I have been an extremely loyal customer of Wells Fargo back since the time when it was Norwest Bank since 1991 and continue as to be one today.
I started my company in 1991 with the opening of my first account back then and we continued until the recent events with Wells Fargo. We were growing good till the economy took a dive. I have had many accounts throughout the years and appreciate all Wells Fargo has done for us in terms of helping us grow to the national company we are today – from the many loans and lines. We have always been appreciative and our excellent pay history over almost 19 years will reflect my integrity and hard work.
I am writing this today to reach out to our government executives in an effort of assistance and consideration regarding a couple events that have happened to us over the last couple months pertaining treatment by Wells Fargo.
To give you a bit of background – we are a national interior finish carpentry / millwork installation contractor for clients such as Flemings Steakhouse, JCPenney, Best Buy, Hyatt, Marriott, Bath and Body Works, Radisson and the Gap – just to name a few.
As you can imagine and have experienced hardships like many others ( including Wells Fargo ) this year. This past year's economic environment took its toll on us. We struggled financially and have at many times thought of giving up but we strived to survive at any cost and are fortunate to be able to say we did and are looking forward to what is already a more rewarding and successful 2010 to start.
In October our main line of credit was maturing and we were expecting it to be either renewed or converted to a new loan program. Although our financial situation has changed a bit due to the current economic environment, we continued and CONTINUE to make any and all payments based on the terms of our agreement, NEVER BEING LATE, and always ( when we could ) make additional payment toward the principle. Over a two month period, a WF representative was to get the issue resolved and give us a couple options, we were never presented with any options until I received a phone call from the representative on Dec 7th asking me to give him a couple options as to what – financially – we are able to do on the loan and what we would like Wells Fargo to do for us. Being out of town I responded on 12.22.09 as to what I would like to see for the next 6 months giving us additional time to increase our cash flow to start paying the principle down – in the mean time continuing as usual to pay the invoices issued and additional on the principle when available. I received a phone call from the WF representative and had to call him back and promptly did so.
The initial few minutes were spent reviewing what I feel what is financially possible for us at this time which was the following:
"¢ remaining on the same monthly pay schedule, same interest rate 5.5% but guaranteeing him we would be able to (over the term of 6 months) pay down the principle by 5%, therefore after the initial 6 months and meeting these terms, extending it another 6 months at the same monthly pay schedule, same interest rate and again guaranteeing paying down the principle by another 5%. Continuing from that point on…
It came to my surprise and shock when the conversation took a turn with the WF representative when he stated that in place of working with us on our LOC, that he would rather "not make another nickel and write the loan off and sue you for the full balance" of the LOC, even though we are not prepared to do so at this time. Other comments made were " I would like my money and you can take your success somewhere else" . I was shocked to be spoken to that way after busting my *** for months to meet my commitments – not just with Wells Fargo but with others due to my strong integrity. Another comment – " I am apparently not as smart as you so I am going to have to – dummy your comments down so I can understand what you are proposing ". I always have and always will be committed to paying my debts. I stated to the representative that we never had any other intention but to follow through with our commitments and pay our line off, and have told him that from day 1 on numerous occasions while waiting patiently to see our options from you – Wells Fargo that has never been presented.
Our commitment shows in our pay history over not just the past year with this line, but over 19 years. I stated that if a banks business is to make money on loans – you were doing just that with us and would appreciate cooperation in getting us into a program similar so that we can continue with paying our obligations but he is not interested – in his own words he would rather "not make another nickel and write the loan off and sue us for the full balance". Now – can you tell me how this would benefit anyone ?
Shocking in the sense that Wells Fargo has never been given any indication that we were not committed to paying our debts. We are current, never late or delinquent – a perfect customer that I feel any financial establishment would love to have as a customer that pays all bills on time and has an impeccable pay history with you for almost 19 years – including this LOC. Although finances have been tight and we have not been able to pay much more than the minimum over the past few months - we are current and continue to be.
Secondly – its always been my indication that any establishment ( including but not limited to Wells Fargo ) has an obligation to its customers to follow the terms and agreement set forth by that establishment – am I correct ?
Apparently WF does not think so. In a situation where my at that time business banker( who used to be my business banker prior to being removed by his supervisor – CG and his supervisor CS had to get involved to head off a breach of contract issue on WF end ) instructed an assistant in September of 2009 to remove money from my business account to pay off a $ 124.00 bill with Wells Fargo that was not past due or delinquent without notice or authorization. And on top of that instructed the account be CLOSED without any notice.
The issue was QUICKLY resolved by that business banker, the account was re-established and all of a sudden that business banker was no longer our business banking contact.
It is frustrating to know that Wells Fargo has no integrity or commitment to its customers anymore based on my experience over the past couple months. I have done nothing wrong in terms of breaking our agreement, I have never been late on any statements, all I do is bust my *** to make good on my commitments regardless of the current economy and how it has effected me and I can't get any cooperation from them in these times. If I could pay Wells Fargo off in full, believe me I would and due to the way I have been treated, I would do what the WF representative wants and move on to another bank . I will gladly take "my success somewhere else" already done believe it or not.
Have I stopped paying my statements – NO
Have I filed bankruptcy like many others – NO
Have I followed my payment terms and agreements – YES
It is almost like Wells Fargo wants us to default on the SBA loan !?!?!?!?.in fact they do – they want me to default so that they can gain access to the SBA backed funds…I have contacted the SBA and unfortunately "there is nothing they can do, it is a practice that is happening VERY often these days by banks such as ours against good people that want to pay there debts in place of filing for bankruptcy".
When so many these days just walk away from their commitments and take the easy route – I choose not to but then have to endure the threats of being sued and being written off and on top of that you damage to my credit for doing nothing less than paying my bills on time and busting my *** while doing it to keep myself in good standing.
I find it ironic that when Wells Fargo needed help – WE as taxpayers of the United States were there to bail you out but yet you stick it to the hard working customers that need a bit of assistance. Must be nice to have a cushion like the US Government – maybe someday you will be in my situation and you will see what it is like to have someone kick sand in your face, and knock you down and threaten you like we have had happen to us.
Consumers need to contact our Senators and Congressional leaders help…this is not an isolated case of abuse toward good customers of this bank. In fact contacting your Senators and Congressional leaders DOES WORK - OUR representatives here in our state after sending them a copy of my complaint have started an immediate investigation with the assistance of our US OCC - Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and are encouraging other representatives to support this complaint. SOMETIMES - your voice is heard.
They have pushed me into a corner and I am unfortunately pushing back and will not face damaging my credit, loosing my business and employees and claiming bankruptcy because Wells Fargo will not give me the opportunity to pay off my debt. I wanted to bring this to your attention so that if there you can do what i did and contact your Congressional leaders.