Overdraft Fees Still Hitting Consumers When They Least Expect It

Publication: Chicago Sun-Times

Author: Stephanie Zimmermann


05/04/2012 - Dear Readers: The Fixer recently had a nice chat with Edward E., a longtime reader of this column who was in a real fix. A company he had never done business with somehow got hold of his debit card number and took $100 out of his account.

That would have been bad enough, but Edward’s account was a bit low on money. When that incorrect $100 debit hit, it sent his account into the red and triggered a $40 overdraft fee from his bank.

While his bank quickly disputed the original $100 debit and put that money back into Edward’s account, it balked at waiving the $40 overdraft fee. Only after Edward continued to complain did the bank finally agree to refund the fee. (Edward is giving it a couple days for the refund to appear, and if it doesn’t he’s calling in The Fixer.)

Though Edward was exceptionally unlucky, he is far from the only consumer still being hit with huge overdraft fees, even after a change in Federal Reserve rules in August 2010 made it harder for banks to charge these fees to consumers. A survey released last week by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that many consumers don’t understand their rights and don’t know how to avoid overdraft fees.

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Read the full article, Overdraft Fees Still Hitting Consumers When They Least Expect It, on the Chicago Sun-Times' website.

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