Since 1991, I have been working on a very large development for the west side of my city. Throughout the process I have encountered one barrier after another one. I recently found this website which contained investors wishing to find something to invest in with a particular rate of return. I secure several of those investors for my development and thought I was on my way. That was until I was faced with an opinion by Fifth Third Bank, Bank Protection Department.
It has been common practice to provide investors with the banking information necessary to invest as well as submitting more than usual details of one’s plan of development. For local investors the issue was the lack of experience at developing but like many other “catch 22’s”, you have to have developed something before you will ever have that experience. For those investors who listed their requirements on this site, all that was required was for you to be able to satisfy their curiosity and prove the project worthy before they would agree. It takes much longer because you have to provide them answers to each and every question that they have as well as those that they may think up later. Once that is done, typically they will test you to see if you can follow through and it is assumed that this solidifies their trust and faith in you. With all that done, you should be well on your way to making a dream come true.
In early December of last year, I noticed that identical debits were being made to my bank checking account just like the ones to my PayPal account. PayPal and the bank were both notified and while PayPal began their investigation, the bank did not. It took PayPal about four days to complete their investigation and determine that all those charges to my account should be reversed and they issued me a fraud prevention card which would just about guarantee me that my account would never be hacked again. The bank did nothing. Only after threatening to sue on January 3, 2011 and refusing to leave the bank until something was done, on January 6, 2011, did anyone ever attempt to really settle this matter.
Fifth Third’s decision was to declare that the investments were fraud from the very beginning and that either I was a part of or victim to a scam. They claimed that this hold on my balance of over $9,000.00 was due to them thinking fraud and wanted to do all that they could to protect the bank. They presented reasonable reasoning for their assumption but there were also quite a few holes in their summation. I began to think that this action was due to the threat of suing and closing of the account. The overdraft fees collected by the bank totaled over $600.00 which may also be a reason not to admit to any failures and re-direct the focus of any real investigation. Since they are already involved in a class action suit involving overdraft fees related to their debit, check and/or bank cards, (Schulte v. Fifth Third Bank Case No. 1:09-CV-06655) it is easy to see why I would have to question this.