Kimberly Haman was applying for a new mortgage when her application was put on hold. The reason? Equifax, one of the U.S. consumer credit reporting agencies, thought she was dead.
I forgot about an automatic payment which wiped out my checking account two days before my paycheck came in, and in that void I swiped my debit card five times which resulted in five overdraft fees of $35 each. Of course I had plenty of money in my savings account, but since I don’t sign into my bank account every day (should I be doing this?), I didn’t realize in time to transfer the money.
Lisa Servon studies low-income communities and is a professor of urban policy at the New School in New York. Partly to make money so she could make ends meet, and partly to get an inside look at payday lenders, Servon decided to work at a check-cashing place in the Bronx and at a payday lender in California.
I write one check every month, and that single check goes to my landlord. Aside from the occasional voided-check-to-an-employer, that’s basically it. Most everything else is auto-debited, or credit card-ed, or PayPal-ed. So it always comes as a surprise when my shoebox stash runs out every two years or so, and I’m faced with the sad chore of reordering checks.
Last week Logan was in the office and she said, “I transferred money from one bank account I have to another a few days ago and it still hasn’t showed up yet. Where is the money right now? Why does it take so long for that money to show up?”
I got a call from an unknown number Saturday morning. I ignored it. An hour later they called again. Straight to voicemail. This time they left a message. It was fraud prevention from my bank. Please call them back. My stomach dropped and I logged into my account online.