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Chime Bank and How they Robbed Me Without a Gun - Run for the Hills!!!!

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Responding to another User's post I realized I never shared my recent painful experience with Chime Bank. 

 

Chime what some call a "second chance" banking solution for those who may have issues with credit checks or making it through the ChexSystem to obtain a bank account. 

 

Around 5-6 years ago I signed up with Chime Bank (a subsidiary of The Bancorp Bank) on the hype of getting paid 2 days early. Did I need to get paid early? Not really. Was it a good piece of bait for me at the time? It sure was! Lol. I used the account for maybe a year or so but then left maybe $50 in there and switched back to my main brick & mortar bank, Bank of America. Flash forward to a year and a half ago (03/2019). I started a new job with a small business who processes their own payroll in-house and you are at their mercy. Solution? Switch back to my old Chime account and I can make sure I get paid on time to keep up with bills and my credit rebuilding. Things were fine despite maybe one banking outage that was inconvenient but I had money elsewhere so I wasn't overly stressed. 

 

In comes the pandemic. My job can't keep people on staff and the hours get cut. I end up being a casualty of COVID and have to collect unemployment and the stimulus check. For the Stimulus, it hit my Bank of America account since the IRS had the routing/account info. I gave the Department of Labor my Chime Bank info for unemployment hoping it would get me paid quicker. I was one of the lucky one who gave the state all the needed paperwork and they processed my claim within about 3 months while others are still waiting. With all the back pay and pandemic assistance they approved I ended up getting around $7k in my Chime account from unemployment in mid-June 2020. Things were going fine. My employer kept in contact and said they are going to move the business to a smaller location and open up in the fall, bills were getting paid, etc. 

 

Flash forward to July 29th...the perfect storm descends down like Ragnarok. I stop at a gas station to grab a water around 1:45 PM...purchase went through fine. At 2:50 PM I get an email that says my Chime account has been closed. I thought it was spam. I got to login to my account on the app. Can't get it. I try my laptop, can't get in. I try to call the support number and get a message that says, "We matched your account with your phone number and see your account is closed. The only way to communicate regarding your account is via email." I immediately sent an email trying to get clarity on what is going on. In the meantime, I went to the ATM to see if the card still worked. Nope. The card was already cut off. Strange all around. An hour later (3:50 PM) I get an email from Chime saying I violated their member agreement in Section 9 and they closed my account because of it. I pull up the agreement and Section 9 basically just says they can close your account at anytime for any reason. I read the rest of the agreement and see nothing to constitute closing my account. None of the reasons listed for account closing applied to me. I emailed again because Section 9 talked about getting your money back. My email asks them when my funds will be returned. With it being the end of the month, rent was due and the electric bills was due. Two bills I can't miss. No rent paid? No place. No electricity? No hot water (all electric apartment). I get an email back from another CSR an hour later again which says something along the lines of Section 9 was violated and their parent bank Bancrop monitors accounts and identified my account for closure and YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR MONEY BACK. The end of the email referred me to contact my State and not Chime with further questions. I lost it as you can imagine. No further emails for clarity were responded to and of course you can't get anyone on the phone. I'm floored and infuriated. 

I just filed my taxes and didn't owe the state or fed anything. No outstanding judgement, liens, etc. where my funds would be intercepted. Plus, the money was in the account for over 30 days before they decided to basically steal it. A quick Google search confirmed I was one of hundreds of people this was happening with. A difference between my case and theirs was they got asked for a ton of documents to prove their identity and where the funds came from for even the smallest of amounts. For me, this never happened. Most of the people this was happening with were citing how Chime doesn't check your identity when you get an account with them and they never asked for a copy of an ID, SS Card, etc. People were having their paychecks, stimulus, and unemployment stolen left and right from Chime. I got on social media and saw even more cases where people were mentioning this. 

I tracked down a few lawyers the next day to see what could be done. I already saw a ton of stories about BBB, Comptroller, FDIC, etc. complaints that got people no results. After speaking with each lawyer I decided on one who had beat Chime Bank and their parent bank Bancorp numerous times for this and similar situations. We are currently in arbitration and the entire process can take up to 8 months. 

I am sharing this because Chime also opened a Secured Card to lure more people into their services. I'm sure the card is fine...maybe. Who knows since it is new. My suggestion is to run for the hills with a company line Chime who does business like this and you basically have to take them to Arbitration to get any type of results. I was able to call on family for some help with the rent and re-route further unemployment to my BOA account instead to avoid any issues and keep on my rebuilding quest without any hiccups. 

Edited by MarcuzAgrippa

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1 hour ago, MarcuzAgrippa said:

The end of the email referred me to contact my State and not Chime with further questions.

What specifically did this part say?  

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1 hour ago, cv91915 said:

What specifically did this part say?  

It specifically said, "Please contact your State for further questions". I contacted them and my lawyer did before filing for arbitration and they had no answers at all. Confirmed I had no debt to them and was in what they called "good tax standing". They also told me if I did owe them money I would've gotten numerous notices from them to try and make arrangements before they levy a bank account. 

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59 minutes ago, MarcuzAgrippa said:

It specifically said, "Please contact your State for further questions". I contacted them and my lawyer did before filing for arbitration and they had no answers at all. Confirmed I had no debt to them and was in what they called "good tax standing". They also told me if I did owe them money I would've gotten numerous notices from them to try and make arrangements before they levy a bank account. 

Do you have a criminal record? even if it dates from before you opened the chime account?

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1 hour ago, MarcuzAgrippa said:

It specifically said, "Please contact your State for further questions". I contacted them and my lawyer did before filing for arbitration and they had no answers at all. Confirmed I had no debt to them and was in what they called "good tax standing". They also told me if I did owe them money I would've gotten numerous notices from them to try and make arrangements before they levy a bank account. 

The path I was attempting to pursue was the possibility that the driver behind this isn't related to income or other state taxes (random other thoughts: suspended professional license, back child support, etc.).  

 

But regardless, they can't just keep your money, they must have been ordered to put it in someone else's pocket or at least put a freeze on it for some indefinite time period.

 

 

Edited by cv91915

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1 hour ago, hegemony said:

Do you have a criminal record? even if it dates from before you opened the chime account?

I couldn't help but laugh at this question for some reason 🤣🤣🤣....Nope no criminal record of any kind in any state. That was my lawyer's first question after asking if I owed the State or Fed any money. 

 

This same situation happened to a friend of mine in California two days before me and he just had not told me yet amidst his panic. He didn't owe anyone a thing, clean criminal record, and they gave him the same story. He has a case pending with them too. 

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1 hour ago, cv91915 said:

The path I was attempting to pursue was the possibility that the driver behind this isn't related to income or other state taxes (random other thoughts: suspended professional license, back child support, etc.).  

 

But regardless, they can't just keep your money, they must have been ordered to put it in someone else's pocket or at least put a freeze on it for some indefinite time period.

 

 

 Ahhh I see. Nope I hold a professional license and it's still valid and was just renewed in 10/2019. Now back child support of any kind at all. 

 

I agree they can't just take the money and run. The only clear route for results was to get legal on them. 

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does your name with Chime exactly match the name on your DD for unemployment insurance? That seems to be a trigger as stated in the account agreement.

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59 minutes ago, hegemony said:

did you use the account for coinbase?

I have used Coinbase for Bitcoin ages ago now but that was with my main Bank of America account. Never with Chime. 

 

The only 3rd party transaction type we thought could have caused this was Paypal and maybe CashApp. Even with those, the transactions were for small amounts. Nothing over $100 here and there and never more than $300 per month between the two. 

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57 minutes ago, hegemony said:

does your name with Chime exactly match the name on your DD for unemployment insurance? That seems to be a trigger as stated in the account agreement.

It does match. I did see some people had been asked to verify their identity if their account was closed but they never asked this of me. I could've easily shared any proof needed, License, passport, social security card, etc. and even the unemployment documents showing I was approved. 

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1 hour ago, MarcuzAgrippa said:

 Ahhh I see. Nope I hold a professional license and it's still valid and was just renewed in 10/2019. Now back child support of any kind at all. 

 

I agree they can't just take the money and run. The only clear route for results was to get legal on them. 

I just listed those as examples since "State" is so vague as to not be helpful (yes, I realize that's all you were given :) ).  

 

I was mainly trying to encourage you to push your analysis of the possibilities outside of the tax scenario, which is an obvious one to eliminate first.

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Did you run anything business related/like a PPP loan deposit through the Chime account?  I've read something recently about someone getting their checking account shut down for doing something similar.  

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1 hour ago, cv91915 said:

I just listed those as examples since "State" is so vague as to not be helpful (yes, I realize that's all you were given :) ).  

 

I was mainly trying to encourage you to push your analysis of the possibilities outside of the tax scenario, which is an obvious one to eliminate first.

State is a tad vague lol. I appreciate the push. I'm definitely still looking to see what/where I did something wrong with them to cause this type of outcome and will continue to do so until I get an answer or my money back. 

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1 hour ago, Burgerwars said:

Did you run anything business related/like a PPP loan deposit through the Chime account?  I've read something recently about someone getting their checking account shut down for doing something similar.  

No nothing business related at all or PPP or SBA loan deposit stuff. I did see people scamming and getting caught up with Chime this way. My account was always used for everyday purchases. The only variable was the unemployment portion. Luckily I was able to keep things afloat despite all this. I just don't want anyone else to be in my position with Chime Bank/Bancorp Bank

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3 hours ago, MarcuzAgrippa said:

No nothing business related at all or PPP or SBA loan deposit stuff. I did see people scamming and getting caught up with Chime this way. My account was always used for everyday purchases. The only variable was the unemployment portion. Luckily I was able to keep things afloat despite all this. I just don't want anyone else to be in my position with Chime Bank/Bancorp Bank

I wonder if it flagged the UE DD as not an acceptable source for DD? It seems chime has some weird policies on external transfers.

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18 hours ago, hegemony said:

I wonder if it flagged the UE DD as not an acceptable source for DD? It seems chime has some weird policies on external transfers.

This could be it. I did see another story of them flagging someone's account when they got a second job and had more DD transactions coming to their account. 

 

The scary part is they ran a whole marketing campaign to push people to have their Stimulus Checks and UE sent to their Chime account for fast access with the whole 2 days early thing. Then you see a ton of cases where people are having their account frozen, closed, etc. I'm sure there are some legit cases where fraud, scams, etc. are going on and this is valid. Will see what arbitration does over the next 7 months. 🥱

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Pull your Lexis/Nexis and/or Accenture file and see if your file has been combined with someone else with similar name/SSN/DOB, etc., who has a criminal record or bad credit file. It happened to me about 12 years ago; created a lot of problems for me and took a long time to clear up.  In fact, it took a long time for me to figure out what the heck was going on. Finally got a bill collector for a hospital in Paris, Texas to talk to me and tell me they used Accenture for skip tracing services.  Then when I pulled my Accenture file I discovered what had happened.  In my case, the person whose file they combined with mine had same first and last name and DOB, but different middle names, SSNs, etc.  Couldn't believe how LN/Accenture could make such a mistake, but it's all computers and algorithms now until something goes terribly wrong and a human being has to intervene.

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MarcuzAgrippa:

(These are steps I've suggested using that worked in the past.)

 

I'm reviewing your original post again to see if you filed complaints with the US Office of the Comptroller (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

(1) When you file, Chime has roughly 30 days to answer and tell why they closed the account. The intent is to determine what triggered the closure.

(2)  I would file an attorney general complaint about the return of your funds in the state where Bancorp is incorporated. **Banks still hate regulatory complaints, because it means the legal regulator will go digging around their records and business practices.

(3)  Write a letter to a Bancorp executive informing them of all the complaints you will be filing, legal action, and social posting you'll do if they do not return your funds.

**NOTE: Legally, Chime has to verify your identity before opening an account. The feds require it. I've had individuals get a decline because of identity confirmations. I believe they use one of Experian or Equifax's ID services for a soft pull.

(4) I've also had individuals get a return of their funds by filing in small claims court where the bank's corporate office was located. (Depending on the state and SCC procedures). 

Edited by tmcgill

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On 9/13/2020 at 11:09 PM, Burdell said:

Pull your Lexis/Nexis and/or Accenture file and see if your file has been combined with someone else with similar name/SSN/DOB, etc., who has a criminal record or bad credit file. It happened to me about 12 years ago; created a lot of problems for me and took a long time to clear up.  In fact, it took a long time for me to figure out what the heck was going on. Finally got a bill collector for a hospital in Paris, Texas to talk to me and tell me they used Accenture for skip tracing services.  Then when I pulled my Accenture file I discovered what had happened.  In my case, the person whose file they combined with mine had same first and last name and DOB, but different middle names, SSNs, etc.  Couldn't believe how LN/Accenture could make such a mistake, but it's all computers and algorithms now until something goes terribly wrong and a human being has to intervene.

 

LexisNexis sent a letter saying they have no file for me when I requested an electronic copy of any report they have on me. 

 

Went to the Accenture site and couldn't find anywhere to order consumer reports. I'll have to try and check again to see if there is anything I am missing. 

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On 9/16/2020 at 8:41 AM, tmcgill said:

MarcuzAgrippa:

(These are steps I've suggested using that worked in the past.)

 

I'm reviewing your original post again to see if you filed complaints with the US Office of the Comptroller (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

(1) When you file, Chime has roughly 30 days to answer and tell why they closed the account. The intent is to determine what triggered the closure.

(2)  I would file an attorney general complaint about the return of your funds in the state where Bancorp is incorporated. **Banks still hate regulatory complaints, because it means the legal regulator will go digging around their records and business practices.

(3)  Write a letter to a Bancorp executive informing them of all the complaints you will be filing, legal action, and social posting you'll do if they do not return your funds.

**NOTE: Legally, Chime has to verify your identity before opening an account. The feds require it. I've had individuals get a decline because of identity confirmations. I believe they use one of Experian or Equifax's ID services for a soft pull.

(4) I've also had individuals get a return of their funds by filing in small claims court where the bank's corporate office was located. (Depending on the state and SCC procedures). 

My only question would be since I have an attorney and have already file a case with the American Arbitration Association who Chime has to respond to, would this impact the arbitration filing? Especially the small claims case. 

 

I'm in Georgia if this helps at all. 

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On 9/22/2020 at 11:27 AM, MarcuzAgrippa said:

 

LexisNexis sent a letter saying they have no file for me when I requested an electronic copy of any report they have on me. 

 

Went to the Accenture site and couldn't find anywhere to order consumer reports. I'll have to try and check again to see if there is anything I am missing. 

Sorry --  it's not Accenture; I meant to say Accurint.  I think anyone who has a file at any of the three big CRAs also has a file at LN/Accurint.  Did you order a copy of your file from this LN portal:  https://consumer.risk.lexisnexis.com/consumer ?  

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