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8 moves to resolving a bank dispute

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It’s easy to get emotional when a bank makes a mistake and money is at stake, but experts interviewed by U.S. News & World Report personal finance reporter Daniel Bortz say you’re more likely to get your way if you take a measured approach to addressing the issue.

  1. Choose the right method of communication. Banks may work quicker to resolve a problem brought up on Twitter than in a phone call because it’s out in public.
  2. Stay calm and persist. Keep your voice down, be polite and hold your emotions in check.
  3. Ask to speak to someone else. Don’t be afraid to ask for a super­­visor or someone who has more decision-making power. If you hit a dead end, ask to speak to the “retention department.”
  4. Put your documents in order. Maintain written notes on all conversations with bank reps in addition to any related receipts and statements.
  5. Remain open-minded. Perhaps you were mistaken, so listen to what the bank tells you and consider whether you might be wrong.
  6. Be appreciative of the assistance you receive. If the bank shows you leniency or goes out of its way to help you, be sure to thank them and express your gratitude.
  7. Consider an attorney your last resort. You need to have a serious claim with a lot of money at stake to make it worth your while to hire an attorney.
  8. Vote with your feet. If you aren’t happy with the way your bank handled your complaint, you can al­­ways take your business elsewhere.

— Adapted from “How to Handle a Dispute with Your Bank,” Daniel Bortz, U.S. News & World Report.

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