Signs of Predatory Overdrafts


Unfair Bank Overdrafts


In 2011, consumers paid $16.7 billion in overdraft fees.

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Headline: Charges on Debit Card Transactions

Banks and credit unions can simply deny debit card and ATM transactions if there's a shortage of funds, but instead many charge costly overdraft fees.

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Disproportionate Fees

On debit card purchases, the median overdraft charge is $35 for a $20 overdraft.

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Subtracting Largest Debits First

When balancing customer accounts each day, many banks subtract debits in order of largest to smallest dollar amount rather than in the order the transactions occurred. This can increase the number of overdraft fees the banks charge.



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Holding Deposits Longer Than Necessary

Some banks hold customer deposits as long as legally allowed, even when no delay is necessary. This can increase the number of overdraft fees the bank can charge by keeping customers in the negative longer, even if they have deposited sufficient funds.