Bank of America Can Charge You $140 in Fees in One Day

February 23, 2012
Huffington Post 
consumer financial protection bureau news

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced in late February that it is launching an investigation into how banks charge overdraft fees. It also is requesting public comment on a special disclosure box it wants to include on monthly bank invoices to ensure that customers clearly understand the penalties. Bank of America, for one, is making a killing from these fees; even though the bank caps the number of overdraft fees it charges daily on an account to four, at $35 per charge that amounts to as much as $140 per day. BB&T, meanwhile, caps the number of overdraft fees it can charge a day to eight -- which at $40 per charge can leave a bank customer out $280, and significantly more if the charges continue to roll over. Consumer advocates say nearly 85 percent of overdraft fees are charged to fewer than 10 percent of banking customers, but these charges give banks billions of dollars in annual revenue. Frequent overdraft perpetrators tend to be young bank customers who have less money than the average account holder, consumer advocates say. "Overdraft practices have the capacity to inflict serious economic harm on the people who can least afford it," CFPB director Richard Cordray said in a statement. "We want to learn how consumers are affected and how well they are able to anticipate and avoid paying penalty fees."
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