Zikomo Fields makes more than $100,000 a year in his job as a software engineer in Kansas City. However, he cannot get a bank account because of a little-known database that tracks financial transgressions, known as ChexSystems. Financial institutions who subscribe to this service view it as fraud prevention. However, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sees this as an improper application of the information and is suing banks like Capital One and Wells Fargo for denying some consumers accounts. Until this is resolved, people like Mr. Fields will walk around with $23,000 saved on a prepaid debit card.
1. What types of actions earn you a spot in ChexSystems database?
2. How many years does an involuntary account closure stay on your credit record?
3. Rather than carry around a prepaid debit card with $23,000 on it, what would you recommend that Mr. Fields do about his situation?
4. Mr. Fields said that he literally had no other option but to let the account at U.S. Bank overdrawn until he was employed again. If he were your friend, what would you have advised him to do?
Douglas, D. (2014). Why a guy making $100,000 a year can’t get a bank account. The Washington Post, June 19 (Retrievable online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/19/why-a-guy-making-100000-a-year-cant-get-a-bank-account/?tid=pm_pop)