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>Reader Sounds out against "unjust " banking fees

>How is that, you ask? They take fees unjustly; pulling stunts to collect overdraft fees of $35.00 a pop.

Here’s how it is done. Say you have $100.00 in your checking account. You make a purchase for $20.00 with your debit card at 4pm. Your balance shows $80.00. Now, if you have a $101.00 transaction that posts that night from your automatic bill paying system that you forgot about, Bank of America will hit you with an overdraft fee for both. You see, the bank posts automatic bill payments between 12:01 am and 5:00 am the next day and dates the transaction for the previous day. This allows them to charge you an overdraft fee of $35.00 for each, even though they had authorized the debit card purchase for $20.00 earlier the day, when in fact you had the money in the account to cover the purchase.

But wait you ask, you had the money in your account when you made the debit card purchase. How can they charge you a $35.00 overdraft fee? We all know that if you don’t have the funds in your account, a debit card purchase is declined.

Bank of America has found a way around that fact. Bank of America’s policy is that they allow for the $20.00 deduction because they couldn’t know of the impending automatic withdrawal for later that night. But overnight, when they reconcile your account, they deduct the highest withdrawal first. Having done that, all other purchases made prior can now be classified as overdrafts too.

Get how this works? Even though at the time of purchase you had funds to cover the transaction, and it was approved by Bank of America, they then reverse the order of the transactions to ensure that they can charge you additional fees by deducting the highest withdrawal first. This guarantees that all smaller withdrawals are posted as an overdraft too, even if you had the money to cover the smaller transactions.

Thus they can charge you an overdraft fee of $35.00 for the lower debit transaction. Even though this defies logic and common sense, Bank of America says that it’s their policy, it’s written down.

This is a shameful scam. One that Fleet, Nat West and Ridgewood Bank would never perpetrate on its customers. After 25 years, I guess it is time to find another bank. Bank of America is just too big and doesn’t care about its small customers. Goodness knows, it was my mistake to have forgotten to transfer the funds to cover the larger automatic payment.

This policy is duplicitous and a shameful reflection on Bank of America. No customer should be treated in such a manner. This is just another example of the arrogance endemic of huge banking institutions such as Bank of America, the largest bank in the U.S. I think I shall have to find a smaller bank, one that values my business and does not take undue advantage of its customer’s mistakes.

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