Bank of America Wins Right To Seize Social Security Benefits To Pay Overdraft Fees

The California Supreme Court has effectively reversed a 2004 San Francisco trial court decision that ordered BofA to pay $284.4 million in damages to more than 1.1 million customers. The California Supreme Court ruled that banks can tap Social Security benefits in bank accounts to cover bounced-check fees, a practice consumer advocates say is abusive because Federal law prohibits Social Security benefits from being seized to pay a debt. California law apparently doesn’t consider overdraft fees to be debt, so the fee party will be allowed to rock on indefinitely.

(Photo:The Cornballer)


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  1. NightSteel says:

    Hopefully there is an appeal, since this is a federal law.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:


      The issue is, it _isn’t_ federal law. You can’t actually seize the benefits (i.e. nothing like wage garnishment), but once they’re in an account, they’re fair game.

    • H3ion says:

      @NightSteel: This is a state court case so the only way up is certiorari to the US Supreme Court. I guess someone could bring a new case in federal district court and argue federal law. How about AARP? Or go directly to Congress to prohibit this? Or stop using B of A?

      • sonneillon says:

        @H3ion: A federal Appeals court could also overturn this and it is more likely to get heard than the US supreme court.

        • H3ion says:

          @sonneillon: Help me out here. What’s the right of appeal from the highest state court to the federal appeals court? Other than habeas corpus. Not saying you’re wrong; I just want to be educated.

          • sonneillon says:

            @H3ion: As I understand it, and my law knowledge is limited to two college classes, is that federal law supersedes state law so the state judge ignored federal law in this case. I am not sure if the appeal would succeed though since this might rightfully fall under states rights. Nothing in law is guaranteed.

            • H3ion says:

              @sonneillon: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. For example, food and drug law is federal but states have their own departments of agriculture that set standards. Almost all of what we know as criminal law is purely state law. There are federal crimes but things like murder, robbery, etc. are purely state court matters. In this case, it looks like an action was brought in state court and finally appealed to the California Supreme Court. My understanding is the only court to which the case could now be brought would be the US Supreme Court under a petition for certiorari.

              I would think that matters arising under the Social Security laws are purely federal so it looks like the state court only decided the issue as to whether a bank fee should be considered a debt. Once they reached the conclusion that a fee was not a debt, there was no reason to consider the Social Security laws which, to my limited knowledge, doesn’t prohibit tapping benefits to pay fes. A new case in federal court asking for an interpretation of the Social Security laws might yield a different result.

              • sonneillon says:

                @H3ion: That makes sense.

              • trujunglist says:


                A lot of stuff that is federal law is a guideline for state law. For example, there are federal guidelines for noise that must be included in each state’s own individual noise policy. These federal guidelines MUST be included, but they do not dictate to each state what they are supposed to do beyond that, and even include many instances where the state is supposed to decide for themselves (within a range, for example). So I assume that a lot of other law works the same way: the federal government establishes a minimum, and the states take it from there to adapt their own set of rules based around those minimums.

  2. nakedscience says:


  3. Daniel Milan says:

    that’s pretty messed up when you think about the older people whom are poor that really depend on that social security check (granted a bounce check fee isn’t too huge) but what will this lead next to?

    • nakedscience says:

      @Daniel Milan: $34 (or whatever it is) could mean a week+ worth of groceries for someone.

    • XTC46 says:

      @Daniel Milan: How is it any differnt then anyone else who is poor? Social Security benefits dont only go to the elderly, they go to disabled, and those who fake disability.

    • sinfonian94 says:

      @Daniel Milan: Yeah, but when your bank double screws you (as TCF Bank is now doing) just one or two overdrafts can be counted as 5.

      For instance. I recently caused two overdrafts by not keeping an eye on my finances. I overdrafted by less than $4. However, because they process largest to smallest, it was two overdrafts, even though the charge that took me over was the larger one.
      Should only be $35, but I’ll just say shucks and realize that I screwed up and accept the $70 hit or kindly ask if they can reverse some of it.

      But it gets worse.

      When they calculated the overdraft, they included 3 transactions that HAD NOT CLEARED YET. OK. Whatever.

      The very next day, those 3 pending transactions (which were used to calculate the overdraft) came through. They then socked me for 3 MORE OVERDRAFT FEES!!!! for a total of $105. Add that to the original, it becomes $175.
      Remember, these transactions were used to calculate the first overdraft.
      Remember, my total amount overdrafted was less than $4. with only one of the charges being less than $4.

      For a total cost of $175 in fees.

      This is why banks need to be reined in on this.

      • MinorAnnoyance says:

        @sinfonian94:I’m one of those old people (67) on disability that most of you comfortable middle class types seem to lump in with all the crooks and scammers. My disability came after working 47 years and never taking a dime of public assistance so please don’t start that screed either.

        I once overdrew my account by $3.18 and that $3.18 wound up costing me $105 out of my next $824 Social Security check. And this was BEFORE California ruled in favor of the bank, when it was still considered illegal for them to do so.

        I agree that there needs to be some kind of fee or penalty to discourage people from habitually overdrawing their accounts. No argument there.

        But let’s face it… $35 applied three days in a row, when the bank knows damned well a SS recipient is never going to magically find the bucks to cover the OD and fees, is excessive at any level.

        And when it amounts to 12% of your total income it’s more like a MONTH’s worth of groceries… our entire monthly food budget.

  4. youbastid says:

    No, no, no, no. Old and busted: separation of church and state. New hotness: separation of bank and state.

  5. Silversmok3 says:

    Wait, so we pay into Social Secuity, so that the money can be transferred to the elderly-who then get to have it stolen by B of A for userous Overdraft charges?


  6. mmmsoap says:

    Ordinarily I would generally be okay with a company garnishing a source of income to cover a legally incurred debt. Seems pretty straightforward.

    BUT…I can’t get my head around siding with the banks, given the shenanigans they pull. I think I could support this ruling if there were some Be a F@#king Person guidelines that the banks had to actually follow.

    Like not arranging overages in the order that earns them the most fees (rather than chronologically or in any way that benefits the consumer), just because they can.

    • sinfonian94 says:

      @mmmsoap: Check my post a little bit above. $4 in overdraft resulting in $175 in fees.

      • MinorAnnoyance says:

        @sinfonian94: Mine to0… $3.18 and I had NEVER had an overdraft before. Haven’t had one since either for that matter and I’ve been banking with BofA for more years than I can remember.

  7. bloggerX says:

    Oh, this is a top topic! I worked at a credit union, I’ve seen how some people have money left over, and others spend it up in the first day(not on essentails), to gradually overdraft their account as the month progresses. I think the CA Supreme Court is in error, but some cases the old folk know what they are doing.

    • nakedscience says:

      @bloggerX: Wow, judgey mcjudgey. What is a “non essental” to you?

      • Alexander Saites says:

        @nakedscience: Most reasonable people agree pretty well on what’s considered essential and non-essential. Granted, some things might be questioned (certain business expenses, for instance), but most things can be categorized quite easily.

        • nakedscience says:

          @Alexander Saites: Um, and it wasn’t really part of his job, also when you don’t have context, it’s hard to determine. (Ie, did someone go to Nordstrom to buy business clothes, perhaps?) And I wonder what he considers “essential”.

      • Jessica Haas says:

        @nakedscience: How is he being judgey? Because he said people know what they’re doing?

        Essential = food, clothing, bills, rent.
        Non Essential = things you can live without, which is basically everything that’s not in the category above.

        That’s what I’m sure he meant. He wasn’t judging anyone. Stop jumping on people because they have different viewpoints as yourself.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @Jessica Haas: medication. electricity. water. phone or emergency alert system, especially for the age group on social security. medicare or other insurance costs. transportation costs to and from essential places like the grocery store or the doctor.

          • Jessica Haas says:

            @catastrophegirl – manic first time home buyer: Everything you mentioned besides transportation costs, and even then could be considered a bill.

            Snark failed.

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              @Jessica Haas: that’s not me being snarky. i was at work and had just gotten off the phone with a an elderly patient who takes the medicine my company makes, trying to help her find a way to a)keep affording the medicine because medicare is failing to reimburse her doctor, b) get to a different doctor for the medicine because her doctor quit doing her injections since he’s not getting paid.
              if she doesn’t get her meds, she gets sick. and potentially dies that much sooner.
              it’s not immediately fatal – but it’s only not been considered a fatal disease since the mid 90’s due to new treatments.

              and i challenge you to keep yourself in safe water without community water services or your own well.

              clothing, now THAT’s actually fairly non essential.

              • Jessica Haas says:

                @catastrophegirl – manic first time home buyer: That wasn’t snark? Okay.

                I don’t quite understand what you mean with the water thing. I’m also not sure what the story about the elderly patient has to do with this thread, either. But, I’m not disputing that medication is essential.

                If clothing is non-essential, why is there no tax on it and tons of laws regarding public nudity, eh? I do think, though 100$ on a t-shirt or something you can live without.

                • bibliophibian says:

                  @Jessica Haas: Where are you, that there’s no tax on clothing? 8.25%, where I live (Texas). Every year in August there’s a big shopping orgy when they announce the “tax-free back-to-school clothing weekend.”

        • bloggerX says:

          @Jessica Haas: Thanks. That’s what I meant.

      • MinorAnnoyance says:

        @nakedscience:Us “old folk”… since we’re generalizing here… don’t waste money on “non-essentials… they’re budgeted for. For example, my one big extravagance is my cable bill. It is carefully worked into my monthly budget and if things continue to tighten up, it will be the first to go.

        $105 overdraft fees are not something that can be budgeted for so I’m betting that MOST of us don’t gradullay overdraw our accounts every month.

        My experience with it was the first in fifty years of dealing with banks.

    • Techguy1138 says:

      @bloggerX: Just shows credit unions are stupid as banks.

      Really now how many times does this go on before they decide to remove the overdraft option. Their shooting themselves in the foot with their own fees and policys and won’t even stop when federal law make it un recoverable.

      Let them eat it.

    • hedonia says:

      @bloggerX: I think it is pretty inappropriate of you to be noting and keeping track of who at your bank spends money on what. If I found out someone at my branch was doing this, they’d be in a whole lot of trouble.

      • bloggerX says:

        @hedonia: Its called “Overdraft Accounts Administrator” I was in charge of handling overdraft accounts. You can take your foot out your mouth now.

  8. howie_in_az says:

    On the flip side of this, what would stop an elderly person from racking up a bunch of overdraft fees and then saying their bank couldn’t do anything about it because the only source of income was the social security check?

    • Murph1908 says:

      Careful. Playing devil’s advocate on this site, using logic and looking at the other side, can get you sneered at. (By Nakedscience, for one. See 2 threads above)

      Best not try to create an actual discussion of the issue, and just say “BOA SUX” and move on.

    • youbastid says:

      @howie_in_az: Nothing. But also nothing is stopping the bank from closing the elderly person’s account either. That’s all that needs to be done in that situation.

    • nakedscience says:

      @howie_in_az: ….so, um, close their account? report them to collections?

      • henwy says:


        I agree. Old people shouldn’t have the ability to bank anyway. They should just roll over and die once they stop being useful.

        • ceriphim says:

          @henwy: …and have their remains liquefied to feed the young. They’re more useful in death than in life!

        • youbastid says:

          @kraftmayo: I’d like to see you take this stance when one of your parents gets alzheimers, or simply becomes forgetful.

        • DrGirlfriend says:

          @henwy: it’s not about that, it’s that there’s already a mechanism in place to deal with situations like this, so why start allowing banks to garnish Social Security benefits? If anything, this targets the elderly.

    • MinorAnnoyance says:

      @howie_in_az:So on the basis of your purely hypothetical conjcture, we should coninue to pay $105 for every $2 mistake we MIGHT make?

  9. Myownheroine says:


    Bad news.

  10. sirwired says:

    I think that BA should just drop the account holders instead of depleting their income w/ overdraft charges.

  11. armandbrown says:

    Some day Bank of America will be just a bad memory. I can’t see why anyone would want to do business with them. Every time you use one of their services or visit a branch it feels like you are being punished for not being someone a million dollars in an account. So I fixed it with going to a credit union and so far a million times better and I don’t have to deal with their asanine practices.

    • MedicallyNeedy says:

      @armandbrown: I have a checking/savings, 0 balance requirement, on-line banking, and a Visa debit card with B of A. I usually have less then $100 in the account by the end of the month. I’ve been thru 3 or 4 Bank name changes. I would gladly switch to a bank knowing they arn’t going to screw with me at every turn!

    • youbastid says:

      @armandbrown: I love this viewpoint. Yes, because they are so stingy with their customers, BoA will go out of business. Nevermind the fact that their money dates back to the slave days, and that they’re coming out of this meltdown bigger and stronger than before, and that they are the largest bank in the country.

      Do people really think that companies that have poor customer service will just go out of business because they don’t put the customer first? Learn capitalism 101.

      • armandbrown says:

        @youbastid: I could say the same as to learning about capitalism; bad service and continually changing your rules to screw the customer over at every turn eventually = customers going else where, look at the American auto industry and retailers like Circuit City. The problem with BoA is that too many of the people that use it’s services don’t know any better and it’s not them being stingy its about their F’ing over the customer.

        I have lost track of how many times I would have to go into a BoA branch and argue basic accounting explaining what their account register that they themselves use means. Several times when I had money to cover transactions without any mistakes on my part their system would assess overdrafts because of the crap that their system pulls and not just single overdrafts no it was always multiple because everything is reorganized largest first and I would go in and argue for the better part of an hour to get their illegitimate charges to be refunded and since I have switched to my credit union I haven’t had a single problem with still having the same amount of expenses.

        Another thing about capitalism to think a company is too big to fail is wrong every business fails eventually granted it may take time but it will happen. All you have to do is look at all the other banks that have failed during our current mess some of those where deemed unable to fail.

        • youbastid says:

          @armandbrown: I wasn’t kidding when I said that they have money that has been around since the slave days. The roots of that company have been around since this country has. People can take their business elsewhere, and when enough people do, BofA will just buy that bank, as they have been doing. Circuit City failed because they made a number of bad decisions AND there were a myriad of better options.

          • MinorAnnoyance says:

            @youbastid: Good point. I wound up with BofA yars ago after starting with one bank only to have it gobbled up by BofA… closing my account and going with another regional bank only to have it eaten by BofA within a year’s time… I finally decided they were after me and just left my account there. Oddly enough, a few months ago, I was going to go with WaMu and I’ll be dipped if they didn’t beat me to it.

            Ah the joys of deregulation, free market forces and the “increase” in competition it has brought us.

      • sinfonian94 says:

        @youbastid: Actually… armandbrown’s point IS capitalism 101. In a truly free market, BOA would fail. But they keep getting propped up. Maybe you should retake capitalism 101. They might even have a remedial level course.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I received a letter from Melanie Linck, AVP/Customer Advocate, Office of the Chairman and CEO, 813-805-4860

    This was in response to a complaint I filed through my state AG for BofA charging a $6 convenience fee to cash a $50 check drawn on their own bank.

    Clearly Bank of America is insolvent and they have to steal from their customers and community to pay the outrageous whores who run their company. It would appear that they cannot cover their deposits and have to steal to make their executive payroll.

    They need to be legally destroyed. They are what’s wrong with our economy.

    • sinfonian94 says:

      @XyliaGaborik: Add TCF Bank to the list.

    • bibliophibian says:

      @XyliaGaborik: What did the letter say? I’m a bit confused.

      (I LOATHE the “convenience fee” bullshit, but sadly it seems to be industry-wide – there is only one bank/credit union I have ever tried to cash a check at as a non-account-holder that didn’t charge that fee, or try to.)

  13. Coles_Law says:

    How do you tell which money in an account in SS money? Unless the account’s only deposits are Social Security, it would be really difficult to declare which funds were off limits. If I retire with $3400 in my checking account, does that give them reign to 100 overdraft fees before they hit my SS money?

    I’m also not sure how this ruling would work. Say I overdraft by $0.01, sending me (with fee) to -35.01. I then get a $200 SS check. If they couldn’t take the fee out of that, I would simultaneously have a balance of $200 with a $35 overdraft fee.

    while the ruling seems scummy at first, I’m not really sure how the alternative could function.

    • MedicallyNeedy says:

      @Coles_Law: For many people, it is their only income!

      • aja175 says:

        My only income comes from one source too. It’s not SS, but it’s still my only income.
        Hey, BOA, you can’t touch my paycheck! it’s my only income!

    • Jessica Haas says:

      @Coles_Law: Your 3400$ analogy would never happen because SS does not let you have more than 2000$ of any money in a checking account at one time. Savings accounts you can have as much as you want. Don’t ask me why they do it, ’cause I have no idea, but I do know that they do do it.

      • sinfonian94 says:

        @Jessica Haas: Also… if you had $3400 in the checking account, you wouldn’t have an overdraft fee… unless you buy something that costs more than $3400. However, once you do that, all the money in there from that point on is SS money.

    • bibliophibian says:

      @Coles_Law: This is exactly what I wondered. I know that at least one of the SSec programs allows people to earn up to a certain amount of income through employment. For those people who *do* have another source of income – or even people who receive gifts or, say, sell a car or have a yard sale – do they just get a free pass on the fees?

      I had never heard of this prohibition and find it a fascinating concept.

  14. kolacek says:

    Something banks will also do to SSI or SSDI recipients [depending on the disability displayed by the account holder at his or her local branch] is backdate transactions to collect fees after the fact.

    They count on the fact that many mentally and developmentally disabled customers will either question their own memories, not notice the blatant theft or be too embarrassed to complain.

    And yes, I have many examples of this practice as observed through my job.

    I’m talking to youUS Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

    Come get me, bitches.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:


      So what you’re saying is the tellers make a note of what disabilities their customers have, and then those banks take advantage of those disabilities to steal insignificant amounts of money from their customers?

      • Megalomania says:

        @Cant_stop_the_rock: You don’t understand how these things work… think of debt collectors blatantly violating the law, they don’t look for people they can get away with doing it to, they do it to everyone and stop on a case by case basis when they get called out for it.

        • henwy says:


          Duh. I’m guessing your sarcasm detector was on the fritz.

          I’m pretty sure that’s what CStR was pointing out. That and mocking kolacek for being a douche.

      • Shoelace says:

        @Cant_stop_the_rock: If someone is noticeably under 65 and getting SSD payments direct deposited then a bank employee with half a brain (it happens) can figure out they’re disabled vs. old.

        I hope people in California who have their Social Security direct deposited to BoA will be looking into using another bank pronto.

  15. JohnDeere says:

    money owed to anyone is debt plain and simple. california isnt that bright anyway, look at the mess they are in.

    • humphrmi says:

      @JohnDeere: Yes indeed, debt is debt, and by the same token the law is the law, and lately the government is more than willing to “bend” the law to meet it’s goals. To wit: Chrysler senior bondholders getting put behind junior bondholders in bankruptcy court because the junior bondholders are the voters and taxpayers who could vote people out of office if they get jilted. Or, as in this case, a particular type of income that is exempt from collection. It may not be right, but its the law, and we’re supposed to change them if we don’t like them, not trample all over them.

    • trujunglist says:


      What state are you from? Whatever state it is, it’s certainly not as important to the US as California. So, yeah… fuck California and all the, y’know, paying for other states benefits.

  16. Alexander Saites says:

    It seems to me that overdraft fees are the fault of the account holder. Granted, banks do work the system to their favor, but the point still remains. If you overdraft your account, you should be required to pay before proceeding. If B of A can’t get the money owed them, they should freeze the account. Keeping the bank from taking overdraft fees out of SS money (which to B of A, just looks like money in the account) just seems silly.

    For that matter, why is SS money protected from being garnished for debts?

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      So what’s happening here is @Alexander Saites:

      I agree with everything you said, most importantly that once the money is in a bank account, it’s just money.

      To answer your question about why SS money is protected – probably because the intention of social security is to give elderly people enough money to just get by. Allowing it to be garnished would leave people destitute. You might as well throw them in debtors’ prison.

    • H3ion says:

      @Alexander Saites: There are certain categories of funds that can’t be tapped for debt. That’s why OJ Simpson’s pensions couldn’t be use to satisfy his wrongful death judgment. You can agree or disagree as to whether that’s right, but that’s the law.

  17. kraftmayo says:

    I’m blown away at the lack of personal responsibility here. For once California got something right.

    BoA isn’t garnishing wages, they’re collecting on debt they are legally owed.

    If you’re not happy with it, bank somewhere else, or here’s a thought, don’t freaking overdraft.

    People have this mentality that they’re entitled to do whatever they want with the bank and it’s money, but it’s exactly that, the bank’s money, and I dont care if it’s mom and pop credit union or the evil BoA, overdrafting (using money you dont have) incurs a penalty. Balance your checkbook and deal with it.

    • youbastid says:

      @kraftmayo: And it’s not “debt.” “Debt” is money that is borrowed to pay for an actual product or service. These are “fees”.

      • sinfonian94 says:

        @youbastid: Actually…. Debt is simply money you owe. It can be a “loan” (money that is borrowed) or “fees.” Brought to you by Money 101, the companion course to Capitalism 101

    • Ichiro51 says:

      @kraftmayo: Good job showing that you have exactly no clue why the outcome of this case was decided the way it was. Keep on ranting, though. It’s hilarious.

      • twophrasebark says:


        I’m blown away at the lack of legal responsibility here.

        Social security funds are exempt from any kind of debt collection. It’s federal law.

        Deal with it Kraftmayo.

        • kraftmayo says:


          But once it’s in your account it’s not social security funds, it’s just your money.

          I like the attempt to discriminate, but in the end, California decided to hold people responsible for their own actions. It’s about damn time.

          • twophrasebark says:


            “But once it’s in your account it’s not social security funds, it’s just your money.”

            Not true. But this is the argument banks try to make to avoid following the law. They say they don’t know which funds are Social Security, blah blah blah. However, if a customer has an account where only Social Security is deposited the banks can’t take your money for any kind of debt collection.

  18. H3ion says:

    Isn’t this analagous to the fees being charged on cards used for unemployment and other benefits? It just seems like the old banking business of taking deposits and lending money to generate profits is in the buggy whip era, and everything today is nickel and dime fees which add up. Maybe the banks have gotten so screwed up that they’ve forgotten how to make a profit from lending.

    • henwy says:


      No because there is no good reason to overdraft.

      • H3ion says:

        @henwy: Tell that to some 80 year old who has moderate dementia but generally is still functional. Mistakes happen. Letting the bank get its money back for an overdraft is one thing. Tapping Social Security funds for fees that far exceed the bank’s cost is something quite different.

    • Coles_Law says:

      @H3ion: It’s not quite that bad-you can’t avoid the unemployment card fees at all, but you can avoid this by not overdrafting.

      • H3ion says:

        @Coles_Law: Sorry but I’m just not that perfect. I screw up (like on some of my posts to this site). My point is not that banks should be charitable institutions but that they should recover their costs for a customer’s occasional mistake, not recover their costs and a hefty profit. If it’s a constant occurrence, drop the customer.

  19. LordofBacon says:

    “BoA isn’t garnishing wages, they’re collecting on debt they are legally owed”

    If it’s a debt, then the law states that SS monies cannot be seized to pay for it.

    You’re going to have to use another word to describe it. Debt isn’t appropriate.

  20. ColoradoShark says:

    Looks like someone is gearing up for next year’s Worst Company in America award. It’s a good start but Americans have a short memory. You should have done this about 3 months before the contests.

    • Coelacanth says:

      @ColoradoShark: They already won last years’ Worst Company of America… granted, by taking over Countrywide.

    • humphrmi says:

      @ColoradoShark: To be fair, this article isn’t about what BofA did wrong, all they did was ask the courts “can we please not pay this?” and the courts said “OK, sure.” It’s really the court that is at fault here.

      But yeah, BofA still sucks.

  21. dwb says:

    Banks will always use the term “fees” to their advantage depending on the situation. Sometimes it’s a debt, sometimes it’s a charge, sometimes it’s just a fee – the legal definition that benefits them the most in a situation is the one they use. Remember, fees are big business for banks – they collect $37 billion in fees from us every year.

  22. rpm773 says:

    Finally, something to keep Gramps in line from writing me a bad check every year for my birthday. It’s finally going to cost the old bastard something if he continues the practice.

  23. Azteck says:

    Hey I work at a bank and some oldies take very good care of there cash. They are no different compared to regular society. Some manage there cash and some don’t. Same for bankers some get paid by the bank they work for and others work for free. LIFE!

  24. keithldick says:

    This makes me wonder if they can take money from your Social Security & Social Security Disability for Interest fees from a defaulted on Credit Card when there is a judgement against you…

  25. savdavid says:

    See, the rich don’t have to pay fees because banks want their large accounts. So the banks have to charge the hell out of the middle-class, poor, disabled and elderly on Social Security to get those wonderful fees they crave. It is Scrooge American Style, truer than the red, white and blue–ue-ue-ueeee!!!

  26. cccdude says:

    It’s the CA Supreme court – the same idiots that upheld Propostion 8. Did you expect them to care about your rights?

  27. HogwartsAlum says:

    What the frack is wrong in California lately? I was thinking about moving back there, but now I’m not so sure. I’d almost rather stay with the tornadoes.

  28. Coelacanth says:

    Am I the only one thinking that Bank of America just has one more excuse to raise their overdraft fees?

  29. ShadowFalls says:

    Not considered to be debt? Interesting as banks have sent overdrafts to collection agencies in the past.

    If they want to try and play this game, overdrafts must at least be an opt-in with the information easily spelled out. The way they process charges is predatory already, now it just rolls in their profits. Banks seem to make it where a person makes one mistake and is charged for it 5 times…

  30. TechnoDestructo says:

    Do they charge interest on it if your balance remains below zero?

  31. Bs Baldwin says:

    OD fees aren’t a debt until the account is charged off.

  32. pot_roast says:

    They certainly treat it as debt – debt that you owe, and they’ll toss you into Chexsystems (something that should be obliterated violently) for 5 years and you won’t be able to get a bank account.

    Credit Unions don’t seem to be immune – Golden One CU in California is probably the worst bank that I have ever dealt with, and they will happily send you to Chexsystems if you overdraft and don’t bring your account positive within 20 days.