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I recently dumped E-Trade Bank not because of fees but because they seem to be on the ropes. Their "6 times" national average interest on savings dropped to "3 times" then to 0.5% APY. Also my portfolio lost value to below their $12 trade threshold limit.

Those issues were understandable based on what I had agreed upon contractually and the nature of the economy but the deal breaker came recently when they 'froze' my HELOC based on a 'computer model' of home values in my area. For about 6 years I have paid substantially more than my minimun payment, was always on time, never even approached my credit limit and only used this account for major purchases; I also have an excellent credit score. They did not offer to reduce my credit limit but simply froze the account and sent me a letter that they would happily reconsider if I paid to have my home professionally appraised and essentially re-applied for the line of credit.

I wrote them back explaining that this was absurd and that if I was required to go to the effort to essentially re-apply that it would be with another lender. My letter remains unanswered and I have another HELOC at a better rate with another bank and without spending money on an appraiser. I'm fortunate to be nowhere near 'underwater' on the total debt load on my property, which as I explained to E-Trade could be easily discerned from my credit report which they were authorized to access. Beyond that there's Google Street View or I would be happy to allow THEM to pay for an appraisal if they wished.

Now all they have is my frozen HELOC, which I will pay off in compliance with the original terms; the savings which they held went to AMEX Savings and the securities went to Scottrade (which they did for free). So I don't know what's up with ET but I would advise whoever is left there to make for the exits... :(
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