At Lowe's the other day I parked my van far from other cars. I do this because my front van doors are big and they open wide. After shopping, I returned to my van where there was another big van parked right next to mine with a young woman in the driver's seat talking on her cell phone. I'm glad she was parked and not driving, but she was oblivious to the fact that she was parked so close to my van that I couldn't open my driver's side door beyond a few inches. She was driving a van the exact size as my own, so why wouldn't she realize the doors on mine would be like hers?
Oh, because she was on the phone and phone talkers are rarely aware of what's going on around them. I motioned to her to move forward or back, and finally got her attention and she backed up to give me room to open the door.
Very soon after, I was parked at the post office and when I came out a car was parked close to mine, again. Because it was a windy day, there is no way I could hold my door half-way open so the wind wouldn't smash it against his car while hoisting myself up into the driver's seat. (Because the seat is so high, it takes both hands to get up onto the step and position myself onto the seat.) Thankfully, the driver realized that he needed to back up for me, and did. But I wish other drivers would realize that big vehicle doors on vehicles like pickup trucks and cargo vans open wide, and would stop crowding big vehicles.
On June 30, my 90-year-old father - whose dementia brought me back to the US - wrote me a check so I wouldn't be homeless, and his check bounced. PNC Bank, without my consent, allowed two small purchases totaling less than $15 to go through despite my not having enough money in my account. I was overdrawn by $1.13. As soon as I knew the situation - within 24 hours - I put cash into my account to cover my purchases. PNC Bank then proceeded to add penalty upon penalty amounting to almost $230.12, and then closed my account. They have since turned this matter over to collection calling it a debt. I call it a penalty for being jobless and homeless in order to be caregiver to an elderly parent.
In my conversations with two PNC branch managers, I asked one (Interchange Rd. near Erie's Millcreek Mall) if I could park in her parking lot at night to sleep in my van since I had nowhere else to go. She said NO. Her lack of compassion and unwillingness to be helpful was dumbfounding; I've been a good customer for more than 12 years.
Not only was I suddenly penniless, so I couldn't rent a room or book myself into a hotel, but PNC would not redeposit the check nor return it. Three-and-a-half months later they were still holding my father's check. By closing my account I could no longer access statements in order to accurately do my 2010 income tax. (On September 16 I also lost all data on my laptop in a storm, so the bank statements I had downloaded were gone.)
I didn't know then that if I had held the check back from deposit for one day the check would not have been returned. I visited my father's bank, First National Bank, and couldn't get any assistance or information because I didn't have Power of Attorney over my father's financial affairs. (I did later.) At the time I asked if I could put enough of my own money into my father's account to be able to cash the check. They said no. I later learned that $27 would have made his check good. I could easily have done that, saving myself several hundred dollars in penalties and a crippling blemish on my credit history.
So, by turning my account over to collection, PNC Bank affected my credit history so badly, that, even when I had enough money to rent an apartment of my own, I was denied a place to live and would continue to be homeless. And because PNC reported this to the credit bureaus I couldn't open an account at any other banks, not even in my father's name when I did have POA over his affairs.
And did you know that PNC Bank received a $7 million dollar bailout from the US government (i.e. taxpayers like you and me)? This is how they show their gratitude?
I can't wait to read the response to my letter.
Yes, there is an Update/Conclusion to this case. It will appear in my upcoming book.