. smile
    I remember in the early 50s getting something from school and its needing dad’s signature.
    Next day the teacher didn’t accept dad’s signature and wanted to see him.
    Dad, being the pseudo-aristocrat, arrogant Dutchman that he will always be, told them if they wanted him to print his name he would otherwise his ‘official’ signature would have to do.
    Shit, he’d only’ve been 40 at the time.
    Now I’m on for a bit of a rave so hang up if you don’t want the trip.

    I’ve recently started going to my little old 83 yo Jewish god-mother’s place the last Saturday of every month (I need structure) for lunch – I arrive at 11 am and leave at 2 pm – my mobile goes off to remind me and I make the same excuse every time cos my memory is not good enough to tell too many different lies … I’m a selfish self-centred bastard – it’s ‘duty’.  smile
    Anyway, she’s (she’d) known mum and dad as well as dad’s current wife and her late husband (yeah, both their spouses died within 3 months of each other and they latched up) since I was about 5.
    I get so much insight into my parents’ lives … and my own; it’s a buzz.
    We discuss all manner of things especially religion and … people’s psychology I suppose.
    On the weekend she asked if she could ask me a question – unconditionally, I replied.
    She’d been asked out by a friend (mid 60s) and her gay cousin and his boyfriend (mid 50s) to a film society movie and wondered if that was okay.
    She’s not homophobic but I think she was worried about ‘what people may say’
    Darlin’, you’re 83. Fuck ‘em! At your age you can do anything you want … or words to that effect.
    She called today to tell me she had one of the best times of her life.
    She didn’t know but the movie was about Yehudi Menuhin and his sister Hephzibah Menuhin – both of whom she loved and admired greatly … and the gays were so attentive.  smile
    Which only goes to prove ya gotta take a chance and venture into the unknown – you may sink or swim but the adventure is divine.
    EORave.  smile

  18. Elwed: Yea I really like that site a lot.

    Consi: The check they accepted was a money order I wrote to some guy for the Ebay item and the signature on the money order (the bank in CA sent the money order back to my bank once funds were ok’d) was different from the name I wrote it out to.  And of course I was told there was nothing I could do.  Pretty damn shady if you ask me.

  19. The banking system is so messed up anyway.

    I unknowingly passed a bad check last year.  I had sold of a video card to someone and he gave me $100 for it.  The check didn’t quite look right, so I took it to the bank to see if they could tell me if it was valid or not.  Three cashiers looked at it and said it was good.  I asked them if I cashed it and it turned out to be bogus, what would happen.  The friendly cashier told me in a cheery voice “Oh you’ll have to pay us back.”  She didn’t also tell me that they would freeze my account and call the police, which was what they did.
      When all was said and done, I asked the stupid brain-dead cop (who initially thought I was part of a scam team to defraud the bank and that I was on drugs) what I should do in the future if I get a check that looks ‘odd’ and he said, and I quote, “I dunno.  Probably call the police.”  After that splendid example brain power, that was not exactly a ringing endorsement.  The moral of the story is that banks are neither interested in or have the training to figure out if a check is bad until they try to cash it.  Certainly the cashiers haven’t got a clue.  If you endorse it, you are taking the responsibility on yourself.  Never accept checks from people you don’t know.

    The punchline is that they made me honor the charges for the 3 returned checks I accumulated while my account was frozen.  I’m with a different bank now.

    BTW: I probably shouldn’t fault the cop for thinking I was on drugs.  If I WAS part of a scam and walked into the bank, then hung around while they called the police (the bank let me go next door to a gas station to get some coffee) then I probably HAD to be on drugs.  I found out later that they have a different ‘policy’ if the check is over $5000.  Considering they called the cops on me for this one, If I had been trying to sell a car… I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have let me go for coffee smile

  20. LJ; Your dad’s experience with your school reminded me of a story that my mom used to tell.  It must have been just AFTER WW2 when my mom’s school sent home a form that wanted to know the ethnic background of the student.  My grandmother wrote “American”, on the form and my mom turned the form in. 

    The teacher did not live in the town in which she taught so she did not know anything about my mom’s family.  The teacher called my grandmother at home demanding that she fill the form out ‘properly’, my grandmother informed the teacher that she had filled the form out ‘properly’ and hung up the phone.  It appears that the teacher was not accustomed to being treated as the employee that she was by a student’s parent.  This was a small town and the teacher was an outsider.  All hell broke loose when the teacher threatened to kick my mom out of school because of my grandmother’s attitude.  One of my mom’s uncles was the town’s mayor and my grandmother or grandfather were friends or were related to every member of the school board.  I have no idea where the school principal was in this, I do know that he knew my mom’s family.

    The result was that the mayor filled out the form, and I don’t know that my grandmother ever forgave him for that.  My grandmother and mom do not know what caused the school teacher to quit soon after the incident, and nobody on the school board would talk about it.

  21. If the bank allows someone to forge a signature on a check you write, they are legally responsible for correcting their mistake.

    However, most banks have an internal policy to not give their customers the money that they owe them if they can avoid it. If you take them to court, the bank would lose, but who does that?

    The solution is to speak with a manager, and threaten to sue. No bank will defend themselves in court for $100.

    By the way, this assumes living in USA. Other areas may vary.


  22. An interesting development in the UK.

    Banks charge for going overdrawn/over your limit, bounced cheques etc. What they aren’t supposed to do (in the UK) is make a profit from it- the charge should cover their costs and no more.  Often the charges are £35 (about $60).

    HOWEVER people are now complaining, and threatening court action if these are not reduced, saying they are excessive. Often the banks will reduce and REPAY the money. On some occasions they failed to do so, and the client has gone to small claims court.  In none of these cases (despite the bank’s PR saying it really does cost £35 for someone to check the account and send an automated letter) have the banks defended themselves, and have stumped up the court order. 

    It is thought (an assumption by those who study this)that if they do defend themselves they are scared they will loose, so making the overpayment ‘official’.  They would rather just pay while still protesting- the other way could open a big can of worms of investigation to check the charges.

    The down side is they may close your account.

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