Bank Of America (and other banks who have been implicated in similar complaints) has not come through the Payroll Protection Loan Program with a good record in working with its customers. In this case, Turner Reporting and Captioning Service,
Turner Reporting and Captioning Service is a Las Vegas, Nevada-based small business that provide captioning for deaf patrons as well as those faced with hearing loss at live events and Broadway touring shows, shared its problem via an email to Zennie62Media by Turner Reporting and Captioning Service Founder Vicki Turner.
Ms Turner is one of a growing number of American small business owners who have shared, and are sharing, their PPP Loan horror stories with Zennie62Media.
This started with Zennie62Media’s CEO, me, sharing the personal journey of dealing with how to mitigate economic damage from The Pandemic, turning to Bank of America and the Small Business Administration for help, first because Zennie62Media is a BofA customer, and second because the banking firm pointed me to the Small Business Administration website to sign up for, first, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program or “EIDL” and then, second, the Payroll Protection Loan Program website, and then BofA branch representatives in Fayette County, Georgia encouraging me to sign up again when the SBA website crashed, or when I did not hear from the SBA or Bank of America, itself. This is not the fault of my local BofA branch representatives in Fayette County, Georgia, who were more than helpful during the unfolding crisis.
My blogging about the Zennie62Media experience has led to a spontaneous number of emails and calls to me from small business owners around the country who shared their horror stories about the PPP Loan program, and how Bank of America handled it’s end of the deal in the PPP Loan Process. I have also blogged about the SBA as well. Please share your PPP Loan story with Zennie62Media at firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall, the program has caused extreme stress for a great many small business owners who aren’t Tom Brady, the former New England Patriots and now Tampa Bay Bucs Quarterback who’s TB12 small business secured a $960,855 PPP Loan – but nailed a two-year, $50 million contract with Tampa Bay in 2020. He reportedly gets $41 million of that, this year, 2021.
Here’s the story of Turner Reporting and Captioning Service and Bank of America’s PPP Loan Forgiveness process.
Hi, Zennie ~
I hear that you are interested in hearing how the Bank of America misguided many of us who applied for PPP loans to keep our businesses open last year. I am one of many now trying to handle the repercussions of their fraudulent practices without success.
I am a small business owner who doesn’t know where to turn. The BofA application specifically asked for 1099 independent contractors who are on our payroll to be included in the calculation, which I did. I sent them the backup documentation they requested. They provided the loan. I diligently kept track of every payment I made for payroll, rent, utilities, and was relieved when they extended the amount of time we could use the funds. I felt confident that all would be forgivable because I followed the guidelines on the BofA application to the T. I felt like I could breathe again.
I own a theatre captioning agency where we provide captioning for deaf patrons and patrons with a hearing loss at live events and Broadway touring shows, which, as you know, completely shut down and remains so. I also have a small court reporting agency, which likewise those services completely ceased until slowly starting up in June 2020. However, payment is typically not received for services performed until two to three months afterwards, being September/October. I relied on the PPP loan to keep the doors open and was grateful for it.
That gratitude has now turned into a stressor. BofA is not addressing their error in the application they created where they specifically asked to include our 1099s. I take a very small salary (and distributions when I can, which are not included), so the amount the BofA has unilaterally determined is forgivable is miniscule. The court reporters and various administrative people are 1099 workers. With the ratio of payroll to expenses allowed, my rent payments won’t even be fully covered.
BofA has inserted the amount they deem forgivable on their forgiveness form (which I waited for months to receive the “invitation” to apply), and it cannot be altered. The multitude of phone calls I’ve made to them has gotten me nowhere. There is basically no one to speak with in an attempt to address and rectify the matter. BofA now takes the position that 1099 workers should not have been included on the application under SBA guidelines. Well, had they not requested the information in their application, I certainly would not have included it.
BofA has completely, and I feel fraudulently, misled us with their erroneous application. They are now determining what can be forgiven, which for me means I’ll need to repay in the neighborhood of $50,000.
They have no problem sending me regular emails “reminding” me to submit my loan forgiveness documents before the deadline passes. Yet try to speak to anyone for assistance and no one knows anything.
I would hope this isn’t intentional on the BofA’s part. However, since they made money from the PPP funds they were fully aware they were distributing and they are likely to make even more money off the small businesses that now have to repay funds with interest we thought in good faith would be forgivable based on BofA’s erroneous application, it sure looks as though the only entity benefiting from the difficulties of the past year is BofA.
What they are doing and how they are not accepting responsibility for their error is abhorrent.
And that doesn’t even address the $10,000 they removed from my account in August because I didn’t accept an SBA loan, of which I knew nothing about. It was included in my application when the BofA asked to include any funds received from the EIDL SBA loan, at which time we all mistakenly were advised we would be receiving $10,000, ultimately reduced to $1,000, which was supposed to be considered a grant.
Please, if there is anything I can participate in bringing attention to this travesty for small business owners across the country who have had a difficult year as it is, count me in. This is a heavy weight hanging over me and is causing me great distress.
BofA needs to be held accountable for their actions. I have been banking with them for close to 50 years, and I will remove all accounts once this has been resolved.
Feel free to contact me at any time, either via email or phone.
Thank you for all you are doing to bring this matter into the light.
Bank of America is invited to come on or send an email explaining its side of the story. I have reached out to its spokesperson, and look forward to having him on the Zennie62 YouTube livestream.
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