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perrin26 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24/May/2006 at 11:02pm
My story is somewhat older, but worth telling.  I have never had a worse experience in my life than that which I had with CIBC.  My story begins when I was entering my last year at one institution and going to another.  There are forms you must send in to extend your interest relief while you are a student.  These forms I sent in to the office believing that that would be the last of it.  This was the beginning of a two year nightmare.  I recieved 3 months later a notice letting me know that I hadn't sent these forms in.  I was sure I had, I make copies of everything, but mail accidents happen.  This time I sent one copy by mail, and feeling a little bit cautious, I sent a second copy via inter-branch bank mail.  I had the CIBC branch which I dealt with on this loan, stamp date, and keep a copy on file locally in case.  Thinking that that would be the end of that, I relaxed a little.  The bank was handling it, and if there was a problem there was a second copy.  No word came for another 2 months, then a formal demand came.  This time I was feeling a little bit peeved.  I went back to CIBC where I bank, and explained my problem, they still had a copy of my file that they had sent out personally.  They phoned back to Toronto to talk to their head office there.  The two branches literally got in an arguing match.  No they didn't have the forms, are you sure that the customer sent them?  It's the customers responsibility to make sure that the forms get in to CIBC in toronto's hands.  So I was at fault.  Somehow.  The bank locally covered the interest because they relialized that their own bank was at fault.  So I made more copies, filled more applications, and again, sent one copy via inter bank mail, another I sent via regular, and this time, one by Registered mail.  I checked later online, it appeared that yes, my mail had got there and someone had signed for it.  All good.  I phoned back a couple of weeks later to confirm this, No, they didn't have the forms again.  This began to spiral downward from here.  I sent pretty close to 30 copies of this form to the bank, but none were getting to them, and that was apparently my fault.  I could think of nothing to do short of flying out to toronto, marching in there and demanding to talk to talk to the manager and put them in his hands.  It got pretty nasty. I started having to talk to CIBC every day.  That got annoying. I had to wait 45 minutes to get through to an agent, EVERY day, I was in classes, and commuting a long distance.  Every time I got an agent, it was a different agent, so I had to explain every other conversation I had had with other agents, which was 10 minutes to begin with every time, and by the end of 1 year of this, was a good 20 minute story every time I phoned.  Yes I phoned nearly every day.  I was getting pretty angry.  They were having problems on their end with my account.  For some reason, it wasn't keeping track of the notes that agents were taking of my calls.  It got nasty, I got to the point where I just said, I need to talk to a manager, pretty much every time I phoned.  At one point, I talked to someone in a department,who physically had the forms in their hands, my forms, and said they were going to make sure the department that deals with these things got them.  Guess what?  They never made it.  Well eventually I got to talk to collections.  This made things worse.  CIBC collections is a company that they hire to do collections for them.  They don't communicate.  When one has the file, the other can't access it.  I spent a good amount of time talking to a collections agent there, who was not surprised in the least of what was happening to me.  I got to know him pretty well, he was actually a nice guy, and helped quite a bit by getting my loan back into the bank so I could communicate with the bank again.  Having been bounced between bank and collections for a couple of months, and getting into my second year at the new place that I was in school, I was worried.  I had a new form to send in soon, and I had a bad feeling that it was going to be a problem.  I decided I had to somehow get the other mess cleared up.  I finally was able to convince a manager that I had to deal with only one person, that I could not remain sane and continue sending forms in, and explaining my story to a new person every day.  This was a turning point.  I dealt with someone who was high enough up that they could do something, and was a regular employee, they were there during business hours always. (and had voice mail) this was a good thing.  I dealt with them for another 2 months, they didn't understand how I ended up only dealing with them, and at first weren't too polite.  (thinking I was just some dumb shmuck who wasn't filling out their forms properly or something) they quickly began to realize that I was ont he level, I sent them directly my forms care of the company, and they got them.  They took them personally to the person responsible for processing this information, that should have been the end of it, however, it wasn't, baffled, the information didn't get into the computer once again, and I was still getting threatening letters, I could build a house out of the letters I got.  This lady was getting frustrated with her own company.  SHE finally, after fighting with management there somehow got the problem resolved.  That was that, until the next year that is.

I had the same thing happen the very next year.  I had been very careful to send a lot of copies out, and document everything, registered mail reciepts, inter-bank mail date stamps and signatures on everything.  I contacted this lady again directly, she knew me quite well by now, and it took little under 2 months to get it sorted out the second time, but that just shows how bad it was. 

There were times where I really wished there were a way to take the bank to court.  The amount of stress I was put through was above and beyond.  But... what can you do?  Things now aren't great.  I am a little slow with forms these days, I do get them in, but a little later.  They are getting processed at least first time around, and ifnot first time, I at least get forms back in the mail to show me what I forgot or didn't do correct.  No ghost forms that never made it to the companies.  I no longer have to deal with CIBC, as long as I do my canada student interest relief forms. 

My advice?  Document everything, registered mail.  If you can, second copy through the bank, with date stamp and signature.  get them to keep a copy, then you have someone from their bank that can fight for you.


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frustrated-guy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frustrated-guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26/May/2006 at 8:12am

Hi Perrin,

What a nightmare.  Your case shows how messed up the system is and the hell we all go through.  Even when the bank makes a mistake they still try to fault the student.

Are these are all pre year 2000 Canada Student Loans? (When did you first take out your loans?)

These are Schedule 2 Confirmation of Enrollment forms you are talking about?

Did this mess hurt you academically?  Could you go after CIBC for this?

How much longer until you graduate?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ResIpsaLoquitor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/May/2006 at 5:57pm

My husband and I have been through some of this with CIBC in the last 8 years.  At that time, he was not employed, and I was about to give birth to our first child.  Our income was, needless to say, extremely limited.  The $385 payment each month was beyond our means at the time.

We tried very hard to make sufficient payments on each of the OSL and CSL loans so that they would not quite go into default.  CIBC neglected to send out certain forms at one point, and we had a mad dash to the local branch to fax over instructions regarding a payment which was supposed to be put on his CSL portion of his loans so that they would not go into default.

A few weeks later, we got our first call from a collection agency.  we found out that CIBC had 'accidentally' put the payment meant for the CSL loan onto the OSL loan - then put BOTH loans into default and transferred them to the collection agencies.  This was in 1998.  CIBC would not listen to us regarding their error, nor did they do ANYTHING to correct the problem.  Then they cancelled my husband's VISA card.  After extensive negotiations with CIBC, they did reinstate the VISA card, but they absolutely refused to do anything about the loans.

The OSL loans were paid off in full several years ago, but we still owe a few thousand on the CSL loans.  We have been steadily paying the collection company $150.00 per month, plus my husband's garnisheed income tax refunds.  We have been sending them post-dated cheques regularly. 

Yesterday, I received a call from the 'Auditor' of the collection agency, Allied International.  According to her, they are considering taking legal action against my husband to 'secure the debt' - despite the fact that we have been making payment arrangements with them for years.  She threatened to garnish his wages.  She said something about the government requiring them to do this.  I told her that she needed to send us a letter detailing our conversation and enclosing information on the appeal process with the 'government'.

I wonder if they are indeed serious or if this is yet another example of collection agency scare tactics.  Is there an ombudsman I can call to get further information?  We really just want to continue paying the loan until it is paid off.  My student loan will be paid off in September and we will be able to put that money towards it.

The thing speaks for itself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OrlosGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/August/2008 at 10:35am
I have had a similar experience with CIBC.  Back in 2006, I fell a little behind (through my own fault) with my payments.  I phoned the National Student Center to find out how much I had to pay to bring my accounts current.  I was doing this because I wanted to renew my interest only payments.  I talked to at least two people who PROMISED me that it was the right amount to pay.  I paid what I was told to pay and waited for my interest only documents to be sent.  I waited and waited and finally called to see what the deal was.  The rep told me that I was still one payment behind.  I was FURIOUS.  She said that they couldn't call me to tell me because I had a "contact by mail only" on file.  I asked her why they didn't send me a letter explaining this.  I was fed up at this point and told them that this was THEIR screw up, not mine.  I told them I didn't want anything more to do with them.
 
Months later, my account went to the "cure" department.  I thought finally, someone who knows what they are doing.  YEAH RIGHT!  Well, Jennifer, the person handling my file, didn't know anything more than the people at the Student Center.  She took my money, but then she told me that when I went back to school, I could fill out a Schedule 2 form and my loan could be put on hold.  I got the forms in the mail from her, took it to my new school and had them fill it out.  I mailed it off and it was SENT BACK.  I called and asked what the deal was.  The Schedule 2 forms are OBSOLETE!  Jennifer also didn't tell me that I had to pay over $800 to bring it current first.
 
I could go on and on about what happened after that.  Needless to say, it's with NCO in Edmonton now and with the government collection in Belleville ON.  NCO is a dragon to deal with, but the Belleville government collection agency has been very accomodating.
 
More about my experience with CIBC later!
Trying to do everything He tells me. (John 2:5)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote perrin26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/August/2008 at 6:43pm
Irony is, I at one point worked for NCO, but not the student loans division,  support for internet access, they do everything.  The thing about NCO is, dragon or not, they treat the customers how the bank has instructed them to.  With little relenting,  most departments, if you harp them enough, get angry enough, and have more patience than the dali lama, eventually the will have to pass you on to the actual bank to deal with.  Because they have a sheet of instructions to follow, and can't do anything outside of that, and have no authority to make deals.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OrlosGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/September/2008 at 5:00pm
I also used to work for NCO, so I know Canadian collection laws.  NCO picked the wrong person to try and bully around.  As for how the banks want them to treat people, CIBC is apparently they are VERY complaint sensitive.
 
I've decided to take John's advice and escalate it to the President.
Trying to do everything He tells me. (John 2:5)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/September/2008 at 6:03pm
That is certainly the direction you should navigate towards. It couldn't hurt to ask to see the collection agency's request for  permission to sue, and examine their input on that document. In cases whereas a collector has refused monthly payment arrangements only to be followed with legal action, they have to put something on the request for action to be approved. So, if you being a willing participant are refused by the agency, and the agency fills in the request form with statements that you are unwilling to pay, then that demonstrates unfair and dishonest business practices. The problem is that the agency may deny refusing to accept your payment offerings.
 
Something you should also know - the agency apparently is required to record calls. I have been told that CIBC requires that it be done. So, if you know the date and approximate time of any conversation you had with the collector whereas you made an attempt to negotiate a repayment plan, and it was refused, that is on record and I believe you can FOI that as well.
 
CIBC is not a bad institution. Debt recovery is what it is though, and each case is very unique. THere are cases whereas the bank does have to enforce it upon individuals in warranted situations. So, it is very clear that CIBC wants to make sure that your complaint holds merit. Once merit has been established, CIBC will act quickly in your favor. CIBC is awesome in that department. So, follow the compass as provided above, and your voice will be heard.
 
Hope this helps.
 
 
 
Solve Student Debt specializes in solutions for students and graduates in student loan default, and those at risk of defaulting.

solvestudentdebt.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote perrin26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/September/2008 at 12:34am
I am sorry to say, however, Cibc has been anything but easy to deal with, I speak of something 4 years past now however, but they were brutal.  I did deal direct with one person in the end who was wonderful, but she went through hell to over this. 

In that year I made over 100 calls to CIBC, sent 20 or more copies of forms by every postage method known to man, talked to indifiduals with the forms in their hands that I had sent, only to be bothered a couple of weeks later and have them with no record that anyone had the forms before.  My average phone call with them would last 1.5 - 2 hours.  If that isn't unlawful harassment I don't know what is.  And having to explain every day what had happened on the previous calls...which got longer... and longer... and longer... was enough to break a persons will.  To be fair... the bank branch I dealt with in my city was very nice, very helpful, and very frustrated.  They phoned many times, forms in hand, copies with dates stamped and tracking codes, to argue with the student loans division, and though it seemed they would get somewhere, somehow, the information always got magically lost. 

I had never been so frustrated in my life.  This all on top of doing a condensed study course at the same time. 

Anyway, I used to be a Cibc customer, but I would never ever deal with them again.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/September/2008 at 9:05am
I never had a student loan from CIBC, however I was their customer at one time and I was always frustrated with their poor customer service.
Thinking fast...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote perrin26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/October/2008 at 1:52pm
Wow.  An update on student loans.  I have been paying back my loans now, and am still having bad experiences with CIBC.  I setup my student loan payment for the first of each.  They requested in order to do this I had to make a statement that it was alright, sign it etc.  Obviously someone didn't read carefully.  I had specified so clearly that the payments could not begin, must not begin until October 1st.  This was the paper I signed giving them permission to debit my account, but only starting October 1st.   The debited me twice, once in september at the end, and at the beginning of October.  So it bounced a bunch of my other payments because of it.  I wasn't too happy that my permission had been ignored, so I phoned the bank, and they continued to talk, not listening to what I was saying explaining why the payment was taken out in September.  They weren't listening to the fact they had no permission to take a payment out in September.  They went so far to talk overtop of me when I was trying to explain that I had made it very clear on the note of permission with my account information that it was only starting the 1st of October they could debit from my account once per month.  I eventually asked for a supervisor, the woman eventually came back. They thought that they had lost me on the line.. and I was in shock, she started to say, "oh you were lucky you didn't have to talk to him... and then went on to use a slew of profanity about me until she realized I was still on the line."  I can't believe that they would talk like that, especially when the line is still open.  But I was very unhappy with the experience.  It's just another notch on the now growing very long belt of bad experiences with CIBC. 

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