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Federal Reserve Board Open Comment Period on Overdraft Loans

March 18, 2009

The Federal Reserve Board wants to hear consumer stories about overdraft lending. Have you ever paid high overdraft “fees” because you were automatically enrolled in overdraft “protection”?  Has your balance ever dipped below zero because of the way banks order your transactions, triggering lots of fees in a single day?

If so, you’re not alone!  Hundreds of AFFIL Members and others have sent comments to the Federal Reserve Board and Congress about unfair overdraft lending.  You can add your comment to the process here.

The Fed is considering enacting some new regulations, and the official comment period to get your comments to them is closing in less than two weeks.  In addition, Congress is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow about H.R. 1456, the Consumer Overdraft Fair Practices Act and H.R. 627, the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights. AFFIL and our Partners support both of these bills.The average overdraft fee is $34, even though the average amount overdrawn is only $17.  No wonder overdraft lending drains billions of dollars from American families!  Especially during these tough economic times, we can’t afford to hand this money over to unscrupulous banks.  Take it from these AFFIL Members:

  • I’ve experienced, in one day, over $500 dollars in overdraft fees. It was a mess. The bank allowed all the large transactions to go through, and let the 8 small transactions accrue fees. It was dastardly. And it needs to be stopped.
    – Chuck from Framingham, MA
  • The bank we had for about 15 years has gotten 15 years worth of overdraft fees from us, and put our family in dire straits more than once by the way they order the transactions.
    – Michelle from Fort Wayne, IN
  • [My bank] processes all withdrawals before crediting deposits, thereby creating a situation in which I can never make a deposit and pay my bills on the same day. In this age of lightning-speed electronic communication, I find it hard to believe that this situation cannot be remedied.  At one point, while I was on unemployment, for every $600 I deposited, I was incurring $300 in overdraft fees!
    – Heather from Indio, CA
  • As a couple who have lost over $700 in the last 2 years to overdraft fees, this is a very personal concern for my family.  I do not want to be automatically enrolled in an overdraft “protection” program.  Please allow me and other customers to “opt-in” to these programs rather than allowing banks to automatically enroll us.
    – Lara from Portland, OR
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  1. Overdraft loans drive everyone crazy

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