The Biggest Scam Your Bank Gets Away With Everyday

A recent accounting error resulted in my checking account being overdrawn by $250 and me being charged $245 in overdraft fees as a result. Here’s why.

Large to Small Transaction Processing

Many banks these days, in an effort to extract as much money as humanly possible from their customers, have begun processing checking account transactions in order of largest to smallest. This is why I ended up being charged $245 in overdraft fees for what should have amounted to one overdrawn transaction.

In my case, several transactions cleared on the “big fee day” as I refer to it now. At the time I had about $1500 in that particular account. The largest transaction to clear that day was a check I wrote of $1,400. There were 8 other transactions to go through that day, the total of all of these adding up to $350. One of these transactions was a car payment of about $300; the remaining $50 in transactions were small purchases like a pack of gum, a Starbucks stop, etc.

So, had my bank processed my transactions in order of smallest to largest, the $350 in smaller transactions would have cleared just fine and I would have only been popped with one overdraft charge. Instead, they cleared the $1,400 check first, then the $300 car payment overdrew my account, resulting in the first $35 charge, followed immediately thereafter by 6 more small transactions and six more overdraft charges of $35 each!

Just because of the way the bank chose to process my transactions I paid seven overdraft charges totaling $245. Had the bank processed the transactions in the reverse order, the first seven transactions would have cleared just fine, with the $1,400 check being the only overdraft.

So, $245 vs. $35 just because of the way the bank chooses to process transactions? That’s a scam if I ever heard one. And don’t think the bank has any excuse for this either…trust me, I asked.

Bank’s Excuse #1

When I called to object to such a ridiculous system I was told that the bank did a study and the customers prefer to have transactions processed from largest to smallest. When I asked why or for any information at all about that study, the customer service rep didn’t have an answer, neither did her supervisor, and apparently nobody does because they told me they’d have someone to call and follow up with me…no one ever called.

Bank’s Excuse #2

When I pushed a bit more, I was told that processing transactions from largest to smallest ensures that the important bills get paid…the bank is assuming your most important bills are probably the largest. Ok, fair answer at first glance, but wait…every single one of my transactions were paid, including the $1,400 check that overdrew my account. When I brought this up, the supervisor said, “well, sometimes they won’t all get paid.” When pushed, she had no real answer to when those “sometimes” were.

Bank’s Excuse #3

After about 20 minutes on the phone and a handful of questions but no answers, I requested that the order of my transaction processing be changed. No can do, I was told, apparently the bank does not have the ability to change the order of the transactions.

So It All Boils Down to This…

Ok, so let’s make sure I’m clear on this.

  1. Transactions are processed in a way that will always result in the most fees for the bank.
  2. Someone, at one point in time, studied some customers and found that they wanted their transactions processed from largest to smallest, but the actual location or means by which someone can get a copy of this study is completely unknown.
  3. The bank processes transactions from largest to smallest to ensure that the largest, and presumably, most important payments actually clear, but all transactions cleared so that doesn’t make any sense.
  4. The bank is incapable of changing the order of transaction processing for its customers and they have no idea why that is.

Ok, I think I’ve got it now. By the way, the bank was Fifth Third.

Tags: Personal Finance

87 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan Mahoney // Jan 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I had posted about something like this in my Livejournal, and a bot of some sort spammed me, and told me that there was a law on the books that would change this (I think that this was a few years ago).

    Nice to know that folks like you and I are enabling them to loan out money to people who can’t pay it back.

  • 2 Mark Gustafson // Jan 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Here is one for you done to me this week by Wells Fargo where I have been a customer for over 7 years. I returned home from outside the country to find that my entire bank account at this institution had been taken out by their “Legal Department” and given to the state of California (of which I have never lived or resided and am not a resident of) because of a request by them for all my account funds. It involves a three year old “sale tax action” which they say I owe and I say I do not. But this is beside the point. The account is not even in the state of California. On top of that Wells Fargo advanced funds into this account from my linked Visa account, to be given to the state again the next day, and so on till the state was satisfied with the amount. Beware of your linked accounts at institutions, and realize that money that you give to Well Fargo Bank for “safekeeping” is anything but that. I have yet to see anything in writing from either party regarding this “theft”. I did arrive back intime to notice this going on and closed the account immediately but not before the first cycle from my linked Visa account had occured. I am disputing this, but I am just a small cog in a big wheel and will just end up having a credit score of 800 go to “how low can you go” over this . Beware once your funds enter a bank they are no longer yours.
    Mark Gustafson

  • 3 John // Jan 19, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Wow Mark, that’s a crazy situation. I can’t believe they’d draw funds from a linked card over and above what they took from your checking account…and why California?

    I really hope you get things worked out…that’s a really frustrating situation I’m sure.

  • 4 Rodger Alford // Mar 10, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    The State of NY sought to get $50,000 in taxes (was actually $17,000 before interest and penalties) out of a Bank of America account that had a couple hundred in it. The bank the charged me over a hundred dollar in a fee which they showed me is in my. Terms and conditions for not having the money the State wanted. Fortunately I did not have the $5000 connected Visa account I now have or they would have gotten that, too. After reading above post I will now close Visa acct ASAP! Thanx.

  • 5 Emily // Mar 14, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I was scammed over Craiglist and bc the money orders of course did not clear, PNC bank took money out of my linked account!! Which was never mentioned to me… Now, instead of taking money out of my checking account, which had enough money bc I just transferred more money into it, they took money out of my savings, KNOWING THAT IT WOULD FALL BELOW THE LIMIT. Now I will be charged with fees for that when they could have taken money out of my checking account. Any advice?

  • 6 Terrance // Apr 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I was in Bank of America this week. I sat and discussed two overdraft fees with a lady there. They agreed to refund one of the two $25 “NSF (non sufficient funds) fees” they charged me. One of the fees was for going in the negative a few bucks from a purchase at Starbucks. The second for a small purchase at a gas station. Ok, after a half an hour of my time wasted, I got $25 back after they reversed one NSF fee… and I made sure I had plenty of money in my account to ensure my account would stay in the positive. I had also completely stopped using my bank card the day before. Everything seemed fine after I was done speaking with the banker. THEN the Next day I checked my balance and I had 3 More Charges of $35 in NSF Fees. I raced back to the bank knowing that this must be a bank error, since I had not used my card at all. Nope… the lady told me that since additional charges posted to the account (from two days before), that there were additional NSF Fees coming my way… even though I had already brought my account positive. In fact, the charges were now $35 each instead of $25 because it was a “second day” of charges that didn’t previously have funds (or supposedly wouldn’t have had funds). OK, so now I got 3 more $35 charges, even thought I hadn’t used my card since last talking to the SAME woman at the bank. I demanded my money back from Bank of America. The manager walked over and agreed to waive one of the $35 fees (gee thanks!). Now I know why banks made over 37 BILLION dollars last year by ripping of their customers. I will be CLOSING my account with Bank Of America as they are unethical in their practices, and that is simply unacceptable for me. In my own opinion, any person using this bank, or any other bank like this should cancel their account immediately. I propose a “Closure Day” or “Walk Away Day”. Let’s all get “closure” and “walk away” from our banks by lining up to pull out our money, and closing our accounts with them…. and ALWAYS complain and demand your money if any bank ever rips you off. Be loud, and let the other customers hear you say “This Bank Is Unethical and I want my money back”.

    Disclaimer: I am not against NSF fees altogether. A $5 or even $7 NSF fee charged in a fair way would be acceptable. This would be a slap on the wrist for the customer, and the bank would still profit. BUT $35 is insane (per transaction.. what the heck?).

    - Find a good credit union instead.
    - Never use a bank card connected to a checking account to make purchases (use a credit card that will not go in the negative, like a Paypal card).
    - Do not use Bank Of America, Chase Bank, or any other bank that is unethical.

    37 Billion Dollars in NSF Fees earned in ONE YEAR? And what are they doing with that money they stole from their customers?

    I am looking forward to walking back in there and cancelling BOTH of my Business Accounts at Bank Of America. I will also be closing 2 personal checking accounts. AND a savings account there. In addition, I won’t ever be going to them for a loan, or mortgage ever again.

    Well, it looks like in the long run Bank Of America will lose because I would have been a life long customer (I had already been at the same bank for 9 years). Good Riddance.

  • 7 Jennifer // Apr 21, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I had to laugh when I found this website, only because most of these stories are directly similiar to what has happened to myself over the past year. My husband and I have an account at Citizens bank and a credit union. Last year we started utilizing Citizens Bank by depositing r paychecks into this account and paying our bills, but we always seem to overdraft our account. They always took the largest check first and so on, we ended up switching back to utilizing the credit union the beginning of this year. The Citizens Bank would not stop a transaction that I did not authorize on day from my account, to me that was the last straw, well that and the $2.00 fee that would be charged if you did not have a deposit slip at the drive thru window. (Regardless if you we out of checks and had new ones ordered)

    My friend was just telling me at Monday night darts that Hunnington Bank does the same thing.

    Who and what stops this kind of unethical behavior? I am all for JUST SAY NO TO BANKS and GOT CREDIT UNION?

  • 8 Beth // Apr 24, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    BINGO!! My husband went to Georgetown Savings Bank on April 21 and asked if we owed on our overdraft (comes with getting paid every other week and incurring lotsa fees in the past). The teller told him it’s $90 and that if he paid that amount, it is paid in full. Then my husband deposited $400 in cash and the following day his check went in. Well, on April 23rd, I get a naughty notice in the mail from the bank with fees for insufficient funds saying that on April 20th we went 300 plus into the overdraft. Hmm, on the 21st you said 90 and we paid it, now more posted for the day before my husband went to the bank? Curiouser and curiouser. Seems that all our checks and atm charges come out STAT, but we can’t know about them stat, no..we get to know much much later when the transactions are backdated to scam us out of our money. Closing that account after twenty years. Sad

  • 9 phil // Apr 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    to terrence and other bank of america victims. i was negative 103 today at 5 pm when i went to the bank. all my own doing, plus 2 35 dollar fees for overdrawing. i got one refunded and my account was negative 68 dollars. i just went and put 80 dollars in and my account is negative 53. i looked online and my statement has -103.45 as my balance, has my 80 dollar deposit and a -23.45 balance, my 35 dollar credit for the one fee they knocked off, a positive balance of 11.55, and then after that 2 more -35 overdraft fees above my positive balance putting my back in negative, as if they were transactions i made. wells fargo did this to me, and when i called, they tried the same shit, they were posted in days before, all excuses YOU have all gotten,and then actually changed my online documents to reflect it. this time however, i have all documents saved and ready to print, and i await tomorrow for them to change them to make it look like they were posted in previous days, and that i never had a positive balance, bcz thats what wells fargo did. and when they do, i will save and print those too, and i will look into my legal options. if anyone wants to get involved, has proof of misdoing like i do, or wants to help, feel free to post or message me, im tired of this scam that it seems ALL banks are pulling now

  • 10 Robert // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

    4/30/2009 BOA
    Just happend to me Today. $300+ dollars in overdraft. Over drew on saturday. Put a hundered in my account. Thinking to save some money i buy the cheap chilli fries, and the value burger for 2.50. Turned into a 37.50 burger, and 37.50 fries. Remember they do it for you so that if your at the store you wont overdraw and be imbarrased. If i would have known this crap i would have gone to walmart and had 1 overdraft fee instead of 11.

    What happend to your out of money, declined?

  • 11 Raji Rajan // May 6, 2009 at 6:24 am

    We used own a restaurant and had accounts with Bank of America. As we had many deposits and withdrawals in a day, we were charged with all the fees indicated above. I have paid atleast $3000 just in overdraft fees as they wouldn’t change the order in which the checks get cleared. The sad part is we have paid $70 in fees for $100 checks, which is ridiculous. Why isn’t the government interfering in this. I even told them they are the biggest ‘Thieves”, no response. Inspite of all these fees, they still get billions of dollars in bailout.

    I lost my business and took $700k writeoff. Nobody to bail me out……

  • 12 Jeff // May 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Banks… I can’t believe what they get away with I recently had a similar issue with sovereign you can read about it on my website.

    here’s the direct link – http://www.scamresearchcenter.com/post/Bank-scams.aspx

  • 13 Kay // May 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Wells Fargo does this scam, US Bank, Washington Mutual, and Bank Of America!!!!!The only place I can trust to keep my money is Boeing Employees Credit Union! When I am overdrafted, I have 24 hours to return my account to a positive if not longer before I am charged a small overdraft fee. I was overdrafted $800.00 due to a cancelled payroll check, I called B.E.C.U. and they told me they understand and it is unlike me to have an overdraft. NO fees. I will never use a Bank again!

  • 14 Kay // May 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Where would these Banks be without us. Ah, how sweet it would be if we all stopped using Banks all together. Would their morals return like back in the day when they had to earn our trust? I’m not using Banks anymore. Not sure about the rest of you but due to this financial crisis I can’t afford to just unwillingly throw hundreds away to my Bank. These days they are taking our grocery money! With no mercy.

  • 15 Kay // May 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Us Bank: I was a single mom on my own without choice. After a year of struggling my 9 month old and I got our own apartment. No furniture, plastic dishes, one pan and a low paying job. I wrote a check for a deposit of 75$. I ended up having to buy diapers and food. Told my landlord it would bounce and she said it was okay, she understood. That night she brought me 6 bags of food while my baby and I ate ramen for dinner. It didn’t bounce. Us Bank put it through. I went in with my baby and spoke to a manager. He said they would freeze my account and stop with the overdraft charges that would accur until I got paid. They didn’t. Nor did they honor what he had told me because he was NEW! 270$Later, I had to let it fall on my credit report and plague me.
    There is no limit to what a Bank will do to their customers, ALL their customers.

  • 16 Rodger Alford // May 21, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Remember, also, if you have a connected savings acct [as I do @ B of A] which is intended to cover over drafts there is still a $10 fee if you dare to use it. And the funds are taken out in $100 increments. O/d for 10c and $110 is taken out of savings. I pay daily attention to my checking, savings and c/c accts with B of A but they still manage to get a good amount of $ in fees thru delayed charging, atm fees (I’ll find a 99c atm and get charged $3.50 by the bank) or them putting through a transaction scant hours before my direct deposit gets creditted at 2am on Friday. I’ve already written them that I will close all but the credit card acct at month’s end (only because I’m already going to be charged this month’s fee). Be careful not to leave a zero balance, close the acct and then have a fee pop up as an overdraft on fee day. You may also not want to close a credit card if it will be detrimental to your credit report (debt to available credit ratio, or oldest card history). They’ve got us by the short-hairs as we’ve been sold into slavery by Congress.

  • 17 Ena Hull // May 24, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I just had $235 charged to me in overdraft fees. BofA ran the larger check through first even though the check was numerically later. this triggerd a domino effect when really I should have only had one NSF fee. Those CROOKS!Isn’t there anyway as consumers that we can stop this unethical RIP-OFF!! This is criminal. There needs to be a class-action lawsuit against these types of banking policies. Where’s Andrew Cuomo when you need him. After all this bailout money, these banks need to stop stealing from hardworking people. There needs to be a national law that limits NSF fees and how a banks can run larger amounts first before the smaller ones. This is WRONG and is stealing!!!

  • 18 Kathy // Jun 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Add Wachovia to the list. My business account incurred $900 worth of charges because of this in May.

    The straw that broke the camel’s back was today when they refused to cash my husband’s US Treasury check because there wasn’t enough in the account to cover it. Like the US Government is going to bounce a $600 check?

    Madness. I’m moving to a credit union

  • 19 Donovan Clark // Jun 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I use to live in a small rural town in Northern Minnesota. There were only two banks in town, and everyone knew who you were. They rarely charged overdrafts and if they did, the amount was under $10. Getting a house or car loan was as easy as knocking on the door of the loan officer, sitting down with him/her and going over past credit. You were approved within a day or two, or if not they would work with you on getting some other type of loan arrangement done.

    When I moved here to Southern California, I was shocked at how the banks here operated. I lived here for 5 years now, and the banks tellers still don’t know my name, or say hello, or take a personal interests in what’s going on in your life or family. Okay, so that’s a part of being in a larger city (rude and impersonal).

    However I use to be with Wells Fargo until I discovered they charged $35 for an overdraft and $5 a day for having a negative balance on your account. So if you get paid every two weeks and you have a negative balance 7 days prior to pay day you would owe an additional $35 on top of the $35 overdraft fee originally charge. Got rid of that bank and went to Washington Mutual

    Washington Mutual did what so many of the other banks I heard would do – they would cash my mortgage check first and then 3 lesser checks which would give me at least 2 over draft charges. Had they taken the lowest to the highest, I would have only been $1.00 in the whole and and had only one over draft instead of two. This went on for a year and I closed my direct deposit account as well as all other accounts with them. Went to B of A.

    Bank of America does this thing called “pending” where instead of immediately applying charges, checks or deposits to your account, they sit there in limbo (sometimes for 4 days) until they are sure they can’t make any money off you for an overdraft and then they apply to your account. I pay most of my bills through them using electronic debit and have them write the checks (a free service) to pay bills. These transactions are processed immediately. Thus the only time I get an overdraft is when I know if I charge something, I’m going to get that overdraft.

    But again, back in the little town I’m from, I never got charged an overdraft fee when grocery shopping or buying gas for the car, heating oil, or utility bills. Also, a few stores would let you by groceries on credit and you pay them at the end of the month what you owed them.

    I’m 36 years old, and moving to the big city has been an eye opening experience, especially how banks treat their customers. My little home town bank didn’t take any “bail-out” money and they treat their customers (the community) with respect.

  • 20 MH // Jun 25, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks for this! I’m going through this, this very second. I admit I made a mistake and I’m overdrawn by 300 – I’m going to the bank tomorrow because somehow that 300 = 670 in bank fees! WTF! Once this settles, I’m moving this to a credit union.. Mortgages and loans and all..

  • 21 R A West // Jul 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Bit different but they just whacked me for $932 in overage fees. Their practice adds up to legalized loan sharking. Unaware my acct. had dropped to zero and sure my card would be rejected if so. Again unaware, a very busy 3 day weekend and also not realizing (The pillaging of my account) for several days added up to Citizens stealing $932

  • 22 Rodge Again // Jul 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    For a while I’ve noticed this new scam of allowing charges that should be declined @ a point of sale to go thru. And why not? It’s a way for the bank to ‘loan[shark]‘ you at an incredible rate. Say you’re 10c short on your big mac, as stated in a previous post. The burger can generate hundreds in fees depending on the setting and I’m sure they’ve got a computer that can figure that most profitable way to soak you in seconds. But here’s great news. Due to legislation to help some of the victims of these criminal banking and credit-card practices, banks will now go after their GOOD customers to recoup what they may lose by not being able to gouge their previous victims anymore. That little grace period you had on c/c purchases is going to become shorter so you may end up paying a fee even if you pay it back before the month is out. And many more surprises are in store. By the way Bank of America & Verizon are top 2 on the list of companies that expose you to identity theft. I made a sizable cash deposit in B of A and 2 days later I received an email from a hacker using a B of A header saying my acct will be suspended unless I verify my online password with them. I quickly took the $ out in cash and put it in a credit union. Who tipped the hacker off? Had to be an inside job.

  • 23 W // Jul 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Your story is mine and mine is yours. It’s that simple. Banks are the biggest thieves out their- take your money out and put it in a credit union, or under your mattress!! We are all victims of thief and thieves should be fined and put in jail. Let your voice be heard!!

  • 24 JOSH // Jul 14, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I have a great idea do not spend money you do not have!

  • 25 Melissa // Jul 15, 2009 at 8:19 am

    So the bottom line is that the bank is being allowed by the fed to get away with this, not by us the consumers. The same federal government that is giving billions of dollars to these poorly run banks that stole our money and still had to file for bankruptcy and federal funding. My question is this…How is this legal. It cant be. I know that the banking laws differ from state to state but the fed is the fed. It is really making me sick. I will continue to report these issues until someone, even if it has to be Pres. Obama comes to understand that the hardship is not on the bank but on the customers they continue to not value and take food out of the mouths of children because of their political greed. If I find any info, I will be sure to share it, please be sure to do the same

  • 26 Rodge Again // Jul 17, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Well, Josh, the $ being being spent on bailouts is from our payroll deductions. It pales in comparison to our credit card expenses, which is just the bank a llowing you to borrow a fellow depositors (or your own) assets. Just think about this: Citibank – 4.3 billion profits last quarter. Bank of America – 2.42 billion, while raising fees on good customers [./ing acct = 8.95 per month]. Morgan- Stanley – 5 b+. We are sharecroppers. You, too, have been involuntarily victimized, Josh, if you’re a taxpayer, no matter how sterling your credit may be. Meanwhile the ‘landlords’ have upped the mortgage requirements to a 730+ score for a decent rate and a 30% down payment not to icur points. Still think it’s our own faults, kid? Actually the fault lies in us not paying closer attention during Congressional elections.

  • 27 Rodge Again // Jul 23, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Looked up B of A’s fee schedule. Sharp bunch of lawyers worked on that one. I have a ./ing acct that requires a $6000 min bal. Not to incur fees (or direct deposit – right. I’m trustin’ you folks with my paycheck). There is another ./ing acct that requires only a $1500 min. bal. (Or direct deposit) but somehow I ended up in the larger one? Since I don’t ever remember being given a choice I can only assume I got put in the larger one when I signed up for their paltry ‘keep the change’ program a few months back. That’s also when my monthly fee seem to increase by 2 bucks. Since I’ve been in ‘KTC’ I’ve amass the staggering sum of $16 and 10c, while incurring fees of $27. So 2 days ago when all this was dawning on me (yeh, I’m slow on uptake), I say, “…hey, B of A, YOU ‘keep the *#@! change’! Since my taxpayer $ and my deposits and my 16+ year loyalty to you mean nothing, I’m closing my checking acct!” I saw no pending transactions (guess I’m still too stupid not to trust even THAT aspect of their online banking) and proceeded to transfer everything to savings except the$8.95 fee. Well, surprise, surprise. I guess there was a pending transaction after all. A bill payment I had made days before. Yes, I was told the date it would be taken from my acct at the time of the transaction BUT was laboring under the misaprehension that bill payment amounts are immediately deducted from the remaining balance. At least I would’ve thought it would show up as a ‘pending transaction’. Of course my mistake lead to a $10 fee to borrow back some of the same $ from my savings acct. Now, you say, you fool, why don’t you keep a more accurate check on your balances? I, like many, have been lead down a prim-rose path that these folks holding our dough are kindly and wouldn’t dare trifle with our trust. If o/line banking says there are none pending then indeed that is the case. After so much evidence, it is still so hard to believe our financial institution’s (and our government regulators) would misuse our trusts so blatently. It’s gonna be inconvenient, but I’m gonna bite the bullet on this one. It’s time to stuff the mattress. I knew a guy that kept his $ in a shoe box under the bed. The old fashioned ATM – with NO FEEs!

  • 28 Zack // Jul 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Bank of America – the same thing happended to me today when I checked my balance and contacted the bank. I had 15 transactions that hit on 7/20 most os which I used my debit card for on 7/17 and 7/18. They chose to run the largest transaction that I made on 7/19 first because it was larger resulting in 12 overdraft fees. Had the transaction been ran by the dates that they occured first I would have had 2 overdraft fees. I spent over an hour on the phone talking to the customer service representative then the supervisor only to get poor customer service and treated without respect. I asked for the next level manager and they were not there. I still have not got my fees refuned but I know that call the 800 number costs them money and I will continue to call every day until they refund the fees. I will waste there time until eiter they refund the fees. If it takes calling 10 times a day it will happen. I hate banks.

  • 29 Rodge Again // Jul 26, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Largest to smallest transaction processing. A very profitable cog in the machinery.

  • 30 Erin // Jul 29, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Old National bank does the same thing as the original poster said. Old national used to be Charter One.
    They process biggest to smallest, they don’t seem to have a solid answer for what overdrafted transactions will go thru. And get this – on top of the $35 overdraft fee, per transaction, they charge $8 a day for being in overdraft.
    True it is the costomer’s responsibility to not spend money you don’t have but if you DO make that mistake, watch out. Instead of bouncing the underfunded transactions, they will just clear it [randomnly] and then rape you wil fees later.
    The way the banks charge for loans and being late, it makes the Mafia look like angels.

  • 31 Rodge Again // Aug 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Where do ‘ya think they came up with the idea for some of these financial tactics? Only Capone & Gotti would have been ashamed to pull some of these tricks. And the government tracked THEM down like dogs. Some bank exec figured out it was more profitable NOT to kill you but to make you WISH you were dead. I have an acct in a small farm town in Ohio where I’ve never had ANY of the problems I’ve had with Bank of America You can call up and speak to a vice-president who knows you personally. I think this makes a difference in the way your acct is viewed when the bank has a choice as to how to process your transactions. I think they may have a mental image of a husky planter coming to town loaded with buckshot to ask why $35 was stolen from his feed money. Or why his check to John Deere was returned when he purchased his tractor.

  • 32 Rodge Again // Sep 9, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Today’s NY Times:
    “This year alone, banks are expected to bring in $27b by covering overdrafts on checking accounts, typically on debit card purchases or checks that exceed a customer’s balance. In fact, banks now make more covering overdrafts than they do on penalty fees from credit cards.”
    Way more profitable than the credit card itself! And we all remember the big push to debit cards, some banks giving ‘cash-back’ incentives for the use of debit instead of credit cards. Because credit is way more regulated than the use of debit cards. You don’t like something you’ve purchaased on a credit card you’ve got recourses. Fraudulent charges, merchant misrepresentations, merchant puts you in a ‘subscription program’ for any number of infomercial ripoffs ['try it free- we just need your credit card # for shipping & handling'] or just outright theft, you’ve got recourses. Overdraw your checking acct by loosing track of debit charges (not hard to do since they’re widely accepted) and you’re charged an exorbitant fee no matter how small the infraction.
    Say someone gets hold of your logoed (having a Visa or MasterCard logo)debit/credit card. As long as they don’t enter a pin#, they can run willy-nilly at every gas station or convenience store from NY to Chicago for 24hrs until you report it stolen and guess what? The bank’ll will eat the charges (I think it’s actually the clearing house the logo represent’s insurance). Let the thief make 1 lucky stab at your pin# and now it’s a ‘debit’. Whole different set of rules. They can clean your acct OUT (and then some) and as long as they don’t show thier mugs on a camera YOU are skewered! [As we know bank cards without logos MUST use a pin#. The logo actually gives you a little protection].
    Lemme know if I’m wrong on this.

  • 33 Carla // Sep 9, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I have had the same problems. I have been printing out my statement everyday and every time I do…The bank has change the order of my transactions and that is causing more and more overdrafts! One day it will show that something has cleared and a day or two later it will show that its and overdraft! Can’t we do anything about this…? I can’t keep going like this…I have 4 children, one of which has a disability!

  • 34 Misty Williamson // Sep 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

    We have Compass and they promise and advertise that they charge no overdraft fee’s, don’t let that fool you. They do charge overdraft fee’s and not only that they put them though from greatest to smallest. Meaning we should have been charged for one $35.00 overdraft fee and instead we got charged over $200.00 but they held the smaller withdrawal’s in pending until the large one made it through and they were able to collect as much as they could. Oh and we realized the mistake and put the money in there before the charges were pending but withdrawals go through first!

  • 35 Patricia // Sep 14, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    You know, many people have suffered from overdrafting their accounts at one time or another. I’m one of them. The best thing to do is know what you are spending. Most people today, are so quick to charge their card, and doing a horrible job of accounting for what they have in an account, vs what they spend. The whole process of debits posting to your account can take up to two weeks, but not necessarily due to the bank.

    I’m a student that works in the bank industry as well as the service industry at night. Of many of the rest/bars I’ve been employed by, it can take one week or longer to post the correct transaction to your accounts….depending on the establishment and institution.

    My advice to you people is to stay on top of your accounts and know what you have to spend in the first place. It’s never the banks fault that you don’t have sufficient funds, and if it were, trust me they’d fix the problem.

    Overspending is a problem that we so clearly see nowadays with the economy being so screwed up. If you’ve had problems in the past with overdraft than use an atm and spend only the cash you have. That’s what you’re card is for too ya know!

  • 36 Banker Bill // Sep 18, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Out of 34 posts, only ONE made any sense: #24, Don’t Spend Money You Don’t Have!!!

    Banking is very simple. You put $100.00 and you can spend $100. 00 Put in $100, and spend $200, and you’re now overdrawn. Plain and simple.

    Clearing largest to smallest is a scam, and so is letting transactions clear when ther’s no funds available.

    You know that little book they give you when you open an account, called a Check Register? USE IT!!!!

    It would be wonderful if all banks that had online banking would do it in real time. With today’s technology, you could check your balance any time, etc.

    But they don’t, so it’s up to YOU to keep track of your own money. They prey on people’s half-hearted attempts at managing bank accounts, because they KNOW that 90% of the people don’t manage their accounts properly. So if they can make some money from it, they will.

    I’ve done the same thing as everyone else here, and I’ve pissed and moaned, but in reality, if I can’t add and subtract, it’s my own fault.

    So, my thing is, I won’t let them beat me at their own game. I’ve unlinked everything, keep track of all my transactions, and one even better: If I think I might be close to a zero balance, I’ll make the transaction a debit and use my PIN. That way, it’s out immediately, and I can go home, get online, and manage the account.

    I’m not telling anyone here that they’re stupid for getting wacked by the bank, I’m just saying don’t let ‘em screw ya. KNOW how they’re sticking it to you, and beat them at their own game!

  • 37 David // Sep 25, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    The larger banks have now discovered a far more profitable scam. It falls under the new HVCC regulations passed on May 1st. Perhaps they’ll forget about nickel and diming clients to death with overdraft fees now that they’ve found a way to make several billion dollars off the backs of homeowners. For more info on HVCC visit us at http://www.investsmart.com

  • 38 sharon // Oct 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    well fargo screwed me actually the same way – by paying the largest check first – I was told because I live in Calif – that is the law here. Can anyone tell me if this is bullshit or not? I have been with that bank since 1982 – I am closing my acct this week.

  • 39 kevin // Oct 14, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Bank of america just screwed me over, i was charged a bill i was unaware of. that fine what ever, personally they should of declined it cause it would cause my account to over draft. however i placed money in my account twice to cover the over amount. they still charged me two $35 overdrafts. it’s like why should i rush to the bank to cover the amount if your ganna charge it anyways. plus their pending they do just seems like a plan so that can wait conveniently to charge something and over draft it

  • 40 Wayne Knapcik // Oct 31, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Get this one with Chase.
    My 20 yr old Son opens a checking account and savings account when he is away at school to have his work checks electronically deposited. He decides to have them draw $50.00 a pay check automatically to savings. Great Idea I thought! Of course they talk him into a Chase credit card with
    Overdraft Protection for his checking. Well everything was good an well except now he becomes in debt with his credit card. Small balance but not a good practice to start.
    Here’s the scam.
    He moves back home after school. No money going into his checking any more because he changed location by 300 miles and job of course. He doesn’t close his checking account because he still has the savings and credit card with balances now for about six months now.
    He’s trying to pay down his credit card balance big time each month but starts noticing $50.00 twice per month being charged to his card for ODP? 20yr old kid with not much experience doesn’t catch on real quick! Mom & Dad step in and begin to investigate. Guess what?
    NO money in his checking any more so they still try to draw $50.00 twice per month to deposit in savings. Since no money, they hit his CC twice per month for Overdraft Protection. For this $100.00 deposit in savings he was getting hit $22.00 in service fees plus the interest being added to his daily balance on his credit card.
    We try to close the account over the phone and they want $8.00 for that as well.
    Well we now know why the big Execs are getting these big bonuses and can but castles.
    Because they were able to develop a way that makes these banks millions in fees with us not even knowing whats happening till its to late and we have already paid them hundreds, not to mention how are young adults are being dragged into this and being taken advantage of. No wonder these young adults are having to claim bankruptcy at such an early age.
    This economy is where it is because of this type of deceitful practices that is starting to backfire.
    God help America!

  • 41 John // Nov 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Ok, here’s my latest story. Twice I bought coffee on my debit card and they give me a slip of paper with a line for a tip. I write in 50 cents tip on one and 30 cents on the other. Next day a bought slice of pizza, $4.22. Two days after the coffees and a day after the pizza, I go to the ATM to check available balance bc I know I’m getting low bc I’ve been checking available balance at ATM periodically. I have $3.64 cents. I walk into the bank and withdraw $3.00, leaving 64 cents. Later that day, the tips, totaling 80 cents came in. The largest coffee+tip was processed first. Then the second. This brought the alledged ledger balance low enough ($4.06) to where the PENDING slice of pizza (for $4.22) triggered a $37.50 overdraft fee. A day later, when the slice of pizza finally “came in” (was officially processed), another overdraft fee was charged because the account was already $37.66 in the negative. So, together I got two charges of $37.50 totaling $75 because I went 16 cents negative when 80 cents worth of tips came in two days after the fact. Apparently, when I went in to get three dollars, the teller was somehow blind to the pending 80 cents tips, that came in later that day blowing my 64 cent cushion out of the water. I went and ask those places where I bought my coffee how they handle the tips that people write down on their debit card purchases. I was told that they are entered right away through a manual “tips edit” button. So, at the point of sale, and at the time of sale, both the coffee and the tip are entered into the system. So why does the bank pretend that they don’t know what the tip is going to be until it “comes in” days later? Both of these establishments report daily their reciepts. So, where were these tips floating for a couple of days? Why? I will be talking again to the manager of the US Bank branch where this happened. I will probably be told that we are supposed to keep our own ledger with debit cards. I will also probably be told that they have no way of knowing what those tips could be until they “come in”. What does that mean? As far as I can tell, those tips “came in” at the same time that those coffees were listed as “pending” (for two days).

  • 42 Tim // Nov 11, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Yes, i have had this problem also, many times. some banks have once per year where you can retract 1 fee…..
    My prediciments are having funds in my account and using those till my account is at 1 dollar, and then having to overdraft that night or something.
    Anyone know how they file these charges? If computerized or people doing it manually? if its computerized, it should be able to calculate the best way to charge your account instead of largest to smallest SINCE!!! they are going to OVERDRAFT your account whether or not the FUNDS ARE IN THERE!!!! There is no bills that arent going to be paid…. its ……. all they do is overdraft anyways. or says funds non effecient.
    i dont mind paying the fees, until they show up too many times.

  • 43 Lori // Nov 19, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Bank of America is the worst. Or should I say bank of i like to srew you. I just got into a fight with them yesterday about everything posted above got all the excuses. Then this morning I went and check my account to see if my husbands check had hit the bank. It did but so did a $100 ATM withdrawl that we did not do. How can you take money out of an account that is already overdrawn???? And then get charged another fee. Now Im going to have to take a day off of work to go and try and get this straight. After next weeks paycheck only because of the holiday. I will be closing out that account. I think Im only going to open an account somewhere else just to have money put in and take it out after it clears. Thats the only way to keep my money safe. The money is not FDIC insured for me its for the banks only.

  • 44 Bernadette // Nov 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    What is Obama doing about this cheating mess? And we wonder why our government has to take over all enterprise. it might just be the only way to protect us. At least we will just be up against the government instead of a hundered ifferent businesses that screw us daily. make them all under government scrutiny as far as I am concerned. It couldnt be any worse.

  • 45 Darlene // Dec 10, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Wells Fargo did the same thing to me on Dec 7, 2009 I wrote three checks to the same vendor and I had a small transaction from Burger King. They process the larger check first and them the other three transactions. Now I am stuck with three overdraft of $35.00. When I call Well Fargo they told me that how they process transactions the largest first to the smalles. If they would have done the reverse I would only be stuck with one overdraft fee. I cannot understand why banks get away with this rip off systems. I was so mad I told the guy hell we the tax payer bail this bank out and this is how you repay your customers. Something need to be done about this.

  • 46 Plan ahead // Dec 15, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I’m not saying it’s easy for everyone, it isn’t… but we try to keep a minimum balance of $1,000 and we view that as $0. I run a business, and even with that system I bounced a check last year. Wachovia here in CT allows so many per yr and the manager droppped the charge. If this happens to you only once or twice, certainly visit your bank in person and remember to be very nice when you ask them to waive the fee. Remember, it was your error, and they covered your charge without contract or guarantee that you’ll return the money either.

    Prior to this system we were bouncing checks often enough. I remember sitting down to do my taxes one year and adding up $800 in charges. Business banking fees (including OC) are a business write off if they are from a business account and related to business activit.. Nonetheless, I was incredibly pissed off and realized that that $800 could have been much better spent on credit card debt.

  • 47 'Lil Russian // Dec 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve recently closed both of my BofA ck/saving accounts, and returned to my Credit Union. I’m also a So. Cal resident and a full-time student (on a tight budget + tiny income).

    Over the past 6 years I’ve spend thousands of dollars (in overdraft fees) and endless conversations with their CSRs. I’ve thrown in the towel and with one promise to myself – exercise a better management of my money. I have to agree with the postings above, one must balance their own check book vs. knowingly spending cash that they do not have.

    Though I do not agree with how most banks get away with such unethical practices, we can all put our thinking caps on and take our business else where.

    I’m currently waiting to rec’v a refund on a returned amount for a PayPal transaction, after I have closed my acct. So help me God, I will get the check from BofA at some point.

    BE SMART, and you won’t have to kick yourself in the a** and be surprised at your own folly.
    Same action will not produce a different result.

  • 48 VZ // Dec 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Banks have made billions in NSF charges…

    They are supposed to stop transactions when the balance in the available funds are in the red.

  • 49 Aaron // Dec 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I just had bank of america hold all transactions for 7 days till a big bill went through and then added all the small ones from a week ago

  • 50 Jane Martin // Jan 28, 2010 at 4:45 am

    My daughter had to pay an $800 late fee to GE bank out of El Paso because they never cashed one of her checks till after the due date. All the others were cashed on the same day in Sept but this one wasn’t, and it was an “interest free” trial period until March of this year. We are trying to find what options we have.

  • 51 MIKE // Feb 2, 2010 at 10:17 pm


  • 52 Steven Kay // Feb 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Oddly enough my BoA bank account went 197 overdrawn with the pending debits but the cash deposit I made next day went thru imediately. i never got an NSF fee, I have overdraft protection but it was on thier card which was also over limit. I have an endless nightmare with Citicards for nearly a year now and BoA still loans me whatever i want at the lowest rates going these days. Other than a late and one over limit fee Ive had no problem out of them for 11 years now. I have a lot of accts counting the paid off loans and mortgages. So far they and Chartway Federal Credit Union are the only financiers not trying to scam me to death. Ive been victimized very badly by Citi, Discover, and Juniper.

  • 53 flogo // Feb 22, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I can’t believe all the similar situations!! Why are we giving these banks all our hard earned money?? I have bank of America account they are horrible and will be moving my money to a credit union. I am so disgusted with their weekly charges in my bank account. They have ignorant “representatives” who just read scripts and can’t answer your questions. Their practices are so unethical and something has to be done. They rip you off with fees for EVERTHING!!! I even had overdraft protection and they still charged me $ 10 for moving money from saving to checking??? and why do they let transactions go through when you don’t have enough money?? Oh yeah, so they can rack up the fees. I understand personal responsibility but somehow no matter how meticulous, there is always a discrepancy. I highly encourage people to move their money. I know it might be a pain ( I have had an account for 5 years) but so worth it. Let’s start an initiative and close accounts and put our money in local banks or credit unions.

  • 54 John // Feb 22, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Agreed, credit unions are definitely the way to go. When I was in the mortgage business we couldn’t ever compete with a credit union offer so they’re excellent for mortgages as well.

  • 55 Paul Travis // Mar 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Yes, I will be moving my money to a credit union as well. Bank of America continually charges me a $23 monthly fee despite my keeping over $20,000 in various accounts precisely to avoid such fees. Each time I call they apologize and say they will reverse the charge and each month it comes right back.

    Truly evil.

  • 56 Rachelrh // Mar 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Wachovia is like the rest and will somehow create several overdrafts from what was really only one very small mistake. I’m not opposed to paying for the one O.D. Fee, but to stack the deck in whatever way makes them the most money seems unethical. I do know the automatic overdraft coverage can be cancelled according to Clark Howard. That being said, I’m switching to a credit union and hope you will do the same. Maybe if enough people quit the big banks they will rethink their strategy.

  • 57 Adrian Bruny // May 15, 2010 at 2:00 am

    St George Bank: I had a personal loan with the bank, the bank was also managing Perpetual Trusty Home loan. I paid the money due for the home loan. St. George Bank first accredited the money to the house morgage account, then removed the money and used for the personal loan. By doing this I was charged dishonour fees of $45.00, at the end of the home loan I was charged $1000.00 exstra. I’ve kept the accountant statements for reference.

  • 58 Adrian Bruny // May 15, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Date 2005, 2006 years
    RESIMAC Mortgagors
    Loan $231,741.05
    12 months interest $16,893.92
    Monthly Repayment $1460.08
    Woolly in the warehouse employed people from oversee for chip pay, therefore the Australian employees were send home. No longer able to pay for the house, the house was eventually sold. That time the property has lost value. I was in loss.

  • 59 Adrian Bruny // May 15, 2010 at 2:33 am

    At that time I was living with a partner we had two children and living in the house.
    After I was retrenched form Woolworth I could not find alternative work to pay the mortgagors, we broke up, we had hard time all because of Woolworth acting on the industrial reforms introduced by the ex Prime Minister John Howard.
    Now I’m doing the 4th year of University.

  • 60 Adrian Bruny // May 15, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I believe the bank has charged me unfair and when I’m getting a full time job I will be baying an other property then I will select the bank.


  • 61 Thomas Brown // Jun 12, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I used KEY and then I switched to HUNTINGTON. If I thought KEY was bad with excessive NSF fees and more fees, HUNTINGTON was horrible.

    I made purchases totaling less than what I had deposited. THEN a check printing charge arrived in my account. I had no idea this was coming. Somehow I thought FREE CHECKING meant just that. In any case, I was now overdrawn about $18. However an item I returned for refund should have absorbed that money and still left me with $30 to the good. I called HUNTINGTON and explained the situation. They seemed nice about it and gave me back part of the NSF – but then more NSF’s started to accumulate because the returned item not appearing yet and the order everything was being processed was causing one NSF after another and another. I was furious with them, but tried to reason and explain everything with them. In the end they refunded a little over $60, but I was still $146.00 overdrawn because of the NSF fees and a fee for EVERY DAY the account was left in the negative.

    Last evening this guy from HUNTINGTON called me, and once again I explained everything to him. I would have had a more meaningful conversation with my Cat as it turned out.

    He tried to make a big deal out of the fact that they had refunded a little bit of the money and could have cared less what brought this about in the first place.

    He explained that fees would continue to mount on this unpaid negative balance. I told him to go ahead and keep mounting fees and I didn’t give a damn if it mounted to over $20,000 in fees because I wasn’t paying a thin dime to to this bank.

    He told me that eventually it would be charged off and my name would be put in some kind of data base which would prevent me from getting a checking account ever again.


    I’m an educational filmmaker and I’m thinking seriously about making a documentary about this NSF bullcrap. Anyone interested in becoming involved? I need interviews, production costs, distributor, etc.

    Respond to: closerlookfilms1@gmail.com

  • 62 Pengy // Jun 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Got you all beat. Little bank here in NEPA called M & T bank. Sceduled a payment a few weeks in advance and forgot about it and shopped as usual, no biggy. Was overdrafted $91 and of course the fee of $74. Problem was I was not notified of the overdraft for 10 days, by that time thinking I had money and got paid, paid some bills went grocery shopping and I use my card for everything cigs, gas, milk etc. WHen I received the notice (10 days later) found out my whole paycheck and then some was gone so far that little $91 overdraft has costed me over $700. Called the bank, e-mailed the head office. Manager never returned phone call and head office told me I should check my account on a daily basis. Had I been notified of my error in a timely manner none of this would have happened. WIll be moving my account and will be posting how crooked M & T BANK is wherever I can

  • 63 steve l. // Jun 28, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    u.s. bank would charge me an overdraft fee $37.00 i would run down and deposit $50.00 get a reciept showing a +$13.00 balance then 10 minutes later go and put $10.00 of gas for the trip to the bank,giving a remaining balance of +$3.00 right? wrong!! the gas transaction goes through first then the cash deposit that i have a reciept for saying +$13.00 seconed. $37.00 ovedraft fee! balance now-$34.00 its is a total scam!!

  • 64 Ashley // Jul 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Ok i did NOT think post #24 was right at all!

    “JOSH // Jul 14, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I have a great idea do not spend money you do not have!”

    First of all JOSH, bank will do anything to make a penny! As in my case, i had the money to spend and WELLS FARGO screwed me over anyway!

    My husband and i went to a local furniture store on 7/1/10 that was closing its doors. My husband just got paid with a check for $1,311.23 so we had money to spend. We negotiated with the sales man and bought a Serta pillowtop twin mattress and an Ashley recliner at a price of $378.88 for both. Paid with a debit card and took our purchase and went home. When we got home my husband checks the account and noticed we were charged $378.88 x 3! We imdiately called the furniture store and started asking questions but come to figure out it wasnt them but the banks fault. All three $378.88 transactions are still pending 7/5/10. I now have no money for my rent that was due and some overdraft fees. Now our account is frozen or something bc our most recent transactions are not even posted yet. This is the second incident this has happened with WELLS FARGO but with a diffrent retail store.


  • 65 Tj // Aug 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Banks aren’t lending money any more are they? Do you know anyone who’s been approved for a big loan lately? Maybe this is why they are trying to nickel and dime everyone now days.

  • 66 Rick // Aug 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    RE Pengy on M&T Bank: You hit the nail right on the head with these guys. We have web banking, and you have to watch these people like a hawk! Both my wife and I really watch our money, but as I said, you have to watch THEM closer. If you have web banking, try downloading your transactions, and then compare them to what’s on the web banking screen. They’re TOTALLY different! And they can’t/won’t give you an answer as to why. Also, transactons mysterioulsy “disappear”, and then re-post to the account 2 days later. We even took snapshots of the web banking screen as proof. While they didn’t come right out and call us liars, they alluded to it.

    Wife and I are both accountants, and understand the banking process completely, so we don’t incur fees and all the other crap because we micro manage the accounts.

    BUT, we spoke to our branch manager about their crap, and ONLY after 15 minutes of the manager talking in circles, I advised her that we didn’t buy her explanation, and told her that I knew more about banking that she did.

    They blame everyone but themselves (just the society we live in I guess) for their poor excuse for web banking.

    The problem is that web banking needs to be real-time. It’s the merchants who really screw things up. The bank can only process what they’re given, but with transactions disappearing, etc., God only knows what they’re doing.

    Bottom line, is that you have to keep track of everything and beat them at their own game.

    They’re banking conditions say that on each day, they post deposits first, and THEN checks/transactions. I had a deposit hit on one day, then some transactions, and they frigged up and charged me nsf fees. Again went to the branch and listened to their explanation, and THEN cited their rules/regs back to them.

    Manager sat there dumbfounded. She still didn’t want to reverse the transactions, so we advised her that we’d ask a judge to order them to do it, citing “breach of contract”.

    It’s amazing how quickly things get done once you lay that card out on the table.

  • 67 Jimmy // Oct 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Okay… I definitely do NOT agree with how the bank handles which transactions get posted first vs. last, but you have to understand they are a business.. Their business is making money and I agree with them 100% on charging some type of fees for people not being responsible and handling their own money properly.. It’s definitly a scam, but be smarter than that… Don’t use it if you don’t have it regardless of what transactions go first or last… If you not into debit cards, which I am not, don’t use them.. Purchase everything with a credit card, save your cash and pay the balance off each money on your credit.. Credit cards offer more protection than debit cards and there is still a “float” on your money…..

  • 68 John // Dec 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Agreed, they should definitely charge a fee if you overdraw your account. 1) For the fact that they have to do extra work (albeit small) when it happens and 2) to encourage you not to overdraw your account. What is a scam is the way in which they reorder the transactions to further increase the amount far and above what would be considered a fair penalty by anyone…and then they lie about the reasons why they do it.

    In fact, I just found out about the bank in question in this post settling a class action lawsuit on this exact issue…it cost them $9.5 million. Maybe someone in a position to do something read this post, it’s been quite popular.

  • 69 Banker Girl // Dec 29, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Coming from a banker position and a cusotmer position I can see both sides of the story. However, If the money is not there dont spend it. Banks are not non profitable organizations. If you can’t take the time to balance your checkbook and keep track of your own money your basically telling the bank that you really dont care.. so in tern why should they??? Banks do push the larger items through first because they do want to make sure that your bills which are normally the highest amount are paid first… with one case someone said they all went through anway so why does it matter… not all checks and purchases will go through each person has their own individual limit tied with their account… just be glad they didnt process the check give u an overdraft fee then return the check giving you a reterned item fee. Then that hurts the other person as well messing up their account and loading them with fees because you were careless… Even though you dont feel the need to keep track of your money the bank will always keep track of theirs. If you spend money you dont have and the bank basicall lends it to you then you must pay it back with interest plain and simple… :o)

  • 70 Ed // Dec 31, 2010 at 11:05 am

    The way I see it there should some type of regulation or legislation put in place to protect us the people to avoid this scam, yes I say scam. Taking a one time fee for overdraft is how it is presented to us, then it turns out to be 3 or 4 additional fees. To accumulate a mass amount for the scam to really operate. Write your congressman as well as the banks, also bug the regulatory committes. I am sure there also is some form of audit practice in place that will cause this to show up as well. We as the people deserve to be represented by our government. If our fore fathers that signed the declaration of independence and the bill of rights seen the turn of events that have happened in todays society they would roll over in thier graves.

  • 71 mmn // Jan 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    People I hate to say it but now UNION BANK SUCKS…just get your money out of these scammers and keep it in a SAFE. They really don’t care how they screw you at all…

  • 72 Rodge Again // Jan 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Banker girl is actually right. We have been lulled into this sense of complacency by high $ marketing & the best PR firms our $ can buy. And so I think the key is – if they don’t spend billions on adverts maybe they can cut over-head. This is what your credit union is about. I guess about a year ago on this board I said I would pull my family’s finances out of B of America & it has saved us hundreds. I have kept their credit card with a 50% balance so they don’t punish me for not having adequate available credit. In turn they have raised my limit and continually make offers, by phone & mail to utilize more of their ill-gotten gains. I did a balance transfer to a Barclay Card [I think they're British] for $3000 at an intro rate. After about a year of steadily making on-time above minimum payments, & NO purchases or cash advances I got a letter saying due to ‘inactivity’ they were lowering my credit availability to just a few dollars more than my current balance. This was the 1st time I’d actually suffered a penalty for what I thought was good credit behavior [the banks actually call people like us 'dead-beats']. I don’t know if this is something unique to the Brits, but such an action can take points off your credit score because it lowers your debt/available credit margin. So if you’ve got $10,000 available credit & only owe $5,000 you’re in a good range at 50%. Then some snarly bank, angry because they can’t extract a fee from a concientious customer, takes $1000 from your available credit line, now you owe more than 1/2 of your credit worthiness. I was advised to use the card at least once a month to avoid future penalties. Huh? PENALTIES!? Keep your blimey card, you wankers! ( I think that’s a bad thing). Now I’m sure all this was in the fine print when I did the original bal. transfer but who reads it? Which brings me back to our complacency. I have none of those probs with the credit union. And they don’t advertise. I’m tempted to join every one I pass on the street. There’s one near my house that doesn’t issue an atm card to cut costs and pay higher interest. If you want one then you pay for it. I’d rather not have one so my $ accumulates. Happy banking!

  • 73 Will // Jan 27, 2011 at 11:50 am

    The Banking commission has updated a banking reg. (reg E) the reg basically states that (unless you agree to have overdraft fee’s “for the convenience) the bank can no longer charge you overdraft fee for a debit card purchase. This reg was to be in place no later than 08-15-2010. So as long as you use your debit card for transaction (opposed to writing Checks) they can not charge you overdraft fee’s. They still can charge you for checks and ACH transaction better known as a draft (like auto pay using your banks routing number and your checking account to pay a bill) so I imagine that they will adjust the order of posting to benefit them.

  • 74 John // Feb 1, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Hi Will, that’s interesting info. What country does this apply to? The U.S.? If so, that’s a big move.

  • 75 laura // Feb 10, 2011 at 6:52 am

    i’m crying!! I hate feeling helpless! it burns me up that you have sufficient funds and your deposit is going to stay pending until some transactions come through then cha-ching!! gotcha! overdraft fees upon overdraft fees because your deposit has been pending for four days or until they see you have bought gas or paid for groceries. this is both PNC bank and Comerica bank. all the screamimg in the world doesn’t make a difference.

  • 76 steve // Apr 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    After reading all of this I realized that each bank is different. There are several commonalities that all of these situations share.

    Firstly, we do not, in fact, balance our accounts. We do spend more money than we have, and in a lot of situations we are unaware of our bank’s deposit posting procedure. Federal law states that if the check is provided by the federal treasury, you may wait no longer than one business day from the business day your deposit is made for those funds to be available. Employment checks, personal checks, money orders, and even Certified (aka cashiers checks) may have delayed availibility for a time period specified by the disclosure given to us when the account is opened. If in doubt, ask a teller or banker. Usually if a bank representative gives you incorrect information, the bank will accommodate you. What it boils down to: know when your money will be able to be spent. Track your balance. Understand your bank’s deposit schedule.

    Secondly, transactions are ordered from largest to smallest. Fair? Unfair? We all agreed to it by opening our respectivee accounts. Banks will always maximize profit. Consumers will always view an ideal situation. New regulations provide each domestic bank to allow the consumer a choice in whether a debit card purchase will be paid (usually with a fee). These regulations do not apply to automatic payments or checks, as writing checks without a sufficient balance is illegal, and automatic payments are a contract set forth by the consumer to a third party. The bank may not dictate how you obligate your money, so these must be paid. Bottom line: the bank is a hypothetical mattress under which you keep your money. You may spend more than you have, in some instances, but the financial institution may, and will, only pay things the consumer has already promised to pay.

    Thirdly, we view fees as if someone sinister has the job of meticulously viewing every account’s activity, then assessing the fee, one at a time. Unless a particular bank is unique, each bank has an automated system that must adhere to the contract to which we agreed. The person with whom you talk about your fees at the bank had nothing to do with the fee itself. Their goal should be educating you about why the fee happened, and how to prevent it in the future. (Side note: this is their job. They should be pleasant, courteous, and respectful. Most bankers converse with clients about this situation on a regular basis. You should not expect to be treated unfairly, with scorn, or feeling as though you were singled out. You must return this respect. The person in front of you will only be as courteous as you are. Meat and potatoes: a bank may only charge us what we said was ok, even if it angers us.

    Finally, ‘pending’ transactions.

    Part 1: The majority of banks will provide a ‘balance’ and an ‘available balance.’ This is where it gets confusing. The available balance is money we have access to at this moment. The balance is the actual total of how much money you have in your account. This will include purchases that aren’t ‘settled’ by the individual places where the purchases are made. You may authorize a payment to a department store, and they may not take the money for several days. This transaction will show as ‘pending’. The bank earmarked those funds to be paid to that particular place, but typically only earmark that money for 72 hours. After that time frame, the bank typically cannot hold those funds any longer and ‘forgets’ the transaction entirely. However, that money is still spent, and will be paid, when the place of business decides to finalize the transaction. If you use your PIN to make a purchase, usually the money instantly is transferred out of your account. There are exceptions. If you ‘pay at the pump’, typically a gas station will hold a given amount ($1.00 is common). They will then ‘settle’ that payment days later, charging the full amount. Typically, this is because this is a NON-PIN purchase. The dollar amount held at first lets the gas station know your account is open, and in good standing, but since you haven’t filled your tank yet, the gas station doesn’t know how much you will spend until after your tank is full. (Same for restaurant tips. Usually they authorize the actual bill first, then take the full amount after tip).

    Part 2: deposits. You may deposit a check and expect it to be available immediately. Federal law says that you will be given $100.00 the day of a deposit if the check is more than $100.00. (if you make several deposits in one day, only $100.00 total will be made available). Your ‘balance’ will show the deposit, but the ‘available balance’ shows what you can spend. The ‘balance’ will also show pending payments to places where a transaction took place. A good rule of thumb is to add your deposited check (minus $100.00 because that $100.00 should already be added to your available balance ) to your available balance. Then you must know when that check will be ‘available for you to spend, which is between 1-5 business days, typically. Bullet point : go by your available balance any given day, but make sure that you know how much that ‘$1.00′ gas purchase was, and subtract that from your available balance, as well.

    Notes: cash deposits must be made available no longer than one business day after the day of deposit, unless the deposit is made at an ATM. Most reputable banks and credit unions allow you to spend cash immediately, if the deposits is made in person (the ATM doesn’t know if you made a cash deposit).

    Most reputable financial institutions allow directly deposited funds (I.e. direct deposit from an employer) to be spent immediately after the money is received.

    Personal note: I’ve spent a lot of money on overdraft fees in my time. I realized that when I kept my money somewhere, I was agreeing to what that financial institution offered me. I learned, I adapted, and I made sure I was with a company that I could agree with. Bless you all.


  • 77 Paula // Apr 22, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Holy Shnikes. That’s awful.

    You know what my parents would do when they got a fee for bouncing a check?

    They fucking paid it, didn’t they?

    I’ve had two overdraft fees in my entire life. Once because of a merchant double-posting a charge to my account (which was fixed), and once when I forgot a 28.00 check clearing my account.

    The first one was refunded, the second one I paid.

    Why have we come to a point where we are okay with spending money before we have it? It shouldn’t matter what order items clear; its a matter of personal respnsibility.

    Banks are businesses. They are out for a profit. But they are not scammers, nor are they evil. You just have to pay some fucking attention is all.

    Three things will solve all your fee problems. 1. Write down what you spend, or use financial software and check it every morning. 2. Never, ever float checks or automatic payments. 3. Get overdraft protection – even if its just a savings account with 20 bucks in it.

    Otherwise, shut up and pay the fees.

    If I were in a position where I didn’t have enough money to pay fees, I’d track every penny I spent. I don’t need the bank to hold my goddamn hand, nor would I hold them responsible for my negligence.

  • 78 Lex // Apr 27, 2011 at 5:38 am

    number 69 bankergirl,
    You are a banker and can’t spell turn or returned? I’m glad you don’t handle my money!

  • 79 Bob // Jun 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    My bank, “H”appy “S”am “B”uys “C”ars would pull all these stunts. I was so fed up with it after too many times. So I asked the CS rep what the total was for the year and it just so happened the very next day I deposited a check that some1 gave me for the very same amount. Unfortunately above said bank would clear my deposits instantly – nonetheless the check turned out 2 b no good after I withdrew the money and closed the account. Funny how things work out.

  • 80 RICK // Jun 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    And now, Happy Sam Buys Used Cars bank has you reported to Chex Systems. You better get in with another bank ASAP, because once you’re in Chex Systems, you’re screwed.

  • 81 Robert // Aug 7, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I think I had the ultimate bank scam perpatrated against me by US Bank. All under the guise of “fraud”. I have an employee who has been with my company for years. He is a great worker, and is a credit to the our business. Recently, as with many, he and his wife had fallen on arduous times. He would need money BEFORE his pay-check was cut. I had advanced him funds seven times in the month of July. He would pay me back immediately upon receipt of his pay-check. Well, US Bank (which I had had an account with for seven years) saw this paractice as “floating funds”. (The notice I received SIX DAYS LATER said “account closed, due to SUSPECTED improprietis”) They froze my accounts (without any notice–no warrants, summons, phone call ..nothing) They did not honor incomming checks; I could not write checks, nor get at my funds in any way. They would not let me pay off my car load, as I’m sure, they wanted to charge the interest for as long as they could) PLUS, US Bank tried charging me over-draft fees on checks they didn’t honor, because THEY froze my account!! As a financial institution as unethical as this always as to make sure it’s bases are covered, I’m sure, that when I opened my account, that in the fine printe, it gave the the “right” to do this. If my thread desuades just one person from opening a US Bank account, than my post was worth it. I am still waiting for me to cut me a check for my balances (oh, yea…they are also USING my money for free!!) My attorney tells me that I do have a case, but I’m not sure that, other than principal, it would do to sue them. This bank really does sleep with the devil!

  • 82 RickS // Aug 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I have been with B of A, Wells Fargo, Crocker Citzens, Bank of Santa Clara, and just recently my Providian Credit Card I’ve had since 1995 has morphed from the larva stage to the Washington Mutual, pupa stage to the full grown RIPOFFS Chase is now. They all have been thieves. They know it and it makes you wonder about the type of people working there.

    ‘Bank of the West’. Been with them since 1995 with a Checking/Savings Account and several other years before my current association with them. and a few years ago I was honered with one of their MASTERCARDs
    Have you ever tried to get a roll of quarters from the bank for laundery or poker. Every bank I have done this at refused because I wasn’t a customer. Bank of the West asked after giving them to me to see if I was interested it opening and account not as a qualification to get the quarters.
    I had more money in my account than I should have one time and they informed me it was the interest I was earning on my checking account.


  • 83 Tina // Jan 5, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I set up this account to auto pay an Internet bill but the bill increased and I started getting overdraft fees so I went into the bank to close the account. I talked with the manager and she advised me into opening a savings account that would link to the checking account and pull from it. While she was setting up the savings account she encountered some issues and it took a little longer than normal but I just figured that it was due to the fact that she was not used to setting up accounts in this fashion. The account was set up and I deposited 100 dollars into the savings account and left the bank. This was completed on 11/8/2011. I started getting notices that I was overdrawn and went into the bank on 12/27 and deposited 100.00. then yesterday I received a notice that I had a negative balance of 154.00 and that my account was going to be close and change 30.00. I also received a notice stating a statement showing that I had 100.00 in my saving account. So today I went to the bank and asked what happened why wasn’t the savings account attached to the checking. After asking the question the banker told me that there was a system error and it was not properly connected, she had to contact the help line to access it. I originally went into the branch to talk to the branch manager cause I was sure she would remember me but she is out on medical leave. After talking with the banker I contacted the district manager but his assistant forwarded me to the acting branch manager. The Branch Manager of US Bank after researching it told me because I had not brought it to their attention sooner they would only reverse 21.00 of the 208.00 in overdraft fees. I have a call into back into the district manager. Any suggestions or assistance in getting more of my overdraft fees refunded, thank you. Had the savings account been set up properly my checking account balance would be 100.00 my savings would be 42.16.

  • 84 Tina // Jan 6, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Nevermind The branch manger contacted me today she is reversing all the charges based on the activity she could tell that the account was set up as an overdraft account and was not set up correctly. Happy Birthday to ME…

  • 85 LCVD // Apr 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    About Mark Guftason comment on Wells Fargo. I don’t understand why he’s blaming the bank. The bank was ordered to give the account up in a judgement, I bet. Obviously here are half truth and it sounds great when you say it, but come on, a bank just doesn’t give your money away. There is procedures and laws that forced them to do that. I think the approach to blame the first one that is causing his troubles is as clear as water. I don’t like banks and how they screw us up with charges, but this is absurd.

  • 86 Dan37 // May 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Quit dealing with banks on every level possible!
    Use cash!!
    They can’t touch you if you don’t deal with them!
    Cash for small day to day incidentals helps you manage your budget if you set it aside the moment your check comes in.
    When you get a mortgage or a loan get it where you can choose, at your own discretion to pay in cash at their place of business.
    Credit card pay the banks at least 3.5% more for every purchase, from your account or the retailers!
    Use CASH!– CASH! –CASH! I SAY!

  • 87 Antoinette // Sep 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I will be stuffing my mattress from now on.
    bank fees are like you letting someone borrow your money to make a profit with and then they literally stick you up for another percentage. OF YOUR MONEY………WTH.