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I had a BOA credit card with a high personal credit ratings (800+) for over 10 years and always paid on time or ahead of schedule. I recently received a letter that they required a W9 form from my wife who is an authorized user. I asked why they needed such tax information, why now and why for the non-primary credit holder? Doing some research, a W9 is usually requested for the IRS if you receive income benefits such as interests, program awards, a wavier of debt, etc. I was never a beneficent of these and only had a credit card, no other account or banking services from BOA.

Banks always ask for more personal information than required under the guise of their own over-reaching readings of banking and financial laws. I have often pushed back with the assistance of my attorney where they eventually back off knowing they are over-reaching. I get a little concerned when they (especially BOA’s history) want tax ID and tax information for only a credit card. I have not seen this with my other credit card services.

BLUF- BOA never gave me a good explanation and just unilaterally closed my credit card account without notice or a final explanation letter. I found out when my credit card was declined at a restaurant. I called their customer service (had to wait 25 minutes) and just got a callous response-- you didn’t provide the W9 form, we closed your account, thank you for your past business with BOA. Good-bye! So much for customer care!

I read that banks utilize these tactics, i.e., asking for unnecessary or intrusive information on a strict deadline as a way to “for cause” close accounts that they feel are unprofitable but can’t find other ways where they would be open to liability for discriminatory, fraudulent and/or unethical banking practices.

Notwithstanding this should not be a surprise based on BOA’s history. BOA has faced $91.2 BILLION in legal fines and settlements since 2008! Consumers be aware.

Product or Service Mentioned: Bank Of America Credit Card.

Reason of review: Problems with payment.

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