DENVER (CBS4)- A new policy change is about to take effect at one of the nation’s largest banks, and its mortgage customers need to know about it.
Bank of America is adding a new fee to customers that don’t bank with them. This new fee policy takes effect February 14, and starting in March the fee will be assessed.
This is the beginning of a trend we will start to see with most banks. The low interest rates we have been enjoying come at a cost.
Persis Schlosser doesn’t bank with Bank of American but said, “they just continue to find ways to out smart the public.”
If your mortgage is with Bank of America, and you pay online using another bank’s checking account – starting this month you risk a $6 fee.
Colin Geiger is a Certified Financial Planner with an extensive background in mortgage services.
“What they are doing is, I would say, giving a bit of preferential treatment to customers who bank with Bank of America versus banking somewhere else,” said Geiger.
Here’s how the new fee works. If your mortgage is due the first of the month, you will always have your 15 day grace period because that’s part of your mortgage contract.
Bank of America is now proposing that if you don’t bank with them, and you pay online, you have until the 9th of that same month to make your payment to avoid a service fee.
If you schedule your payment on or between the 10th and 16th of the month, you will be changed a $6 service fee.
“They have to find new ways to create profit for their shareholders,” said Geiger.
If your mortgage is with Bank of America, and you bank with Bank of America you’re off the hook. Or, if you write a check and send it in the mail, you won’t face a service fee. This fee is for people who use the bank’s online payment tool called Mortgage Pay.
“I beat up on my bank all the time, and I tell them if you charge me these fees I’m going to go elsewhere,” said Mike Kennedy.
Geiger said this might be negotiable.
“There’s potential for that because it can come down to an issue of customer service,” said Geiger.
Not all banking customers mind this new move.
“It wouldn’t bother me any, I would pay my mortgage the day it was due,” said Rich Beutner.
That’s what Bank of America would like to bank on. But for those customers that need time to float their payment, they now face a new fee.
This new fee only applies to people who use Bank of America’s Mortgage Pay program.
Read your mortgage statements carefully. Who knows what bank will do this next, or what new fee will be invented.
Most people in Colorado don’t bank with Bank of America because there are no branches here.
Financial planners do not recommend changing banks to follow your mortgage because they can be bought and sold so often.