Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pay too much and you could raise the alarm

Pay too much and you could raise the alarm
"We're a product of the '60s," he said. "We believe government should be way away from us in that regard."

He was referring to the recent decision by him and his wife to be responsible, to do the kind of thing that just about anyone would say makes good, solid financial sense.

They paid down some debt. The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522.

And an alarm went off. A red flag went up. The Soehnges' behavior was found questionable.

They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified. And the money doesn't move until the threat alert is lifted.

Personally, I've had similar experiences at my bank. I found out that I couldn't transfer money in or out of my savings account more than 5 or 6 times a month. I can transfer money out of checking accounts as much as I want, but not savings.

I thought this was a problem with 5/3, so I called them, and I found out this new restriction was due to 9/11. It was a patriot act thing. Apparently preventing people from transferring SAVINGS ACCOUNT money more than a few times a month strikes a blow to terrorism.

So now if I plan on doing a lot of savings account transactions (paychecks/etc.), I need to do it all at once or move things into a checking account FIRST and then move everything over.

Does THAT make any sense?

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1 comment:

Sophist said...

Holy cow, I had no idea that the restriction was due to the Patriot Act. And here I was thinking it was just banks being bureaucratic monsters.