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Double Check Your Ally Bank CD Interest

POSTED ON BY

Ally Bank

Update 2/21/2012: The WSJ has reported on this issue. According to the article "Ally is in the process of crediting the proper interest payments to customer accounts and is "communicating with" customers".

If you have Ally Bank CDs, you might want to double check the interest that Ally credited to your account for 2011. A reader informed me that Ally had not paid interest in 2011 to one of his 5-year CDs. After several calls and over a month, Ally finally fixed the problem with his CD and credited the proper interest. Below is an excerpt of his first email to me about this issue:

They have not paid interest in 2011 to one of my 5-year CD accounts. I contacted them more than 3 weeks ago regarding the issue, and it has not yet been resolved. They could not give me an exact answer about the reason for this, and I don't see any results after contacting them several times.

I had tried to help by emailing my Ally contact to spur action, but it's not clear if that had helped. The reader just notified me that Ally finally fixed the issue:

Finally Ally credited my CD with last year's interest, which posted yesterday, and apparently it will be counted towards 2011 interest payments in the amended 1099-INT form that they will send me by the end of February.

I talked to someone in the executive resolution center. I was told that a lot of customers are having this issue due to "some" system error. Surprisingly, instead of finding the source of the error and solving it for all the accounts involved, they are dealing with this on a case by case basis, correcting the interest on the accounts for which they receive customer complaints. This is very worrisome, as I don't know what would have happened if I didn't catch the error. They "hope" that the error will be solved during the year so that this does not happen again, but of course, they could not assure this. They did offer to close the CD and open a new one replicating the terms hoping that the issue will not arise in the new CD.

To be honest, I am very disappointed with Ally. Who knows what other system issues they might have. I will take a closer look at all my accounts regularly from now on.

Ally customers who are not careful to review their accounts may miss this error, and it appears Ally may not fix the error unless there's a complaint. I doubled checked the interest credited on my Ally CDs, and all of the CDs were properly credited. This is probably a good practice for any of your bank accounts. It doesn't hurt to double check how the bank or credit union credits the interest. I'm surprised a bank could make such a mistake, but I suppose with any software, there's always the possibility of a bug.

Hat tip to the reader for sharing his experiences and getting the word out on this issue. If you had a good or bad experience at your bank or credit union, please consider sharing your experience using our bank review service.


  Tags: Ally Bank, CD rates

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Comments
35 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ever since GMAC became Ally, they have been going down hill.  Their site and IT systems have turned into a real disaster.

7
Comment #2 by Robert (anonymous) posted on
Robert
I'm confused - if you have an Ally CD that did not mature in 2011, should that accrued interest show up on the 1099-INT?

The only CD interest I have on my 2011 Ally 1099-INT is from an Ally CD that matured.  The other Ally CD doesn't have any interest, and it had no interest income on the 2011 1099-INT.

2
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ken, What are the specifics we should be looking for? Is this related to the policy change that Ally applied back in March, 2011? I also had one CD where interest did not appear on the 1099. Turns out some CDs post interest on the anniversary date vs end of year. Depending on the term and date it was opened. The policy is not clear and most of the tier 1 customer service people are clueless to the changes.

4
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks for the heads up.  I'll have to check my 1099. 

Also, I remember opening a CD last year and for about a week the interest decreased a basis pt a day.  Each day I checked it the interest rate displayed with my CD was following this decrease.  I finally called and they could barely explain themselves, however it did revert to the correct rate after 10 days.  The CSR said it had something to do with the 10 day rate guarantee.  Still strange to see it bounce around.

2
Comment #5 by buckeye61 posted on
buckeye61
I have my Ally CD interest transfered monthly into my savings account. I would rather have them CREDIT the interest monthly back into the CD but they don't offer that option. You should always be able to SEE your accrued interest and current redemption value when you view your CD account information online.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#5 Ally provides the option to change but you have to call, and their website does show accured interest and redemption value (and has for as long as I've had an account at Ally). You might have to expand the details section on the CD account's web page.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ally used to allow long term accural of interest and later changed the deposit agreement so annual (either at anniversary, or at year-end) is the longest period over which interest will accrue before being credited. Newer employees probably aren't aware of the older policies. I actually changed my CDs to longer accural in 2011 to avoid recognizing more income and taxes in that year. The problem I have is not getting a statement for some CDs (prior to last fall they didn't send statements for CDs but now they're sent at least quarterly. It's been several attempts so far (the last made the problem even worse) and I'm still awaiting this month's statement to see if they finally solved it. Much of what Ally has told me about their policies and computer systems has turned out to be false.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Agree very much with #3.

"Turns out some CDs post interest on the anniversary date vs end of year. Depending on the term and date it was opened."

Last year they had to re-send 1099 for over paid interest. Very confusing and messed up "2010" IRS filing. It not a new problem

 

1
Comment #9 by Kaight posted on
Kaight
I have several CD accounts at Ally and well prior to 12/31/2011 I called to change the interest payout instructions to avoid having to pay tax in April on my CD interest for 2011.  My instructions were ignored first time and no changes were made by Ally.  They totally dropped the ball.

I caught their error, more through luck than anything else, and telephoned again.  Second time they were successful in making the change properly to all but one of my accounts (all my CD accounts are similar with like term).  How they got all but one right is beyond me.  I would chalk it up to carelessness . . . to perhaps a keying error and failure to check work . . . that's what it looked like.  I had to telephone them a third time after discovering their second error.  Then I telephoned them a fourth time to be certain it had been put right.  It had.  Finally!

Anyway, when it comes to Ally Bank my best advice is to:  Watch 'em like a hawk!!  Precision, accuracy, and attention to detail are not strong suits at Ally Bank.  I'm there only because of the 60-day penalty.  If that went away I'd be gone fast enough to make your head spin.

8
Comment #10 by NObama (anonymous) posted on
NObama
Yes, they have THE most incompetent phone customer service agents I have ever encountered.  They don't know the correct answer to even the simplest question but instead make up 'facts' for everything.  I believe they are poorly trained rather than just plain stupid!

Eventually, you may be able to work your way up to 'executive' problem resolution level to get anything at all done.

When I close my long term CDs in the future, I will NEVER be back to ALLy regardless of their interest rates.

3
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Any bank can have a software error but only ALLY could make it a living hell for their customers to get ALLY to fix the problem.

2
Comment #12 by melman posted on
melman
I have been buying Ally CD's approximately monthly for over two years.  All except one credit the "Interest Earned" back into the CD accounts at year end.  The only one I have that does not was created  Feb. 6, 2011.   I did online chat with a rep when I first noticed this, and got a vague "some CD's have a glitch" explanation.  I was assured that my 1099 would be correct, that the "glitch" would be corrected.  But it wasn't, it doesn't include the interest from that one CD.  I just looked online and that CD has had Interest Earned credited on 2/6/2012. That's fine with me.  I have not had any other problems with Ally.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
GMAC did a lot better than Ally. I have a CD matured on the 6th of Feb, I called to close the CD and transfer the mondy to my MM account. They told me it takes about 1 to 2 business days and at most 4 business (why?) to be available on my MM. It has been 3 full business days but nothing shows up on MM yet. Need to call them up tomorrow.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have six 5-year CDs with Ally.  Three of them paid interest in 2011 on the anniversary dates of the CDs.  That interest was credited back to the CD (raising the balance of the CD by the amount of interest credited; presumably the accrued interest begins earning interest at the CD's rate when credited back to the CD).  The other three paid no interest in 2011, even on the anniversary date of the CDs.  The Interest Accrued section of the CD page at ally.com seems to be consistent with the fact that the interest has not been paid out.  My concern, though, is that accrued interest that has been accruing for more than a year will not itself earn interest (interest accruing less than a year earns interest by virtue of interest accruing at the APY rate; interest accruing for more than a year will not earn interest unless actually credited to the principal of the account).  The question is will I be able to get Ally to credit me this interest that would have accrued on my interest, had it been paid after 1 year like it should have been.

2
Comment #15 by cactus posted on
cactus
My spreadsheet predicts what the next month's interest will be on each CD I have. It can take some work to factor in the number of days in month, compounding frequency, etc. to get things to come out right.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Not crediting interest?

Not compounding the interest?

So much for the ad campaign extolling their honesty.

“The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted the spoons.” --Emerson

3
Comment #17 by cactus posted on
cactus
How to check...   Enter
12/01/2010 for From Date and
02/10/2012 for To Date.


If you enter a date like 2/02/2012 or 02/2/2012 or 02/02/12 their lame software says  "not a valid date."
Must be mm/dd/yyyy

If your From Date is more than 18 months ago, you get "You have attempted to query for details older than the 18 month limit. "

FWIW, mine are OK.

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have had the same problem with 1 of 8 CD's, this one was also for 5 years. After 4 CSR calls and one to a supervisor, I finally had the interest posted in January with a December 31st date. Now my problem is trying to get a corrected 1099 before I file taxes. All I get from them is mid-February, which is no real answer. Now that I know this is a system wide problem, I will call again.

1
Comment #19 by rosie43 (anonymous) posted on
rosie43
I have IRA's with First Community credit union in Michigan. I have called them several times after I receive my statements. The Roth IRA's are not listed as Roth IRA's even though they say their records and my records say they are Roth IRA's. This is for both my husband and I. It will be fixed and then in a month or so it will not say Roth again. I now have another letter coming from them listing all of our IRA and which ones are Roth. They are aware of the problem. This is the last time they will be contacted if the stataement again reverts back to a traditional IRA, because I will go to NCUA and file a complaint. Some of these are converted IRA's.

 

 

1
Comment #20 by CraigPD posted on
CraigPD
"My concern, though, is that accrued interest that has been accruing for more than a year will not itself earn interest (interest accruing less than a year earns interest by virtue of interest accruing at the APY rate;"

#14, Not to worry.  Interest on all Ally CDs are compounded daily.  That's what matters.  Whether posted monthly, yearly or at maturity the APY (and total earnings) will be the same.  I also use a speadsheet to verify their monthly calculations and the numbers are accurate to the penny.  As for 1099 INT reporting, accrued interest is normally posted (and credited for IRS purposes) on 12/31 for any term greater than 18 months, otherwise on the anniversary or at maturity.  That's how it was explained several years ago when questioning why 12 and 18 month CDs didn't report interest EOY.  I haven't opened anything less than 36 months lately to confirm this is current practice.

4
Comment #21 by RIFSLAW (anonymous) posted on
RIFSLAW
Thanks to Ken's post, I checked my 1099's and discovered nothing from Ally. I had renewed a CD for a 5 year term in late 2010 and should have received a 1099 by now for interest earned in 2011. When I spoke with the CR and asked what my current balance was, I was told it was the amount of my principal. After further discussions, I was told that a corrected 1099 would be issued and sent in 5-7 business days. I then asked to speak with a supervisor who confirmed the comments above: Ally had decided as a matter of policy to resolve their system error only with respect to people who call to have it corrected. The supervisor (Eric Evans) did not seem the least concerned that numerous customers had no idea there was an issue. The question I have is: how are customers damaged? Presumably when the CD matures, they will be paid all of the accrued interest. Also presumably, Ally will have to issue corrected 1099's for those years it failed to issue 1099's and customers will have to go through the annoyance (and maybe additional cost) of filing amended tax returns. As a lawyer (and in fact one who handles class actions), I am not sure Ally customers are damaged other than I have described though the company's conduct in the face of a known problem seems abhorent to me.

3
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Come on, folks, let's stop walking on eggshells and tell it like it is. No company could make this many "accidental" mistakes and stay in business.

It appears Ally Bank has been corrupt from day one. Just read the reviews on this website.

http://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/ally-bank.html

It's time we all took the situation seriously ... began making all contact with Ally by "Certified Mail" (you can get a free receipt from the USPS website documenting that the mail was received) ... and began filing complaints with government agencies. We shouldn't have to contact Ally more than once to straighten out one of their famous "computer errors" ... a copy of the second written request should also go to a string of government agencies.

Ken has an article on how to file a complaint against your bank:

http://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/how-to-file-a-complaint-against-your-bank-or-credit-union.html

But for maximum impact, I would also send a copy of the complaint to the White House, my senators and congressman, and to the chairmen and members of the Senate and House banking committees ... and maybe the FDIC, who will have to clean up the mess if Ally (GMAC) defaults ... again.

 

1
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
# 21 "how are customers damaged?" 1. If the interest is added to principal, that interst will earn interest along with the existing princpal. If not added to principal, the accumulated interest held longer than one year sits there earning no interest. This problem does not exist for interest held less than one year, because that interest compounds by virtue of interest being credited to the CD at the APY, rather than at the nominal interest rate. I can't confirm the foregoing, but it seems probable from examining my account. 2. Beginning in 2013, there will be a 3.8% surtax on investment income to bolster medicare. Any investment income that should have been realized in years prior to 2013 that is not realized until 2013 or later will be taxed at a rate 3.8% higher. I want my interest credited annually so that I can get the benefit of the lower tax rate for the first few years' interest.

2
Comment #25 by RIFSLAW (anonymous) posted on
RIFSLAW
#23 You are correct, only if Ally fails to accrue interest according to the terms of the CD, but I do NOT believe that is the case. If you sign in online, I believe you will see that interest is accruing properly, and you are receiving interest on the interest. As I understand the "system error", the problem is NOT with interest accruing properly, but with Ally failing to issue 1099's correctly. If true, then your statement about paying the additional 3.8% surtax starting in 2013 is accurate, only if you fail to receive corrected 1099's, fail to file an amended return, and report pre-2013 interest income as income in 2013 or thereafter. I am NOT defending Ally by the way, as I think the corporate policy is flat out wrong, but the only (compensable) damage to customers that I see might be the additional out of pocket costs in future years to pay an accountant to file an amended tax return.

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#23 here. I have CDs where they have done it correctly and others where they have not. When they do it correctly, the "Beginning Balance This Term" amount goes up by the amount of accrued interest on the anniversary of the CD and the "Daily Interest Credited" goes up as well based on the higher "Beginning Balance This Term" amount. When they do it incorrectly, those two amounts do not go up, which suggests to me that they are crediting less daily interest than they should (the shortfall being the interest on the accrued interest that should have been credited to principal on the anniversary). With respect to the tax issue, if they don't pay you the interest in a year (i.e., credit it back to you), the income is not realized for tax purposes and you have no obligation (or right, actually) to pay taxes on that income for that year (and, if you do, you will probably need to pay the tax twice, because Ally will send you a 1099 in the year of maturity for the full 5 years of interest). I don't think it is a 1099 mistake; I think it is a mistake in timing of crediting interest. If they don't credit you the interest, their failure to show the interest on a 1099 is not an error; it is proper, because the income was not realized. By the way, I checked their current Deposit Account Agreement, which states: For CDs, we will credit accrued interest to your CD principal either annually or on maturity of the CD. So,what they are doing seems consistent with what they have said in their current Deposit Account Agreement

1
Comment #24 by Kaight posted on
Kaight
In complete honesty I had made the decision, prior to reading this thread, based solely on instinct and intuition.  But now, in light of information here, my resolve is strengthened and any chance for change is extinguished. My decision was to have all CD interest paid into my Ally checking, following which I would withdraw the interest from Ally Bank.  This approach has the added advantage of avoiding subjecting my interest to a withdrawal penalty, should need ever arise to close my CD accounts early;  the latter scenario clearly being a possibility.

Ally "Bank", if that's what it is, clearly has "stuff goin' on".  And it's not good stuff.  Real banks don't operate like this;  at least well-run ones don't.

5
Comment #27 by Jeanne posted on
Jeanne
Since I am at FDIC limit, Ally sends me the monthly interest (5-year CD @ 2.95% int rate - woe is me in 2015). Correct 1099s and quarterly statements. And, compared to many other banks, the customer service has been decent. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.

4
Comment #28 by joseph10b posted on
joseph10b
I have 5 CDs there, and it happened to only one of mine (opened 6/2010 and no interest since).  I have a lawyer that in another case, pursued a settlement for me (in the 5 figures) (together with 3 other people, against a bank that had unlinked our accounts, causing us to get fees).  If anyone wants to pursue this, contact me because any additional people makes it harder for Ally to claim mine was an unintentional isolated mistake and shows it's something that Ally knows about and keeps doing to others as well.

3
Comment #29 by angrybanker posted on
angrybanker
How do we get ahold of you?

3
Comment #30 by RIFSLAW (anonymous) posted on
RIFSLAW
It is worth noting that the WSJ is reporting that Ally now acknowledges there are issues and reportedly is fixing them for all clients, and not just those who contact Ally to complain. Kudos to Ken for being quoted in the article.

2
Comment #31 by RIFSLAW (anonymous) posted on
RIFSLAW
Having been assured twice in the last 2 weeks that I would be receiving my 1099 in 5 days during each call, and having not yet received it, I tried to contact Ally today....computers have been down and CR cannot access accounts from 8:30am until at least now (4pm eastern time)

2
Comment #32 by RIFSLAW (anonymous) posted on
RIFSLAW
After 2 weeks, today finally someone in Ally's executive offices called and confirmed the accrual of interest issue is resolved, the correct interest has posted, and my 1099 will be issued shortly. The experience has been frustrating, particularly from an institution that prides itself on customer service, but I am thankful it has been handled properly.

1
Comment #33 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
On Feb 22, 2012 I opened a CD on-line with Ally Bank and then called them to be sure I had everything right and to ask about how to fund the CD.  I gave them my bank account where the money was and the routing numbers.  Days went by and nothing happened so I called again and again.  Finally on my 3rd call they said my account was "varified" and gave me a comformation number and funding date of Mar 2, 2012.  When I checked to see if it was funded on that date they said there was a problem and continued to stall me.  I am a retired bank branch manager and know how these transfers work and this is totally unbelievable!!!!!  I closed my account and told them they better not fund it!!!!  Don't ever open an account with Ally bank!

3
Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My husband and I just got our quarterly IRA CD statements from Ally. We both get 1.80% interest, but the statements showed NO INTEREST AT ALL IN 3 MONTHS! I emailed them and am waiting to see what they answer. We can't be the only ones that this happened to.

2
Comment #35 by CraigPD posted on
CraigPD
From the rate you have 5 year CDs which post interest on 12/31 or at maturity unless you made other special arrangements.  Terms of 18 months or less post at maturity.  This is the same method used by GMAC Bank before Ally's rebranding.  

Check on account details for accrued interest rather than posted interest.  It states, "Interest Accrued is the daily interest accumulated from the date of your last interest payment up to today. We pay the interest that has accumulated either monthly, quarterly or annually depending on the payment schedule you selected when you opened your CD"

When is interest posted, and how do I receive it?

Interest is typically posted on the maturity date. It can, however, also be posted monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. You can request to receive it in one of three ways:
· By official check
· By internal transfer to another Ally Bank account
· By external transfer to a registered non-Ally bank account

1