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Citizens Bank's SCAM Operation with Overdraft Fees
Posted by Nofearman on 05/22/2009
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- On Monday evening May 18, 2009, while out of town, I knew I had to get to a computer to add funds to my account as I had several small debits coming in. I knew I had enough to cover 12 out of the 13 incoming debits. I unfortunately never got to a computer to transfer funds. BUT, what I did NOT realize until Tuesday morning is that Citizens “practice” of debiting accounts is NOT, as I thought the smaller debits all paid first, or even as they are posted, BUT “intentionally” from LARGEST debit to smallest. Now, when I called Citizens I was given the canned response that Citizens does this to “help the customer pay for their most important payments first”. WOW! Thanks Citizens for knowing so much about ME and what is important to ME! What a nice company, looking out for their customers… And, YOUR WELCOME for the SEVEN overdrafts which you just profited over $270 on.

And get this, on May 19, 2009 my last 8 debits were all under 10$ but of course didn’t clear because Citizens overdraft system was sure to deplete the funds with all the higher debits FIRST. Resulting in SEVEN $39 overdrafts for debits under $10

Now, such a comment from Citizens is of course nonsense and we all know WHY Citizens has “designed” their overdraft system to post HIGH to LOW. At least while inquiring at Bank of America about they overdraft policy they were honest enough to admit the “real agenda” of banks employing this sleazy tactics was to increase their bottom line with overdraft profits.

And, I am sure it has added a nice revenues increase to your bottom line. But, I must say it is quite shameful that this “hidden tactic” is being employed against Citizens customers. I can assure you if most people were asked about this they would have no idea HOW the overdrafts policy works AGAINST Citizens customers. Unless, they get to read about such a scandalous experience it is pretty much a hidden policy. I am sure it must be buried in the checking account terms and condition in the 3pt font, somewhere on page 5.

And, to top it off before I knew what happened I charged $6.80 for Chinese food, but with Citizens $273 overdraft charges I was as a result $208 negative (because they charged my account and THEY made my account negative), they charged me ANOTHER $39 overdraft fee. Which would have cleared had they not charged my account $273.

The scary issue here is probably 90% of Citizen Bank customers (and other Bank’s customers) are unaware of the details of these seedy overdraft tactics.

I may have to bite the bullet and lose over $300, while I take time to move all my personal business accounts to a more reputable, respectable bank. But as Congress is just now debating the unethical fees being charged by credit card companies, I will do my part to make sure they are aware of, and hopefully also address these unethical “overdraft” practices. Is it illegal? Surprisingly no. Is it disgraceful, immoral, and shameful? Unquestionably!

The days of personal relationships with your banker are OVER. It's just a computer program ready and waiting to suck your account dry with the slightest opportunity.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-22:
This is nothing new. Most banks have been using creative posting technique for years. There is probably a section in your account terms and conditions which states that they can process your transactions in any order they chose. Perhaps you should read it. You'd be surprised at what else you have agreed to let them do.

You made an incorrect assumption when you knowingly overdrew your account and got caught.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-05-22:
you gambled and lost.
Posted by msnanny on 2009-05-22:
This same thing will happen everywhere you bank. The only way to prevent it is to not spend more than you have.
Posted by yoke on 2009-05-22:
You admitted you did not have enough to cover all the debits and did not get to a computer to put the funds in that were needed. How is that the banks fault?
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2009-05-22:
Dump the banks. ALL of the "big boys" reorder transactions for the sole purpose of maximizing fees. Find a credit union. Most process transactions in the order they are received. At least when you do overdraft it is done in a fair manner.

At my credit union they don't even apply an overdraft fee if the overdraft is less than $5.00. Now that is customer appreciation.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-05-22:
That's nice chuck!! My credit union also doesn't stack withdrawals largest to smallest.

nofearman, come over to the credit union side! They're not in it to pick their customer's pockets..
Posted by Suusan B. on 2009-05-22:
You knew you had overdrawn your account so you gambled and lost. And you will find you have the same problem no matter where you move your money unless you have overdraft protection in place. No sympathy here . . . .
Posted by hopper14 on 2009-08-18:
I agree with the author...Citizens Bank is dedicated to lying and scamming the customer. Hopefully, people will stand up against this business and realize that the only people committing fraud are them! I can't tell you how many times I try to check my account and be the responsible consumer while Citizens decides not to "post" all activity. It's a poor website. Everyone that is saying "you gambled and lost" must be there employee, or have a lot of money in the bank. Yes, credit unions are not this harsh.
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Citizens Bank PA - illegal practices and customer ripoff scams
Posted by Jimmy Panousis on 08/03/2009
I worked for Citizens in PA for almost 2 years. Fran, the Bucks County Regional Manager, pushes OD fees EXACTLY as described in many posts.

We were forced to open checking accounts that had excessive overdraft fees and monthly charges in order to ripoff the customers. Here's how:

We had to open accounts, lying to the customers that the account has "no fees" and put specifically designed waivers on the accounts so that the customer doesn't realize the scam (the maximum waiver you could use was for 1 year...)

Then, when the waiver expires months later, the customers have their guard down and they don't obsess with every line on their statements, they get hit by monthly fees that will overdraw the account (as most people keep in their checking account only enough money to cover their checks - that's why it's called a CHECKING account). The overdraft fees will overdraw the account again and again and so will the checks you write believing that your account is still good....

I routinely had customers with hundreds of dollars in fees by the time they received their statement - we were specifically instructed to hit high school kids, college students and senior citizens.

Another trick we had to use is open a "Gold" checking account to senior citizens who would come in and ask for a savings account by using a high interest rate as a carot and not disclosing the fees (using the waivers as noted above). Problem is, that "Gold" checking account had a high-balance requirement and the poor people would be hit by unneccesary monthly fees a few months later...

And to add inslult to injury we even had telemarketing days and evenings when we were forced to make telemarketing calls (disguised as "service calls" so that the bank circumvents the do-not-call registry laws). Not only these were clearly marketing calls (as suggested by the program feeding us the leads!!!) but also we had to open a number of checking accounts over the phone (the daily and weekly targets were set by Fran again, the Regional Manager).

If only homeland security new how many checking accounts Citizens Bank routinely opens over the phone without proper identification or signatures... all the auditors have to do is go to any Bucks County branch towards the end of the day and ask for the signature cards of the checking accounts opened the SAME day to uncover the illegal practice (this way there is no time to mail the signature card and obtain backdated signatures....)

Stay away from Citizens Bank in PA! I quit several years ago and I am still haunted about the things we had to do...
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-08-03:
If things are as true as you say, contact the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency right away.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-03:
*rolls eyes*
Posted by Eloise on 2009-08-03:
So you are a former employee, huh?
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-08-03:
A lot of whistleblowers are former employees. It does sound like there is some inside information being imparted here.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-08-04:
if you're overdrafting why are you still writing checks?

that's the problem with a lot (most) of these over-draft complaints.

People make no effort to keep a balanced check book. And when they overspend they blame the bank for the account being in overdraft.

it's sad but... if they took out a pen and paper and wrote down what they spend and what's in the account - including debit card and online usage - then... they would actually KNOW what's in the account and how much they can spend.

bank holds a check a little longer? No problem... you already wrote it down so you're taking that check into consideration.

the problem is people are lazy and don't want to do that.
therefore it's always the bank's fault.
Posted by yoke on 2009-08-04:
The people who do not know about the fee's are the ones who do not open up their statements and balance their checkbooks every month. If you do that you will see the fee's and you can question the bank the first month about the fee's. How can someone go months without knowing about the fee's?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-04:
Wow, this isn't smart....
Fulbright Jaworski remember that name, you may need them.
Posted by Ponie on 2009-08-04:
'...most people keep in their checking account only enough money to cover their checks...' Wow, Jimmy! From where did you glean this profound fact? If people wrote checks (or used their debit cards) making sure they had 'enough money to cover' these transactions they wouldn't be subjected to these fees. I'm sorry they fired you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-04:
Ponie, I'm not sorry. I'd hate to walk into a bank and have to deal with this one.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-04:
If you had to do so many crappy things, why'd you stay at that job for so long? You could have been looking for another one while still working for them. And, if you had to do all those horrible things, why'd you wait until now to say something?
You could have filed a report then.
Posted by Eloise on 2009-08-04:
I'd be glad to see you at my bank. I love my bank!
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-08-04:
ponie what's worse than that is that there are some people who actually act like this....

"How can I be overdrawn! I still have checks in my checkbook"
Posted by hopper14 on 2009-08-18:
Wait until it happens to popcorn, pepper and ponie.
Posted by Brian-Z on 2009-08-23:
I too worked for Citizens Bank, and although we were forced to do telemarketing and try to get accounts, we NEVER did these types of tactics. It sounds to me like it is this particular regional manager. I would make a call to the Alert Line about her, I know that you don't work there anymore, but if she is still there then think about all the people that still are there and have to suffer because of her deceptive practices.
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Kroger is worse than Juniper
Posted by DonH on 02/09/2007
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I just opened a Juniper account and now find all the complaints here... scary.

But "RBS Credit Card Services" dba Kroger Personal Finances, Kroger Master Card, Fred Meyer Master Card, (and probably more) burned me worse than any of the reports I see here about Juniper.

In particular their brochure and application invited "Free Transfer From Other Credit Cards" and "No Interest for Nine Months." But it was/is all a crock. Not only did they levy multiple "transfer fees" against me as-of the very first DAY, they reneged on the "no interest" for the transferred balances AND on PURCHASES in THEIR OWN stores (Fred Meyer) PLUS have increased the RATE of interest every single month since I transferred from the "Higher" (12% card)to their "promised" "0% for 9 months." I got stuck for transfer fees plus have had interest raised every single month since, day one (September 2006). Interest of last statement was about 65%: "minimum finance charge"

I tried to report them to local Consumer Protection (State of Washington) but got nowhere. I did report them repeatedly to the BBB in the states they're registered (CT, RI), and yesterday suddenly MY Credit Report shows about a dozen alleged "delinquencies" (according to HSBC Master Card) -- But I get brushed-off by Experian etc every time I try to get a copy of that alleged "Credit Report" - In violation of several state and federal laws.

I paid "Kroger Personal Finances" off COMPLETELY in December 2006 --- but am still (February 2007) being "accessed interest on interest" (on the "0% advances") -- Although I was never late for a single payment since I got the card.

And Kroger Personal Finance is still sending me blank checks imprinted "0% interest" in the same envelopes as the +60% "interest on interest" billing statements.
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Citizens Bank loses my cash deposit for the third time
Posted by Elizabethnh on 09/22/2009
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I received a message from my landlord today stating that my rent check bounced. I have never bounced a check in my life. I immediately called Citizens Bank who claimed they had no record of a $170.00 cash deposit I made 3 days ago. I knew for sure that I had been there, deposited the money looked at the receipt and thrown it away the next day while cleaning out my pocketbook. After 2 hours of hearing several different people telling me that without the receipt there was nothing they could do, I dug every garbage bag from the last week out of the dumpster, threw on some rubber gloves and went searching. Found the receipt (amongst cornbeef and cabbage remains). Called the bank back gave all the information printed on the receipt at which time I was told that I would have to bring the receipt all the way down to the branch in order for them to do something for me. After nearly exploding on the telephone and telling the manager that I was not going anywhere as I was not the incompetent one, they finally agreed to give me my money and make a personal phone call to my landlord to apologize. True story and third time this exact scenario has happened (with the exception of the cornbeef).

Bottom line.........do not do business with these incompetent people. Its a big headache, a bunch of fees, and a whoooooole lot of bull-isht.
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Posted by saj80 on 2009-09-22:
Are you making these deposits directly or via an ATM? If using an ATM, please stop immediately and start making the deposit directly, person-to-person. There are thousands of stories about cash deposits getting "lost" via use of an ATM. Also, keep all receipts until your deposit posts to your account. I know this may not help you in this situation, but it should going forward.
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2009-09-22:
Scanners are dirt cheap. Since you have computer access, attach the scanner to it and copy every deposit statement into your computer. Only takes a minute, but then you have a receipt to call up if needed.

Personally, I would never make an ATM deposit for this reason. I have a deposit record book I got from the bank. When I write a deposit out, it makes a copy below it. I tear out the deposit slip, and personally deposit the money and checks. Then after scanning, I come back and staple the deposit receipt onto the back of the deposit record book page that is a copy of that deposit. Worked for years.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-22:
There's a reason they can't do things over the phone. Verification purposes and all that mess. There's too much fraud going on out there and identity theft.

If you've made the deposit through the ATM, the people at that branch aren't incompetant either. Most banks don't service their own ATM's.

Instead of throwing fit, why couldn't you just have simply done what they asked?
Posted by goduke on 2009-09-22:
I use citizens. It's pretty simple to check the deposit online -- it shows up immediately after you go to the bank or ATM (I've done both). If it's not there, you have an issue. I keep the receipt for a few days afterwards just in case a question arises. No problems at all.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-09-22:
That's pretty unusual and extremely unsatisfactory to have not registered your deposits 3 times now.
I'm hoping you will stop throwing out the receipt until you are sure the deposit is in the account. Frankly, I think I would have hung on to them longer after the first incident.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-22:
With that rude attitude I would have hung up on you. There is a reason they need to see your receipt. How about you tell me your name so I can call the bank and raise a fuss like you did and demand all the money from MY (your) account be transferred to mine at BOA. Since throwing a tantrum causes them to override their privacy policies it should be fairly easy to clean you out.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-22:
My point exactly, Lady.
Posted by CrystalSword on 2009-09-23:
And I don't throw out ANY bank receipts, why?...this very reason!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-23:
It sort of defeats the purpose of getting a receipt if you throw it out before you get your statement. What are you checking it against?
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Imposing Excessive Overdraft Fees
Posted by Dab1960 on 06/05/2009
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- It's beyond me how they continually get away with these practices of re-shuffling balances and postings to justify charging more fees.

Just recently they have done again. On June 1st, my balance was a positive actual and a positive available. I then proceed to make an ATM withdrawal, and even after my balances were still reflected as positive.

The next day, after 3 transactions, and mind you they were all posted and still reflected positive balances....they charge me $117, for what they are saying is (3) negative transactions, because my card had been run through for authorization, which in turn caused the last three transactions to be negative available balances. Then 24 hours later, the post the transaction from the previous days authorization and charge me another $39. When I called to talk to customer service, they gave me an explanation that still has my head spinning. They said that on June 1st when the card was run through for authorization, the pull that amount of money out and hold it for that pending transaction, which in turn, cause those other (3) transactions to be negative, therefore assessing me $117 for the fees.....but yet, 24 hours later, they post the transaction that they said they pulled the money for previously, and charged another $39.....but if they pulled the money previously....and it was available at that time, why am I being charged?

They contradicted themselves when I called to inquire and they won't refund me any fees, they say it's bank policy and I am the one that should keep better track of my account. It's a rip-off and then they structure the transactions to justify it.
Steer clear of this bank.....they will rip you off every chance they get, and even when you think you've got it figured in, they will manipulate the transactions and justify they're ripping you off.
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Posted by kisa64 on 2009-06-05:
Here's what I do; I keep track of my transactions in a check register, so I know my actual balance at all times. I also do not use my debit card anywhere where a hold may be placed in addition to the purchase amount (gas stations, restaurants, hotels). I used to overdraw my account all the time when I didn't keep a check register, it has now been 18 months since I started doing this and not one overdraft since then. Just letting you know what my experience has been and what has worked for me. Hope this helps!
Posted by yoke on 2009-06-05:
kisa, isn't amazing what happens when you use a check register and not rely on the online banking amount. I use a check register also and have not had an overdraft in years. Even my 16 year old has yet to get a NSF. He also uses a check register.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2009-06-05:
kisa and yoke your comments show you have no idea what the poster is complaining about. Read, understand, THEN comment.

His complaint is about being charged two NSF's for the same transaction and the reordering to increase the number fees.

Let's hear your ETHICAL justification for the bank charging two NSF's for a single transaction?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-05:
Right on Chuck!
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-06-05:
Well said, chuck.
Posted by kisa64 on 2009-06-05:
Sounds like a hold was put on his account when the purchase was made and then the actual purchase was put through later when the merchant submitted it, so I suppose that can cause NSF fees twice for the same transaction! Sorry, but my advice still stands, a check register has solved my problem of continous overdrafting (believe me I have lived thru the overdraft nightmare). Just trying to be helpful, sorry that doesn't meet with your standards.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2009-06-05:
Someone please give me a GOOD reason why a bank should charge an NSF fee BEFORE actually posting a transaction. THERE IS NONE!

NSF fees should NOT be charged on PENDING transactions.
Posted by kisa64 on 2009-06-05:
Also, I meant to add that I am in no way defending or trying to justify what banks are doing; I think it sucks, but I was simply trying to share my experience and let others know what has worked for me. Thanks1
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-06-05:
Chuck, looks like you made "Top Advice from the My3Cents Community"!

Well done.
Posted by yoke on 2009-06-05:
chuck, I read what she was saying. I do agree that she should not have gotten a NSF for the hold that is the only fee that should be returned. Hopefully she will find out which place put the hold and not use her debit card there again.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-05:
The reason, Chuck, is that the bank is obligated to pay that transaction when it is presented, whether there are funds or not at that time. I don't necessarily agree that they need to, but they are clearly within their rights to do so. And even though you are dismissive of Yoke and Kisa, the fact is that if the poster had a clue about what was in his account, he wouldn't have incurred any of the fees. I'm just saying...
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2009-06-05:
Ken, we are not bantering about legal vs illegal. The issue is the bank will screw their customers to the MAXIMUM PERMITTED BY LAW. To hell with ethics and fair treatment.
Posted by dab1960 on 2009-06-05:
I am the original poster of this:
My point is that a pending transaction has caused (3) overdraft fees, even though no negative balances are reflected....and their answer to my questions are contradictory....they say they took the pending money out which caused the (3) negative transactions, and yet I still incurred an overdraft on the pending amount when posted. So if they took the money to cover the pending, causing the (3) overdraft charges, I shouldn't have been charged again for when they posted it. And on the other hand....my balances weren't negative for the (3) that they charged me ofr previously. I have printed the statement and it doesn't show any negative balances until the very last (1), but yet charged (4) overdraft fees totalling $156...for what I can see as (1) negative transaction.
Posted by dab1960 on 2009-06-05:
And I have since written formal complaints to the Federal Currency Commission and The Massachusetts Attorney Generals office.
Posted by Monique on 2012-02-23:
Citizens Buffalo NY I have been through hell and back being told there is nothing I could do, living day to day and all my deposits are made through electronic fuds (merchant depsit) during the two years with Citizens I paid at least 3000 per year in o/d fees. same at HSBC same at M and T I mean the way all these banks noted that this positing debits first even if there is a deposit sitting right next to the debit so I am charged $35.oo then $37.00 per trans then 6.99 per day. I mean thousands they have taken from me and this was prior to everyone one catching on to way banks were processing.. so you are not alone..
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Worst. Bank. Ever.
Posted by Really, really on 03/08/2011
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- Let me start by saying, I live in Florida and my parents live(d) in Vermont.

My mother and father had a mortgage with Citizens Bank. My dad died 10/23/10 and my mother was in the hospital. I was in Vermont helping with things at that time.

Citizens Bank called about payment, I explained the situation (and that my mother would be getting to her financial business when she got out of the hospital). I wrote the check out and had my mother sign it. All was right with the world again.

I returned to Florida in late November, but booked a flight back to Vermont, as my mother was still in the hospital when I left and I felt I needed to get Power of Attorney and take over her bills until she was better.

Sadly, after having flown my mother down to Florida (with her money) so I could care for her in my home, my mother passed away 1/23/11. I had to return north to arrange for her funeral and start the paperwork to become executor to her estate.

I contacted the people that needed to be contacted and explained the situation. Everyone was understanding and sympathetic. However, the day after I contacted Citizens Bank a very rude woman called asking for, first my dad, and then my mom. It was Citizens Bank. I could not believe these people! Even after I told her the situation, she was coarse and rude. She told me to fax the death certificates and executor paperwork as soon as I was named.

After returning home, my sister, who lives down the road from my parent's house and stops in frequently, called to tell me on 2/25/2011 that Citizens Bank called and I needed to call them. I did and spoke at great length with Shayla, who told me to fax both death certificates, my driver's license, my contact information, and a note asking what I can do to keep the account in good standing until the paperwork gets through the courts (how customer friendly is that!?!). I did all of that on 2/25/11.

Thankfully, I had received a check from my mother's insurance and was able to pay all the bills due (I am still waiting for the court to name me executor).

I paid Citizens Bank's February payment (due the 10th) and March's payment on 3/4/2011.

Yesterday, 3/7/2011, I receive two letters from Citizens Bank, one addressed just to my dad and one addressed to both my parents demanding they contact them within 10 days of the date of letter (dated 2/28/11, mailed 3/1/11) or they would turn the account over to a collection agency! My mother and father never paid these people late and have $8000 in one of their local branches. It wasn't like this was a problem account...not to mention the fact that I had spoken to numerous people there explaining the situation AND faxed everything their employee asked me to fax!

Needless to say, I called them in a rage. I did not call the number on the threatening letter, as it is their Consumer Counseling Dept. and I did not need help with paying my bills...although I will probably need counseling after dealing with these inept buffoons.

After dialing and connecting to their automated service, I had to put in my father's social security number so they could "better serve me" and waited for, “The next available representative”. Lynn was finally available.

I told her I wanted to speak with a supervisor. She needed the account number I was calling about...thanks for serving me better. I gave it to her and she stated she would take a look at the account. I told her no, that I wanted to speak to a supervisor for the reasons listed above.

After some back and forth, she said she needed to connect me to the 'correct' department and asked what kind of loan it was dealing with (did she not just get the account number?!?)...I told her it was a mortgage. She transferred me to Denise...in the Customer Counseling Dept!

Denise requested the account number, which I gave her. I told her I didn't need to speak to someone about anything other than the fact that I had notified them numerous times over the phone of the situation and had even faxed over all the things listed above and now I just wanted to speak to someone about the threatening letters and ineptitude of their bank. We had a few more back and forths.

Denise then told me that they had received the faxed death certificates...to which I responded that I knew that, that wasn't the point and that I wanted to speak to a supervisor about the things listed above. She then interrupted me to tell me they had received payment (which I had already told her I had paid with the insurance money); I again went over why I was calling and when she interrupted me the 3rd time, I finally screamed at her...asking her what part of, I know they received the death certificates and payments and that I just wanted to speak to a supervisor, did she not understand?!?

Finally, and very condescendingly, she agreed to get one; asking several times if I would mind being put on hold...each time I told her that would be fine as long as I would be speaking with a supervisor.

After about 5 minutes, Ms. Jennifer comes on the line and informs me that I have contacted the wrong department...to which I tell her, "No, one of your employees transferred me here!" She then tells me that this is the auto loan department (but, Denise told me it was the Customer Counseling Dept?!?) and she would need to transfer me to the mortgage department and to please bear with her and she would supply me that number as well, in case I needed to call back.

She was stumbling over herself because she was lying through her teeth...and, after more hemming and hawing, starts to give me an 800 number, which I finished for her because it was the number I had called initially...she then ignored what I had said and asked to put me on hold to get the number.

When she came back to the phone, she gave me an 877 number (877-754-7366) and was mumbling something about everyone still thinks this department deals with all loans...an email had been sent out, but she guessed not everyone had read their email...to which I responded that that was why I was calling...information given to that bank seems to fall into a black hole.

She then tells me she will transfer me to the correct department.

I'm on hold again waiting for, "The next available representative". Finally Donna answers. She asks for the account number. I calmly give her the account number, my name, and that I'm calling about my deceased parent's account. I also inform her that I have already spoken to Lynn, Denise, and Ms. Jennifer as well as numerous other employees on different occasions and I am just trying to talk to a supervisor. She asks if I can verify who I am by giving her my home address, phone number, and last 4 of my social security. I tell her I have faxed all that information to them and she should be able to see my parent's death certificates and all the other things I faxed and to put a supervisor on the phone. She then says she would just like to get a few bits of...I finally just told her that I would contact my lawyer and hung up.

I have not dealt with one employee there that gave me the confidence I was dealing with a professional business. They are a waste of space and as soon as the executor paperwork comes through, we are paying off the mortgage and pulling all my parent's money out of their bank.

I can only hope my parents insured the mortgage against their death...which might explain why they are so eager to put a loan that has been in outstanding status into a delinquent status for a payment 15 days late.
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Posted by Alain on 2011-03-09:
You might want to have an attorney help you with the estate.
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Boat Repo
Posted by Silent on 11/18/2010
33 cents of silence
33 cents of silence
PO BOX 1790 FLINT, MICHIGAN -- My family as well as the rest of the country has fallen on bad times.

I am a boat owner for the last 6 years who has struggled with a payment that I was never supposed to have been mine longer than a month.

To make a long story short, I have had to struggled with this burdensome payment that has put my family's well being at a additional risk since I have been injured laid off and lost my personal business. I had advised Citizens of my job status, communicated, asked to have the loan modified, I made sale efforts recently and successfully was able to sell the boat, or so I thought. I connected the bank and buyer and both parties had decided on a price of 20k discounted from 27k and to take the boat on a cash deal.

The auction price of this particular 21' Crownline and trailer even with the low 300 hrs would probably bring 10 to 12k I had been advised by meany local boat dealers and buyers. All that being said, we the buyer and I asked the case worker lady to provide us with the bank wiring instructions and the buyer would wire the 20k immediately. The buyer had viewed and inspected the boat and immediately offered 5000.00 Cash to put down and to wire the balance within 24 hrs!

Apparently bank changed their decision without warning and did not provide the wire instructions to us or answer the our constant phone calls for two days ......I personally called at noon to the bank and asked politely via our case workers voice mail to please call back so we could find out whats was going on? 45 Min before their close of business time on the 10th of November (the dead line date), the nice lady who I had been dealing with got nasty and said we had not called and that we were now passed the given dead line! I was very angry and asked if they were one of the banks that had taken the federal bailout money and if that was how they were going to pay my boat off and double their money? After the heated discussion I offered to return the boat and even drive it to the repossession man who I had spoken with multiple times previously. After hanging up at 5:00 pm the buyer called and said he spoke to the seller twice and was waiting on final closing instructions and we are still 8 days later!
I am trying desperately to keep a repo. And or a bankrupt off my record by paying this boat payment by feeding my family mac and cheese without gifts special treats or turkey for holidays and Christmas the past 2 years going on 3 we were on temporary disability and loans from friends! I can't believe that America is being manipulated by such crooked banks and employees! This is crippling Americans and our economy ! Instead of Citizens Bank of flint Michigan taking nearly double the auction price they would rather bankrupt a small American family who has taken bread off their table and assumed a personal responsibility for helping their institution sell a boat saving the bank thousands in repossession and legal costs! These selfish narrow minded folks are not willing to do their jobs and cooperate civilly to save their corporation from a larger loss that might require them to do their job correctly and fight to help a fellow Americans family who cooperated and communicated honestly during the loan, and went out of their way to find a solution to their own personal 6 year family problem rather than take the easy way out and bankrupt on their personal debt! Shame on these crooks in flint.
Imagine this;
if every boat, house, or car owner in default would try to be responsible, citizens could save 10 k per loan possibly like I am trying to! At that point citizens might be able to fix this little balance problem they have.

Companies » bank (public)
citizens republic bancorp
Of bank bailout commitment
Of total bailout commitment.
Disbursed $300,000,000
returned $0
revenue to gov't $13,875,000
net outstanding $286,125,000

jump to table of transactions

* profile
* sec filings
* google finance


map: corporate headquarters of citizens republic bancorp.
Flint, mich.
See all recipients in Michigan
loud, discussed, broke, and barley alive!
Country folks will survive happy holidays good luck America
don't forget to vote!

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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-18:
These people that run these banks are full of pricks. They dont care. Plain and simple. They dont care about you or the buyer, or weather or not you get a repo on your record or not.
Posted by werelucky on 2010-11-18:
You lost me where you say the buyer contacted the seller twice and they have been waiting 8 days for instructions. I thought you were the seller. The real reason the county is in the financial mess is because to many people bought to many things they couldn't afford on credit. I'm not sure what the government bailout has to do with defaulting boat owners. As a Citibank stock owner I want to see the bank have it's loan contracts fulfilled.
Posted by warddw1526 on 2010-11-18:
Looking at the list of banks that received bailout money (http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/storysupplement/bankbailout/), Citizens was not on the list.

Although their parent bank RBS did receive bailout money in England
Posted by silent on 2010-12-01:
so far this 3 cents worth has generated a immediate response from citizens and we are working on a resolution.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-12-01:
Why did you end up with 6 years of payments, when you weren't supposed to have more than one month's worth?

The rest of the country has not fallen on hard times. At least I haven't. I took out a large loan before the bank disaster, but I had enough cash on hand to easily pay the loan if a surprise occurred.

I just wanted to use the bank's money. I'm not keen on borrowing money I don't have.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-01:
"The rest of the country has not fallen on hard times." Where have you been trmn8r? Although I am happy to hear you are not one of the more than half of Americans who have been negatively affected in many ways by the recession. Here's a look at just a little of what it's done to the land of plenty and over half of her people;
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-12-01:
I've been living under a rock, evidently. The rent is reasonable, the utilities are low, and as I always have avoided in my life I didn't overextend myself. Therefore the recession did not cause great hardship.

A large part of the problem we have had in the past few years is that many consumers were heavily in debt. People using credit cards without regard for paying them off. Using mortages recklessly. For decades, I have shaken my head that the savings rate in this country is so pathetically low. It was 0% in June 2005. My savings rate was always around 20% or more when I worked.

I'm not alone. The people I know didn't lose their jobs, their cars. I realize a lot of people ARE going through a rough time. But I don't agree with any statement like "the whole country..." Every person is in their own situation.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-01:
Most people I know did not over extend themselves either, but due to circumstances beyond their control, businesses going under, hours being cut, layoffs, jobs being scarce or non existent in many areas, loss of medical benefits, etc., many of those people have suffered greatly in the economic meltdown.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-12-01:
Why didn't you sell the boat when you first realized you couldn't afford it? Unless it's your livelihood, a boat is not a necessity. I don't think it's fair to put yourself in the same category as struggling home/car owners.
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Seven dollars to cash a check drawn on their bank
Posted by Duderoo123 on 10/27/2010
HAMBURG, NEW YORK -- I just sold some old skis and boots to a used sporting good store. The owner cut me a check drawn on Citizens Bank .. simple enough ... so I took the check to the bank and attempted it to cash it. A very polite bank teller informed that because I don't have an account with Citizens Bank, there would be a $7.00 fee for cashing their own check. I just find this absolutely ridiculous; it seems that nothing is a service anymore; there has to be a price for everything .. it was a Citizens Bank check!!!!! ... just more corporate greed .. I will never bank with this company ... EVER!!!

I'm surprised she didn't bill me for the act of attempting to cash the check.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-27:
It is ridiculous, and other banks have the same policy. The only way I get around it is to deposit the check into my own account.
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2010-10-27:
If you don't have a bank account, the only options is to pay the bank's fee, or use the services of a check cashing store, which also charges a fee. Anymore, the only way you can avoid paying a check cashing fee is to open a bank account of your own.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-27:
I know its rediculous, but you could have easily just deposited the check or cashed the check at your own bank and you wouldnt have had a charge at all.
Posted by bob932304 on 2010-10-27:
The bank is doing a non-customer a service. Why should it be free? I don't know of any banks that don't charge for non-customers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-27:
The bank is doing the check writer the service by allowing the check writer to access their funds via a check. Any fees charged by the bank to redeem the check should be paid by the account holder and not the check casher.

If it were me I'd take the check back to the check writer and demand cash or I'll sue them in small claims court.
Posted by leet60 on 2010-10-27:
This is fairly standard at most banks. Non customes will pay a fee. As for the bank "doing the check writer the service by allowing the check writer to access their funds via a check", the check writer is paying for bank services already. In your analogy every check you write would incur a fee unless your landlord, auto finance company, grocery store, utility etc were customers of the same bank.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-10-27:
"Non-customer check cashing fees" are very common, and with the recent legislation that cuts overdraft fees, they will probably become even more common.

Google what is in quotes above to see the banks' justification for the fee. I agree with the principle in taking some of your principal.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-10-27:
DancingDan and leet60 are the only two comments here that have a grasp on what is reasonable.

Believe it or not a person I wrote a check to came back and told me they were charged fee by my bank to cash it. The next day I closed $20,000.00 + in accounts. They asked why...you will NOT charge someone to cash one of my checks and me remain a customer. End of discussion.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-10-27:
Are you suggesting then that my comment is not reasonable? By what authority? I may disagree with a comment, but my head isn't so large I will decide the commenter doesn't have a clue.

Are you aware that some banks charge their own customers now if they want to use a teller? It costs money to pay those people to stand there. And, for example, spend 10 minutes to check someone's id and verify a check is good. How much do you think 10 minutes costs the bank? Zero?
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-10-27:
No, I was not suggesting your COMMENT was unreasonable. I was suggesting that BANKS were not reasonable and those two recognized straight up.

Sorry if I offended you, trmn8r, such was not the intent.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-28:
as I said, I would have just taken the check to my bank and deposited it. It doesnt cost me anything to deposit money into my own account, or even cash a check, if I have the available funds. I think its more of a convenience thing. You need the cash that second, so you either pay the fee, or dont cash it. theyre not holding you at gunpoint. I refuse to pay fees to cash checks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-28:
you know how to REALLY stick it to these banks??? I just thought of it! If they want you to have an account there, by all means, use the check to open an account. tell them you want to deposit 7 dollars (the fee they would have charged you) in the account and take the rest in cash. Then a week later, close the acount and take the 7 bucks, or keep the account open in case you ever get a check you have to cash again. Thats a good way to stick it to em. why should I give them the 7 bucks???
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-28:
Prince-Ceasar, Or just not except checks at all. I no longer allow my renters to pay by check. I'll only accept cash or money order. Causes an inconvenience for the renters but eh it's not my fault banks have became so unreasonable that it's best not to deal with them when possible.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-10-28:
This is great if you can find a bank with no checks to buy and no maintenance fee and no minimum balance. While these may have been available in the recent past, they will be harder to come by as banks institute new fees to make up for lost income.

What people *can* do is deposit checks in their own accounts. A radical concept.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-28:
Hey Mr. Radical concept what are you going to do when the big national banks start charging you to deposit checks into your own account?

The answer is simple. Only bank with locally owned community banks or credit unions. You'll get far better terms, better service and your business will be appreciated. It's just that simple.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-28:
well the bank Im with has no fees and no minimum balances. I wasn't required to purchase checks for the account either.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-28:
I would not have expected the bank to cash the check and would not have even wasted my time trying. I would not expect my bank to cash a check I wrote to someone else.

That's just not the way the system works. Never has, AFAIK.

If, for some reason, I wrote a lot of checks to people who did not have bank accounts and wanted to be sure they could cash them (this is a scenario I'm having trouble envisioning) I would make a point of finding such an account. But it certainly is not something I would take for granted.

tnchuck100: where are you banking now?

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-28:
Actually getoverit, it always has worked exactly that way. If you received a check and had no way to cash it, it required a trip to the issuing bank. They cashed it at no charge until recently (past 3-4 years).

Banks are getting greedy and forgetting that it is a privilege to hold OUR money. They want to have our money and then attach all types of fees for allowing us access to it. If you use ATM more than xyz times - fee. If you use a physical teller - abc fee. Now if you write a check to someone who has enough sense to not have an account with their greedy scheming arses - there is a fee for that too. When folks stop using them and start using more cash again, they will get a clue. If I wanted to pay extra for everything, I would just use my credit card.
Posted by Nohandle on 2010-10-28:
When I first joined this website others told us of bank fees many had never heard of before. Initially, members questioned the review. After a period of time it became apparent this neat little idea for extra income was gaining support by many banks. Unfortunately this doesn't make it right.

Say you have ample funds in your account and an individual presents the check you wrote as payment for services. As far as I'm concerned, if he doesn't have an account there but has identification, why should he be charged a fee to cash the check?
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-28:
Maybe you're right, incrediblee. I honestly haven't tried to cash a check in a long time.

By the same token, I get a lot of service from my bank. I get the ability to use ATMs all over the country, online bill paying that saves me from writing lots of checks and buying stamps, etc., and still write checks when I need to. I pay no fees (but do keep a minimum balance) for any of that, so all they get from me is the use of my money.

The point is that I don't expect to get those services for free. Banks are offering lots of services they didn't in years past and they're not non-profit institutions.

I'm not into some kind of weird love affair with my bank but feel that I get my money's worth. If I didn't, I'd have a different type of account or a different bank.

They're all in competition for our business. Get out and shop!

Posted by acntlaw1 on 2011-01-24:
to avoid that fee, present the check across the counter for payment. The check will credit to your account at 5 that day.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2011-01-24:
This is one fee that SHOULD be illegal. The customer who deposits with the bank is doing so tha the bank will honor his checks. They should not be permitted to charge for what is the very basis of a demand deposit account.
Posted by MotleyCrueGuy on 2011-03-13:
Get over it. Why is it that people have no problem going and spending $7 on a box of screws at Lowe's, or paying $50 to get a haircut, but expect banks to do everything for free?

That $7 means no check holds from depositing at the bank you have an account in, and immediate access to funds - sounds worth it to me.
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Worst Bank In The World!!!!!
Posted by Mannyboy on 01/08/2011
Citizens Bank is without a doubt the WORST bank in the world!! They enjoy nothing more than charging ridiculous fees at every opportunity!! The overdraft policy REALLY gets me furious!! Recently I had 5 checks presented for payment. I had enough to cover 4 & most of the fifth. Citizens chooses to pay the largest check first because (according to one of the not too helpful agents)they think that would be the "most important" check. By doing it that way, the other 4 checks were paid & I was hit with $148 in Fees!!! The latest way that this awful bank is gouging people is to charge people without a Citizens bank account $7 to cash a Citizens Bank check. I wrote my son a check for his birthday & when he went to cash it thet said there would be a $7 service fee. RIDICULOUS!!!!!
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Posted by Kurizumaru on 2011-01-08:
You could try going into your local branch and talking to the manager there. I'm with a different bank, but have had a similar situation due to unforeseen circumstances and the branch Managers are usually pretty helpful no matter what bank I've been with.

The check fee is pretty standard for non-members to cash a check at any bank. PNC does the same thing. You're better off taking it to your own bank and depositing it instead of cashing it.

Good Luck!
Posted by MaggieMcT on 2011-01-08:
If you write checks that your account can't cover, I wonder how you expect the bank to know which ones are most important to you? The best solution is to be careful with your register.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
You knowingly wrote a check for money you did not have and you expected them to be cashed so that only one would bounce? Just about every bank would do the same thing. The only answer in not to write checks for more money than you have. Simple.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
As usual, the bank huggers will consistently fail to acknowledge the real issue. It's not the one overdraft, it's the re-ordering of transactions for the sole purpose of maximizing the penalty against the customer.
Posted by SteveWiginowski on 2011-01-08:
Your son was charged a fee because he doesn't have an account there. Think of it this way. You write him a check for $100. He goes to a bank and cashes it. A day or two later, when the money goes to clear from your account, they find out that you only have $5 in your account. The bank just lost $95. They would probably charge you money because it didn't clear, but what if you were done with that account and never used it again. They lost money.

It's the same reason why when you put a check into your account, you can't cash the entire thing until a day or two later, unless you have enough funds in your account to cover it.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
Steve, that was very weak. It's a check drawn on that bank - they have INSTANT access to the money.

It is just greed - plain and simple.
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-08:
The OP spent more than was in the account. The bank did the favor and allowed the largest check to clear thinking it was the most important. Are we to believe the largest check was written last?
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
yoke, "most important" didn't have a thing to do with it. It is GREED. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-08:
As usual, the bank haters fail to acknowledge the cause of overdrafts is the depositor's failure to keep track of their balance. I had my second chargeable overdraft in my life about a month ago. I blame myself 100% - my explanation is that my attention was focused on a legal matter. The other overdraft was due to attention focused on the loss of a family member.

It never occurred to me in either case to blame the bank.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
See? trmnr8r misses the point too. The overdraft itself is NOT the issue!
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-08:
I've never gotten any point in my life. I'm such a loser. Where's a suitable length of rope? I just can't go on this way.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
Don't take it so hard. It's just conflicting points of view.
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-01-08:
I don't have any rope but do have an extra long extension cord in the storage room. Would that work? I'm teasing you!!
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-08:
chuck, it is not greed. The OP spent more then they had. When the last check was written the OP knew there was not enough funds and wrote it anyway. At what point was the largest check written?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
I agree that people should not spend more than they have, but WHY do banks kick the consumer when they are down by changing the order they are processed. Chuck is absolutely correct on that point. THAT is greed!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
yoke, IT'S NOT THE OVERDRAFT THAT IS THE ISSUE! Why do you refuse to see that?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-01-08:
tnchuck, I understand that the overdraft is not the issue, but the way the checks were processed. Seems as if largest to smallest is the way most banks are doing it now. The order the checks were written in as well as the specific times the bank received them is not known and probably never will be. This is where the overdrafting comes in. If you don't have the money(and apparently the op knew that), don't write the check. Now, that's not hard is it?
As far as the charges, when people sign up for a checking account, they are given the fees, charges,rules etc, that the bank charges up front. High and outrageous, yes. Let the buyer beware.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-08:
So should the bank cash checks in the order that will cause the least number of overdrafts?

I still don't see why anyone should care in what order banks process debits. If you have enough money to cover, it doesn't matter.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
jkt, yes, that is the way most banks do it. Much to the detriment of their account holders. Many credit unions process transactions in the order they are received. ie: No reorder takes place.

That does not avoid overdraft fees when you write more checks than you have money to cover. But at least the credit unions do not crucify the customer to the farthest extent their imaginations and the law will permit.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Do not rob Peter to pay Paul.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
momsey, if you ever experienced the result of reordering because you made a mistake you would then care.
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-01-08:
I had an employee who formerly worked at a bank and she could tell you exactly how it worked. One elderly customer she took aside and gave her some tips. The customer was not trying to cheat anyone, nor was she ignorant, rather.. counting on her deposit being in her account BEFORE she wrote her checks. She had no idea the bank was holding her deposit for several days. The employee fixed that for her at no cost then or in the future. Some do have the authority, believe it or not.

Yes, banks in fact can re-arrange the order checks are processed. Who are they to decide what takes preference? They aren't doing you any favor. If you go out and write a boatload of small checks and the big one bounces then look in the mirror or change banks.
Posted by madconsumer on 2011-01-08:
"I had 5 checks presented for payment. I had enough to cover 4 & most of the fifth."

so you knowing and admittedly wrote checks for over the available amount in your account.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
madc, you too are failing to recognize what is at issue here. He knows he over drew the account. That is NOT what the complaint is about.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Chuck, what precipitated this, the banks know.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Banks are not your friend. It is an uneasy alliance much like the lion lying down with the lamb.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Banks are not my friend, cash in my pocket is.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
I agree, hothead.

Oh, and I pay everything through my online bill pay. Everything is scheduled to go out and does. I haven't had the misfortune of making a mistake (yet, but it could happen). If I do make a mistake and there is not enough in the account to cover the auto bill pay, the transaction is not processed and I do not incur a fee. That is how my credit union works. I don't know how it works for the banks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
JISCal1, my credit union just decided to start charging me for online bill pay. They hit me (charged me) for a month before I noticed. I do not get paper statements from them, nor did they email me of this change.

Now, that is $5 gone. And I'm pretty ticked about it.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
I would be ticked too! I will have to double check my statement to see if there is a charge on my account. Thank you for the heads up. I'd give you a helpful vote but my stars were forfeited. LOL
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
hothead, that sounds so out-of-character for a credit union. Not to say it can't happen. If it were me I would pack my bags (money) and go elsewhere. Many local banks are still customer oriented.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Oh, I forgot to mention. It doesn't matter that I don't use this service with them. They just started charging every account holder.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
NO WAY! hothead, are you kidding?? That is BS and I'd tell them it was!
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
If Mr Smith has $50 of your dollars and you can get $30, then $10, then $5 & $5, then $4, what would you take back first? Barks are not belivent associations, they are a business to make money. If you don't take out more money than you have, then you will have no problems. What is so difficult to understand?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
A bank or credit union is/was supposed to be someplace safe to keep your money. They want more.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
throwback, let me turn the question back to you. It's not the overdraft. It's the re-ordering to persecute the customer.

What is so difficult to understand?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
JISCal1, I am not kidding. How many people are even going to notice right away? It's just $5, right?

What's next? Whatever they can come up with or get away with, legally.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
No one should be surprised that banks are charging new fees. It is an effort to pick up revenue lost from new regulations. We knew that was coming when plans for new regulations were rolled out. The only plus, if you can look at it as such, is that it will create greater competition among the banks as they look for new ways to draw in customers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Great, ript. Draw in, and bend over the table?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Right. And what if that $5 fee caused another transaction to bounce. It could happen. Who would be responsible then? They would blame the customer because the information is buried on their webpage somewhere. I call shenanigans!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
Personally I reconcile bank statements and credit card statements every month. I spot check every day. Not one cent would slip by unnoticed.

You can bet the bank will not let a penny slide either. And given the opportunity the bank would parlay your one cent error into a $39.00 overdraft fee. Further, if possible by reordering transactions fleece hundreds of dollars from that penny.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Hasn't been my experience yet hh. This lamb keeps a wary eye on the lion and makes sure it is well fed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
Not yet.
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-08:
chuck, the issue is the overdraft. The OP wrote checks they could not cover. Who is to say that the largest check was not written first. I get what you are saying, but the consumers have to take responsibility for their actions.
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-01-08:
I don't do online banking but do believe my primary credit union charges $5.00 a month for that service. I'll have to check into that to make certain, but I think it's clearly stated. I will say that credit union does not charge for checks and also provides paper statements at no additional charge.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
yoke, you don't get it. Probably never will. In the years you have been here I don't think you have ever understood the reordering issue. You remain blind to the fact the OP is not upset about an overdraft but the number of unjustified (I did not say illegal) overdrafts.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
I have an extremely hard time imagining that someone purposefully writes checks that they can't cover. Stupid me. That said, I don't do it. It's simple. Should I be penalized if I do?

Banks are taking advantage of the fact, nay, the hope, that I might.
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-08:
chuck I do get it. I wonder if you do. If you write checks the funds should be there that way you never have to worry about reorder. The ones that complain about reorder do not have the money to cover what they spent. This OP admitted the funds were not there.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-01-08:
Good point to my reply way up there.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
yoke, I gotta hand it to ya. You just keep reinforcing the idea you are not understanding how banks can take a small mistake by a customer and convert that into a windfall of profit by transaction manipulation. And to top it off you seem to think the banks are the best things since sliced bread for doing it.
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-08:
chuck, the OP did not make a mistake. The OP admitted to writing a check knowing the funds were not there.
I don't think banks are the best thing, we use Credit Unions.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-08:
To file a complaint about a bank, you can go to the website at the link below. This is a Treasury Department site. This particular link takes you to the FAQ about Overdraft Fees.

Everything the OP and others have brought up is addressed, though none of the answers, I believe, will appease the OP in the slightest. In a nutshell, the onus is placed on the consumer. (E.G.: "If you feel that your bank's account fees are too high, do some comparison shopping for your banking services.")

Posted by FlShopper on 2011-01-08:
Banks are not friends of the consumers and will go out of their way to gouge them. However, the issue in this complaint is neither the overdraft nor the reordering of checks. Someone had only enough funds to cover 4 out of 5 checks. Did the bank exacerbate the problem by reordering? Yes. But none of this would've occurred if there had been enough money to cover ALL the checks. Personal responsibility has to come into play at some point in these situations.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-08:
Yes, the OP caused the problem. The bank made it worse.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-08:
Chuck, I've overdrawn before. I blamed no one but myself.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2011-01-09:
In my opinion, if he would have had enough money in the bank to cover all of the checks he wrote then they all would have cleared and there would have been no reason for the bank to reorder them. Yes, the bank made it worse, but he started this mess by not having enough in the bank in the first place.
Posted by madconsumer on 2011-01-09:
some people will never see writting checks for more than is available in the account is actually theft.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-09:
A good gambler never bets against the house.
Posted by skelly39 on 2011-01-10:
I'm with tnchuck on this one. Think of it this way: the bank says they are doing you a favor by paying the largest check first. Then why, oh why, do they pay the other checks as well? If they were going to pay all the checks, why not pay them smallest to largest? Because they want to squeeze the consumer. Mistakes happen. That's the checkwriter's fault. Accounts are pillaged. That's the bank's fault.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-10:
skelly, congratulations on your very accurate assessment. Few have ever realized the bank is paying them all anyway. Largest to smallest means nothing in that regard. The ONLY purpose is to maximize overdraft fees.

It was refreshing to see another financially savvy individual.
Posted by raa68 on 2012-06-11:
I agree with the banks should not put in largest to smallest, I opted out of there overdraft protection cause I didn't want them to let me use more than what is in my account. I for one do not overdraft purposely but sometimes if you live pay check to paycheck not all of us have lots of money or cushy jobs so that we don't incur their stupid fees. If its my fault I dont care to pay the fee's. but in my situation there was a check out there held for a period of time I knew I didnt have enough to cover so I got what i could to cover it but still fell short. my avail. bal $544 in my account check was $624. instead of incurring 1 fee which by rights i should cause its my fault. I incurred 4 fee's why? not because there were other pending transactions but because transactions that were already cleared and posted on the online they took those transactions reversed everything large to small and charged me 4 fee's. those other transactions were not checks either. do you think that was fair of the bank? to repost already cleared transactions just so they can collect more fee's? I don't think that was fair, I also don't think that was my fault...I have had citizens for over 10yrs and what banks they were prior never had issues with nsf fee's as I have since 2009 and I never blamed them at first but now that i go online everyday to see what cleared and i copy and paste my online transactions each day so I can see how they rearranged the post, I have had transactions cleared and post with a positive balance and seen where they re-post to and actual different day. Example: I had items that cleared and posted on 5/29 with possitive bal. and then reposted on 5/30 large to small causing negative balance and incurred $111.in fee's all because of 1 pre-auth check came thru that was given as pmt months ago just came thru that i forgot about so I don't get to pay just 1 fee as i should i get to pay more because of their reposted - then the bank tries to tell you what your seeing posted online is not really cleared and that includes deposits... so I should never assume anything cleared and that my available balance they show is really not my available balance which is what the bank said to always go by and i do and i still get screwed over.
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Worst Bank Ever!!!!!!!!
Posted by Disturbed 1 dollar on 01/05/2011
I wish I could give a zero as a review..... Unfortunately that is not the case so this bank is getting a one by default...... This institution is a blood sucking, un-flexible bank that thrives off its customers by all means necessary. They charge outrageous fees and customer service supports these fees with the statement " we are supported by the federal government". With such economic hardships visible right in front of our eyes, this bank takes advantage of its customers and refuses to return any money to its customers. I recently received bank fees in the amount of $258 for 7 charges of 1.99. I was told by the customer service representative that this was a fair practice.....LOL In all my years of banking.... TD, Wachovia and Bank of America would all return the fee considering it was under 2 dollars. At least one time. And under the circumstances (That my mother just died). These leeches actually became ruder and ruder as I spoke to representative after rep.....And I have never requested the bank return any fees to me up until this point (I am not a habitual offender) lol not that they care or it makes any difference to them...... Not to mention that this bank reorganizes charges in order to bounce items. I have been with this bank for about one year. I check my account every Tuesday at midnight before payday. Somehow most items manage to bounce in an order that forces you to have the most overdraft fees possible. For example: If you had a balance of 50 dollars and you had debts for 2.00, 7.00, 15.00, 1.99, 10.00 and 40.00, instead of the bank charging all the little charges, it will process the large charge first. So that you account overdrafts for an excessive amount instead of once or twice. When I questioned them about this I couldn't get a clear answer. The representative just laughed. My recommendation Go with Wachovia or any other bank for that matter. Just stay as far away from these guys as possible!!!!!!
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Posted by msnanny on 2011-01-05:
Sorry but this is not the banks fault. You are the one that controls how you spend what money you have. And BTW, most every bank processes the same way.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-05:
If your charges were only the result of seven charges of $1.99, and you're not a habitual offender, how do you know or care in what order they process debits?

I don't honestly care what order my bank processes my debits from my account. If I overdraw, it's nobody's fault but mine. I do it VERY rarely, though, and I don't think I've ever overdrawn on more than one debit.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
Disturbed, I feel your pain. Are you aware Obama passed a law to help protect consumers from being preyed on by their financial institutions. Banks were supposed to notify you and tell you about either opting in or out of overdraft protection? Apparently you must have opted in, or your financial institution never notified you. I suggest you contact your financial institution and opt OUT of the overdraft protection. Banks thrive on overdraft fees, and in 98% of cases, will NOT remove fees. I totally think this is an unacceptable business practice, and the ones that say "tough, its your fault" seem to think they are perfect and never make mistakes. They are just silly. We ALL make mistakes, heck, Ive accidently transposed numbers, added or subracted wrong, or forgot to carry the one. It happens....does it make it right for banks to RAPE you for hundreds of dollars because of a mistake? Absolutely not!
Posted by Obsfucation on 2011-01-05:
Prince, when does personal responsibility come into play? Does Big Government have to hold all our hands 24 hours a day? This is someone who is swiping away with a debit card, having no clue what their balance is. I am just a little uncomfortable with the concept that we need big brother to protect us from ourselves.
Posted by Nate. on 2011-01-05:
I agree with Prince-Caesar - opt out of overdraft protection.

Every time I try to go in to my bank, they try to talk me in to getting overdraft "protection", and I decline. The teller always ties to talk me in to it under the premise that it "eliminates inconveniences and embarrassment". I honestly don't care what a store clerk thinks of me for my card being declined, and I can quickly transfer funds (for free) using my banks' app on my smartphone. I have only had an issue once, but it saved me around $36.

Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
Obsfucation, You do realize these national banks can only exist because of big brother and the federal reserve. Correct?

If you want a world where big brother isn't protecting the customer from the bank then I say fine but in that world let the banks exist without free federal reserve money and fiat of govermnet. Let them exist by honest banking. That's only fair, right?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
Exactly Nate....I love how they call it "protection" It should be called something like Overdraft Attack! OBS- I am all for personal responsibility. I would be all for "overdraft protection" if it was FAIR. charging someone 35 dollars for one overdraft is rediculous. I think the banks need a lesson in responsible business practices. If you think its fair for banks to impose hundreds of dollars in fees for ONE mistake, then I hope YOU never make a mistake!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-01-05:
Prince, Nate: Right on!

The reason the banks are trying to get people to opt in is so they may continue their ability to fleece account holders. Not once for a mistake but to the maximum possible by reordering transactions.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
I have a checking account with ING Direct. I just opened it because they have this deal if you sign up, you will get 50 dollars free. What I LOVe about it, is they have FREE Overdraft protection! NO FEES if you go over your balance. All you do is pay interest on the amount you overdrawn. THAT is fair. If banks would have not been so greedy in the first place, these laws wouldnt have to be in effect to protect people!!
Posted by Obsfucation on 2011-01-05:
Prince, I could have a whole lot more sympathy if this was someone who maintained the account like an adult, and just made an error. That's not what happened. This is someone who checks the "account every Tuesday at midnight before payday". It's a very slippery slope when you allow the govenrment to protect you from yourself.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-05:
First of all, I believe none of the banks you mentioned would return more than the very first overdraft fee. That is a one-item *courtesy* (one overdraft). Not one a month, a year. Once.

Secondly, if you do research on overdrafts, you will find that what happened to you is what caused a recent law to be put into effect. For people who overdraft often, it makes sense to "opt out", meaning the bank will refuse items if they will cause an overdraft. You should have been asked in the past several months if you wanted to "opt in" as I believe the default was "opt out".

I recently paid my second overdraft fee in my life. I overdraft rarely, so I opted in.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
Hey, As I said. If banks weren't so greedy about it, I would be all for it. Banks are greedy. Thats why these laws are in place. I opted out. Not because i overdraft a lot, but because Im not giving the banks the opportunity to rip me off! If they want to offer me some other sort of overdraft protection that is fair, Ill hear them out. Weather you overdraft a lot, or hardly ever, does NOT make it any more right for banks to rip people off like that. Its just wrong.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-05:
To the people discussing "opt in" "protection" I agree that term is a bit deceiving.

HOWEVER, I recently had my second overdraft, and it was a monthly $300 payment for an $18,000 no interest loan. If that item had not cleared, I may have incurred $2000 of interest slapped at me by the lender. For me it turned out to be a wise choice to opt in.

Opting in is good for people who overdraft once every two years or less often, IMO.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-05:
Obs, the OP said their mother had just died! When my mother died, it caused my first overdraft, so I can relate. Granted, I kept better track of my account as a rule, but under the circumstances, it didn't make much difference.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
As I said, I have an account with ING Direct. NO overdraft fees. Just pay interest on the amount you overdraw...Wow, a bank that is fair? Who'da thunk??
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
trmn8r, I don't see anything wise about your situation at all. You're 18k in debt and on a given day your checking account balance was below $300. No offense but I'd be seriously worried about my financial health if I were you.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-05:
Prince, I also have an account with ING Direct, and they are great. The drawback is, you have no choice but to have a linked checking account at a brick and mortar bank, so you can only avoid fees so much.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
momsey, not necessarily. You can have direct deposit with them, so you really dont need a regular bank. They can send you checks, and my debit card is on its way in the mail. You may need one to first set up your account, but after that, you can close it.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-05:
Lord Rothschild. You have no idea how this interest free loan fits into my overall financial situation. It may (or not) interest you to know that currently I have $80,000 in cash in non-IRA money market accounts, over $500,000 in stock, about $200,00 in my IRA, a paid for house. I haven't paid a penny in interest on a loan, or a credit card over 20 years.

You don't need to express a concern over my welfare. I have paid two overdraft fees in my LIFE, $62. This while others pay hundreds/thousands a YEAR in interest on loans and bank fees.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-05:
Dang, Prince, I thought I needed to keep that outside checking account. I just looked at their FAQs and you are right! Very interesting. I might have to think about cutting the cord with my brick and mortar checking account!

But they won't send you checks. You can have checks sent out from your account, but you won't get a checkbook like with other checking accounts.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
What I would ask you then trmn8r is why not draft your loan payment from your money market account there by mitigating the risk of paying an overdraft fee on your poorly funded checking account. That's just a no-brainer in my book. A $30 OD fee is at least a years worth of interest on $2000 of savings. Also not to mention the 'risk' of being hit with $2K of interest if for some reason on loan draft day your OD protection on your poorly funded checking account is exhausted thereby bouncing the payment.

Seems risky if you ask me.
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-05:
This is not the banks fault. The OP did not know how much was in the account and kept spending.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2011-01-05:
Trmn8r, yes he did say his mother had passed away. Does he manage his account in other circumstances? Seven debits at 1.99 sounds like 7 cups of coffee to me, so I am not sure there is much bearing between the two.
Posted by yoke on 2011-01-05:
obs, $1.99 is the price for a Dunkin Donuts coffee, lol. Was just going though my sons online account(he called to ask me to check his balance) and was shocked to see how many $1.99 he had from Dunkin. They all cleared though.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
Think we need to go back to the day where if you overdraft you bank account, you get arrested for check fraud. When you try to use money than you have it is called stealing. In reality, the banks are doing you a favor of charging $40 an each time instead of having you arrested. You save attorney fees, fines, loss of income while in jail, etc., etc.,

Everyone needs to be responsible for exactly how much money they have in account. Don't use more than you have, it's that simple. What the banks really need to do is charge $500 each time someone steals from them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
"each time someone steals from them"

Holy hyperbole throwback by what stretch of logic is an overdraft stealing from the bank? Either the bank voluntarily extends credit to cover the overdraft or they refuse it. Either way by no sane definition can that be considered stealing from the bank.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
When mr jones has you ten dollar bills on the table of which he owes you five. He tells you to take five, but you take six, what do you call that? I call that stealing when you take something that is not yours.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
throwback, It's not stealing if mr jones voluntarily gives you the extra dollar which is the case when the banks cover an overdraft. It's a very legal and very expensive short term loan. The only theft in my eyes would be mr. jones charging you $39 to loan you $1 for a week.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
Two words: change banks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-05:
Lord, totally agree with you there! The banks can easily DENY the transaction. THEY allow the account to go into the negative by approving the transaction. in NO way is that stealing.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2011-01-06:
The banks reserve the right to reorder the way debits are processed, but if you have adequate money in there to cover all then it shouldn't matter in which order they come in. I'm with BoA and they do things the same way. My husband overdrew his account by .10 and they hit him with a $35.00 fee and they would not remove it and he doesn't do this very often, and he has been with them for +20 years.

You can't opt out of the overdraft protection and they will deny any debit transaction at the point of purchase.
NOTE: Opting out will not work for automatic payments and check writing.
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