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ES&L Federal Credit Unions unprofessional tactics to collect a debt.

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ES&L Federal Credit Unions unprofessional tactics to collect a debt.

ES&L’s Unprofessional Conduct!

  I want to first give a very brief summary of my harrowing experience with the bank named ES&L Federal Credit Union. If you are unfamiliar them, I have given a general description of this bank in the next paragraph. I started banking with them when I was hired at Kodak Park back in 1978. Over the 20 plus years working at Kodak, I put over $1,000,000 dollars through their bank. Never had an issue with them, had good credit, and spent a lot of money supporting many local Rochester businesses over those years. Then in 2000, there were rumors that the plant where I worked at was going to close, so I applied for another nearer to my home. Worked there for 14 years, and during that time we had taken out a home improvement loan with ES&L. But in 2012, my wife lost her job. So, money was pretty tight. Then I lost my job due to a major downsizing in the department I was working in. Immediately, I notified all my creditors and explained that I might be falling behind in my monthly payments. A couple of the agents I had kept in touch at ES&L didn’t seem too concerned at that time. But it wasn’t long before I started getting harassing phone calls from someone in the collections department demanding full monthly payment that I couldn’t pay. I felt intimidated and bullied. I just lost my job.

  For those of you who read this and are not familiar ES&L Federal Credit Union, it is a bank founded and located in Rochester, NY. You can read all about them at this link, Eastman Savings and Loan History | ESL Federal Credit Union They are the largest locally led financial services institution in the Greater Rochester area. With assets of more than $9.2 billion, ESL is one of the largest credit unions in New York State. And they rank in the top 1% of more than 7,000 federally insured credit unions in the U.S. And this is what they have always claimed: Home of the Exceptional Customer Experience . At ESL, we have a laser-like focus on our #1 priority: helping members like you achieve your goals. So find out what it’s like to bank with a local financial services leader willing to go the extra mile for you.

In addition to their reputation and stature, over the past few years alone, this bank has donated over $40,000,000 to the Rochester community. I will be referencing the above-mentioned notoriety for reasons explained shortly.

  I’m going to try to explain my harrowing experience with this bank as briefly as possible, with the most important summary at the end. But please read this whole letter. My story is going public and will be posted to as many consumer complaint sites as I can find, if nothing else, to let people know that there is a dark side to this picture-perfect financial institution. Please bear in mind that this whole nightmare was brought upon me by ONE individual out of over 900 employees.

  I worked at Kodak for over 20 years and had done all my banking with ES&L and put over $1,000,000 through their bank. I ended my employment with Kodak between 1999 and 2000. The buildings that I worked in were closing, so I applied for a factory job nearer to my home and was hired. In 2007, my wife and I applied for a HELOC loan to consolidate some debt and for some home improvements. In 2012, the business my wife worked for closed, leaving her unemployed. Then in 2014, the factory where I was working drastically downsized in different departments, and I was faced with finding another job.

  At this point, my focus was to notify all my creditors and let them know my situation. Every one of the financial institutions that I was associated with worked with me through this very difficult time. Even my mortgage lender was able to work out a manageable payment arrangement. Not so with ES&L. I had contacted them very soon after losing my job, explaining our unemployment situation, and it seemed like they were going to work with me. But without warning, I started receiving harassing phone calls from one employee from the debt collections department, almost borderline bulling me into making payments. I felt very intimidated by this persons unprofessional and disrespectful manner from a bank of this stature. ( See above info about ES&l ) He never offered any type of manageable payment plan for my situation, which was well within their means.

  I started working in the Fall of 2014, but soon after I was served with Litigation papers with Income Execution. So what it came down to was this: This one person served me with these papers, requiring me to appear in Supreme Court that forced me to make payments that I couldn’t afford on the remaining balance of the loan, which was approximately $12,000. On top of this amount due, they charged me with back due interest rate, hefty lawyers fee, and booking and filing fees, which added up to over $16,000! They also put a lien on my property and cancelled my membership with this bank. (I was never informed of this until recently). So, for the last 8 years I have been faithfully making weekly payments and at this point, I assumed I was making progress in paying the balance down, so I inquired on the amount I owed. That’s when I found out that all these years, they have been charging me a high interest rate, which I was never informed about, that has something to do with New York State Litigation process. So, the balance that I still owed is over $15,000!!! Over those 8 years, I have paid over $10,000 against this loan, and I still owe $15,000?!?!? I was ill-informed on several issues regarding this senseless means to collect a debt. I am a bus driver, and I only work 10 months out of the year. Two months when school is in summer recess, I am on unemployment. The lawyer’s office said I didn’t have to make payments for those two months, but no mention that those two months every year for 8 years, I was being charged with the daily heavy interest fee!

  My wife and I are now 68 years old, collecting Social Security and have used up all of our retirement to make ends meet. Over these last 8 years, keeping up with the payments to this bank, we have nothing at the end of the week. Having suffered greatly through these last 8 years, now facing this known impossible demand from ES&L, the Covid pandemic and now the record high inflation rates, we are flat broke. We have no savings, we have no extra money just enjoy the simple pleasures, like going out to dinner, going on a day trip to some of our favorite places, going to the movies, maybe take in a festival. No extra money to do these things. And we haven’t been on a vacation for over 20 years. And what hurts the most is that we can’t even help our own kids financially. They are also struggling to make ends meet. Parents should be able to support their kids when the time arises. But ES&L wants their money. Also, there are some needed major upgrades to our house to make it safer to live in, along with necessary home repair projects that need to be done so we can sell the house at a good price. But these things have been on hold because the bank wants their money.

  I have written a three-page letter to EIGHT members of the ES&L Senior Leadership Team and Board Members, including Faheem A. Masood, President & Chief Executive Officer, describing in great detail this whole ordeal that their bank has put me through. I haven’t received a response from any of them. I’m guessing they never read my letter. One manager in the collections department responded, and his only response was to “thank me for sharing my concerns with them” and just went on with a brief review of my case and told me to keep on making payment to the lawyer’s office. No concern whatsoever. I had also spoke to another manager in the collection department, explained the whole ordeal to him. He did offer to accept a payoff amount of $10,000, but in the end, he told me “Everyone has to get paid”!

  To sum this up from my standpoint, ES&L does not practice what they preach. Mr. Masood has been quoted in two interviews that “if it weren’t for our members, we would not be where we are today”. Am I the only one who was treated like a criminal out of the 400,000 plus members all these years or is this general practice on how they treat people who don’t meet their strict standards. Maybe I’ll never know. What I am facing from here on in is working my butt off until I am not physically able. Then I will be forced to sell my house at a great loss and a good chunk of that will have to be used to pay off the lien this bank has on my property. What will be left over will be my retirement money. And that won’t be much. Thank you ES&L for all you do.

 

  Sincerely Yours,

  Michael Vick

 

 

 

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

What exactly do you think should have been done for you by the Credit Union??

 

There are Consumer Credit Organizations and Mortgage Counselor Organizations that could have possibly helped you work out a deal to pay off debts in times of economic hardship.  

 

Some people have emergency funds that they have built up to carry them through a few months of economic hardship.

 

Then there is bankruptcy - 

 

It is not just about “notifying” your creditor or sending them what you can, if any - it is about taking actions to preserve your credit and financial standing as much as you can during times of economic hardships.  

 

They don’t care how you pay them - they just know that you have made a financial commitment to them and they will attempt to collect.  If they don’t collect, they can sue you.  If they don’t collect, they sell your debt to credit collectors -in fact your debt will be sold over and over again until you handle it in some way.  

 

You need a credit lawyer to figure out your best course of action at this point.  Pull your credit reports to see what damage has already been done.  Take no action on your own because every time you respond with a payment on an old debt, it resets the date.  

 

 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Can't you claim bankrupcy to get out from this terrible debt or isn't their some credit organization that you can contact ...Have you contacted a lawyer who would act on your behalf or called the local consumer programs that are featured on the tv to see if they can direct you in getting out from under this mess..i really feel bad for your wife and you to have to face possible home loss at this stage in your life ...Does your home have any equity in it so you can try to pay off this unjust debt with all the added interest ..Have you notified the Attorney General or the part of Government that deals with credit union in your state..There must be someone knowledgeable about matters like this..Hopefully you will find support and much needed help to help you get out of this situation asap...

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