It is best to try to resolve a complaint directly with your bank before involving an outside agency. If you are unable to do so or are uncertain about whether your complaint is legitimate, the OCC Customer Assistance Unit can help you.


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by Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 6/96

It is best to try to resolve a complaint directly with your bank before involving an outside agency. If you are unable to do so or are uncertain about whether your complaint is legitimate, the OCC Customer Assistance Unit can help you.

General inquiries about banking laws or practices often can be answered on the phone by a Customer Assistance technician. The technician may also be able to suggest other ways for you to try to resolve your problem directly with the bank.

When resolution seems impossible, you may file a formal complaint with the OCC.

WHAT IS A NATIONAL BANK?

A national bank is a financial institution chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. National banks can usually be identified because they have the words "national" or "national association" in their titles or the letters N.A. or N.S.&T. following their titles.

FILING A FORMAL COMPLAINT

You may file a formal complaint about a national bank with the OCC by writing a letter -- no special forms are required -- to the OCC district office for the state in which the bank is headquartered.

Your letter should explain the nature of your problem and tell us what resolution you are seeking. Do not forget to give us your address and a telephone number where you can be reached during the day.

WHAT WE WILL DO ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT

When we receive your written complaint we will send you an acknowledgment and assign your case to a specialist to be researched. The specialist will contact the bank for an explanation of what happened. The OCC will notify you after the bank responds. Complaints caused by bank error or misunderstanding are often resolved voluntarily by the bank.

WHEN YOU NEED OTHER HELP

Many complaints stem from factual or contract disputes between the bank and the customer. Only a court of law can resolve those disputes and award damages. If we find that your case involves such a dispute, we will suggest that you consult an attorney for assistance.

The OCC regulates only national banks, not all types of financial institutions. If your complaint involves a bank not regulated by the OCC, we may refer it to another agency. We will notify you if we do so. You should not have to resubmit your complaint or accompanying documentation. However, you may be contacted if the other agency needs additional information.

CONTACTING A OCC CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE TECHNICIAN

You can reach one of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's Customer Assistance technicians by:

* Telephoning 1-800-613-6743, (business days 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.);
* E-mailing E-mail to consumer.complaint@occ.treas.gov, or;
* Sending mail to -
Customer Assistance Unit
Mail Stop 3-9
250 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20219

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