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Most people have been charged a bank fee at some point or other, and when it comes to a bank overdraft fee, you can get sticker shock at the $30-40 per overdraft. Add multiple overdraft charges and the bill skyrockets. To add insult to injury, some banks intentionally re-order your drafts—whether checks or debit charges—so that the largest items come out first. Guess what? You’re now facing multiple overdrafts based on charges for which that you might have had the funds.

Another practice that we’ve seen involves charging overdraft fees in situations where the bank customer has not actually overdrawn their checking account, charging overdraft fees in situations where the bank, in fact, did not pay out funds in excess of the customer’s checking account balance, and failing to provide accurate account balance information on the bank’s website, or at the point of sale.

Consumers are fighting back. A California court recently ordered Wells Fargo to pay $203 million for unfair charges, and there is litigation pending in Florida. My firm—Ohio’s Spangenberg Shibley & Liber—is investigating unfair and deceptive overdraft practices in Ohio’s banks. Ohio overdraft victims should contact us to learn more about becoming involved, in a free consultation. We would like to hear from you if you have been charged multiple overdraft fees by:

  • First Merit Bank
  • First Financial Bank
  • Park National Bank
  • First Place Bank

Not an Ohioan? Some simple sleuthing should uncover potential lawsuits in your state. Have you had overdraft fees? Do you think they are unfair, or just part of normal business? Share your story in the comments section below!

3 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Jeremy Farrell

    Great post, Will. It also seems that, recently, banks are even less likely to reverse unduly excessive overdraft fees, restricting reversals to cases of clear-cut "bank error." For example, branch managers no longer take a lenient approach with first-time-overdrafters or situations where the overdraft was only a few dollars. Given the relative innocence of those minor offenses, a hefty $35-40 overdraft fee is certainly excessive.

  2. Gravatar for William Eadie

    Thanks for the feedback, and taking the time to post your comment, Jeremy. The fees do seem excessive, and banks have changed the way they make money over the years as they realized how much they could make by charging excessive fees.

  3. Gravatar for John DiPonzio

    I have owned a small business for thirty years and only recently (last 5 years) has this been an issue.

    I would love to always have an extra five thousand in my account to cover slow receivables, but like so many who live by the perils of variant cash flow, I am always on the edge. The money inevitably gets collected (and the banks know it will be) and deposited, but at the end of the year you look back and see your bank has systematically taken every opportunity to exploit each small lapse to their advantage.For me its to the tune of thousands of dollars. Check 21 has allowed them to process checks more quickly, and greed has inspired them to process deposits more slowly resulting in overdrafts. Also ,as mentioned, check re-ordering from high to low when paying is the most egregious and overt form of manipulation. The consumer should be in control of that Intent being an important factor in all matters of legal misconduct, it is my hope more and more cases will be brought so greedy bank games will be exposed for what they truly are. I started a website last year Greedybankgames.com but have not pursued it further. Among other offences , you may find banks engaging in the practice of trying to chalk up all the trouble of overdrafts to your irresponsibility and ineptness as an account holder and business owner. At the very least this is a very lazy way of banks making money, at most it is a devious and parasitic attack on small businesses weakening them when this country needs them strong.

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