When Bank of America purchased MBNAÂ’s credit card portfolio, much confusion arose regarding agreements that had been made with MBNA prior to the sale. Unfortunately, few customers who negotiated repayment agreements with Bank of America had their agreements with the bank reduced to writing, leaving them with no documentation to prove that an alternative payment plan existed. When Bank of America purchased MBNAÂ’s accounts, it began charging the contract rate and applicable fees on some accounts, since many customersÂ’ agreements with MBNA regarding reduced interest rates and fees were not communicated during the transfer of account information.
I strongly encourage you to contact Bank of America (the combined MBNA/BOA entity is now doing business under the name FIA Card Services) to discuss the repayment agreement you had negotiated with MBNA and to request that BOA/FIA reinstate the previously agreed upon terms, including any interest rate concessions MBNA had offered to you. If Bank of America refuses to honor the agreement you had with MBNA, you may have no choice but to work out an alternative repayment plan with BOA, especially if you do not have documentation of your agreement with MBNA. However, if you do have any documentation, even if it is only a statement showing a reduction in the interest rate and the required payment, you should send the documents to Bank of America to prove that you had negotiated a repayment plan with MBNA which lowered the interest rate and monthly payments on the account.
The fact that your balance has increased significantly in a short period of time may indicate that BOA has not only increased the interest rate on your account for future calculations, but may be applying the higher interest rate retroactively, despite your previous agreement with MBNA. When you contact BOA to request that the payment plan you had with MBNA be reinstated, you should also ask the creditor about the balance it is claiming you owe, and how the amount was calculated. Unfortunately, even if BOA charged interest retroactively for the period during which MBNA had granted a reduced interest rate, if you do not have documentation to prove that you had an agreement with MBNA, you may not have much leverage in forcing BOA to reinstate the interest and payment concessions provided by MBNA. However, it will not do any harm to call Bank of America to explain what repayment terms MBNA had offered to you; even if it will not reinstate the exact same terms, BOA may offer you a new plan to reduce your interest and payments. If they do offer you a new agreement, I would encourage you to request a copy of the terms offered in writing so that you have documentation of you agreement with BOA in case any more problems like what you are currently experiencing arise in the future.
If you do have documentation to back up your statements regarding the repayment plan you negotiated with MBNA, you should be in a much stronger position to negotiate with Bank of America. As a successor in interest to MBNAÂ’s accounts, BOA is legally obligated to honor any contract agreed to by MBNA. If you do have documentation, you should contact BOA to demand that it honor your previous agreement with MBNA. While I would expect BOA to honor any agreement for which you have documentary evidence of the agreement, you should be prepared to negotiate a new repayment plan. If you would like to read more about the various options available to consumers struggling with their debts, I invite you to visit the Bills.com Debt Help page at /debt-help/.
I wish you the best of luck in resolving this debt, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.