This is a little screed about some personal experience happening to me this week that I posted at Bayhouse. I thought some readers here might be interested as well; but more importantly, perhaps it will induce more people to keep tabs on the bozos who supposedly "safekeep" your consumer info. It's kinda long.... ************* This is a long post, but I think that readers of this forum will appreciate the story, and I hope it will inspire all to keep a tight vigil on those who hold your consumer information. It's a tale of how, IF YOU DON"T WATCH THE BASTARDS every second of the day, you will get reamed. The last week has been the capper when it comes to all the things that we have to do, as consumers, to try to keep the hounds of hell (businesses and govt) from screwing us sunup till sundown. It's incredible what we HAVE to do to keep VERY damaging INCORRECT information from our lives...the kind that kills credit, mortgages, and causes us to pay sky-high interest. After successfully clearing up my credit issues 2 years ago, I have maintained a very high interest in this board and other venues. Consequently, I keep a CONSTANT vigil on all my creditors, credit reports, bank statemnts, etc. JUST THIS WEEK::: My bank "returns" a check on each of the two accounts of me and my spouse...but it wasn't really returned. How so, you ask. As I knew we did not overdraw, I investigated, and found that, YES, the bank knew ALL about it, as it was a bank error due to consolidating computer sysems. It seems that many Northern California customers had this done to them. Paper checks were delayed reaching the clearing house [[[ they apparently "match" up to electronic funds postings which occur prior to the paper check arrivals - apparently this provides a day of extra "float" in the bank's favor...this reminds me of a line in the Dan Akroyd movie, "Nothing But Trouble", when the judge says, "Is Sgt. York's mother and angel, Is the Pope Catholic, and will a banker grub for money!" ]]]. In this case, due to the computer snafu, all such delayed checks were "returned", although they hadn't even arrived yet. The bank did a REVERSAL the next day, and the transaction was designated as such. Checking the accounts, a few days later, I find that NOW the items are designated as RETURNED ITEMs. Called the bank and raised hell, and they are sending us apology letters stating their error for my future records. OF course they confirmed that there were no records of bounced checks, but, gosh-darn-it, they just coudn't figure out why they had been redesignated from REVERSAL to RETURNED ITEM. And of course, they assured me that when we re-finance the house in FEB that having a RETURNED ITEM designated in our accounts would be NOOOOOOO problem at all when the lender does a "Quality of Account" assessment. Riigggghhhhtttt.....I'll take my apology letter, thank you just the same, in case they *uc* up 3 or 4 more times between now and then. THEEEEEENNNNN ....out of the freakin' blue, the IRS sends us a demand letter for tax year 1998 in the amount of $530 (get this::: taxes owed were SEVEN CENTS, and INTERESTS and PENALTIES were $529.93). Since our taxes have been paid in full for years & years, I called to blast them as well. THE SERIOUS PART of this is that this was the PAY NOW OR WE FILE A TAX LIEN letter. What if I had missed the letter??? I just happened to be home sick when it arrived certified mail. Furthermore, I got WILDLY differing amounts from (a) their automated customer system ($98), (b)an accounts rep ($68), and (c) a taxpayer advocate person (seven cents). After 2 days of them screwing around, and me making and getting many phone calls, faxing over tax records, receipts, cancelled checks, etc. they finally found they had misapplied some payments we made in 1998 to 1994. Bottom line: The IRS screwed the pooch just like the bank did. The good part of this story is that I spoke to 6 different IRS folks, and they were ALL helpful and courteous, and even sympathetic....mainly because they were incredibly confused about the thing too. What a pig-trough of a computer system they have developed for people who appear to be trying to do a good job (yes, I know, it hasn't always been so!!!). Finally, in the course of regularly checking our credit reports from the CRA's, I find, yet, once again, new and improved mistakes, including the same accounts listed twice, previously designated CLOSED accounts that now show OPEN (with zero balances). Different mistakes on all 3 reports. Bottom line: 3 months ago, between the 2 of us (3 reports each), I corrected 12 errors (we got updates and they actually did things right). 3 months later, this week, among our 6 reports, there were 15 BRAND NEW NEVER-BEFORE MISTAKES. So, just suppose we are the typical Joe Schmoes who happily slop about without worrying about this kind of stuff, CONFIDENT that all these jokers who are the keepers of this VITALLY important information to us, as consumers, are doing such a WONDERFUL, CONSCIENTIOUS, PRECISE job for us. Just how much crap would we be in for if we decided to re-fi our house next month, IF WE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT ALL THIS CRAP....crap that is the direct result of apathetic, bean-brained, intractible neaderthals, and has NOTHING to do with our creditworthiness. WE have done things RIGHT. It's these *HIT-HEADS who are at fault. But guess who pays, dear reader!!!