Don’t Be fooled – Your Bank May Try To Force You Into Taking Overdraft Protection

Starting July 1, 2010 for new accounts and August 15, 2010 for existing account, your local bank will need your permission to participate in over draft protection.

Let me share with you a story that happened to my daughter last year. She has always struggled with keeping her checking account balanced, which she admits, and uses her debit card for small purchases. So when she received her checking statement showing 22 purchases on her over drawn account, she was shocked to see that each purchase has a $37.50 over draft fee attached. So it was boo-hoo city for her, even though she admits she was over drawn.

So now banks will have to ask you if you want over draft protection before they can apply their fees. One bank manager actually quit his job since his bank required that he try to mislead his customers into taking over draft protections. He wrote the following story:

I’m happy to say I have given my resignation and will be moving on to a new position where I will be helping people, not deceiving them. However, I do want to make all the readers aware that there is a facility in place to complain to your state government about similar practices. Before I left, I filed a complaint with my state attorney general about the practice. Rather quickly I received a letter explaining that the Attorney General’s office didn’t have time to respond to my individual complaint, but they are always on the lookout for a pattern of complaints about similar bad business practices. I confirmed this with a representative on the phone as well. The thing is, it’s surprisingly easy to file a complaint with your state’s attorney general’s office

I firmly believe that the consumer protection laws were passed to do just that: protect the consumer. To those who cry “let the buyer beware,” we must understand that not all buyers are simply aware in the first place.

So you have been warned. Don’t become a victim of over zealous bank employees who try to convince you that over draft protection was a benefit. The only one who benefits is the bank.

Comments as always are welcome.

Source – Consumerist