Banks Cash Big Checks First, Maximizing Overdrafts

USATODAY research indicates banks typically process checks in order of highest balance, maximizing overdraft fees charged to the customer, critics contend.

“There is no excuse to process the transactions this way,” says Jean Ann Fox of the Consumer Federation of America. “The only reason is to charge more fees.”

Banks disagree, saying customers would rather have their electrical bill bounce than their mortgage payment.

One thing is certain: keep an eagle-eye on your balances and payments. Laxness or gaming the float is a sure path to snowballing overdraft fees. — BEN POPKEN

Banks’ check-clearing policies could leave you with overdrafts [USATODAY via Blueprint for Financial Prosperity]