05/05/2011 - While you are opening that new checking account, don’t forget to read the accompanying 111 pages of legal fine print that go along with it.
How many pages?
A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that 111 pages is the median length of checking account disclosure documents given to customers by the 10 biggest banks in the United States.
Often nestled in the thicket of disclosures, schedules and related addenda are rules that favor the bank over the customer. These include binding arbitration clauses, which require any dispute over the contents of the agreement to be settled by a private arbitrator — usually one picked by the bank — instead of a judge. Other versions allow customers to take their case to court, but require them to cover the bank’s costs — even if the customers are found to be in the right.
Read the full article The Case Against 111-Page Checking Account Disclosures on The New York Times' Web site.