His Umpqua statements were mailed to a post office box that he doesn't check often. But even when he retrieved the statements, Chase admits, he didn't open them — he figured they would merely report his tiny balance.
His account had an insurance benefit attached to it for a fee of $3 per month — of which he says he was unaware. It wasn't long before the charge wiped out his balance and triggered overdrafts. The bank charged a $7 daily overdraft fee and an occasional $35 fee for insufficient funds.
Eventually, the bank turned the account over to a collection agency, which told Chase in June that he owed $327.91 in fees and interest.
The 80-year-old Chase says he grew up at a time when banks paid interest, even on small balances.
"There is a niceness in the past that we don't have today," he says.
I contacted both banks.
Umpqua spokeswoman Eve Callahan says the bank tried to reach Chase several times after it noticed the negative balance. Umpqua told Chase recently that it closed his account, waived the fees and notified the debt collector.
A spokeswoman for Capitol One said she couldn't go into detail of Pahr's case. But the bank did call Pahr to say it would forgive the fees and correct her credit record.
Pahr says she hasn't received a statement yet, but her credit reports indicate that Capital One kept its word.