Suncoast Federal Credit Union – A Warning to Customers! : Dr. Leonard

Suncoast Federal Credit Union – A Warning to Customers!

Having previously banked with Suncoast Federal Credit Union I never would have suspected I would, in the end, be comparing them to loan sharks.


Back in 2009 when I was a customer I worked as the Art Director for a glass art and lighting gallery. Our company was doing well. I was doing well. I had a credit card with Suncoast. When the economic crash hit, it hit hard here in SW Florida. Our store went from a multimillion dollar operation to bankrupt. This left me laid off and without work. Shortly after this, the oil spill in the gulf happened and the economy plummeted even further. Even as a degreed professional, I was unable to find work and had to rely on unemployment benefits.


I kept current on bills, including Suncoast, as long as I could. When I realized I was at a point where I could no longer sustain all of my payments, Suncoast was the very last one I stuck it out with. I went into the local branch to talk to the manager to see if we could lower the payments until I had gainful employment again because if not, I was going to have to stop paying altogether for right then.

Common sense would say that yes, they would have compassion for their clients and work with them. Not the case. Not only was I very rudely met with no empathy for my situation, I was told that there would be no reduction in monthly payments and if I could not pay, they would freeze my checking account.


As you can imagine, that went over well with me. I was livid at this point. The bank manager asked me to lower my voice and come into her office. I replied, “Not a chance. You need to talk to me right here and now in front of the rest of your account holders!”


Security was called, but held at bay. I could not believe what was happening here. I went in to try and work with them and they are going to try and steal my money? I wasn’t having it. This was the single loudest discussion I have ever had in a public place. They finally agreed to “allow” me to use my own money. BUT under the conditions that it could only be used for groceries, gas or utilities. What right they had to do that, I don’t believe any. I was so angry at this point I told her to go **** herself and I wrote a large check to the electric company telling her I would rather have a credit with them for a long time than for Suncoast to steal my money.


At this point, I stopped paying them not only because I could not any longer but purely on principal.


A few months later I got a notice in the mail that a judgment had been issued by the courts against me for the total of my credit card balance.

Never had I received notice or subpoena that there was a court date, or that this was even a case. I had no chance to defend myself. I called Suncoast and was told they would not speak with me and I had to talk to their attorney. I called the attorney who told me that it was too bad I missed the court date and yes, I now had to pay the entire judgment.


I have been trying since then to get that judgment removed from my credit. Nothing I have tried has worked. Eventually life got in the way, and I did set it aside and forget about it.


This was all back in 2011. Now here we are in 2016. I have not heard from Suncoast, the courts, or anyone else related to this since that time.


February 2016. I get a knock at my door. I open it to see the Collier County Sherriff. My first thought was that someone must have died. I think my heart skipped a beat.

When he showed me paperwork saying they were taking my car I was completely and totally confused. My car was paid off in full. There was no loan and no outstanding balance and it had never once had anything to do with Suncoast.


The courts had issued a levy against my property (my car) in order to recover this debt. Now the debt originally was just over $4,000. They were now demanding nearly $8,000 in interest and fees and lawyer expenses.

There is no other word for this than LEGALIZED EXTORTION.


Even the IRS will not take your only means of transportation. Apparently Suncoast Federal Credit Union will.

I had my attorney call and speak with their legal representative, Jeffrey Joseph Mouch of Tampa, FL who was unwilling to budge even $1 in bargaining to get the car back. After all, they already had my car, why should they?

Fees mounting daily for storage and a whopping $850 for a newspaper ad if they had to place one for the auction (what kind of newspaper ad for a car auction costs that much I have no idea)… I managed to scrape together all of the money as the car was worth far more….

Let this be a cautionary tale.
Suncoast Federal Credit Union does not care about you.
You are just a number to them.
If that number does not benefit them? They will **** you sideways.
Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.57.56 AM <—- don’t bank here!

Author: Sarah J. Barendse

Originally Published:

Filed Under: FeaturedThe War on America


RSSComments (7)

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  1. Miriam Ruth Riley says:

    I was not late on my payments, I was not in hardship I had GAP insurance through suncoast and they tried to do the same to me because I filed an insurance claim for damages to my car during IRMA. They canceled all my credit and charged me a late fee on all of and tried to claim they closed it because I was late paying. I was not late one anything. I had to get my lawyer to call them more than once to stop the abuse. I recorded the rep telling me I was having all this trouble because I had a lawyer. I was suppose to keep the car one the road even after it was illegal to keep the car on the road.

  2. admin says:

    Wow Miriam, Thank you for sharing that! Very sorry that was your experience as well.

  3. June says:

    They are doing the same to my daughter and her husband they just came and took their 2016 car for a home that they foreclosed on 4 years ago saying they have 30 day’s or the car will be auctioned off says they owe them over $117,000 dollars something needs to be done about this bank and how they destroy peoples lives now they have no home and no car

  4. admin says:

    Wow, June, thank you so much for commenting. Please share the article with others and add your take on it. Word of mouth hopefully will get around and people will be warned at the very least.

  5. Matthew Webster says:

    I have had my account locked out twice claiming it was negative 30 days when it wasnt. i cant check my account to see what is being charged or what is coming into the account. so i told them once its positive im closing the account and going with another bank.

  6. Maria says:

    Unfortunately, all of your comments are way too familiar to me and my family. We have been in a terrible situation with Suncoast that started in 2007 when the market crashed and my husband who is a teacher lost 2 part-time summer jobs. We quickly fell behind 3 months and that is when the terror with Suncoast all started.

    In a nut shell, they threatened to foreclose and we were told to contact the mortgage solution department, which of course we did…a whopping 6 times over the course of the problem. The only offer was to file for a forbearance, which we were successful 4 times out of the 6 times we applied.

    Let me explain the forbearance agreements we had received from Suncoast. With all six forbearance(s) we would give Suncoast large amounts of money (cash) for them to agree, along with then adding an extra $400-$500 more a month to your mortgage for six months straight. Now you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that if you are behind and there has been a loss of income, giving them large amounts of cash money (when you don’t have money and would have to borrow it) and increasing the mortgage payment is just going to spiral the momentum straight into the ground, how is that not possible for them to see. Well the truth is, they just don’t care.

    Well they allowed us to continue that shenanigan 6 times, during this time we continued to try to refinance or request a modification which was never agreed on.

    On the last successful forbearance, we were told we could finally refinance. However, when we tried to, their Refi department said we were better off not to, due to now having to add a whopping $30,000 that was to cover the legal fees on the 6 forbearance(s) when we had never stepped foot in a court room, we’ve never even met Suncoast attorney’s, nor did we have any legal counsel on our side.

    Many times during the course of the unresolved problem, we tried to file for Florida Hit Hard, only problem was that process would circle back around to a Suncoast agent where they denied us every time, even though we provided the required proof and letters.

    In 2010, they repossessed my husbands car and demanded that we pay the entire amount of what was owed on the car, but also demanded that we also pay off a signature loan we had in order to get our car back out. Now mind you, they knew we were having financial difficulties already at this time.

    And that’s not all, I had one payment left on my car, and Suncoast decided to charge off the account just because I went a few days over, with just one payment left to pay off the car loan.

    Fast forward 11 years, we have had to apply for Chapter 13 in 2016 to try and resolve the foreclosure with a bankruptcy stay. We just found out recently that Suncoast never paid our taxes for the last 3 years even though we had an escrow mortgage agreement and we have to pay our homeowner insurance outright. We are still not sure where the money was allocated to during the completed forbearance(s) (due to Suncoast restricting our accounts so we were unable to see our accounts see anything). With the 10% to the trustee, our two car payments, our own attorney fees and a few minimum credit cards our monthly payment went from $1,800 to a whopping $2,800.

    How is this even allowed, they are truly sharks. Someone is living nicely off the cost of their struggling customers. Not sure how we could stop them, but we should start a petition against them. They need to know that they can’t destroy peoples lives. That’s not a damn bank, those are people who have figured out a system to take your money and do what they want with it. Icing on the cake, my attorney asked for all of my account records to see where the money went to when we recently found out about the taxes, and they responded that it would cost $150 to get those records.

    When the latest Chapter 13 gets dismissed, we will be back in this hell hole and struggle to find relief. We are hard working middle class people who have been through some financial misfortunes, but our biggest misfortune has been dealing with loan sharks that call themselves a good credit union.

    Our only option now is to file for Chapter 7 and continue this awful fight with the Suncoast Sharks!! 🙁 Can’t someone fish them out for good… please?

    Be very careful with them and the best advice I can give you is to NOT put all your eggs in one basket. We did that with Suncoast and look at where it got us.

  7. admin says:

    Thank you for sharing!!! I hope this helps dissuade and save other people from the same issues! DONT USE SUNCOAST.

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