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A lucrative poverty tax

Thursday, June 13, 2019
Dylan Svoboda | Sacramento News & Review
Peter Smith

Hannah Hudson was one of the few high school graduates lucky enough to take a European summer vacation before the long slog of adulthood.

Little did she know, she’d spend a half-day wondering how to cover her next meal after a series of overdraft fees from Bank of America left her more than $100 in debt. Halfway around the globe and nine hours ahead of California, Hudson was unable to contact financial reinforcements with her parents fast asleep in Orangevale.

“[My parents] sent me an extra 40 bucks to fly home with, for food and such,” Hudson said. “Soon I found I couldn’t spend that money at all. It went straight toward paying off my overdraft fees. It’s a scary feeling—being in some new place without a dollar in your bank account.”