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According to A Better Tomorrow Wells Fargo's Credit Card Processing Division is Withholding Tens of Thousands of Dollars Owed to a Southern California-Based Behavioral Healthcare Treatment Center
Date:2/26/2009

track record. But we can't afford to give banks more money when we need money to run our business."

Paul Howarth, A Better Tomorrow's CEO, said he spoke with Dale Benveniste, a senior representative from Wells Fargo's merchant services division on Wednesday. "She told me it's not Wells Fargo's concern if we can't come up with $200,000 cash before they will release funds our clients have already paid for treatment services," Howarth said, adding that she indicated that similar requirements were being imposed on other businesses without notice.

"Wells Fargo is apparently withholding funds from private businesses in an effort to increase their cash on hand as they go through the Treasury Department's 'stress test,'" Howard said. "But they're doing this at the expense of small businesses. We could be forced to lay off one fourth of our staff because Wells Fargo is withholding tens of thousands of dollars that our clients have paid to us through credit card transactions."

Menz said A Better Tomorrow has filed a complaint about Wells Fargo's actions with the Federal Trade Commission because he believes Wells Fargo's actions are both improper and illegal. The clinic is also filing complaints this week with the attorneys general of California and Colorado, where Wells Fargo's credit card processing division is headquartered.

Menz said laying off staff is the only option A Better Tomorrow has to reduce its operating expenses in the wake of Wells Fargo's actions. "I can't cut my rent. I can't reduce my utilities or other fixed operating expenses. Staffing is the only place I can cut," Menz said, adding that he is outraged that Wells Fargo had the audacity to withhold its funds without contacting the clinic to explain what it was doing or to suggest alternative arrangements for processing of credit card transactions.

Menz and Howarth said they hoped members of the House Financial Serv
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SOURCE A Better Tomorrow
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