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Thread: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

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    Default Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?


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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    That is totally unethical! i go thru the bank mentioned so that is creepy

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    This topic has been touched on in previous Dollar Den threads. Essentially ...

    - IRS statistics show that the 'adult' industry has an abominable 'track record' in terms of tax compliance

    - Banks consider 'adult' industry related clients to represent a 'high risk' ... partly because such clients could be hit with IRS asset ( bank account ) 'freezes' creating extra work for the bank, partly because of 'bad PR' when famous 'adult' industry names are associated with banks in mainstream media, etc.

    - Banks have no legal obligation to accept 'adult' industry workers, or any particular individual, as a client ( exception for legally protected class members )

    Thus Bank management can argue that the bank has much to lose and nothing to gain when allowing 'adult' industry related persons to open / maintain accounts. This position is amplified if, by unofficially co-operating with the DOJ / IRS to close 'adult' industry related bank accounts, the bank earns 'brownie points' that might be used to help the bank avoid future 'controversies' regarding mortgages, IPO's, prop trading etc. which could otherwise result in the bank being forced to enter into settlements and pay fines.

    The 'stated' rationale for banks considering 'adult' industry related persons to represent a 'high risk' is essentially the same as that used to justify insurance companies charging young males under age 25 astronomically high car insurance premiums ... i.e. that a handful of well publicized 'bad examples' wind up being applied to the entire group.

    As speculated in this news story, the REAL issue may stem from the US gov't wanting to clamp down on the 'off the books' cash business model which applies to many aspects of the 'adult' industry ... from 'stripper' tips to porn star 'private sessions'.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    Has anyone here personally had a chase or bank of america account shut down? They said in the article - there was no way of knowing if the number was in the 10s or the thousands. I am sensing a bit of propoganda or shock value articles, yanno? IT is a disturbing though.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    ^^^ Chase wound up 'forcing' me to close a credit card account, by shifting me into the 'high risk' interest rate category without a repayment related reason to do so.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    The "conspiracy theory" sound of the article is ridiculous.

    ALL national banks have policies against adult industry accounts. It has been that way for a long long time.
    Banks see adult industry accounts as liabilities. Some banks would look the other way if the name of the business didnt sound sleazy.

    But with banks having growing losses, they have stopped looking the other way.

    At the same time, if you are the only one using your accounts, you keep cash transactions limited, you answer teller questions by having answers already that are acceptable, keep your real name separate from your adult work, etc you should be ok at the same time.

    The other option is to have a safe box.
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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    Being curious I found some more information about "Operation Choke" .......

    "Operation Choke Point is an effort born out of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force .... The theory behind Operation Choke Point is that by cutting off the access that scammers and fraudsters have to banks, there would be less fraud. To determine who the potential fraudsters are, the regulators came up with a blacklist of potential bad guys: credit card schemes, gambling, escort services, Ponzi schemes and payday loans.

    There's another characteristic that regulators used to determine potential fraudsters: the amount of (credit card processing) payments that businesses had to (disputes) return to consumers – often because they were not authorized. Government regulators define a "return" as any transaction that had been returned to the consumer’s bank account. It is not strictly limited to unauthorized transactions, which are usually evidence of fraud. Regulators want to set the “transaction return rate of 3% or more in any one month period,”
    http://www.theguardian.com/money/201...ers-issa-banks

    Stay away from credit card processing lol
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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    I could understand if they were targeting a performers business account or sex shops, sites, etc. But to shut down their personal accounts... No, that's discrimination and it's fucked up. Where do you draw the line?
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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    I've been noticing a trend that everything has become very... zero tolerance toward sexworkers. Even twitter has started suspending adult accounts, with accounts like @streamate and @SexyLadyShow which were suspended for like a whole week just like 2 weeks ago. Vine, tumblr, basically all social media has a zero tolerance attitude toward anything adult now.

    I'm really not surprised to see this. I think the best plan of action is to open a business bank account in the name of something random (you will be required to have a business license, but you'd be better off with an LLC). Have a website for that random thing, and make it seem like you do a completely different type of work, as described by your website. That way, you could legally sue if they closed down your bank account for something like that. However, it will still be really obvious that you are a sexworker, just you can make it seem like your income came from something different.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    Wow. I am speechless but not surprised.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    When you open an account with a bank you are signing a contract with the bank. They will give you booklet called the DEPOSIT ACCOUNT AGREEMENT, that is the outline of the contract you signed into.

    It says they can close your account for any reason. It doesnt matter if it is personal or business. Because that is included in the contract, it would be very hard to sue them over a closing of an account.
    Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them. ~ Mark Twain


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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    Love to hear some solutions, complaints are easy. Off Shore possibilities. I was researching Iceland since they put all their bankers in jail, thought I might find some honesty there; inconclusive.

    I use to work for Charter One myself, and they were Adult Friendly, not any more, fees fees and more fees.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    I think the best plan of action is to open a business bank account in the name of something random (you will be required to have a business license, but you'd be better off with an LLC).
    Indeed a separate 'incorporated' business entity i.e. LLC or S-Corp with its own business bank account ( in a different bank ... better yet in a different bank in a different state ) and EIN does add some 'separation' between your personal bank account / personal financial history and your 'adult' industry activities. But these do involve significant additional costs ... thus may not be 'affordable' for part-time dancers and camgirls.


    Love to hear some solutions, complaints are easy. Off Shore possibilities.
    For better or worse, new FACTA regulations on foreign banks having to report transaction activities by US citizen account holders to the IRS has made offshore banks VERY unfriendly to US citizens as of late ... or at least unfriendly to those US citizens with less than $100,000 to deposit when attempting to open a new account ! Fortunately, in my own case, I was able to 'beat' the FACTA regulations thus was able to previously open offshore bank accounts ( although my Swiss bank account was closed on be due to FACTA because I don't reside in Switzerland )

    One of the 'best' alternatives for camgirls may be to simply 'bypass' the use of a local US bank account altogether for money generated by 'adult' industry related activities, in favor of a 3rd party payment service utilizing a world-branded debit card with ATM withdrawls to cash and the judicious purchase of money orders to pay bills. This avoids US banks potentially picking up on well known 'adult' industry related payer names on personal bank account funds transfers i.e. StreaMates, ManWin, etc. Some 'Corporate Clubs' may be amenable to utilizing 3rd party payment services in the future, if approached by dancers en masse. Undoubtedly, at this point, the US banking industry has a long list of 'adult' industry payer names available to help identify 'adult' industry ties to particular personal bank accounts.

    Some pundits would tell you that the new FACTA regulations being 'strong-armed' into place on foreign banks was 'step one' ... and that 'Operation Choke Point' is now 'step two' ...


    I've been noticing a trend that everything has become very... zero tolerance toward sexworkers
    While not directly related to the specific topic of this thread, self-employed workers in general ... and self-employed 'adult' industry workers in particular ... were already considered to be 'high risk' banking clients. The result of this arbitrary determination typically was that these clients were ( only ) offered high interest rate 'subprime' credit cards, auto loans, mortgage loans etc. in the cases where such clients were actually approved.

    With banks now taking a 'public' position that they no longer want to do business with 'adult' industry workers, the proverbial handwriting is on the wall that dancers and camgirls should prepare themselves for the future possibility of being forced into 'cash' purchases of houses, cars etc. due to unaffordable / unavailable credit.

    It also remains to be seen whether the 'public' position just taken by banks will be extended to brokerage / investment firms. If so, this would compromise the ability for dancers and camgirls to earn decent returns on their savings / investments ... and effectively reduce 'adult' industry workers to a scenario of retail check cashing services, safe deposit boxes, ATM's, and money orders, which essentially fall outside of the 'mainstream' US financial system.
    Last edited by Melonie; 04-28-2014 at 01:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    A few months back Chase contacted me via email about some ads I had placed on Backpage. When I called in they wanted to know if I had placed them and then asked me questions about what I did for a living. The rep said they were just "updating my account". Since then I no longer use that account to place ads or receive any of my deposits. I wonder how far back my records go or how far back they are willing to look. Years ago I used to receive checks from phone sex companies that were flagged. Chase would put a hold on my checks. At least 3 days I think? Anyways I've since "cleaned" up my Chase account and now only receive money to prepaid cards and then do transfers. Or withdrawals, then deposits to Chase. They're trying to make it difficult but their still workarounds. Use different phone numbers and emails not associated with your adult persona.
    Last edited by PhatGirlDynomite!!!; 04-28-2014 at 06:13 PM.
    Sometimes i have to ask myself .. is your life REALLY in shambles or is your house just not clean…

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonie View Post
    Indeed a separate 'incorporated' business entity i.e. LLC or S-Corp with its own business bank account ( in a different bank ... better yet in a different bank in a different state ) and EIN does add some 'separation' between your personal bank account / personal financial history and your 'adult' industry activities. But these do involve significant additional costs ... thus may not be 'affordable' for part-time dancers and camgirls.
    I have an EIN and I try to use that as often as I can since about 2010. But I'm not sure how that really benefits me? I don't like giving out my social so I use that instead when possible. How does this protect us?
    Sometimes i have to ask myself .. is your life REALLY in shambles or is your house just not clean…

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    I use a large bank and have been there for years. Last week they wanted to update my info as well "since it had been so long". They asked about my current employer. Since I still have a vanilla employer (albeit different from the one I had for 25 yrs) I gave them that one although I work there infrequently. My problem is that I have been on the hot gossip list so not really invisible. With these recent changes I am wondering if I should get Payoneer direct deposit or would taking my SM checks to a check cashing place be a better option and then deposit cash to bank?

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    I have an EIN and I try to use that as often as I can since about 2010. But I'm not sure how that really benefits me?
    Being paid by 'adult' businesses in the name of your business and under an EIN creates a 'bump' in the paper trail leading to your own name and SS#. For businesses and tax agencies sniffing along that paper trail, an 'extra effort' is required to see beyond that 'bump'. I would assume that electronic funds transfers into your personal account at a major bank that are coming from your business account in a different bank wouldn't warrant any 'extra effort' being put forth on the part of the major bank . the major bank will 'assume' that you are employed by your business, without knowing that in fact you own that business !


    With these recent changes I am wondering if I should get Payoneer direct deposit or would taking my SM checks to a check cashing place be a better option and then deposit cash to bank?
    With payoneer or other 3rd party based direct deposits, you are essentially inserting a different kind of 'bump' in the ( electronic ) paper trail ... i.e. the 3rd party payer's account. In some ways this is even better than the above ... since your own name isn't involved in any way as part of the 3rd party payer's business. Also from a cost standpoint, the fees involved to use a 3rd party payer are likely to be significantly lower than the costs involved to establish and operate your own 'incorporated' business entity. For the pupose of this thread topic, it would be helpful if strip clubs would agree to start using 3rd party payment processing services for dancer money.

    Cash deposits are a 'mixed blessing'. On the one hand, the use of cash totally severs any paper trail. On the other hand, the use of cash triggers bank obligations to observe and report to the IRS 'suspicious activity' by customers making regular / sizeable cash transactions. In the case of cashing StreaMates checks at a major bank, versus cashing StreaMates checks at a check cashing service and then depositing cash at the major bank, since StreaMates is such a well known 'adult' company this might be a worthwhile trade-off. However, both appear to involve more risk than a 3rd party payer or channeling funds through a business bank account first on the way to your personal bank account.


    I use a large bank and have been there for years. Last week they wanted to update my info as well "since it had been so long". They asked about my current employer
    The highly 'co-incidental' timing of these different bank inquiries tends to support the speculation that a systematic effort is now in fact underway to identify particular account holders referenced by Operation Choke Point.
    Last edited by Melonie; 04-29-2014 at 03:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    some additional 'news' on this issue ... from


    (snip)"“Operation Chokepoint” – and as more details of the program become public, more concerns are raised. The “chokepoint” in this operation is the nation’s payments infrastructure, the means by which merchants process nearly $5 trillion in consumer purchases in the U.S. each year. Federal law enforcers are targeting merchant categories like payday lenders, ammunition and tobacco sales, and telemarketers – but not merely by pursuing those merchants directly. Rather, Operation Chokepoint is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands.

    The theory behind this enforcement program has superficial logic: increase the legal and compliance costs of serving certain disfavored merchant categories, and payments companies will simply stop providing service to such merchants. And it’s working – payments companies across the country are cutting off service to categories of merchants that – although providing a legal service – are creating the potential for significant financial and reputational harm as law enforcement publicizes its activities. Thus far, payday lenders have been the most frequent target. Whatever the merits of payday lending – and there are valid arguments on both sides –it is legal in 36 states. And if payday lenders are today’s target– what category will be next and who makes that decision ?

    If you’re thinking this is harmful to the flow of commerce, you’re right. Our nation’s payments infrastructure allows more than eight million U.S. merchants to accept credit and debit card payments. Particularly for merchants that sell products and services online, such acceptance capabilities are the only means of accepting payment –(snip)


    It appears that we now know the answer to the question asked above i.e. what category of business may be next !!!
    Last edited by Melonie; 04-30-2014 at 11:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    From yesterday's N.Y. Post - Adult movie star Layton Benton says she is going to sue Chase for closing her account. Chase told her that her account was a "risk". Then they told her she'd have to wait ten days to get the several thousand dollars she had in there. She also wants to know how Chase found out what she did for a living . ( GOOD Question ! How did they find out ? )
    Chase has reportedly closed at least four accounts of porn stars. Chase has been flagging payments for work such as camming as "irregular activity ". In a letter to her announcing the closing Chase also said : " We may also report the account to credit reporting agencies , which could discourage other banks from opening an account for you. "
    A
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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    She also wants to know how Chase found out what she did for a living . ( GOOD Question ! How did they find out ? )
    At this point, one must assume that the DOJ may have provided lists of 'high risk' payer accounts to the big banks. For example, using Vivid's DoJ provided merchant bank account and routing number, for example, a computer search could easily turn up all Chase bank clients who deposited checks drawn against that Vivid bank account and routing number. This is a bit scary, given that the same technique could potentially be applied to, say, StreaMates' payer account at Plaza bank in Seattle.

    For the sake of complete accuracy, I would assume that Chase 'meant' that they would be providing info to ChexSystems ... which virtually every bank must cross-check before they will open a new account for a new client.

    As to potential lawsuits, as Vamp has previously pointed out, no 'constitutional right' exists which forces banks to open or keep open bank accounts for businesses or individuals. Banks have the right to decline to open or forcibly close bank accounts for businesses and individuals for ANY reason, as stated in every Depostor's Agreement. In one local news media report, however, a bank official did provide the reason his bank forcibly closed an account involving another DoJ 'high risk' business ... From


    (snip)when T.R. decided to retire and let Elizabeth take the store online -- under the new name Discount Ammo-N-Guns -- the Libertis found themselves suddenly under fire.

    A March 12 letter mysteriously informed them that BankUnited was closing their checking account "pursuant to the terms and conditions listed in our Depositor's Agreement." It gave the Libertis three days to transfer their cash elsewhere. When the Libertis called BankUnited for an explanation, they were politely informed that none would be forthcoming.

    "I was very angry," Elizabeth says. "They were very inconsiderate. We had all our credit cards going through that bank. All of a sudden, we had to run and find another bank to keep our business going. We shut down for two weeks, and they wouldn't even tell us why."

    After a day of dialing different BankUnited divisions and directors, the Libertis finally found out.

    "This letter in no way reflects any derogatory reasons for such action on your behalf. But rather one of industry," wrote Coral Way branch manager Ricardo Garcia. "Unfortunately your company's line of business is not commensurate with the industries we work with."

    BankUnited refused to explain the email to New Times, saying only, "We cannot discuss a customer's account."(snip)


    It's understandable that Layton Benton might want to instigate a lawsuit for career publicity reasons ( receiving free mainstream media coverage already ), but she has zero chance of actually winning such a lawsuit.
    Last edited by Melonie; 05-01-2014 at 08:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    Recently several businesses I work with 1 here in the states and 2 abroad have started encouraging people to sign up with Paxum instead of Payoneer. Or to at least have Paxum as a backup. I now wonder if these suggestions have anything to do with these crackdowns and are they forewarning us of things to come?
    Sometimes i have to ask myself .. is your life REALLY in shambles or is your house just not clean…

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    ^^^ Paxum is an e-wallet financial service based in Montreal, Canada. This could provide some 'insulation' regarding the potential reach of the US DoJ. Payoneer is headquartered near Wall St in New York, which might be uncomfortably close to the 'action'. Perhap Nissim from Payoneer can offer some additional information.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonie View Post
    At this point, one must assume that the DOJ may have provided lists of 'high risk' payer accounts to the big banks. For example, using Vivid's DoJ provided merchant bank account and routing number, for example, a computer search could easily turn up all Chase bank clients who deposited checks drawn against that Vivid bank account and routing number. This is a bit scary, given that the same technique could potentially be applied to, say, StreaMates' payer account at Plaza bank in Seattle.

    For the sake of complete accuracy, I would assume that Chase 'meant' that they would be providing info to ChexSystems ... which virtually every bank must cross-check before they will open a new account for a new client.

    As to potential lawsuits, as Vamp has previously pointed out, no 'constitutional right' exists which forces banks to open or keep open bank accounts for businesses or individuals. Banks have the right to decline to open or forcibly close bank accounts for businesses and individuals for ANY reason, as stated in every Depostor's Agreement. In one local news media report, however, a bank official did provide the reason his bank forcibly closed an account involving another DoJ 'high risk' business ... From http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/ripti...nating_aga.php

    It's understandable that Layton Benton might want to instigate a lawsuit for career publicity reasons ( receiving free mainstream media coverage already ), but she has zero chance of actually winning such a lawsuit.
    Agreed BUT she MIGHT have a viable action for invasion of privacy and might be able to cobble together some sort of racial discrimination case.

    Afaik porn might be illegal in some jurisdictions but that usually applies to producing or distributing. I don't think that includes acting in a porn film.
    A
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    Teddy Roosevelt

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    ^^^ maybe, but she has zero chance of prevailing on the sole grounds of having her bank account closed ... which is the only point of direct relevance to this thread. And, obviously, the old show business adage that 'any publicity is good publicity' is probably at the forefront of her upcoming lawsuit ... which applies equally whether she wins or loses.

    Circling back on topic, it also appears that Paxum is 'stepping up' to cash in on the Chase bank account closures ...



    and Canadian company Paxum is apparently now handling accounts for US adult industry 'bigs' MindGeek ( = ManWin ), Vivid, Playboy etc. in addition to a number of smaller 'adult' businesses. Under the tried and true 'follow the money' theorem, this would tend to indicate that the US adult industry 'bigs' may already know something we don't !

    Of course Paxum, like every other 'non-bank' financial entity, extracts a hefty price for their services ( i.e. $5 on the way in, and another $5 on the way out ). And none of these 'non-bank' financial entities are able to offer 'conventional' banking services such as checking accounts ( = online bill payment ), 'market' interest rate loans, etc. So they can't replace the loss of access to a 'regular' bank. However, they may at least provide an ongoing means for camgirls to get paid by webcam hosts etc. !!!

    Actually this leads to a question for Vamp or others with direct banking industry intel ... relating to the Chase announcement that they will report 'high risk' activities to ChexSystems for the forcibly closed account holders. What sort of 'regular' banks do NOT depend on a favorable ChexSystems 'report' in their decisionmaking to allow new customer accounts to be opened ? From my experience, every major commercial and savings bank has consulted ChexSystems, as have credit unions.
    Last edited by Melonie; 05-01-2014 at 09:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Banks Closing Down Porn Star Accounts - thoughts?

    I dunno, I would think a bank is pretty much a public accommodation, and refusing to do business wiht a whole class of people is dangerous business

    They had better hope they had treated others in the same way, were all males stars dumped etc?

    Yet another reason to bank locally

    When you can walk into the CEO's office it is a lot harder to treat you like a number

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