Aaron Poffenberger

Dept. Of Education Proposes Rules To Govern College Prepaid Credit & Debit Cards

College students’ federal aid has increasingly been put at risk by the cozy relationship between institutions of higher education and credit card issuers over the years. While consumer advocates and legislators have debated whether or not products like student IDs that double as credit or debit cards provide an actual benefit to students or if they’re just a way for schools and banks to rake in the big bucks, the Department of Education finally took steps today to ensure students are afforded proper protections from excess fees and other harmful practices with the proposal of regulations targeting the college debit and prepaid card marketplace. [More]

(matthrono)

Banks Continue To Improve Consumer Safeguards, But Progress Isn’t Coming Fast Enough

Opening a checking account with a bank is a rite of passage of sorts for many consumers, but the plethora of small-print disclosures, fees and other services are enough to confuse even the most seasoned account holder. While banks attempted to simplify their practices over the years, a new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows that some banks – and regulators – have a long way to go before they’re truly doing everything they can to protect consumers. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

CFPB Fines Regions Bank $7.5M For Collecting Illegal Overdraft Fees

Each year consumers spend nearly $32 million in exorbitant overdraft fees to their banks and credit unions without fully understanding the way in which these fees work or how much they spend on each overdraft. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reminded banks that using consumers’ lack of knowledge to collect more fees isn’t acceptable by imposing a $7.5 million fine against Regions Bank for unlawful overdraft practices. [More]

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

While millions of consumers contribute to the $32 billion in overdraft fees collected each year, a new video shows that many checking account holders don’t fully understand the way overdrafts work or how much they spend on the fees each year. [More]

(Listener42)

Student IDs That Double As Debit Cards Carry Significant Overdraft Fees

The cozy relationship between institutions of higher education and credit card issuers has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as consumer advocates and legislators have debated whether or not products like student IDs that double as credit or debit cards provide an actual benefit to students or if they’re just a way for schools and banks to rake in the big bucks. According to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending, the excessive overdraft fees surrounding the use of the cards suggest the latter point. [More]

Charging Fewer Fees Doesn’t Mean Banks Aren’t Making Billions Of Dollars From Customers

Charging Fewer Fees Doesn’t Mean Banks Aren’t Making Billions Of Dollars From Customers

Despite the fact that consumers pay more than $32 billion annually in overdraft fees alone, a new report found that the amount of money banks make off customer-account fees declined for the first time in seven decades. [More]

(bikeoid)

Wells Fargo To Stop Reordering Check Transactions; Should Reduce Overdraft Charges

A little talked-about way in which banks maximize overdraft fees is by processing transactions not in the order in which they are received, but in a way that results in the largest number of overdrafts. Now the folks at Wells Fargo are putting an end to this practice for its checking account customers. [More]

(frankieleon)

Bank Of America Customer Battles $245 In Cascading Overdrafts, Wins

We don’t want to admit it, but most of us have done it before. We’ve misjudged how much money was in our checking accounts, leading to a cascade of overdraft fees. It happened to Bob: he used his Bank of America debit card for each transaction during a night out and was hit with a total of $245 in fees. Sure, he could have taken the fees as an expensive lesson, but he chose to fight back instead. [More]

Banks That Market To & Serve Military Also Tacking On Huge Fees

Banks That Market To & Serve Military Also Tacking On Huge Fees

One might assume that banks marketing to U.S. military servicemembers would not be out to nickel and dime these men and women with unnecessarily high fees on their accounts. But among those financial institutions levying the highest level of fees on its account-holders are several that not only market to the military but also have branches on military bases. [More]

Click on the image to see how each of the surveyed banks fared in the Disclosures categories.

Consumer-Friendly Checking Account Practices Vary Wildly From Bank To Bank

Unless you’ve been hiding under a bed for the last six years, you probably know that the banking industry isn’t exactly beloved by many American consumers. As a reaction to public sentiment (and threats of regulation), a number of banks have begun phasing in some more consumer-friendly practices, but a new study shows these changes are not industry-wide and that several banks are still years behind. [More]

TCF Bank Adds New $28 Daily Overdrawn Balance Fee

TCF Bank Adds New $28 Daily Overdrawn Balance Fee

Reader Jeff used to intentionally overdraw his bank account in order to have enough money to feed his family and gas the car. At $35 a pop, that’s a pretty cheap loan. But now that’s not going to be a viable option because TCF Bank has started to assess him a daily fee of $28 if his account is overdrawn by $5 or more. [More]

Citibank Pledges To Pay Small Checks First, Minimizing Overdraft Fees

Citibank Pledges To Pay Small Checks First, Minimizing Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees may be devious mechanisms that suck funds out of the customers who can least afford them, but their administration doesn’t have to be downright evil. [More]

Wachovia's Lame Attempt To Get You To Sign Up For Overdraft Fees

Wachovia's Lame Attempt To Get You To Sign Up For Overdraft Fees

Wachovia sent out an eblast trying to get people to sign back up for overdraft protection, and the fees that “service” entails. [More]

Wells Fargo Hits Girl With Secret Fee Trifecta

Wells Fargo Hits Girl With Secret Fee Trifecta

Christina is broke as a joke. Wells Fargo doesn’t think this is funny and decides to shut down her account for having no money in it and no activity on it. No big whoop, she’ll just open another account. She does this twice. Then, whups! Those accounts were never closed! And we’re charging you fees because they were actually fee-based savings accounts! And you’re in collections! Good times, let them roll: [More]

Bank Screws Man For $900, He Tells Others, Ultimately Costing Bank $100,000 In Lost Business

Bank Screws Man For $900, He Tells Others, Ultimately Costing Bank $100,000 In Lost Business

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and when it comes to the bank who jacked him for $900, Justin is a master chef. [More]

At Chase, Depositing A $4,000 Check In An ATM Is "Unusual Activity"

At Chase, Depositing A $4,000 Check In An ATM Is "Unusual Activity"

Carol tells Consumerist that while in a financial pinch, she took out a title loan for $4,000, depositing it in her Chase bank account using an ATM. Instead of helping the situation, the deposit made her financial mess worse. Chase froze her out of her accounts and made her order a new debit card, but no one at her local branch or in the corporate “Risk Control” department has the power to tell her what the problem is. Her account remained locked after the check cleared. Bank staff also took the opportunity to attempt to sell her student loans and overdraft protection. Not a good time, Chase. [More]

HSBC Closes Bank Account Over 14 Cent Overdraft

HSBC Closes Bank Account Over 14 Cent Overdraft

“Don’t overdraw your bank account” is pretty sound advice. However, reader Phil advises that if you do happen to overdraw your HSBC account–even by a few cents–the bank will mercilessly close your bank account with no warning. That’s what happened to him. [More]

Remember: Checks Can Still Overdraft

Remember: Checks Can Still Overdraft

Just remember, even though starting this week banks can’t charge you overdrafts unless you opted into their overdraft program, they can still authorize overdrafted checks, ATM withdrawals, and automatic bill payments at their discretion and charge you a fee for it. [More]