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Unethical and criminal business practices
Posted by Wick on 03/06/2006

Dear Sir/Madam,

Bank of America has behaved in an unethical and criminal manner regarding two checking, two savings accounts and a VISA credit card. I have contacted several bank officials and they continue to lie about the situation without any reservation. Bank officials such as Michelle Hammer, Anna Reyes, Kimsey (last name unkown) and Kenneth Lewis behave as if they are completely above the law.

These problems began in early October, 2005. Many have not been resolved as of today. I have talked, written and faxed many letters to several “customer service” divisions of this bank and have got no response or resolution. The Executive Customer Relations of Bank of America has done absolutely nothing to resolve many problems discussed in this letter. What they have done is to work hard to hide and white-wash the problems, mislead the customers and continue their criminal behavior.

Bank of America created this mess because of its pure negligence. It grossly violated my privacy multiple times and put me through hell when I tried to resolve it. I had to make many many calls to Bank of America and have nasty conversations with rude, clueless and dishonest agents and officials of the bank to try to correct this mess. After all that, the accounts are still not setup correctly.

This is the log I made (just a brief summary)

August 11, 2005: I opened a new savings account ending with “xxxx”, with Bank of America.

I started receiving two statements: one for checking and one for savings

September 11, 2005: I called Bank of America to combine the two statements into one. I specifically asked the agent to send me a unified statement for accounts ending with “xxxx” and “yyyy”. Linking with account “zzzz” was never ever mentioned. There was no change of address of any kind for any account. In other words, the request was very simple: please send me one statement for both, my checking (“yyyy”) and savings (“xxxx”).

Early October, 2005: customer De Silva calls me and states that my savings account information is on her statement! This should have never happened. No one needs to see my savings account details.

Early October, 2005: I called Bank of America and explained to them clearly that my savings account information should not be printed on another customer’s statement. The agent promised to fix it. Since my current savings account “xxxx” was compromised, I decided to close it.

October 25, 2005: called Bank of America and opened new savings account “aaaa” and transferred the money from “xxxx” to this account. The agent was unable to close “xxxx” on that day and I was asked to call back again to close it.

October 29, 2005: called Bank of America and made them close account “xxxx”.
Why am I going through this? Because Bank of America messed it up.

Then I started receiving statements for three accounts and customer De Silva was not receiving any statements! At this point we have a bigger mess.

November 23, 2005: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris of unit 1580 who assured me that this mess will be corrected. The statement for Prima Interest Checking “zzzz” should go to De Silva in California and that should have never changed. No accounts should be linked to this account. The statements for checking “yyyy” and savings “aaaa” need to be mailed to me in North Carolina.

December 10, 2005: customer De Silva calls me again and states that my checking “yyyy” and new savings “aaaa” account information is on her statement! I was not receiving any statements! At this point we have even a bigger mess. Customer De Silva is extremely worried and agitated that her account details can end up on another customer’s statement, just like it happened to me. This should have never happened. No one needs to see my checking and new savings account details. How badly can Bank of America mess this up? This is definitely not unintentional human error. It is gross negligence.

December 12, 2005: I was very upset and called Bank of America and spoke to Jake Richards – supervisor of customer service of unit 1580. I demanded to speak to a manager. Jake Richards of Bank of America rudely informed me that there were managers on site but will not speak to me. He coldly said I should write to this guy called “ken lewis”. I asked him why the bank has phones when it can do all its business over US mail. He said that’s how it worked and there’s nothing he can do about it. He never mentioned that I should contact Executive Customer Relations. I found that out later all by myself. There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end.

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Maria who connected me with Angela – officer of Bank of America in the Escalation Dept. of Executive Customer Relations. Then I was transferred to Anna Reyes-Jordan (704-386-5687) who said was from the Office of the CEO.

I demanded to speak to the CEO. Anna Reyes rudely refused and went on and on like a broken record. Then I demanded to speak to the CEO’s secretary to make an appointment to speak to the CEO. Anna Reyes rudely refused again. So does that mean the CEO of Bank of America and his secretary is in hiding or unreachable? I explained to Anna Reyes the situation and demanded compensation. She rudely hung up the phone on me at 11:30 AM EST on December 12, 2005. Do all customers get treated this way by Bank of America’s Office of Executive Customer Relations?

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again in trying to resolve this matter diplomatically and spoke to Luisa Shute. She also informed me that there was no way to contact the CEO of Bank of America. At least she did not hang up the phone on me. Still there was no way to get the situation resolved. Now I have no intention of speaking to anyone in this office.

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Anthony Lamers who said that no one by the name Jake Richards exists in Bank of America! So was I given a bogus name previously by this supervisor of customer service of unit 1580? What a way to get treated by a bank.

December 12, 2005: I closed my savings account “aaaa” with Bank of America. It felt great!

December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America at 704-386-5687 again and spoke to Kimsey who did nothing to resolve the issue and transferred me to Anna Reyes’ voice mail. I left a message and have never heard back from her. Once again, there was no way to get this mess fixed. No one would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end.

December 13, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Estrada of unit 1580. This agent informed me that my checking account “yyyy” was still linked to Prima Interest Checking “zzzz” that my mom used as her personal account! As you can see, after going through all that, we still have not fixed the problem. This agent also promised to fix this mess, just like many others have done previously. I asked for proof: screen-shots or images or other documentation of how my accounts were linked with other accounts. The agent said there was no way to provide any and I just need to take their word.

December 14, 2005: received a call from Michelle Hammer (714-792-5968). I demanded that Bank of America pay me damages. She was very polite and listened patiently. I wanted to give the bank an incentive to fix these problems.

December 15, 2005: I opened a savings account with the Credit Union at work and quickly removed the savings money from Bank of America. Wow, what a great day! The next step is to open a checking account with the Credit Union and get away from your bank. How nice would it be to share this with all of Bank of America’s customers?

December 24, 2005: I received a letter from Michelle Hammer that prompted this reply.

December 26, 2005: I still have not received bank statements for last couple of months. What the hell is going on with our accounts at Bank of America? Will closing ALL our accounts, including my brother’s, with Bank of America be the best solution to this? I called Michelle Hammer at 714-792-5968 and left message asking for her fax number to fax this letter.

December 26, 2005: I called Bank of America and spoke to Lawrence of unit 20161. The agent was professional and promised to mail me the statements for last two months. I explained to him briefly why I was asking for this and about this letter. I was never informed of any charges/fees for this.

December 27, 2005: Michelle Hammer returned my call and provided a fax number 714-792-6671.

December 28, 2005: Bank of America charged me $ 8.00 for the statements requested above! Why should I pay for statements when this mess was caused by your bank in the first place? The bank leaves no room for unintentional human errors. It just wants its fees. I called of America again and spoke to Richard Garth of unit 20161. After exchanging a few words, he promised to credit my account the $ 8.00. I faxed this letter to Michelle Hammer hoping for a resolution in a timely manner.

In the mean time, Bank of America has once again grossly violated my privacy!

January 2, 2006: Bank of America illegally charged me a service charge on my credit card ending with “bbbb”. They called it a “periodic finance charge”. I have paid the previous balance in full and on time and there was no reason for this charge.

January 5, 2006: I called the bank and talked to an agent named Rick Jones and to a supervisor named Lakaisw Worklaws about this. They both informed me that there was a computer error and the bank was going through accounts and correcting them immediately. I asked them for contact info to report this to Bank of America. I was given the fax number 602-597-3346. I faxed a letter requesting an investigation of this “computer error”. I have not heard back from anyone at the bank to this day regarding this matter.

January 10, 2006: customer De Silva calls me again and states that my checking “yyyy” account information is on her statement, again!

Here is the email she sent me:

From: "username@juno.com"
Sender: username @juno.com
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 01:10:09 GMT
To: myusername@yahoo.com
X-Mailer: Webmail Version 4.0 …
IDIOT Bank of A has AGAIN sent me particulars of another account of yrs " Access Checking"

I spoke to several PERFECT IDIOTS [ customer Service] . Cannot communicate- Utterly , Utterly STUPID.
Only thig to do is YOU take that money & redeposit in to another account .
Specifying yr address .
Cannot understand .
I cannot handle problems now. Get stressed out.
…end email.

This should have never happened. No one needs to see my checking account details. Many many agents and officials of Bank of America have assured me that this problem was taken care of. But it is still there. How badly can Bank of America mess this up? It is criminal for the bank to do this. Is this white-collar crime?

The log continues …

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Lauren Harlan of unit 1580 and we exchanged some nasty words – typical of a bad business. She claims that there is nothing wrong with the way the account are setup. This is what Chris of unit 1580 said on November 23, 2005! There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end. Since I have been lied to before, I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris who told me that he cannot do anything. I was informed that the bank did not keep any record of customer’s calls regarding problems with accounts. So I have to explain the story all over again. This is not the way to keep records for a professional business. Since I have been lied to before, I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris who told me that he
cannot do anything about it. There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Derik Kaltenbach of unit 20161 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Adrian Ariano of unit 20161 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Andre of unit 1580 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again…

January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Enrique Rodriguez and customer support manager Erik Burns. He refused to admit that rules should apply equally to everyone. But I insisted and made him reverse an illegal fee the bank charged me before.

A week went by and the illegal “periodic finance charge” was still on my credit card. So I called the bank again…

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to an agent and insisted that the illegal charge on my credit card be removed. The amount was finally credited.

Here is my concern: if the bank knew about this computer error and was correcting the problem, why did I have to call twice, over a 10 day period and speak to 3 bank employees, including a supervisor, to resolve the problem? What if I have not noticed this “periodic finance charge”? Many customers would have paid this illegal charge on their credit cards and the bank would have made millions by doing nothing about this “error” which was called “periodic finance charge”. Why would the bank ever bother to correct these errors on their own?

I was still not convinced that my checking account information is not on another customer’s statement.

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Jonathan Stall of unit 1580. We had a heated conversation and he threatened to close my checking account. I dared him to go ahead. How much can this bank screw me up? I told him to tape this conversation and send it to Michelle Hammer, Assistant Vice President.

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Karen Jones of unit 1580 who refused to transfer me to the survey, but transferred me to Vanessa Dibuduo. She too refused to transfer me to the survey and started to give me the run around.
I was still not convinced that my checking account information is not on another customer’s statement.

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Stephan Payton who behaved very unprofessionally. I told him to tape this conversation and send it to
Michelle Hammer, Assistant Vice President. He rudely said he cannot. I did not want to continue the conversation with this guy. So I called back again…

January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Shawn Rollin. He said I should take my complaint to a banking center! Pass the buck? Why not? I got his fax number (559-451-8145) so I can fax all the details of this complaint, hoping someone will read it and do something about it. This fax number does not work!

January 12, 2006: I faxed this letter to and called Michelle Hammer at 714-792-5968 and asked her what she plans to do about this complaint.

January 21, 2006: I received a letter from Michelle Hammer saying that the matter is closed!!! Without resolving this continuing problem, Bank of America no longer wants to even discuss the mess they created. This is how banks treat their customers.

February 6, 2006: I received a reply from Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division of North Carolina to contact the Comptroller of the Currency of the Department of the Treasury which is suppose to license and regulate national banks.

February 10, 2006: I received the statement for account “zzzz” and customer De Silva was not receiving any statements, again! This is happening after many agents and officials of Bank of America, including Michelle Hammer has assured me in letters that the problems above have been resolved.

The log continues and so does the dishonest dealings of Bank of America.

It seems like some phone reps are so corrupt that they don’t transfer you to the survey. How can the bank get honest feedback from your customers when the customer survey is doctored in this manner?

We really need strict laws to monitor the behavior of banks in this country. Banks should not be allowed to operate like criminal organizations and abuse customers under the protection of US law.

When banks operate with impunity

I am shocked to realize that there is very little or no regulation of banks such as Bank of America. These banks can do whatever they want to their customer’s accounts and their privacy and continue to operate with impunity. We should not sanction such criminal behavior. Where are the laws to protect consumers?

When customers over-draft a bit or go below the minimum balance on their checking accounts by unintentional human error, Bank of America jumps at the opportunity and ruthlessly charges them a ton of fees. It probably costs the bank about $ 5 but charges their customers $ 16 or more. This is because Bank of America understands only one language: money! All it cares is about charging us fees, fees and more fees. The bank leaves no room for unintentional human errors.

Bank of America abuses its customers and engages in dishonest business practices.

The bank has done irreparable damage to my privacy, seriously damaged the trust I had in the bank, causing a lot of aggravation and emotional distress to two customers.

The least Bank of America can do now is to pay me damages. The longer this bank takes to settle this issue, the more aggravation and emotional distress it causes me and I plan to seek even more damages.

I will not let Bank of America sweep this under the carpet.

I have written to Customer Assistance Group, Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury, 1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710, Houstan, Texas 77010-9050 about this.

Vic G.
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Posted by miketech on 2006-03-06:
Wow that sounds terrible. I'd certainly leave BOA if I were you. I think I would have left them months ago. In the future nothing beats a personal visit to a bank. Despite what they many lead you to believe branch managers have Godlike powers to make changes and credits to an account and they do care more when you are sitting close enough to smack them. Nothing is as persuasive as being in arms reach.
Posted by miketech on 2006-03-06:
Oh with that said if you did smack a branch manager or any bank employee you would probably get 20 years in a federal pen.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-03-06:
Why are you still banking with them? The world is full of smaller local banks that would love to have you as a customer.
Posted by Ponie on 2006-03-06:
I had the same (almost) thing happen to me. My statement and Mrs. X's were combined. Called my branch and explained what happened. Was asked to bring the statement into the bank. Branch Manager met with me and while there, she contacted Mrs. X, who said she received my information along with hers. Branch Manager said it was a computer glitch, said it would be straightened out, and apologized to both of us. Next month--same thing. Called to speak to Branch Manager, who apologized profusely and said she'd get right on it. Couple of days letter, received letter of apology from Branch Manager. From then on, no more problems. BUT--I didn't demand to speak to the CEO. What does some guy in Delaware know about what's going on at my branch? Vic, don't you have a job? On 12/12, you made six calls to BofA. On 1/12, you made 5 calls to BofA. If each call took a minimum of 15 minutes (although I'm sure with your agressive attitude, it was longer), that's more than 1-1/2 hours on two separate days you spent arguing with someone at the bank. If you DO have a job, does your employer know you're wasting his/her money by taking so much of THEIR time for personal business? That's also unethical, criminal--adjectives you atribute to the bank. I'm sure BofA is well rid of you. As one poster mentioned, your Branch Manager can do a heck of a lot more for you than the CEO. Start at the local level--or is such a simple solution to your problem beneath you?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-06:
The BOA ceo Ken Lewis is a dark hearted creature of pure evil who would trick his own mother out for a buck.. GOD I ADMIRE THAT MAN.

Posted by cycolbur on 2006-03-06:
That is why there is lawyers. Just a thought, why don't you and the other person have a joint lawsuit against them for violating your privacy not to mention opening up for identity theft.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-03-07:
I admire your persistance.. but I would have closed the accounts back in early November and walked away from it all.
Posted by deggleston on 2008-01-03:
I too have filed a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. If other consumers do the same perhaps Bank of America will be forced to change their ways.
Posted by smuschie on 2008-03-07:
I don't know why you waited so long to close your accounts. I had a few minor problems with B of A and but mostly over small amounts of money so I took a wait-and-see approach to see if the small glitches would stop. They didn't. It ended up that they accidentally credited my account with $100 (money supposed to go into to account of the person on front of me), which stayed in my account for over a month even though I told them they had made a mistake and deposited someone else's money in my account. That scared me because this other woman, who I had no way of getting on touch with and only knew what she looked like but no name or any other info, had no access to her deposit money for over a month and B of A did nothing! After that I started looking into other banks. Eventually this other woman and I were able to talk to enough of the same people who then realized they needed to correct the mistake and she got her money but it took a long time! Later, some of my own money mysteriously disappeared from my account. Complaints led to some crap fees all of a sudden being posted on my account to explain the deficit yet no fees had been there before. Also, some transactions got shifted around as having gone through on different days, sometimes even on days before I had go to that store! Good thing I keep receipts! I never did get my money back but after 3 days of fighting I went to another bank. Good riddance!
Posted by donadame on 2008-11-01:
Asking to speak to the CEO??? That would NEVER happen. Follow the chain of command, remain calm and professional and approach in person - easy.
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unethical fee practices
Posted by Kennaron on 02/24/2005
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT -- I have had the same terrible experience as others and want to decry B of A's practices of:

-placing unsubstantiated "holds" on deposited funds, even funds from other banks, for the purpose of delaying deposits and collecting "insufficient funds" fees

-not updating the online system, so that balances that show as positive are actually not positive and users overdraw accounts and incur fees

-Of most concern is a practice I cannot prove but suspect: holding deposits for a certain period of time, such as 12 hours or a day, waiting for withdrawals to come in, posting the withdrawals until the balance is below zero, posting their own overdraft fee, and then posting deposits. I have direct deposit and have seen withdrawals post on the same day as the deposit and still incur fees. I have incurred easily over $500 in fees in the past several years and just incurred a fee of $180. They should also charge per day fees rather than per transaction fees. B of A sucks, they care naught about people, the profit motive consumes their entire decrepit existences.
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Posted by lavonne74 on 2005-03-20:
I agree whole-heartedly.
Posted by Crystal Isenberg on 2005-03-22:
Posted by vshah551122 on 2005-05-20:
I have been experiencing similar problem with BOA and I have decided to take it forward and complain to OCC, State of NJ, their CEO Ken Lewis and Better Business Bureau about their unethical practices. I am a financial services executive myself in the Retail Banking field working for Citigroup. BOA practices are unethical and unprofessional I am going after them. If anyone is interested in joining my lawsuit do email me at vishal_98@yahoo.com.

Posted by 504lowes40 on 2006-03-30:
maybe you should keep track of your funds yourself so you wont ever overdraft. good idea huh?
Posted by broke on 2006-05-25:
it doesn't matter -- they'll find some way to screw you!
Posted by J_D on 2008-01-14:
The point is that the balance you see when you check your account online or at an ATM is NEVER your true balance. How many people honestly keep a separate record of ALL their transactions. You need to know that what you see on your ATM receipt or online banking window is current and correct, but it never is.

I have seen transactions DISAPEAR from my account between the pending and posted category. In the mean time, the difference was added to my balance, when in reality it was not there. They want you to overdraft. Think of how much money they make from that $35 for each one. Downright robbery.

One critical point here is that when you do overdraft, all transactions for that day are posted with the highest deduction first. (the one which usually causes the overdraft) so that they can maximize the overdraft transactions. (since they charge PER transaction). You will notice that for the day which the overdraft occurred, you would not have had as many overdraft charges, if they had debited your account starting from the smallest transaction. I am sure this is quite deliberate. They are not stupid. Its built in to the program. Its in their control do post transactions in whatever order suits them best.

Do you really expect such a greedy corporation to actually care about you? They will suck your blood.
Posted by daybyday on 2009-09-23:
I am so willing to join any lawsuit agains Bank of America due to there overdraft fees. My story is the following. I try to always follow my account and keep all my ATM receipts to the point that its Pack Ratish. I then use my receipts to view my online account. So one weekend I used the ATM to withdraw money and used my card to get gas and such. Now I knew I had a check out there that may be deposited to my account which would have made it overdrawn but I needed food for my kids so I was willing to take the hit on the check. I thought the only overdraft fee would be the check becuase everthing else was obtained by use of an ATM. Well checking my account the Monday after the weekend and was horrified to see multiple overdraft fees for even the ATM withdrawl. HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU GET AN OVERDRAFT FEE USING THE ATM? I did. So of course freaking BOA paid the check and you all know the script when you call them. They had the nerve to tell me that I should thank them for paying the check written out for my rent. I had to hold back when I heard that comment from the employee. I told her that in actuality if they had processed my transactions according to when they happend I only should have been charged one overdraft fee not the 4 I was charged at $35.00 each. I was willing to pay the one overdraft fee but of course this is B of A were talking too. I was still not undersanding how in the hell they could process my ATM withdrawls for that weekend and freaking overdrafts. HELLO THE MACHINE GAVE ME THE MONEY! I thought it was a joke that they said they had to pay the check first it being the largest amount. WHAT ELSE WAS THERE TO PAY? All other transactions were ATM withdrawls. The ATM withdrawls should have been immediate and certainly should not have had anyting to do with my ONE check. THIS IS WRONG AND NEEDS TO BE STOPPED. I will be more then willing to join any lawsuit against Bank of America.
Posted by bgmedic on 2009-12-12:
I am in if you go forward with a suit. They have screwed me and my family out of $800 this month alone.
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Piss poor customer service
Posted by BoA Pissed Customer on 05/01/2006
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA -- When I opened my account initially with Bank of America, they really messed up with me, and I should have used that as a warning of what was to come. They made a typographical error and sent my checks and cards to the wrong address. After several days beyond their normal processing time, I called them wondering where the checks and cards were. They said they would be there in a few days. Didn't come in, so I called them again. They then verified that the address was wrong, so they corrected it. They said the new checks and card would be to me in 7-10 days. I waited. And waited, and waited some more. I called. They said the person that corrected the error had not sent the information, that the old checks had been returned by the invalid address. I asked them why they didn't catch the error, WHY, when they saw the checks had been returned to the bank, did they not realize or call the NEW customer? Finally, they closed the old account, and re-opened a new account since my privacy had been breached. THEN, of all things, the material for BOTH accounts come in at the same time! This took from November 2, 2004 to December 29 of 2004 to get this straight.

They still didn't get the credit card request processed in a timely manner. I got snotty customer service associates, etc. And, it continues to get WORSE rather than better!

I recently had a problem that was my employers error. They had written payroll checks on the wrong account and they were all returned. My employer made the checks good with checks from the correct account, but the bank treated me as if it were my fault! They even threatened to put holds on my checks in the future! (That is only making a long story short)

Recently, they sent me a letter saying I had referred someone to their bank (AS IF!!). They have a $25.00 incentive for referrals. When I got the letter, it had a code number on it. But, when I called the bank (the 800 number, the branch, etc) they couldn't tell me who was the referred individual! I would NEVER send anyone to this bank. It took me two hours to find out that it was because of the error a year ago, and that this letter was sent tracing me a long time ago? But why was it written and dated in April for an October referral? I still haven't gotten any answers that are valid.

I eventually sent a letter to the Charlotte offices (area code 704) and got a call from an 813 area code, and the girl, after initial introduction, tells me I wasn't going to speak to anyone else, that she was instructed to handle the call. She was quite snippy with me, and advised me to close my accounts. Since when does a business make it policy to advise someone to stop doing business with them, after I am attempting every possible angle to PREVENT me from the trouble of opening new accounts with another bank? When I told her I was going online to voice my opinion, I had no idea I was going to find the other complaints I have seen here. This is a statement of how the BoA cares about their customers (read "moneymakers")

As I said, this is the story in a nutshell. I could go on for days about this and the other episodes I have had with them, but I get tired of repeating myself, as I have had to repeat myself so many times with the representatives of bank of America.

I would never do business with them ever again, and am working to get this resolved as I write this. I would never refer any person to do business with this bank and want out ASAP.
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Posted by KenPC on 2006-05-02:
Well then, you want out, and they don't want you... seems like a mutually agreeable solution to me. What's the beef?
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2006-05-02:
KenPC you must work in customer service...ha. The PROBLEM is that most businesses shouldn't screw up and then offer shoddy service and "see ya" as their response.
Posted by tarter1974 on 2006-06-27:
the exact same thing happened to me! i applied for a BOA credit card and i was inforned first that i was NOT approved for the card, then i was told that the card was on the way in the mail; it never came. i waited 3 weeks. since i never got a leeter saying that i was denied or approved, i decided to call BOA. they said that the credit card (that i was APPROVED for) was returned to them. I NEVER RECEIVED IT> they had sent it to some wrong address somewhere, and to protect my identity, they would have to send me a whole new card. to make a long story short, i ended up waiting over 2 full months for a card that i needed because i was making home improvements.
Posted by tamitoon on 2007-06-08:
I absolutely think BOA has the worst customer service ever.
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Out of Control Overdraft Fees
Posted by BofAisEvil on 12/24/2007
NEW JERSEY -- Wow... What a relief! I just closed my BofA checking and savings account and I feel like a heavy burden lifted off my back. I don't have to worry about OVERDRAFT FEES from them anymore.

It's absolutely outrageous how they punish and rob honest, hard-working, and unsuspecting Americans by inflicting exorbatant fees for going even a few cents over your available balance.

I've paid over $700 in overdraft fees this year! It happens the same way every time... the bank ALLOWS you to go over your available balance (even if it's one penny), which starts a cascading wave of consecutive fees that pile up instantly overnight. One time I was hit with almost 300 in one shot. I pleaded with the customer service agent and told him that was almost my entire paycheck, but he stonewalled me.

This is practice is pure theft! I make about 30k a year and $700 in fees really hurt me. I felt so good walking into the local branch and tell them I was closing my account. I hope someone is able to bring them down. They are professional crooks. How do you justify a $35 fee for going over your account by a few cents?

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Posted by madconsumer on 2007-12-24:
regardless of the bank or credit union you use, you will encounter overdraft fees if your account is over drawn.

the only way to avoid these fees, is to keep better check of your available balance. i have used bank of america for years with zero issues.
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-24:
Why did you get the overdraft fees in the first place? No matter where you go, if you can't keep good track of your account, you are going to pay overdraft fees.
Posted by old fart on 2007-12-24:
My credit union or my banks all have on line banking.. you can balance your checkbook almost hourly..Over draft fees are a form of robbery but you can totally avoid them by keeping track of your finances on-line..
It might be a good time to start...
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2007-12-24:
You did good dropping BofA. Even if you keep an accurate check register BofA will still nail you with deposit holds, re-arranged order of transactions, and various "creative accounting" methods. Thanks to our governmental banking regulators it's all legal. And you agree to it when you open an account. Find a credit union. They generally treat customers far better than banks do.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-24:
You never did have to worry about overdraft fees, all you needed to do was manage your account. I agree with Chuck about going to a credit union, but you will still get nailed with OD fees if you aren't more responsible with your banking.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-24:
I think banks should just have you payback the money that you were over. not some ridicules fee but that would to fair and the banks wouldn’t be able to make there huge profits.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-24:
Keep your money in a coffee can. Get out what you need when you need it. If you don't drink coffee, you could use an empty cashew can.
Posted by MRM on 2007-12-25:
Sheriff, now that was hilarious.
Posted by Noneill on 2007-12-25:
Spend less then you make.
Posted by tander on 2007-12-25:
Usually if your overdrawn by less than a dollar they don't charge you overddraft fees but still keep better track of your checking account, use your register and record all checks, debit charges and withdrawals.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-26:
Hilarious? I was being serious MRM.
Posted by scott3629 on 2007-12-26:
OMG,,, why in the world would you have so many overdraft fees. They should charge you for anything over the first three. If you can't keep the amount of money in your account that you have written checks for, maybe you should not have a checking account at all. $700.00 in one year,,, that is a problem. I agree with you that they should not charge for it but come on that many.... What the heck?
Posted by heaven17 on 2007-12-26:
"I don't have to worry about OVERDRAFT FEES from them anymore."

This is true.
Of course, your new bank...well, that's a different story.
Posted by Vex on 2007-12-28:
I think that guy was paying BofA electric bill with his ineptitude to manage his finances....hahahahaha! I don't feel sorry for him in any way, shape, or form. It's his own fault.
Posted by Dumb on 2007-12-30:
That is funny, however in this day and age credit is the same as cash but better. Its the same because you can lose or misplace cash same as with cards. Cash can be robbed or stolen same as with identity.

Good things about cash is just anybody, your relatives merchants strangers will take it as payment. Just try paying a stranger with a credit card. What else, Hmmmm... lets see, that's all I can come up with.

The best thing about credit is that you can go beyond your cash. From time to time things come up and you find yourself on the short end and the power company is threatening to turn your power off unless you pay in full the past due balance. You won't be able to comply if you are short of cash. But, you can pay with a check now using the overdraft feature of your checking account.

You will, of course, have to pay overdraft fee but that may be better in the long run than having the power cut and then having to pay the power re-connect later.

So, $700.00/yr in overdraft fee is not bad in my opinion.
Posted by cdahlkvist on 2008-01-03:
It's sad that so many of you are blaming this guy. The truth is that it may not be his fault.

Many people use online banking to check their balances.

The banks (not just BoA) are making their sites as obscure as possible.

As an example, they show items as pending. These may or may not be deducted from your balance. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not (we need some uniformity).

You can check the right column and assume you have a specific amount in your account when, in fact, that may not be correct.

Here is one I have fallen victim to once (yes, the overdraft was due to my forgetfulness but you will see the real issue here):

I wrote a check to an individual for $350.

Due to a mistake on my part I forgot to add that check to my ledger (since I almost never write checks).

Now this specific account I use only for bills so I keep a set amount of funds in it each month. Well, I checked one day and there was $32.15 in the account and 5 items were in "pending" status (but had been deducted from my balance so I was in the clear).

The following day the check that I forgot about came in. Bank of America covered it for me. I thought that due to this oversight on my part and the courtesy to cover it on their part warranted an overdraft fee of $35.

Unfortunately, what BoA did was to take those other 5 pending items and process them AFTER the $350 check (covering the largest check - they claim they do this as a "courtesy" because the bigger amount may be important items like mortgage payments) then charged me $35 for each of the other 5 items.

The only one it is a courtesy for is the bank so they can collect more overdraft fees.

Yes, it was my fault that I overdrafted but it was the deceptive practices of the bank that turned 1 overdraft into 5.

They intentionally changed the order of processing to create additional overdrafts. They took 5 items that were pending one the first day and processed them AFTER the larger item that came in the next day.

Furthermore, I have a friend that works for a large bank. Most transactions are handled via computer and a human never touches them. The system automatically processes the charges and decides, based on your account history, whether to cover an item or not. It then charges you regardless.

This is not a $35 process or even a $5 process.

The fees are outrageous.
Posted by sadhappy on 2008-01-07:
I TOTALLY understand what you mean, but what gets me is a payment goes through on the online pay, then next day is GONE so my account goes up which has tricked me twice therefore i was over a freaking buck yes a buck or less and i had to pay in one session $280 in overdraft. Also, my friend made a deposit of $300 in my account in my acccount friday by monday it was gone and not by me, i asked them they had no idea what i was talking about they had to look on security cameras to find him doing the transaction...men lose reciepts. :) thanks for listening LOL
Posted by PolishGirl on 2008-01-17:
Overdraft fees are charged by any banking institution if you overdraw your account. If you would keep enough in your account for your transactions, your overdraft fees will never happen. It is your responsibility to manage your account. When you open an account, you should receive a DEPOSITORS AGREEMENT which outlines all of the banks policy on fees and such. Bank of America is not at fault, they hold your money, your responsibility is to manage it. Never let your balance go down to almost nothing before the next deposit. That is the mistake millions of people do. If you don't need it, don't spend your money that you don't have on it. Always make your deposits before the cut-off time at your local bank. Always have a check register and monitor your account using Online Banking frequently.
Posted by madtina on 2008-01-18:
I agree with both Sadhappy & Polishgirl, but the point is that something has to be done so Bank of America's overdraft fees be controlled. It's wrong and FRAUD that they put through the largest amount first through your account and charge you an overdraft fee for the next 10 small transactions. There is no control on the # of overdrafts. They still do it even after a class action lawsuit endured when they were known as Nations bank

Transaction history changes to the banks benefit; for example if you have a check pending it MAY NOT SHOW! BUT it will post at midnight and become the first transaction of the previous day! Making ALL those little transactions you made that day cost $35 a piece!
Posted by hateboa25 on 2008-01-26:
BOA are a bunch of crooks. Don't listen to the ones who agree, they must work for BOA. I can't believe there isn't a law for what they do with overdraft fees, its stealing!
Posted by Weary Consumer on 2008-04-23:
You know, for instance polishgirl and Vex = I believe people are capable of handling their money. I was never overdrawn on my account in the first place for them to even charge me.. And yes, BOFA manipulates the system so that when you're low on cash; they will find a way to take more or all of it.

Why is it that, when things were pending; it dissappears making you assume that it's already been credited = 10 days later, it reappears.. when you assumed it was credited and BAM!! Overcharge.

I manage most my funds through online banking, assuming that it was correct = however, it never is.. I think we should all boycott BOFA.. With their trickery and all.

Sorry polishgirl and vex. People don't make as much money; and sometimes $5.00 is important to them, if they want to use $4.99 they have the right to, without having to worry that they are going to be charged.
These are hard times for america; and we should be more understanding.. Imagine that last $3.00 is their child's lunch. Banks shouldn't have the right to manipulate whatever charges to have your last pennies.. Those pennies are still yours.
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Holds on Cashiers Checks
Posted by Edsnopse on 10/09/2007
Bank of America places holds on local cashiers checks. Don't deposit a cashiers check at Bank of America thinking it's like cash to Bank of America. It's not even close.

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Posted by WhineX on 2007-10-09:
I'm not one to defend BOA, but a lot of folks aren't aware there's a large fraud problem with cashier's checks. Today's counterfeits are very high-quality.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-09:
Cashier's Checks are not, nor have they ever been like cash. They are a check just like any other. Even a CC which is not fraudulent can still have a stop placed on it, or be dishonored for other reasons. If your banks gives you (or me) immediate credit on a CC, they are making a short-term interest free loan, until the check is actually collected.
Moreover, as WhineX notes, there is a huge problem right now with fraudulent bank checks. They are more likely to get a hold than a personal check is.
Posted by Cyane on 2007-10-09:
Cashier's checks are not the same as cash. If it's a large enough dollar amount, any bank is going to place a hold, regardless of whether the check is local or not.
Posted by Nohandle on 2007-10-09:
Well, I've learned something new today in reference to cashier's checks. I always thought the individual or business that purchased a cashier's check had satisfied the bank's requirements for issuing a check and in turn the bank guaranteed the check would be honored to the payee. Thanks edsnopse for bringing this to our attention.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-09:
I agree with the rest and here is one example why and if you want more information please use the link at the bottom.

How to Spot Cashier's Check Fraud - Examples of Scams
Cashier’s check fraud is one of the most popular crimes in the internet age. Once thought to be safe, cashier’s checks now require extra attention from sellers. Make sure you know all the red flags of cashier’s check fraud so you can avoid expensive scams.

Posted by trumania on 2007-10-10:
The bank cannot place holds on Cashiers checks which is stated by the Federal Reserve by Regulation CC, unless they are over 5,000 dollars. The checks are considered "Guaranteed Funds".

The bank has an option to verify if the Cashier's Check is real, they can call IPS (Integrated Payment Systems)to verify the check.

The only other way a bank can legally place a hold on a cashier's check for under 5,000 is if it's deposited into an ATM. Then there is no way for the ATM to determine if it's a cashier's check or a personal check. But the OP is very vague and provides NO details so, there is strong possibility that the bank was well within it's rights.
Posted by Timboss on 2007-10-10:
Then, if the bank credit's the customer's account for the amount of the cashier's check, say $4,500 and the check turns out to be bogus, guess who gets to pay the bank back the $4,500. That is right, the customer. Plus NSF, etc. when the $4,500 is deducted from the customer's account.

Too many Nigerian, and other, scams work off counterfiet cashier's check that look 'good as gold' to the bank until they go through the entire processing and the end bank says, "This is not one of ours."

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10:
How much was the cashiers check for ? Did you use the ATM to make the deposit ? Was your account in good standing ? Give more information.
Good luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10:
If you want to complain about Bank of America, send a written letter via certified return receipt to: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Consumer Affairs Department, 1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450, Houston, Texas, 77010-9050, Tel: 800-613-6743. Also, send a written complaint to your State Attorney Generals Office, Attn: Consumer Affairs.
Good luck.
Posted by chow on 2007-11-04:
Putting a hold on the check is better than having fund transfer immediately, then declared it is counterfeit a month later, which one will you prefer?
Posted by Roofus on 2007-11-09:
Reg CC doesn't apply to commercial accounts, it only applies to consumer accounts.

Go to FDIC.gov and search for a long list of counterfeit cashier check alerts to see why BoA would place a hold on the item.
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Unethical use of NSF
Posted by Pookiegrover on 01/09/2008
I have many accounts at BOA, including several checking, credit cards, line of credit, home mortgage, etc. I have been a customer for many years.

My son authorized a debit card transaction of $150 on November 29, 2007. It showed up right away on online banking as pending. Then it disappeared from pending, and I assumed it had cleared. I depend on the online and do not keep a paper ledger of transactions.

On January 7, 2008, I checked my son's account, a college account, before the 10:45 ET cutoff to make sure that he had sufficient funds. He did not, and so I transferred enough money in to cover the pending charges and get him through the week.

The next day, I found that the debit from 11/29 had been deducted, which had not shown as pending the previous day. Due to BOA's policy of processing the largest debits first and the smallest last, I had incurred $175 in overdraft fees. My son had a paycheck that he had deposited days before (from a major retailer, not a likely source of bad checks) that was not credited. Between his check and my transfer, there should have been no overdraft. And even if they did not credit his check, if they had reversed the order in which they process debits, there would have been one overdraft fee.

The same thing happened approximately one week before, with the online banking showing the account in good standing at the cutoff time, and five overdraft fees the next day.

I have talked to local BOA representatives and to customer service at their 800 number. They gave me a small "courtesy" refund for a portion of the fees. But if they did business in good faith, there would have been no need and I would have had no complaint.

I understand that the largest to smallest processing is legal. I understand that the outrageous fees are legal. Legal does not necessarily equate with right. The banking industry must have a powerful lobby, because they are getting away with robbing their own customers to the tune of billions of dollars a year in overdraft situations that they create through policies intended solely to fatten their already bursting wallets.

I am uncomfortable with entrusting my money to an institution that is avidly intent on getting it away from me in any way they can legally get away with. I will be looking for financial alternatives. And if anyone out there knows of a bank or credit union with more reasonable business practices, I would like to know, since I intend to switch all of my business as soon as I can.
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Posted by msnanny on 2008-01-09:
When you switch all your business to another bank you need to begin keeping a check register. These overdrafts are YOUR fault not the banks.
Posted by Mario The Great on 2008-01-09:
Sorry, I agree that you are at fault for the overdrafts. It sucks that almost ALL banks do this. I recently closed my account from 1987 with Chase because of this. I didn't keep a register and have overdrafted well over 2,000 in the last few years with them. Sometimes they are nice, most of the times not. Doesn't matter. I took my business to a bank that charges $20 in overdraft fees, compared to $35 by Chase. Take that Chase.
Posted by Ponie on 2008-01-10:
'I...do not keep a paper ledger of transactions.' Here's your solution: keep a paper ledger! As far as finding 'financial alternatives,' I suggest you stuff it under your mattress. That way you'll pay the NSF fees to yourself and fatten *your* wallet.
Posted by FoggyOne on 2008-01-10:
Nasty old bank did what they said they would in the conditions and terms for the checking account.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-10:
Banks are in business to make money and they don't care how they make it. They have been busted charging overdraft fee when there should not have been any in the first place. The only real way to not get ripped off is to have at least 6 months worth of what it cost you to live and then be careful and watch the bank. OR don't put money in the freaking bank if you are just living from pay check to pay check, it's just another added expense and doesn't save you anything.

Good luck
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-01-10:
Relying on your on-line balance is nothing but foolish. Some debit transactions may not appear for 2 or 3 days. How about a paper check that has not been presented yet? You must change your accounting methods or it is going prove to be expensive for you.
Posted by old fart on 2008-01-10:
Chuck... I never have any check noted as "pending". I balance my account daily with my online account at my credit union. It sometimes takes several days for a debit card transaction to show and likewise checks that haven't cleared but it's easy enough to reconcile the account by subtracting those from the available balance showing on line. How does the gentleman not recognize that..???

I abandoned banks in favor of credit unions and actually make substantially more money by having done that..
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-10:
Last time I checked, BoA drops a 'pending' transaction after 24 hours. This is the short end of the spectrum. My bank holds them for 5 days. (which is too long). In any case, you have no way of knowing the pending status of a debit transaction. So if you decide you are above keeping track of your own money, expect to pay these large fees. Banks love people like you.
Posted by PolishGirl on 2008-01-17:
Always keep a check register and deduct anything that you spend your money on. Debit card transactions, ACH electronic trasactions, do not necessarily post the same day that they are made. Always know how much money you have. Overdraft fees only result when an account holder doesn't know how to manage their account. Overdraft fees only result when an account holder spends more then they have.
Posted by BoAthievery on 2008-01-25:
Wow, and I thought I had problems. I cancelled my account with BoA in October of 07. So I thought. I kept my balance at zero "0" as they told me or they could not close my account. The internet response advised to wait 5 to 10 days to close the account. I checked my account every day to see when they closed it. I did this because they F'd me good a few months prior when they zapped me with 3 charges @ $35.00. ( funds were pending in my checking for 3 checks, I got Direct deposit so when the funds came in from DD, they took out the 3 charges, why? the checks were pending). In any event, on the 16th day a charge came in from an auto deduct from my debit card. I had alot of accounts auto debited, made things easier. I must have missed this one. So, I called the wonderful inexperienced non autonomous CS and asked why my account had not yet been closed 15 days ago, I was NOT paying the upcoming $35.00 charge and they were to reverse or refuse the charge. I was told by the rep that that the account should have been closed. I was assured the funds would not be honored and the charge would not be placed. Well, I get a letter in the mail for an overdraft charge. I called immediately to go over the headache again, I was told they did not show any charges, nor a letter sent and I have a zero (0) account balance. I was advised to not worry about it. Few weeks later, I receive another letter of $35.00 OD and the threat they would send me to Chequesystems. I called again and advised I was very close to filing lawsuit for deceptive practices etc to name a few. The CS rep didn't seem to care (probably getting these calls everday), I was advised she would remove that fee if she could but the account has a forced place closure. Ok, maybe I am not understanding, it is a closed account and she could not remove it without corporate reviewing the file and deciding to Reverse or keep the charge. Maybe I didn't understnad but if the account was closed why was I charged $35.00? I asked the rep to submit for review. She said it would be 7 days before the letter is received. Well as of yesterday, no letter and we are on 10 days, 11 counting today. I called last night to see when I am getting my letter, their records don't show any system updates of my conversation on 2 of the 4 times I called. There is no info that the review request was submitted. I went over all the coorespondences from day one of requesting my account closed and there are serious lacking matters that any bank could be closed for as improprietary. I too work for a financial institution and if we did this we would be screwed with FTC/OCC and any other number of regulation areas, not to mention probably punitive admin and other damages. I advised this person on the phone (reminding her I was not upset with her but the situation), She helped all she could and even gave me a bit more firepower to work with. They could have reversed my charge weeks ago but now they can't and now I have a $5.00 monthly service charge for a closed account? Am I the only one getting a serious problem with this bank?

If any attorney would like to take this on feel free to reply, if not I think it a fairly simple case to win. I'm done being nice.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-07:
They did the same to me. They can manipulate the drafts to fall in an order that creates multiple overdrafts. I believe they are making a killing. I will make this known as much as possible.
Posted by sunnydays on 2008-08-13:
I agree with Lidman. I had to learn the hard way of paying hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees EVERY month that my account was open. I live paycheck to paycheck...and I think he is right from what I have endured and observed myself....don't open a checking if you live paycheck to paycheck. You need at least a few months worth of living expenses at your disposal in the bank because even if you are spending exactly what you have in the bank (like myself) and you are not overdrawing your account because you are spending what you don't have...you will STILL incur overdraft charged due to how and when items post.
Posted by cherpep on 2008-08-13:
Did someone say Lidman?
Posted by ejack053824 on 2008-08-13:
Did Bank of America have on their ski masks? LOL!
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-08-13:
cherp, If you look, sunny is new here. Sunnydays...welcome, good points.
Posted by cherpep on 2008-08-13:
I was just surprised to see the name pop up on the Review side. Welcome sunnydays!!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-13:
That's enough to make anyone's heart skip a beat or two.
Posted by RightToRob on 2008-12-02:
Banks are motivated by two things: FEAR and GREED. The exorbitant NSF fees they charge are a legal form of robbery. Be on the lookout for a website that I am developing: RightToRob.org
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NSF Fees/Not Posting Deposits Timely
Posted by Amberlyk on 09/19/2007
HOUSTON -- I HATE this bank!! They consistently hold my paychecks and when I cash my check, and then deposit cash into my account, they won't show my deposit for several days!!! Some of bills are set up to automatically draft out of my account and they are constantly being returned for NSF, days after I've made a deposit to more than cover the bills payments. I'm so sick of it. I would never, never recommend this bank to anyone!!! Anytime I call, they tell me I should have my check direct deposited. When I explain that the option isn't available through my employer, they tell me to cash my check and deposit the cash. I explained that I've done that and they still don't post my deposits in a timely fashion! Really...they suck.

They just want to make money off of overdraft fees...
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-19:
If you want to complain about Bank of America, send a written letter via certified return receipt to: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Consumer Affairs Department, 1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450, Houston, Texas, 77010-9050, Tel: 800-613-6743. Also, send a written complaint to your State Attorney Generals Office, Attn: Consumer Affairs.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-19:
I just downloaded the BoA 'Deposit Agreement and Disclosures'. ! Holy smokes its 21 pages... Anyway here is the BoA policy.

"Our policy is to make funds from electronic direct deposits made through the automated clearing house (ACH) and incoming wire transfers available to you on the day we receive the deposit. Our general policy is to make funds from your cash and check deposits available to you no later than the first business day after the day we receive your deposit. Once they are available, you can withdraw the funds in cash and we will use the funds to pay checks that you have written.
For determining the availability of your deposits, every day
is a business day, except Saturdays, Sundays, and federal
holidays. If you make a deposit at a banking center before 2:00 p.m. local time, or such later time as may be posted at that banking center, on a business day that we are open, we consider that day to be the day of your deposit. However, if you make a deposit in a banking center after such time, or on a day when we are not open, we consider that the deposit was made on the next business day we are open."
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-19:
There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.
-Adlai E. Stevenson, The Stevenson Wit
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-19:
Cash is never held, by law. When you see a posting like this, what it really means is "I made a cash deposit at 6:55 on Friday night, and it didn't update my account until Monday night." The reality is, Monday is the next business day. It was never a hold, and it was never several days.
Posted by grandma005 on 2007-09-19:
I once deposited cash into my Bank of America account and they did put a one day hold on it. The teller said it was to make sure the money was real. I made my deposit at 9:00 a.m.
Posted by alexma on 2007-09-28:
I had to wait at times up to a week for my paycheck to clear, now they are history, bye bye BOA
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Backdating check posting to create NSF fees
Posted by Katluvr54 on 09/07/2005
NEW JERSEY -- On August 25, my payroll was direct deposited to my checking account. I didn't have much money in there and I knew it. My daughter, who leaves for work around 3AM, wanted to know if I had any money so she could stop at the local convenience store before going to work. I went online (it was about 1:30AM on Friday the 25th) and saw that my pay had deposited and that, after I paid my rent, I'd have about $200 left. So, I told her no problem - she could use my debit card to get something to eat. On Wednesday, August 30, I received a notice in the mail of an overdrawn check with a NSF charge of $31. I knew this was impossible because I had checked my account myself and there were no checks posted against it when my pay was deposited. So, I went into my account and found to my wondering eyes that not only had a check mysteriously posted, but that it was backdated to August 24!!! Just before my payroll was deposited!!! And, of course, because it exceeded my balance that day, they charged me $31. Before BOA took over Fleet, I never had one bit of problem with my checking account. Now, in two short months, I have been overdrawn twice - once with my Visa debit because they won't stop a transaction when there are no funds (and I was told that I would be charged the $31 regardless for trying to access insufficient funds) and once with a check that WAS NOT POSTED AT 1:30AM ON AUGUST 25 THAT MYSTERIOUSLY POSTED WITH AN AUGUST 24 DATE 5 DAYS LATER!!!! They saw a chance to make some money and took it. The Feds have already found these practices illegal - why the HELL aren't they doing anything about it??? I plan to close out this account and hightail it to my credit union. I have had this account since 1998 and have survived FOUR bank takeovers. Not until now has the bank who took over been this underhanded and blatantly fraudulant!! I plan to make screen prints of my account in the future before and after my direct deposits to make sure I have proof of their backdating schemes in the future until I finalize my account transfer. SCREW BOA! They are as useful as "tits on a boar hog", to quote my deceased father.
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Posted by KenPC on 2005-09-07:
And this is the bank's fault... why? You openly admit that you don't keep track of your balance, and draw funds based on an online inquiry. Guess what? It doesn't work that way... you have to keep a check register and track your own entries. When you inquire online, the bank has no way to know that there is a check in the clearing process. If you can't be bothered to keep a register, that's your choice, but you don't get to complain about overdraft charges when they happen.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2005-09-07:
I agree, and if you are being charged $31.00 you have had more than two overdrafts. I know this cause I have had overdrafts before and it took more than two to get to $31.00.
Posted by tander on 2005-09-07:
Crazy where do you bank at? I have never heard of overdraft fees being less than 30 dollars.
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-09-08:
Good point, Tander. Red must be "stuck in the seventies".
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Overdraft Fees: Bank of America Steals Money from Customers
Posted by Sassmcghee on 02/23/2010
Bank of America steals from their customers. They create overdraft fees by not processing your purchases as they occur even though you have the money available and at the time of purchase they went through fine. If you look at your balance you will see the “Balance” and “Available Balance” and will notice the amount you just spent is now gone from the “Available Balance”. So this means they have removed the money you just spent for the purchase you just made. Only problem is they don’t actually clear your purchase even though they have removed the amount from your “Available Balance”. Instead of clearing payments they hold them, sometimes for several days, and they call them "pending transactions”. Then they wait for other HIGHER charges to come through. When this happens they will clear those higher charges and then process the lower charges and often times this creates a deficit and will overdraft your account.

If you have money in other accounts or a savings account they will freeze those accounts and not allow you to use or withdrawal any of it unless you use it to pay their fees and get the negative account into the positive. So you could find yourself with an unexpected negative balance AND be frozen out of your accounts unable to get any of your money.

Right now we are in the middle of this nightmare, which we have seen several times since opening up accounts in 2005 and 2007. We were paid on Friday, January 29, 2010. We had plenty of money in the bank and that day, the 29th I paid several bills and then that weekend we bought groceries, and made several small purchases. Our account online looked in order and the “Balance” and “Available Balance” were correct because all the purchases we made were now gone from the “Balance” and showed what was left in the “Available Balance”, which was in the positive. When Monday, February 1, 2010 came I planned to deposit more money into the account to cover two car payments that were going to be coming out that day. When I went to check the online balance I saw that they had cleared the two car payments, which were supposed to clear Monday, and they used the money that had already been reserved (or so I thought) from the payments and purchases we made Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then they proceeded to overdraft five of those purchases at $35.00 each. Later, in addition to that, they added another $35.00 fee called an “Extended Overdrawn Balance Charge” because the account had been in the negative for 5 consecutive business days.

We would LOVE to close our remaining account and leave but we are stuck there. Because of one of the many times they put my account into the negative with overdraft fees and it snowballed from being a manageable amount to an unmanageable amount, I was unable to get caught up. Then they charged me an additional $35.00 for “Excessive Overdrawn Fees” when my account was in the negative for 5 consecutive days or more. Soon I was unable to ever get caught up and pay my rent and bills and buy food and gas. I had to stop depositing money into the account because it was just getting eaten up by their fees and I needed to pay for basic necessities and rent. They eventually closed my account and then reported me to Chex Systems. Now because of this I am unable to open another bank account anywhere and am a prisoner there, unless I want to have NO bank account at all but then how do you cash your checks and pay bills like a normal person? You can’t without a great deal of hassle and the danger of having cash in your possession, which is risky and unprotected. But really, what’s the difference? It can be stolen by some random thief or it will be stolen by the bank you are supposed to trust to keep your money. Not rob you blind.

My story is just one of MANY exactly the same and this issue with the banks using computer programs to overdraft their customer’s accounts has to stop. They have literally stolen hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of dollars from my family. They refuse to refund the money and they continue to practice this fraudulent scheme year after year to hundreds of people without consequence. The Internet is loaded with stories exactly like mine. I have been talking to people at stores and other places of business and have heard the same story from many of them about Bank of America and a few other banks that are doing the same thing to their customers.

These banks squandered billions of dollars away on who knows what and then needed to be bailed out by the government. They created the sub-prime lending schemes to make money and we all see how that turned out. Now the country is in turmoil and the economy is in the gutter and people are suffering because of it. Now they add insult to injury and steal from their customers by creating this overdraft charge theft scheme to make money.

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Posted by The Hurricane on 2010-02-23:
This is not the bank's fault. The businesses in which you make purchases have to clear the transactions. That's what a "pending charge" is. The bank holds the money until the store you made a purchase in processes the transaction. Some businesses process their transactions every day, some only do it once a week. That isn't the banks fault.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-23:
Why o why o why are there so many of these? I wonder if this happens in other countries or is it just the U.S.?

Here is a different way of thinking about the cash in the bank. Think as if it were in your hand. If you have 500 bucks in your hand and spend 450, you have 50 left. Right?? You can't go spend 51 more or 500 more cuz, YOU DON'T HAVE IT!! You have 50. If you try to spend more than that 50, you will have problems. Is it not the same if you try to spend more than in your account? You have problems if you don't have it and try to spend it. Crazy.
Posted by The Hurricane on 2010-02-23:
BTW, any purchases made after a certain time Friday (usually around 2pm) will NEVER show up on your balance (online or otherwise) until the next business day (usually Monday).
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-23:
"BTW, any purchases made after a certain time Friday (usually around 2pm)"

Just note that cutoff time isn't the same in every state. In Texas, it's 4pm.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-23:

Banking is a two way street. Not only is there the actual bank involved that holds your money... but the merchants.
It depends on how you use your card as to if it's to show up as pending, online or not.
If you spend your debit card as debit (you punch your pin number in), it usually posts the next business day and shows up online as pending.
If you spend your debit card as credit (you don't punch your pin number in), it could take up to 6 days to post and don't always show up online as pending.
And pending means exactly that... it's "pending" to come out. It hasn't cleared your account yet. The merchant has come to collect it's money.
Don't just solely rely on what it tells you online.
Yes, your available balance may say what's available... but, it doesn't show any auto-debits that may be posting to the account that night. And, since BOA posts highest to smallest... if your automated debit or check that posts that night drains the account; anything you did prior to that will most likely overdraft.
It's better to not risk that and just keep a register. Only *you* know what checks you've written, what automated debits are coming out and what purchases you've made.
Posted by msnanny on 2010-02-24:
It's simple really. The money for your car payments was not in the bank when they were prsented for payment. The money is supposed to be there first.
Posted by yoke on 2010-02-24:
The bank did nothing wrong. You spent more than you had.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
Here we go again. It's not the overdraft that is the complaint. It's the manipulation of transactions to maximize the number of overdrafts.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-02-24:
I can see both sides, bank posting upon receipt, rather than posting by date.
Customer not using proper records. The bank, being the large commercial beast gets the heat for hurting the little guy.
I believe that knowing your bank's practices as well as your merchant's practices of turning in transactions is critical. Banking practices and consumer responsibility run hand in hand.
Ain't the technology we have today wonderful!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
The technology exists that could provide excellent service for both sides; the bank AND the customer. But when you consider the bank controls the technology and then add greed into to equation the customer is the one who is going to suffer to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-24:
Welcome to the world of automation. These problems didn't exist prior to ATMs, online banking, debit/credit cards, auto payments, etc. It used to be that you deposited money in your checking account, wrote checks to pay bills, and deducted the amount from a check register. While that may involve too much paper for some people, it's very reliable.

I've been reading complaints like this for a long time now, and at first I thought it was just a matter of poor planning and/or finagling on the part of the account holder, but now I'm not convinced that's always the case. I think there is also a manipulation of transactions by the banks that is causing some of these problems. After all, I don't really have much confidence in the banking system anymore, so why should I dismiss the notion that these tactics are by design?
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
"I think there is also a manipulation of transactions by the banks that is causing some of these problems." - BINGO!, Lost09, you got it! Now if only some of the others could see it.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-24:
Tnchuck, I just find it hard to believe that so many people have the same problem. This is another well written review by someone who seems to know what he's doing. I could understand making a mistake once or twice, but too many people are convinced they are doing everything right and still seem to get caught up in this over and over again. It can't be that all these people don't understand how it works. It does seem suspicious.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
You have to admit, though, that if folks did not spend more than they have, they would never have a problem giving the bank the opportunity to manipulate the debits to maximize fees. In essence, the account holder is giving the bank the rope used to hang them. While I get, and largely agree, the bank will maximize fees, a wise consumer and wise account holder will keep track of how much they have and have much they have spent in order to avoid giving the bank the opportunity to injure them. Many of the account holders who complain about getting hit with fees on multiple instances seem to not be doing that. It's hard to make the argument "I spent more than I have, and it's not fair how they are penalizing me for spending more that I have." It's kind of like complaining about the fine for getting caught speeding.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
There are many families that must live paycheck-to-paycheck. Occasionally they will overdraft. What is pathetic is these banks pride themselves in their ability to make that customers situation even worse. Much worse. And then there are those who defend their despicable practices as just and deserved. It is a sad situation perpetrated against those who can least afford it. Just plain greed!
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
I don't disagree much at all. I do know that I have lived paycheck to paycheck, and learned to live within my means. It can be done. Sometimes it means going without, and not being able to buy folks birthday/mother's day/christmas presents. Sometimes it means boxed mac and cheese. But if I was in that situation again (it can always happen), I'd be doubly sure to keep track of my spending.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-24:
I remember when banks would actually hold a check until the money was in the account, and even call the customer to let them know. I realize those days are long gone, but it sure was a lot nicer than what goes on today.

Goduke, I realize that some people just outright spend more money than they have in their account, hoping to time it right in order to avoid overdraft fees. But you would think that if a customer got hit with overdraft fees enough times, they would eventually figure it out. I guess I'm just not convinced that the banks are completely innocent.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
I'm not saying the banks aren't maximizing the fees. I don't disagree that's a distinct possibility. I am saying, however, that if you don't spend more than you have, irrespective of how the bank orders your debits, you would never go NSF. You really can't argue with that logic. I understand that folks make mistakes and forget transactions, or that a merchant may put a double hold on a charge in error, etc. But knowing that the banks aren't going to give you a break, why would you knowingly give them the opportunity to hurt your pocketbook?
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
Consider the following:

Our paycheck-to-paycheck family has $200 in the bank. On Wednesday they spend $40 for groceries, $20 for gas $4 for a prescription, $110 for an electric bill, $8 at McDonald's. On Thursday morning they unexpectedly must take their child to the doctor. The doctor demands cash up front. $150.

Now the bank assesses $35 for each overdraft. The bank processes all of the transactions Thursday night. End result: The account balance is negative $157. The bank has penalized them $175 for a $150 doctor's visit.

Go, bank, go. When a man is down KICK HIM!!
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-24:
That's what I'm trying to say. Why would anyone knowingly give the bank an opportunity to take their money? I think a lot of these people truly believe they are not spending more than they have, and that they are doing everything right. Either these people are not only wrong but also incapable of figuring it out, or the banks are in fact manipulating transactions. I guess it could be a combination of both.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
Consider this:

If I know I'm living paycheck to paycheck, I make sacrifices like not eating at McDonald's and build a buffer in my bank account, when the unexpected expense came up, they wouldn't be put in that situation. I'm not being cruel or mean. I've been there. It's tough and scary. I understand that scenario. I'm also saying there is a way to overcome it and avoid giving the bank the opportunity to go after your account.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Even if they clear the larger charges first, if you don't have the funds to cover all of them, then you are overdrafting your account. You're letting them rip you off.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
"build a buffer in my bank account" - now you have elevated our family above the paycheck-to-paycheck status that is a given in the example. Try as you might you will never be able justify the banks actions as appropriate.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-24:
I've been there too, goduke, but it was before all the technology and automation, which actually made it a lot simpler to keep track of my money. If I didn't have a cushion in my account today, I'm not sure I wouldn't be in the same boat as a lot of these people. I feel sorry for them, especially the ones who can't afford to lose a penny.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
No, Chuck. I'm not advocating anything like that. I'm advocating making personal sacrifices in the name of being personally responsible. Apparently your view is that folks should just spend as much money as they want or need, and someone else (I guess the bank) should fix it for them -- perhaps even just give them the money because they need it or want it. It's probably just a fundamental agreement about who is ultimately responsible for my destiny, me or someone else.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
goduke, not that I have any hope of you actually understanding this but in my example if the bank were treating them fairly they would have ONE $35 overdraft, not 5. Even if they had not gone to McDonald's they would have been hit with 4 fees.

What perplexes me most is there are so many of you that simply refuse to see what the real issue is. It's not the overdraft, it's the manipulations.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
You know, Lost, I think a lot of it is linked back to the use of the check card -- with some charges being immediate (PIN number transactions) and others sitting in a pending status for a while but not affecting the ledger balance. I wonder if we went back to paper checks and cash if that wouldn't solve a lot of it. Wouldn't be as easy, though. I do love my card.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
Chuck. Once again. I'm not saying that I disagree that the banks maximize the fees. I've now said that about 67 times.

I'm saying that a consumer, knowing that reality, should wise up and plan accordingly. That's the part that you seem to be missing.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-24:
I was just about to mention that, goduke. Paper checks and cash would solve almost all of these problems. It's hard to keep a check register when you're using a bank card so many times a day. I know because I'm guilty of it, too. I couldn't live without my bank card, and I don't even know what cash looks like anymore. That's why having a cushion in your account is the best way to avoid overdrafts. Unfortunately, even some people who are capable of having a cushion don't think it's necessary. They'd rather spend the extra money instead.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Good comments goduke, lost09 and Chuck.

When I read OD fee complaints my first thought is people should make better choices in choosing a bank. Corporate banks are evil. My second thought is people should do whatever they can and SACRIFICE whatever as to not live payday-to-payday. I know some are victims of circumstances but I believe the vast majority just habitually make poor financial decisions because of no concept of sacrifice or patience. Conspicuous consumption for the sake of consumption. Eh, that's still no excuse though for the evil deeds of the corporate banks.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-24:
I agree, Stew. Patience and sacrifice are not part of people's lives today. Instant gratification is all to common. I know that doesn't apply to everyone, but it's a lot more widespread than it used to be.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-02-24:
I usually withdraw the cash I need for the week on Sun or Mon. Unless and emergency comes up, most people should be able to do that.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
I often think, Stew, that banks are neither good nor evil. Banks have become machines. Money goes in, money comes out. Everything is automated and runs according to rules that are programmed in. There's little human intervention anymore. There are no relationships anymore with most banks. Even the folks who work in the branches of most institutional branch are only facilitating the application of the rules. They aren't good or evil. They just are. Kind of sad. Smaller institutions are different. They'll be bought out soon.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
jkt, You can have my debit card when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Debit cards don't screw people. Banks do. I'd be so lost without my debit card.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
But you understand how your debit card works, Stew. I'm not so sure that everyone who has one understands how it works.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
goduke, now THAT was an accurate statement.
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-24:
So, the car payments were to come out on Monday 2/1, and the OP was going to deposit money on Monday 2/1 to cover them. Instead of BoA denying the car payments cuz technically the money wasn't there, as it was already spent from her previous transactions, BoA decided to go ahead and clear the car payments and tack multiple fees on for the other transactions.

If I understand the review correctly, than this is a perfect example of how the big banks screw people over. And yet, some still don't get it? Crazy!
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
In the past, Miss Mae, the customers clammered because the banks bounced the car payment and they had to deal with a bounced check at their financing company. The whole "cover it and charge a higher fee" schema was designed to deal with that, but it kind of went on steroids and got out of control. I, personally, believe the banks should just decline the charge or bounce the check and make the account holder clean it up themselves. But people were definitely asking the banks to cover these debits.
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-24:
I agree with you 100%, Goduke.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
You can say it all yuou want, but it still will not be true. There is NO manipulation of transactions by banks. If they come in through the ATM switch, they are posted the same business date. If they come through the POS switch, they are pending, then posted when presented by the merchant. It's just that simple.

Even small financial institutions get thousands and thousands of these every day, the big banks get millions. Who do you think is analyzing them to see what they can change to cause an overdraft?

If someone can't be grown up and manage the account then the bank should take away the debit card, and if that doesn't fix the problem, take away the checking account. If you want to criticise the banks, do it because they don't take these privileges away from the abusers at the very start.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
"There is NO manipulation of transactions by banks." - Ken, you are absolutely wrong on this one. The banks readily admit they process debits highest to lowest. That IS manipulation. It is also in the agreement that they may process in any method they so choose.
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-24:
So the BoA lawsuit over manipulating transactions to maximize overdrafts never really occurred?
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
Here's where I'm not sure about the banking world. When that file comes in at night, do we know if there's a time/date stamp on the transaction as to (1) when it occurred or (2) when the merchant finalized the transaction?

The dictionary says manipulate means: 1. To move, arrange, operate, or control by the hands or by mechanical means, especially in a skillful manner.

Manipulation is not by definition, therefore, improper. Any "sorting" would be, by definition, manipulation. So I guess my question is whether banks have the ability (don't worry about desire) to sort based upon something other than size of transaction in the data feed they get. I honestly don't know, as I've never seen it.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Bingo Mae, you are exactly correct, it never occurred. You may be thinking of the lawsuit which they settled, in which they were sued for failing to adequately notify in advance of changes in item processing. The Fed requires a 60 day notice to the depositors, and they failed to do it within 60 days, and they paid the fine.
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-24:
Oh OK..then this must be a lie too:

Dated Jan 22/2009: Bank of America has settled a class action lawsuit over its dirty overdraft tricks—things like approving transactions that generate overdraft fees, for example, or clearing transactions in high-to-low order to increase the number of overdrafts.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Duke... it looks like this:

3276.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 96.00 047 05 59509317 02/23/10 COMCAST - CHELMS BILL PAYMT
3277.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 162.94 047 05 59509319 02/23/10 COMCAST - CHELMS BILL PAYMT
3278.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 112.00 047 05 59254017 02/23/10 COMMERCE INSURAN BILL PAYMT
3279.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 100.00 047 05 59254128 02/23/10 COMMERCE INSURAN BILL PAYMT
3280.00 2113-xxxx xxxxxx 70.00 047 05 59255317 02/23/10 COMMERCE INSURAN BILL PAYMT
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Again the proof is in the pudding. My bank on any given posting date posts my debit card transactions in the exact order they occurred. Not sometimes but always. I know this because every since I was told on my3cents that banks simply couldn't do that I've been paying attention to the posting order on my account.

Make no mistake about it banks process transactions from highest to lowest for no other reason than to garner more OD fees. It's certainly not out of necessity. Reading some of this crap on here you'd think the corporate banks had 1920's technology with some poor schmuck tapping out the transactions in Morse code over networks where no segment runs more than three miles. The excuses offered up are comical.
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-24:
The point is, some banks are shady, some are not. Those of us that bank with upstanding banks, don't have this problem. I'm not rich, I live paycheck to paycheck quite often in fact...yet I don't have these problems. I do not balance my account as well as some do, yet I don't have these problems...and I think it's pretty clear why I don't.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
"I'm not so sure that everyone who has one understands how it works."

No, they don't.
Which is why I post what I do. I can get into greater detail, but that would be a novel sized comment.
I think this is where people in the banks need to step up. It isn't the bank's job to hold someone's hand in keeping track of their spending. It *should* be their job, however, to teach someone (especially someone who's never had a bank account before) how to properly maintain a checking account. How a debit card works. How online banking works. How any of this works.
We may be in the electronic era, but this era still has some kinks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Mae, if you actually read it, you'll see the suit was for not properly disclosing it, it has nothing to do with the actual processing, because there is nothing wrong with the processing. Every bank has a posting order, otherwise nothing would get posted. If you don't like the posting routine your bank uses, you are free to search around for a bank that uses a different routine. What you won't find is a bank that has NO posting order.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
"Those of us that bank with upstanding banks"

I bank both with BOA and Wachovia, and I don't have these issues.
I, too, live paycheck to paycheck... but I live on a budget and I know how my debit card, online banking, the works... works.
I'm one of those meticulous ledger people. It's worked well for the last 15 years... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
Spot on, Stew. I deal with a bank that is highest to lowest. My credit union processes in the order they are received.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
bearkakitten, Why in the world would you choose to do business with BoA and Wachovia? Do you think they offer better terms and service than a local credit union or community bank? Yeah, you haven't been bitten yet but your account is still governed by the same consumer unfriendly terms as those who have been bitten. A snake is a snake and people who play with snakes sooner or later get bitten.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Stew, why should I have to switch bank accounts when I have no issues with what other people are dealing with? Not everyone has problems. I have very basic accounts and that's all I want. I don't know why I'm getting "persecuted" for having bank accounts with them and yet I don't have issues keeping track of my account. If they were doing something I don't like, I'd go in search of another bank or credit union. But, just because Crappy McWeaksauce is having problems... that's no justification for me to pull all my accounts and go find somewhere else to bank.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
Thanks, Ken. I appreciate the example.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
bearkatkitten, think of it this way: You may be able to walk on the edge of a 2x4 a hundred feet in the air. But just think about how close to disaster you are. That is exactly the situation when one who lives pay-check-to-paycheck is in when dealing with the big banks. No two ways about it, you have been very lucky.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Because there are better choices. My community bank doesn't play these games. I get free checks. I get atm fees refunded up to $25 a month. I get paid 3.5% interest on my checking account balance. I get free bill pay. The online banking system is straight forward and honest. I get points for every signature based debit card transaction which I in turn redeem for premium golf balls that seem to disappear every time I play a round. I'm assigned a personal banker who handles any banking issues I might ever have. My deposits are immediately available. My deposits are always posted before any debit. I could go on but does either Wachovia or BoA offer you all that?
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-24:
Why is it so clear to some of us, yet so foggy to others? I'm with Stew and Tnchuck, I'll stick with my bank that processes from highest to lowest, posts transactions immediately, and doesn't later manipulate them "for my benefit."
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-24:
Checks? What are those?

Oh wait, I saw that in a history book somewhere.....
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
If I'm just happy where I am, why should I switch?
I get free billpay with both. Free checks with Wachovia, I don't use checks with BOA. I get full refunds if I use non Wachovia/Wells Fargo ATM's. But, that's a rarity that I use other ATM's for fear that my card might get sucked in and I'll never see it again.
Why is it so important to you that I should switch banks. I don't need all those frills that you seem to. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. There's nothing wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with how I do things. Why do you care where I bank? Why do you feel the need to press this upon me? I'm just fine with where I am.
I don't have overdrafts, I know how to budget. Even if I weren't living paycheck to paycheck, I still would live on a strict budget. I've doing it this way for years. And I'm happy and fine with that.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
I hear you, GD.
Checks are so 70's.
Anyone here still use their "BANKAMERICARD" too?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
My mom still uses checks. She sends off all her bills via the mail... snail mail. She doesn't even have a debit card. Cash, credit cards, and checks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
I still pay a few bills via the mail with a money order. The rest I pay over the phone or online with my Refillable Visa Debit Card. No worries, no extra fees or overdrafts.
Banks are for SAVING MONEY in my opinion.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Bk I could turn that around on you. Why do you care about OP's who overdraft? Why do you press upon them your views? Why do you care if somebody keeps a register?

I'm giving you good advice. You're dining at McDonalds when for a lesser price you could be eating at fine locally owned steak house. I just don't get why people accept less when they could get so much more for no additional cost.

I very much respect your opinions. I mean no disrespect towards you with any of my comments.
Posted by Nohandle on 2010-02-24:
Strange to me how people laugh at individuals still paying most bills by check. I might be wrong, but I don't recall ANY member who paid by check or credit card complaining about all of these fees. Wonder why?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Chuck: "My credit union processes in the order they are received." Since they are received once a day in a batch, how do you figure that?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Okay Nohandle though let's be fair here with your cash reserves you're never going to overdraft no matter what conveyance of payment you choose unless you're trying to buy Trump's fleet of yachts or something. Even then I got my doubts. You ready to adopt me yet?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
NH, you are making no sense. Please try again.
If your checking account is balanced in accordance with the checks that have been written, one shouldn't have to worry about the order of the checks being posted.
That's just plain BACKWARDS thinking.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
Ken, whatever order they appear in when the transactions are processed that is how they fall. There is no highest to lowest order or any alteration done to the process. EXCEPT credits ARE applied before debits. Additionally, at my credit union they do not impose an overdraft fee for an overdraft of $5.00 or less.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
It doesn't feel like advice. I feel like I'm getting griped out, not because I know how to maintain a checking account, but because of where I bank.
I didn't think I was pressing my "views" on anyone. I give advice on how to maintain a checking account. I say... it's better to use a check register or quicken or their brains... but I don't say you *have* to.
Why do I care if someone overdrafts? I care because I don't want to see people get manipulated. I'm in a customer service job. If I see people getting screwed (and letting themselves get screwed) then I feel the need to step in and say "hey, this is how you won't get screwed."
I don't see myself as getting screwed by the big scary banks because I know how to budget, I know how bank accounts work, and I don't deal with overdrafts.
I feel like I'm getting disrespected because anytime I "offer" any advice on how to avoid overdraft fees... I get griped out by the masses because somehow, explaining how debit cards work, I'm advocating overdraft. Nowhere in anything I say, do I say I advocate them. It would be awesome if things went back to the way they once were, 15 years ago or so... declining transactions and bouncing checks. But, until something happens to make that so, I don't see it happening anytime soon.
I know these big banks *can* be horrible. Maybe I'm living in a good city to which anytime I've set foot in these banks, if I've had an issue, it gets taken care of and I don't have issues anymore. Who knows.
I'm just fine with where I bank. Maybe I *am* just lucky. If I ever moved away from Austin... maybe my luck will change... who knows.
I'm all about advising people how to not get cut... if they're continuing to let the wound bleed, so to speak. Or something like that.
I keep getting, "oh just wait 'til you have these issues." I don't let myself become a victim. I take the steps necessary so I don't. I've had overdrafts before. I'm not some young thing that's come, recently, into the banking world. I had to teach myself how to budget. I've banked at credit unions and local banks before. I've had cushions and have lived paycheck to paycheck.
I appreciate advice. But, if I say I'm happy where I am and I don't have issues, why can't that be respected? Why do people think I'm going to have issues in the near future? Again, I'm not some fresh scrub that's never held a banking account before.
I remember what it was like when all you had was cash and checks to use. Before online banking became a staple in banking.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-24:
BKK, please don't be offended. This is simply a highly volatile topic. You stay with what works for you. No one's observation/opinion can possibly cover ever other persons circumstances.

It takes a tough skin to be a regular here.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
....And common sense.
Posted by MissMae on 2010-02-24:
"It would be awesome if things went back to the way they once were, 15 years ago or so... declining transactions and bouncing checks."

BKK, couldn't agree with you more on that!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Bkk, The frustrating thing about a medium of all text is that it's really easy for the meaning of a comment to be misconstrued or incorrectly internalized. Most of the comments I make on my3cents are not directed towards any person but rather to the subject at hand. I post what's on my mind. When properly medicated there's a good chance it might make some sense and when I'm off my meds well then all bests are off. That's just me. I'm certainly not trying to degrade you in anyway. I simply was asking why you choose to do business with big corporate banks. It's like my brother always asking me why I like Gibson's better than Fenders. And I end up saying I don't know why I just do now leave me alone. Hey, wait a minute I think I just has an empathetic moment... aaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnndddd it passed. So anyway I'll keep singing the praises of community banks and credit unions and you'll keep singing the praises of good record keeping and therein lies a lot of wisdom.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
"You stay with what works for you."

Thank you, Chuck. :-)

I've never been an advocate for overdraft fees. I think it makes people less and less responsible for their accounts. And the whole OD fee thing, and transaction order has been going on for quite some time now. At least, the last 6 years... if not more. This isn't something new because of the recession.

Gone are the days of declined transactions. Gone are the days of bounced checks... well, unless there's not enough to cover the check... but that's another whole can of worms.

"It takes a tough skin to be a regular here"

I haven't been scared off yet.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Checks still bounce don't they? Of course they do. The back charges a fee for it and in turn the merchant will as well.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
"So anyway I'll keep singing the praises of community banks and credit unions and you'll keep singing the praises of good record keeping and therein lies a lot of wisdom."

I'll help ya sing the praises of local banks and credit unions. :-)

But, it still helps to know how to maintain a checking account... even at the local banks and credit unions.

So, you sing the praises and I'll inform the masses of debit card usage and anal retentive book keeping. :-)
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
"Checks still bounce don't they? Of course they do. The back charges a fee for it and in turn the merchant will as well."

I know they do, I didn't say they didn't.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
Funny thing BKK I'm about as anal retentive as you can get when it comes to keeping track of my checking and other accounts. I've got all my accounts and every single transaction I've made since 1989 recorded in quicken. Keeping good and accurate financial records is one of the keys in building wealth. My wife on the other hand has never kept a check book register. She seldom has any idea how much money she has and 'budget' is not part of her vernacular. This is why we have and will always have separate accounts.

There's some changes coming this July:

"Under the Fed's new rule, which will take effect July 1, banks will be required to notify new and existing customers of their overdraft services and give customers the option of being covered. If customers don't "opt in," any debit or ATM transactions that overdraw their accounts will be denied"
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-24:
I swear people should have to take a class and sign a contract before they are allowed to have a bank account. How about they do away with debit cards, go back to checks, and start prosecuting people for fraud like they used to.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-25:
A mandatory high school class on banking and credit is an excellent idea. Banking lobby will probably prevent that from ever happening. There is simply too much money to be made from ignorant account holders.

You do, in fact, sign a "contract" when you open an account. The gist of the whole thing is you give the bank 100% control of your money to do what they wish and when they wish at anytime. Fortunately, let let you access it MOST of the time.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-25:
Chuck, they need to teach the kids how to read and do simple arithmetic first don't you think?
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-25:
My mom taught me how to balance a checkbook. Don't know why we need a class.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-25:
Unfortunately, GD, there's a majority of parents out there that don't know how to balance their checkbook either.
Thankfully, my parents were not one of them. I, too, learned from my parents. My dad, to be exact.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-25:
goduke, we need a class because many of the "mom's" don't know how to balance a checkbook.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-25:
Maybe we should just go back to trading rocks....
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-25:
BKK, you beat me.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-25:
@GD... But, that too, requires counting. Another thing a majority of people don't know how to do.
@Chuck... tee hee. :-)
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-02-25:
Great! I'll see your 2 granites and raise you a flint.
Posted by sassmcghee on 2010-02-25:
I can see taking responsibility for the car payment not going through because it came through before I had a chance to get the other money in. I can accept an NSF for those two, that was my fault. What I can't accept is instead of overdrafting the actual thing that overdrafted my account they cleared something that came in several days later that was a higher dollar amount and overdrafted all the little charges that “supposedly” went through days before. Charges that were clearly removed from my available balance. And life isn't always cut and dry, things happen. Unexpected expenses come up, emergencies, unusual circumstances or traffic that you can’t avoid that prohibit you from making it to the bank before they close. And before you say “leave earlier” that isn’t an option when you get off work at a time that doesn’t allow you to leave earlier. But whatever it might be, that doesn't give the bank the right to take advantage of the situation and steal as much money from the customer as possible by manipulating the process to ensure they are able to get the maximum amount in fees possible.

And it has nothing to do with living beyond our means and it has everything to do with just getting by sometimes and not having the luxury of a buffer of money. There are so many things that contributed to this situation it would take another page to explain it all. But regardless, the FACT IS the bank is taking advantage of the customer by stealing money through questionable practices. This is happening to way too many people too many times to JUST be the customer not being responsible or living beyond their means. It is a dishonest and unfair method the bank is using and they are taking advantage of people that are just getting by.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-02-25:
Both of my kids took a class in high school that included banking. In addition, I did my best to make sure they knew how to handle their accounts. My daughter made only a couple of mistakes at first, but that was it. However that was before this overdraft thing got so out of hand. My son, on the other hand, has lost hundreds of dollars in fees since he turned eighteen six months ago and opened his first account. He's a smart kid and good with numbers, and was given all the tools he needed at school and at home to successfully maintain his account. At times my husband and I can't even figure out what he's doing wrong, and neither of us has ever overdrawn our accounts or paid any fees in our long history of banking. That's why I started becoming suspicious of the banking procedures.

I would also like to say that having direct deposit has made my son's situation even worse. I was always in favor of direct deposit, but now it seems to just give the bank freedom to take whatever they want. That may sound crazy, but that's the way it appears.
Posted by beanbagbritches on 2010-03-17:
This is something that Bank of America has done for a long time & it's one of the reasons I moved to a credit union recently. If you don't want the confusion of missing funds, try a different bank/credit union.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-17:
BOA is not to be trusted. Read my post to see what they've done to my mortgage. I have never missed a payment, ever. I wouldn't bank with them in a million years. I wouldn't even have my mortgage with them if Countrywide hadn't folded. Even if you do everything right, something will get messed up by someone in the organization--someone that doesn't have a clue of what they're doing. I bank with a credit union--big bank's are yesterday's news. I have had friends say they have never had a problem with BOA. I tell them to just wait, they will. Only a matter of time. If you bank with them, you are playing with fire.
Posted by MotleyCrueGuy on 2011-03-14:
Few comments:

Electronic transactions (Debit, PIN, ACH) can be ordered by arrival time. Checks are batched per day they hit - the date you write on a check is NOT generally looked at unless it's cashed in a branch (as opposed to deposited in the payee's account) - there simply isn't the manpower to do that and we wouldn't want there to be (more employees = more fees).

As far as the comments that the banks must be manipulating because people do it over and over again, sure, however,

Some people NEVER have problems and others ALWAYS do and it's not all about money - plenty of well off people repeatedly overdraft and plenty of paycheck-to-paycheck types don't.

THAT is also suspicious to me.
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Unconscionable Bank Fees
Posted by Micky10 on 07/23/2008
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Bank of America has changed their system as of March 08 to enable an overdraft charge to be assessed for $35 for any time a pending charge (not paid yet) causes your account to be negative - even if the "pending" charge is not paid until days later and your statement does not show a negative amount. They do not have evidence of what charges went through to cause this - they stated that I could go in to a bank service center and see it there. There is no evidence on my bank statement therefore I can not believe this is legal. In addition, they shuffle charges for days - even if they are completed so they can charge additional fees.

This is the worst bank I have ever had an account at and will be closing my acct as soon as possible. Beware of this bank!

Micky 10

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-23:
Unconscionable Bank Fees are where BofA is making huge profits these days. If you're with BofA you need to be sure to keep a positive bank balance. If you want instant credit on deposits etc you may want to look into banking with a local credit union.

And remember BofA will always process debits before credits in order to maximize OD fee's. The Fed's are looking into the practice but for now they are getting away with it.
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-07-23:
i have been with bank of america for many years. never had any issues.

"If you're with BofA you need to be sure to keep a positive bank balance."

this is the best advise anyone can give about bank of america, and many other banks. i suspect this is why i have not had any issues with fees.
Posted by *Brenda* on 2008-07-23:
madconsumer, just because YOU haven't had any problems doesn't mean they are a wonderful company. I have BOA and I hate them. AND I've never had any overdraft fees. They are NOT a great bank.
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-07-23:
like wise brenda.
Posted by bigboxworker on 2008-07-23:
Cutting your balance too close to the zero point is never a good idea no matter what bank your with. You should monitor your balance your monitor more closely and have at least one credit card to help you out in situations where you fall close to a zero balance to avoid overdrafts.
Posted by Ponie on 2008-07-23:
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-07-24:
"and have at least one credit card to help you out in situations where you fall close to a zero balance to avoid overdrafts."

then the poster will be here complaining about their use of credit cards.
Posted by yoke on 2008-07-24:
madconsumer, so true.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
Two words.....Credit Union
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
You spent the money the instant you swiped the card. If the funds are not in the account when you use the card, you're overdrawn, plain and simple. There is no 'window of opportunity' for you to run to the bank with a deposit to cover it, you're already overdrawn. If you are running on empty (and who isn't?), it's just a bad idea to be using a debit card. Either withdraw cash and use that, or write a check. You won't win anymore if you try to play the float game with a bank.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
I have to disagree with you Ken. An authorization does not equate to an actual withdrawal. Case in point. Recently I stayed at hotel using my points yet had to provide a CC for incidentals. They did a fifty dollar authorization when I checked in but since I had no incidentals they never processed the charge. I didn't spend the money the moment they ran my card because there was never a transfer of funds. It is just plain wrong hitting people with OD fees for authorizations.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
LMD, you're correct. All gas pumps do a pre-authorization. Now it can be as high as $100.00. So if you run a pre-paid card the system will pre-auth up to the $50.00 sometimes. Until the processor releases that hold the $50.00 is tied up and can not be used. Now why a station would pre-auth a pre-paid card then not allow the pump to turn on is a mystery.

Most processors will pre-auth a debit card for say $75.00 even though you only have $20.00 in the account. If you go over the $20.00 then your bank will pay the processor but hit you with a OD fee. Banks are loving it these days as every time someone goes over the available balance they get to ding them with an OD fee. At the same time your bank may also decline a debit card transaction for any number of reasons. Rules are all over the place right now.

There is no one set of rules for debit cards, pre-paid card, credit cards etc... as each processor may have different rules. We work with processors every day and the systems are set up to maximize merchant protection.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
Two points Lois, first of all, if the hotel authorizes a charge that is not substantiated the error lies with the hotel, not the bank. Pending legislation would protect you (justifiably) from overdraft charges in this case.
The second point is that the OP was not stating this to be the case, that complaint was that they got fees even though they made a deposit after the debit was made. My point is that it is too late to avoid fees by depositing after the fact. Once the transaction has been authorized, the bank is obligated to pay it whether the poster makes a deposit or not before the actual item hits the bank.
Once you create the obligation to pay the debit, i.e. at the time of swipe, you are obligated for the fee.
The concept isn't new. If you write a check when the funds are not already available in the account, you have broken the law. Everybody does it, usually you can get away with it by beating the check to the bank, but not always. This is just a 21st century adaptation of that same principal.
Most problems occur because the depositor fails to track their balances, thinking that they can go online and see what they have, and deposit if necessary. This just doesn't work for electronic transactions. If you're going to use a debit card, you HAVE to know what's in your account, and the only way you can know that is if you keep track of it.
If you fall in a big hole, the bank is willing to toss you a rope...for a fee. What they are not willing to do is prevent you from walking around with your eyes closed, and falling in in the first place.
Like it or not, they are for-profit businesses, ultimately responsible to their share holders. And who are the share holders? Well, if you have a 401k, or a pension, or a mutual fund, or a retirement account, on and on... it is YOU.
Posted by yoke on 2008-07-24:
Ken, some people don't understand that.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-24:
Fortunately Ken I moved my entire retirement account out of the market and into government securities about a year ago. Smart move, eh? I get what you're saying I simply don't agree that an authorization is a transfer of funds or draft and without a draft you can't have an overdraft. You and I will never agree on this and that's fine. You do make an interesting point however that BoA will do what ever they can to extract as much money as legally possible from their customers. I know some people don't care because they think it doesn't affect them. Kind of like a guy dating a girl who's cheated on every previous boy friend but he doesn't care because she hasn't cheated on him. People can do what they want but when I see such total disregard and contempt for the customer I take that as a red flag to take my business else where which I did months ago by closing my BoA account. You're a smart guy Ken.. I enjoy reading your comments.
Posted by PolishGirl on 2008-07-26:
My comment is very simple and understanding, first of all never ever keep you bank account close to zero. If you swipe your debit card, make sure you have available funds or you will be assessed overdraft fees, because as soon as you swipe your card, the funds are reserved and are on an authorization for that purchase. The bank doesn't shuffle the purchases. The transaction is pending in the order it is made and posted within 3 business days later when the mechant turns in the final sales draft for the correct amount of the purchase to the bank electronically. Then BOA posts the transaction from highest to lowest amount, the day the merchant receives the funds from the account. BOA doesn't decide when to pay the transaction, when you swipe your card, you authorize the merchant to take funds from your acount.BOA posts the payment when the merchant turns the sales draft to your account. It is your, I repeat your responsibility to monitor your account, keep a check register no matter what type of transaction it is and never go below a certain amount in your account, perhaps $100 to start. It is too late to avoid overdraft fees if you make deposits the day after you account is already overdrawn. Please make note that you should not blame BOA, blame yourself. Learn how to manage your finances better, then you would not complain about overdraft fees.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-07:
Exactly right Micky. This Bank is stealing money from hard working class people. They did it to me and many others. I think a class action suit is whats needed. Their greed is evident from the mortgage crisis. The saw an opportunity to take advantage and they did, but now its backfiring on them. They bought country wide financial and it would serve them right if they go under. But with the government bailout they will come through with just a scratch.
Posted by sunnydays on 2008-08-13:
I think Ken is correct. If you are always close to running on empty concerning your checking account then debit cards are not a good idea for you to use. I do not own a check book because I did not want to mistakenly overdraw my account. However every single month my checking account is in the negative with BB&T. It's not that I'm using funds that that I don't have. I look at my available balance and everyday before making charges and I only spend what I have. But still every month since I have opened the account (3 months ago) I am HUNDREDS of dollars in the negative…anywhere from $180.00-$400.00. It makes me so upset because I would take the blame if I knew I was spending money that I don't have…but I'm not, I'm spending what I have and what I know for a fact is in my account. However all I can think of is that it has something to do with the time that it takes for each debit transaction to post. Something cannot be right with that though, I'm just not sure what it is.

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