Banks' nitpicking fees are an outrage

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This is how ridiculous banks are getting with their fees:

I made an honest mistake in my checking account. It was a small error and it caused a check to receive a $35 fee. The check was in the amount of $7, and I had a balance in my account of $6.77. They returned my check and charged me $35 for a 23-cent deficit.

I e-mailed the bank about the problem, and it said that the amount was not considered when not paying a check, but rather whether you had enough to cover it or not.

My husband and I are retired and on a fixed income, so that amount of money going to a bank is totally ridiculous. The government is changing a lot of the rules pertaining to what banks can and cannot do, so they are going to get their money one way or the other.

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maggiemae
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maggiemae 09/11/10 - 10:45 pm
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The new banking bill reform

The new banking bill reform at it's best. Limiting interest, you know. Uh huh...
Following on the heels of health care reform.

GAterp
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GAterp 09/11/10 - 11:17 pm
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No comment.

No comment.

GGpap
491
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GGpap 09/12/10 - 02:42 am
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MAQQIEMAE, sorry, but neither

MAQQIEMAE, sorry, but neither the "new" banking bill reform (or the health care reform) had anything to do with the bank's right to charge an overdraft fee on an account that failed to keep enough in the account to cover ALL checks written on that account. I'm afraid your "politics" have over-ridden your common sense. Actually, I know of at least one instance where a $35.00 fee for an overdraft was charged to an account holder over 9 years ago (at least a couple of days before the "new" banking bill reform was enacted I guess--smile).

GGpap

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 09/12/10 - 02:58 am
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The $35.00 overdraft fee

The $35.00 overdraft fee practice at Wachovia has been in place for quite some time (years, in fact) and has absolutely nothing to do with politics and everything to do with your failure to balance your checkbook. Once, I triple-overdrafted, and it took me $110.00 to learn to take more financial responsibility for myself.

Also, GAterp, you don't understand the intricacies of banking, you're just a puppy dog! Silly puppy dog!

GGpap
491
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GGpap 09/12/10 - 03:03 am
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Ms. Griffith, I am sorry for

Ms. Griffith, I am sorry for your experience with your bank and their fee for overdraft checks.

Like you, many of us that are on fixed incomes would not welcome an exorbitant bank fee for making a minor mistake in our financial dealings.

Somehow, I feel that you must do at least one of two things to avoid this unfortunate experience in the future; namely, 1) close your checking account. Surely, if your bank balances are so low that there is some possibility that this could happen again you really should not continue to subject yourself to monthly checking account fees for the "privilege" of carrying a checking account. Sadly, many folks are in similar circumstances. And, if you "MUST" have a checking account, 2) find a an honest and "trusted" family member or close friend that would be willing to assume the responsibility of managing your accounts.

GGpap

carcraft
25754
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carcraft 09/12/10 - 04:58 am
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GGpap-One of the interesting

GGpap-One of the interesting things that can happen, especially with check cards at gas stations, is that the bank working with the gas stations will put a "freeze" on your account for more than the amount of purchase ($50 to $75 that lasts several days!articles.moneycentral.msn.com/.../HosedAtTheGasPumpByYourDebitCard.aspx Making it very easy to over draft! You really need to be very careful with tight limits on the checking account and ATM cards, especially at the pump!

GGpap
491
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GGpap 09/12/10 - 04:33 am
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CARCRAFT, while I am aware of

CARCRAFT, while I am aware of the problem you write about, your info is very timely and informative and others may benefit thereby. Thank you.

Another problem, which did happen in my case, is with scanning credit cards at gas pumps. If the station operator (or an employee) is dishonest, credit card numbers are stolen via clandestinely installed cameras at the pump and fraudulent charges are likely to appear on a users card shortly thereafter. There was a warning in the AC about this scam just recently.

My card number was used at a lumber yard in England! I was contacted by the card issuer, asked several questions, and my card was canceled and a new card with new number assigned. I have no idea at which business I patronized that the number was compromised.

GGpap

GGpap
491
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GGpap 09/12/10 - 04:58 am
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CARCRAFT, by the way, here's

CARCRAFT, by the way, here's an interesting fact about checking accounts as well. First, a question: If the check writer has an outstanding check that has been outstanding for some time, will the bank honor the check when it finally is submitted to the issuing account?

I have checks outstanding from as far back as 2004-2005 (totaling over $1000). Rather than to pay exorbitant stop payment fees I choose to keep enough in my account to cover these checks if they ever come in. Don't ask, I'll not explain further.

BUT, call your own bank and ask them how long they will honor checks that have been written years ago.

I now carry a few thousand dollars in my checking accounts to insure that I will not be "stuck" with overdraft fees.

Obviously, on a fixed income, my frugality (or miserly philosophy) may one day be also faced with old age fixed income realism. In our present economy, that time may be closer than I care to contemplate.

Thanks again for your post. GGpap

carcraft
25754
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carcraft 09/12/10 - 05:03 am
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I really have any idea,

I really have any idea, generally banks don't have to cash a check older than 6 months but may cash the check in good faith. I carry several hundred dollars over same as you! I do try to limit my ATM card purchases for just the reason you discribe!

GGpap
491
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GGpap 09/12/10 - 05:22 am
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CARCRAFT, call you bank! I

CARCRAFT, call you bank! I believed the same as you, 6 months, the check is dead! Not so!

GGpap

Dixieman
14942
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Dixieman 09/12/10 - 07:50 am
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1. Change banks. 2. Get a

1. Change banks.
2. Get a credit card tied to your account. If you go over, funds will transfer from your credit card into your account for a $10 fee.
3. Look online to monitor the balance in your account.
4. Quit whining

dashiel
176
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dashiel 09/12/10 - 08:32 am
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Nothing from nothing leaves

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, Ms. Griffith. Welcome to the Check 21 System. Now that you have plenty of nothing, could we interest you in one of our hearty handclasps? Live & Learn. Move to a small bank and if this ever happens again go there on a busy Friday afternoon and throw yourself on the mercy of a teller while the rest of us in the chorus behind you miss the loving too. (Hint: Time is also a precious resource.)

usafvet
3
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usafvet 09/12/10 - 09:29 am
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Banks are in the business to

Banks are in the business to make money. They are not allowed to make mistakes, even honest mistakes. Know your financial situation and act accordingly. Finally, if you don't like and don't want MORE government intrusions, VOTE REPUBLICAN.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 09/12/10 - 09:59 am
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Government appears to have

Government appears to have done alright by you usafvet. I assume your avatar is not your personal craft, but I could be wrong. If it is, you'd be a fool not to vote Republican. If not you'd just be another poor fool.

Dixieman
14942
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Dixieman 09/12/10 - 12:42 pm
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Banks need to make money and

Banks need to make money and have LOTS of competition. If you abolish or restrict fee #1, they will raise fee #2. Government intrusion and tinkering only makes the problem worse, as banks increase their costs to hire people or implement systems to ensure compliance and the cost is passed on to you. People posting here who think government will make banking (or anything else) better or cheaper need to read some basic economics texts.

jack2006
95
Points
jack2006 09/12/10 - 02:34 pm
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It's not about balancing your

It's not about balancing your checkbook. It's about the bank still holding checks and waiting to see when it's time to make them clear to create a negative balance for you. They will go all the way in holding a cashier check from a bank next door to them to try to create a negative. Banks will never be on your side. You think that they are starting to smile to you more when you visit their lobby, they still care less about you. Their only goal is to learn your activity to create a profit for them. When you stop doing automatic deposits to them and start managing your own money, this is the only way that you will get them out of your pockets for good. Bankers aren't your best friend.

momof2heads
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momof2heads 09/12/10 - 03:37 pm
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Mrs. Griffith, I hope that

Mrs. Griffith, I hope that when you spoke with your bank, that they at least refunded the $35 fee. If they didn't, then you are with the wrong bank. The big corporate banks more than likely will not refund any fees, but the local banks would more than likely pay that check to begin with and not charge the fee, especially if they see that it's your first overdraft, it was for less than $1, and your first time. As far as the six month rule, checks are considered stale dated after 6 months from the date of the check, unless there is something printed on the check that states otherwise. However, there is a very small window that a check can be returned as stale dated, and I believe it would have to be returned the day after it posted.

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