Key Bank USA Overdraft Fees

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Key Bank Theft
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CLEVELAND, OHIO -- Before you read all the replies note that several of these individuals seem to post to many of the KeyBank complaints and they all seem to have star ratings on them and follow the keybank indoctrination of saying the same thing over and over. Hmmmm Paid employees perhaps????

First I will explain I have several accounts this info reflects most about my Business. This is the letter I have emailed to the local media, OCC and Key bank. I want everyone to know they are rip-offs. I have forwarded this page link to these agencies also. Maybe someone will listen.

It has become a never ending battle to keep an accurate record of my bank accounts. I feel that putting my money in my account is no better than putting it in a slot machine. The odds are against me. What ticks me off the most is when I make the slightest mistake it cost me dearly. When I follow the bank policy I still don’t have a leg to stand on. When the bank makes a mistake that I can prove then I have to fight tooth and nail to just get back my money and they pay no penalties. I will list a few issues I have had in the past year and yes I will provide a detailed report to the OCC but I believe they are not consumer friendly and are probably bought and paid for by the financial industry.

Back in March or April of last year I received a decent size check from an insurance company. I deposited this check on a Wednesday and it appeared in my account as being available Thursday and Friday. On Saturday it was taken back out “I am glad I didn’t write anything on it”. When I called the bank to explain they told me they put a hold on the money “They had to make sure the check was good and they would get their money”. The ironic thing about this is that they could tell me during that same phone call the exact date and time it would be available in my account “Friday at midnight 5 days latter” .

Several weeks ago “and I have had this happen before” I deposited a check “from a client I always do business with” on a Saturday. The check cleared on Monday and showed it to be available. Several items were taken out against this on that same day “I travel a lot and the bank loves to hold my transactions to catch my account low” As you can see below the next day I was hit with 10 overdraft charges. I have sent emails requesting this be corrected and I received one correspondence in the mail which if you read it carefully you will see I am in no wrong “and it is a book to say the least I would like to title it “How to rip off your clients” . They lied about the date I deposited the check and I verified with my client when there bank withdrew the funds from their account. To date I got a pathetic “as a good will gesture we will refund 5 of these overdraft but we are not in the wrong”

38.00 839.53
38.00 877.53
38.00 915.53
38.00 953.53
38.00 991.53
38.00 1,029.53
38.00 1,067.53
38.00 1,105.53
38.00 1,143.53
38.00 1,181.53
09/18/2007 Reversal EASY SAVINGS AVIS REBATE NY 29.91 1,219.53
09/17/2007 Debit Card POS MAC USPS 5.94 1,189.62
09/17/2007 Debit Card PARADIES-RENO RENO NV 7.35 1,195.56
09/17/2007 Debit Card HMSHOST-PHX-AIR Q63 PHOENIX AZ 9.06 1,202.91
09/17/2007 Debit Card CONTINEN AUSTIN TX 15.00 1,211.97
09/17/2007 Debit Card APCOA CLEVELAND HOPKIN CLEVELAND OH 60.00 1,226.97
09/17/2007 Debit Card CIRCLE K 71.04 1,286.97
09/17/2007 ATM ATM KEY 100.00 1,358.01
09/17/2007 Debit Card BEST WESTERN AIRPORT P RENO NV 116.63 1,458.01
09/17/2007 Debit Card OMNI HOTELS AUSTIN S. AUSTIN TX 182.85 1,574.64
09/17/2007 Debit Card CONTINEN 00521534855446 AUSTIN TX 416.40 1,757.49
09/17/2007 Debit Card AVIS RENT-A-CAR 1 PHOENIX AZ 598.15 2,173.89
09/17/2007 Check CHECK # 600.01 2,772.04
09/17/2007 Deposit ATM 2,000.00 3,372.05

Today I open my account and see they have double charged me for several items see below email I sent earlier to the same person I have been trying to get to correct my other issue.

Dear Janette:

Jeanette M Piatek
Executive Offices of Key Corp
Office of the President
Ph# 800 625 xxxx
Fax# 216 357 xxxx
KeyBankFax# (216)357xxxx8

I want you to take a very close look at the information I have copied and pasted from my account this AM. As you can see there is a reason I do not trust or believe anything you try and shovel at me. I call this a “Tiear2 Over Drawing charge” and for each occurrence it is a $380 charge. Please redeposit all the money you have, once again stole from my account and $1900 for the charges I have imposed.

Cleared Activity
10/03/2007 Debit Card MCDONALD'S F14723 Q17 AMHERST VA 4.79 90.86
10/03/2007 Debit Card MCDONALD'S F14723 Q17 AMHERST VA 4.79 95.65
10/03/2007 Debit Card EXXONMOBIL 42038240 BEAVER WV 53.18 100.44
10/03/2007 Debit Card EXXONMOBIL 42038240 BEAVER WV 53.18 153.62
10/03/2007 Debit Card MARATHON OIL 156018Q96 ATWATER OH 63.48 206.80
10/03/2007 Debit Card CHEVRON 0173012 WHITE SULPHURWV 70.58 270.28
10/03/2007 Debit Card CHEVRON 0173012 WHITE SULPHURWV 70.58 340.86
10/03/2007 Bill Pay BILL PAY: 643.85 411.44
10/03/2007 Debit Card xxxxx 7.25 1,055.29
10/03/2007 Debit Card xxxxx 7.25 1,062.54
10/03/2007 Debit Card SHONEY'S OF LE14711Q68 LEWISBURG WV 11.11 1,069.79
10/03/2007 Debit Card SHONEY'S OF LE14711Q68 LEWISBURG WV 11.11 1,080.90

P.S One more piece of evidence to provide the OCC with.

They did finally correct the double charges but that is all and I have received no word from them.

I also received a call from them a little while back for a late payment on a loan I have with them “personal account” They called me then demanded I give them my full SSN before they would tell me anything. I had no clue at the time why they were calling and therefore told them I do not give my full SSN or Account number over the phone if I didn’t call them and didn’t know who I was speaking with. I filed a complaint with the Ohio AG and it was referred to the OCC by their office “AG Complaint # 339757” .

I also believe “I don’t have all the information yet” that they are sitting on a refund that I received from a car rental company “it might prevent them from catching my account low again”

I know it would be easy to say just changes banks “I have started this process”. The problem is I am one of thousands of their customers. So my question is how much money are they stealing on a daily basses and why isn’t there any oversight. Someone should be facing criminal charges for this because I believe it is intentional. If you do a search on the net like “Keybank sucks or Keybank Rippoff” you will see there are a number of people who are complaining. Some justice needs to be done. If it requires me to show my account I will.

In all fairness I have CC the bank on this I want them to know I mean business and will not stop until I see some action not only for myself but for all the consumers out there…….
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Anonymous on 10/04/2007:
You are living proof that not everyone should be allowed to have a checking account. You would do yourself a service to open a savings account for depositing your checks, then withdraw as money orders when you need them. You could go to Europe on the money you will save on NSF fees.
Anonymous on 10/04/2007:
What is a 'teft' ?
Anonymous on 10/04/2007:
I just don't get what is so hard about keeping track of your balance. I've banked with several banks in my life and the only time I've ever incurred NSF fees is when I was young and inexperienced and wasn't paying attention and keeping track of my transactions. Do banks make errors? Sure, but I honestly don't think they intentionally want their customers to go overdrawn just to collect more fees. Anymore, a lot of banks are asking customers to take their business elsewhere if they have too many overdrafts, so why would this be an intentional act? Call me naive, but I don't think this is some conspiracy.
jhartman24 on 10/05/2007:
Normally I don’t reply to such comments but I will point out a couple facts to those who are so good at taking care of their accounts and spell checking. Put all your money in key bank then come back in 6 months and tell me you had no problems. Second I would like to address the fact that banks are offering free checking and free accounts. Hum do the math they used to charge for this so how do they make up the lost income. Get rid of real people, charge ex-sorbent fees and yes make the system so convoluted that you will screw up no matter how great you think you are at your check register. Sorry I don’t have a multimillion dollar company that I can just stuff cash in the bank I am a real American who like most struggle day to day to make a living dealing with constant issues with corporations who try to screw you. By the way I have been to Europe a few times, nice but very costly especially the extra fees the bank charges for rate exchange.
Do some research on bank profits on NSF$nocookies$/usb_article.html?id=20070827FDVXID2L
steve101 on 10/05/2007:
Stop using a debit card. Pay cash for small items under 20 dollars. Use a credit card for larger items.
If you move to another bank and continue to use a debit or check card you will have the same situation.
Anonymous on 10/05/2007:
Sorry that I am not more sympathetic, but you are complaining about fees that you wouldn't be paying if you were responsible with your account. As Steve says, stop using your debit card, use cash or checks, and keep a register. I am not rich either, but I don't pay NSF fees.
CrazyRedHead on 10/05/2007:
When you deposited the checks were they showing up in the pending column or in the available column? Usually stuff that shows up in the pending column will disappear after a certain amount of time then show up days later in the available column. Also most large checks don't clear the same day you deposit them, they usually hold them for a while. When you came upon the date that they said that the funds were available did you call them to verify if the funds are really available? Do you keep a checking register, properly?

From looking at the fees for overdrafts, it looks like you have overdrafted many times before, usually 38.00 is the highest fee for overdrafts, you have to overdraft so many times to get to that amount.

It is hard to go by the info that you provided, it doesn't show your history or the full story, just your side of it.
Anonymous on 10/05/2007:
It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
-Henry Ford
Anonymous on 10/05/2007:
We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are U.S. government institutions. They are not government institutions. They are private credit monopolies; domestic swindlers, rich and predatory money lenders which prey up on the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers. The Federal Reserve Banks are the agents of the foreign central banks. The truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States by the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board.
-75th Congressional Record 12595-12603
Anonymous on 10/05/2007:
Here is something I due to help simplify my banking, especially when I'm traveling. I use my credit card. I always pay the balance before it is due or when I return home so as not to incur interest. That way if you make a deposit that the bank holds, you don't have to worry about it. Just be sure to make the payment to the credit card. You have to be diligent about this. I do mine on-line so I always know what the balance is. I might add, I am meticulous with my bank records too. But, I don't want to try to second guess what the bank will do. BTW, I've banked at WAMU for over 10 years with no problems. I know others have had the exact opposite experience. One time I called them and asked if they subtract debits before adding credits and they said no. They add credits first, at the end of the banking day, then subtract debits. I haven't had any deposits held either. My daughter did once because the funds were in HK dollars, but besides that it has never happened. Maybe you should consider changing banks and start over. Consumers Bank is supposed to be pretty good too, I've heard (if you have one in your area). You just have to find a consumer friendly bank or credit union--people that will work with you a little.
jhartman24 on 10/05/2007:
Maybe I need to explain a little more. I probably have more transactions in a month then most people have in a year. This is a small business account. I don’t get a biweekly check, in fact if you ever had the experience of invoicing you would know that it is a crap shoot when you may get paid. You can’t tell your clients sorry you’re a week or month behind I won’t do business with you, If we took that approach there would be no business. The next thing to shoot down the almighty check register theory. It is obvious that those who swear by this, do not make many trips more than 20 miles from their home. Let me explain. When you rent a car and use a debit card they automatically add additional charge to your card until you return it and this may be a week before this is refunded. If you get a hotel room it is a 50 50 if they add this deposit charge and it’s a 50 50 if they disclose it to you. I don’t worry about this at 1 AM when I have to be at the clients 4 hours later. Did you know that a gas pumps can also put a charge above and beyond what you actual pumped so a $30 gas fill up could show up as $75. How about all those companies who just automatically withdraw from your account, like software companies for renewals, and rental companies. I had a hotel charge me $1K because they mixed my card with another contractor who stayed there often. The banks don’t refund quickly or without a fight. So please don’t school me on check register until you really know what you are talking about. Why do I use a debit card well credit cards have high interest, so why should I give away more of my hard earned money I would pay cash any day before I have to line someone’s pocket. As for the availability yes the check was available and it showed it on my account before the overdrafts and I also checked with the bank the check was drawn on and it cleared before I was slammed. If you look at the info I provided my account never went negative but yet I still received these charges. Why the tier two well this isn’t the first time I have had this same issue I have beat it once "it took some persistence" and I will again. I just want to inform the public of the un-ethical bank practices. Banks are not none profit organizations and I have no issue with them making money but be ethical.
jhartman24 on 10/05/2007:
Thanks for the advice but the one issue with switching banks is that if you are a business banks and credit unions as a rule put you on a 6+ month probation. They will hold ever check you deposit for a period of 10 to 14 days no matter if they receive the funds or not. It makes no difference of my past record or my clients past record this is a rule. Why don’t I just put a chunk of cash in the bank well you have to have a chunk first that doesn’t go to the BWC, Job and Family Services, Taxes, SS, payroll and the list goes on… I prefer to run my business as a cash flow basses as much as possible. Is this smart, well if I purchase something it is mine and the banks don’t have their greedy little hands on it.
killerklown on 10/07/2007:
Please learn the proper use of punctuation "and quotation marks" before you post again.
Anonymous on 10/07/2007:
KillerKlown, WHY?
CrazyRedHead on 10/08/2007:
If you pay off your credit card balance in full every month you don't have to pay the interest. I also travel and use a hotel once in a while and always use my credit card for that, also the same goes for gas and that leaves my checking account open. I haven't had to pay interest on my credit card in almost 2 years since I pay it off every month. I have never encountered the extra amount when I get gas. I don't know your situation (and I don't want to), but I do some of the same things as you and I don't have any trouble with them and I have been with BOA for almost 20 years.
jhartman24 on 10/08/2007:
Lidman Thanks!
I prefer not to waste my time with such arrogance.
Red: Small flaw in the Credit card theory. You still have to pay them and how is that done? Well you have to have a bank account. When the bank uses un-ethical practices it doesn’t care who you’re paying. So regardless of who or how I make the payment if they choose to screw me well they try.
Bottom line, my account had the funds and they charged me NSF charges. They claim the money was on hold. Online banking showed funds available. The bank the check was written on showed the transaction took place before withdraws occurred. Never was my account negative “even after they robbed me with erroneous NSF charges”. Key bank has avoided giving me there recorded time that they received the funds from the deposit along with other information. They can’t even get there policy straight on emails.
This is what I received via email when I first filed the complaint.
“Please be advised that due to Federal Privacy Regulations, we are unable to address your concerns through email communication.”
Yet on another attempt they fully disclosed all information about my account and transactions via email.
I have head three different version of how this could happen and yet they cannot provide sufficient evidence to back any of them.
The local manager used the words “Well it could have been”. Excuse me!!!! Sorry but this is an institution that should have accurate record keeping and the ability to tell me instantly what happened. I might as well give my funds to some organized crime. At least I would be forewarned when they were going to break my legs.
Even the State of Ohio has found KeyBank mishandling there funds
Another good article
Anonymous on 10/08/2007:
jhartman24--Thank you for the explanation--appreciate it. Sounds like it would be nearly impossible to change banks at this point. I hope you get this resolved to your satisfaction.
Miss Misery on 02/23/2008:
I really appreciate your post because I realized I am not alone with my concerns over Keybanks charges.
I closed my Keybank account last November (2007) and for some reason attempted to access the Keybank account when I had purchased something online. It was not that big a deal - I finally contacted Paypal and they had (for some reason) used information that was five years old rather than the current info.
I went to Keybank to ensure my account was closed, showed them the correspondence from Paypal accepting it was their mistake and paid for $40.00 charge (I owed money because Keybank bounced back the charge to Paypal). I wasn't pleased about this, but glad that I at least 'caught it'.
Then I started getting calls from Keybank. I owe close to $300.00 they say.
Apparently Paypal tried to access my closed Keybank account three times a day for four days, so I was being charged for every time.
Even worse is that when they call me, they start this preamble, to ensure we are talking to the right person we need your birthdate and SIN - I don't think so! I just hang up. So 10 to 1 my credit rating is going down as I type this...
NY on 01/10/2013:
The first few times I was over drafted by key bank, I assumed it was me not keeping track of things. Then it happened a few more times and I realized they post things to your account any way that it can cause an overdraft. I've deposited checks that have POSTED AS CLEARED, then find out the funds are not available for 10 days. I've had items post, disappear and reappear so that it will overdraft even after I've made a deposit. 3 times I have called to ask about charges and the customer service rep seems surprised by the order of charges posted or is unable to give me a straight answer on a charge or overdraft fee. When I go into a branch in person they are as helpful as possible-to my face, but dealing with the bank when they don't have to look you in the eye to lie to you is quite different. My SIL worked as a teller there and quit after a year because of their lunacy, she advises everyone to stay away. I would absolutely agree.
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Consumers Take Action Against Key Bank
Posted by on
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- For all of us who have been wrongly charged a overdraft fee by those Key Bank thieves along with their incompetent customer services reps, there may be justice coming for all of Key Bank customers. There is a class action lawsuit against Key Bank regarding their manipulation of charges to make more profit through overdraft fees. As some may not be aware, Wells Fargo had a similar lawsuit that just got settled in which the Judge ordered Wells Fargo to pay $230 million back to customers. I sincerely hope that the Wells Fargo settlement case sets a precedent for current and future litigation against banks such as the class action lawsuit against Key Bank.

To join the class action lawsuit against Key Bank regarding overdraft fee, click this link:

To view info about the lawsuit and court documents click this link:

My personal story with Key Bank regarding overdraft fees is similar to everyone's else experience it seems. But I'll go ahead and share: On July 28, 2010 my bank account was charged an overdraft fee of $37 even though my account balance was still POSITIVE $9.27. In June of 2010 I elected to NOT participate in Key Bank's overdraft protection services due to the $602.00 that I have paid year to date in overdraft fees. I contest the overdraft fees on the basis that the criteria for an overdraft charge was not met (ie: the account balance was not negative after the transaction cleared) and as such it violated my rights as a consumer due to the new consumer protections laws passed earlier this year prohibiting such business practices exhibited by Key Bank in this matter. On July 29, 2010 when I became aware of the bogus overdraft fee, I contacted Key Bank Customer Service not only once, but three times. All three times the customer service representatives declined to refund me my money and continued to argue that it was not a bank error (anyone with half a brain can look at the account statement and see that it is Key Bank's fault). That left me with no choice, so I filed a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice, the BBB, and the OCC. Its been almost a month and I've yet to get my money back or contacted by Key Bank. However, due to Key Bank's blatant disregard for US financial consumer protection laws and failure to honor my request to opt out of their overdraft protection services, they need to be brought to justice. Whether that be by US government regulators or the US Justice Department. I am sure that I am not the only one out there who has been a victim of Key Bank's business practices that take advantage of uneducated customers (Key Bank really shot themselves in the foot this time though). I sincerely hope that this class action lawsuit forces Key Bank to re-evaluate their overdraft protection (dis)service and adhere to all current and future laws.

Sincerely, A Pissed Off Customer of Key Bank.
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leet60 on 08/18/2010:
While not addressing the OP's specific account, as he did indicate his account was in the positive with this occurrence, I will comment in general.

High to low posting order, while it may not have been specifically disclosed in Key Bank's account terms until recently, has been standard policy of almost all major banks for almost a decade. While at the outset, the appearance is that the banks use this as a tool to maximize profits from overdraft fees, there are other points to be considered.

1. If you truly keep an accurate account balance in a checkbook register the bank will never have an opportunity to charge an overdraft fee (again not directed at the OP). This is the basis of the problem for ALMOST every complaint about this.

2. In reality you have a choice if you don't want the bank to reorder - let the bank process all your nickel and dime transactions first, then have that check for your car payment or mortgage come in and be short by one cent. See how fast you find your car gone from the driveway. In theory the bank is saving you a LOT of grief by processing what are traditionally these large transactions which have a huge affect if not honored.

3. Most people who complain about this are simply trying to "float" transactions - deposit the paycheck Friday after 3 PM, spend like they won the lottery all weekend, then have the paycheck post the next business day at the bank.
yoke on 08/18/2010:
How much was the debit/check?
leet60 on 08/18/2010:
I also wanted to mention, that in class action lawsuits as this one is, only the lawyers get any significant amount of the award. On average, with the exception of the party starting the class, for most class action lawsuits the average payout for a member of the class is less than $100.00.
ABrandt on 08/19/2010:
Hey, no complaints from me. That $100 will cover the bogus overdraft charge they refuse to refund! In my particular case there was no reason for Key Bank to charge me an overdraft fee, just came out of the blue. But what ticked me off is that they refused to refund it. All they had to do was credit my account back for $37. I never knew that banks gave consumers the option on how banks are to process the transactions, I've known for a while that banks process high to low and if given the option would have it the other way around, cause it ends up being the $2 transaction for a coffee that overdraws the account.I would rather pay $37 overdraft fee for a $900 mortgage payment over a $37 fee for a $2 coffee. If banks were to adopt that kind of policy, they would receive less criticism and less complaints. I'm sure that banks created overdraft program with good intentions but it hits people the hardest who can barely afford to make ends meet as is, without having to pay an extra $37 for a "service".
CrazyRedHead on 08/19/2010:
If you opt out of OD fees it doesn't stop all debit transactions that come in on an under funded account. It only covers certain transactions. I had the particulars explained to me by the rep that removed the opt in thing and I also read it in the literature that comes with it. I also had to agree that I understood it before they would complete the request. I agree with Leet that if you keep a checking register that should eliminate about 95% of the OD complaints. I fell into the category of sleepy stupidity as to why I OD'd my account. My mistake could happen to anyone and caused my account to go astray.
Anonymous on 08/19/2010:
"let the bank process all your nickel and dime transactions first, then have that check for your car payment or mortgage come in and be short by one cent."

The recent WF ruling totally debunks that line of thought. Below is a link to the ruling. It's a real eye opener to all the OD propaganda.
Anonymous on 08/19/2010:
"In reality you have a choice if you don't want the bank to reorder - let the bank process all your nickel and dime transactions first, then have that check for your car payment or mortgage come in and be short by one cent. See how fast you find your car gone from the driveway. In theory the bank is saving you a LOT of grief by processing what are traditionally these large transactions which have a huge affect if not honored."

Actually, in reality, the banks that reorder transactions are making themselves a LOT of money (somewhere around 40 BILLION/yr) with the false pretense that they are doing this to save customers a LOT of grief by processing those "big" checks first. Funny how those same big banks that claim to care so much about their customers are the ones that are harassing them to opt in to to the OD protection...if they truly cared about their customers, wouldn't they be doing the exact opposite??
CaptainSpaulding on 08/19/2010:
They don't call Key Bank "Fee Bank" for nothing!
ABrandt on 08/19/2010:
Yes, I know that opting out doesn't exempt me from all OD fees and opting out only is for debit/atm transactions. What amazes me is that some banks are charging $50 on new accounts as a sign up fee for the overdraft protection services. Who in their right mind would agree to that? Its charging a fee for a fee service, it blows my mind. Banks are obviously doing everything they can to keep revenue up and ripping of customers. But charging $50 for the overdraft protection services just gives consumers more ammo and one more thing to complain about. If banks wanted less complaints they should adopt favorable consumer policies that don't require government action to fix.
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Abusive Overdraft Policies
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REDMOND, WASHINGTON -- I found the Web site while searching for information about overdraft policies employed by Key Bank. As I read many of the posted reviews I found that what I have encountered as a bank customer was strikingly similar to many other depositor’s experience. That realization was at once both troubling and encouraging. It was troubling because I did not realize how wide spread abusive funds availability policies were; it was encouraging because I understood that I was not alone on this issue. That realization was also infuriating when one considers bank customers are currently being charged by banks on two fronts: first as customer who are charged egregious fees and second as taxpayers to bail out the very banks who are charging them as depositors.
When reviewing the issues I also concluded that characterizing those who have experienced the negative and often expensive effects of abusive funds availability and overdraft policy as irresponsible miscreants who cannot balance their check book is patently false. If fact, many who have had negative experiences with abusive overdraft fees are victims of overdraft policies crafted to allow banks to ignore deposit credits while first running all check and debit card charges in order of greatest to least. This maximizes overdraft events and related overdraft fees.

The processing order practices appear to be allowed by exceptions in Federal Reserve Board Regulation CC. Once a customer has a history of overdrafts, that regulation apparently allows banks to ignore required funds availability requirements, which often creates future cascades of unanticipated and unwarranted overdraft events. It also appears that customers are not informed by the bank that their accounts are being processed under different rules that create increasing opportunity for the bank to maximize fees charged. I believe that this practice creates a separate class of bank customers who do not enjoy the benefits of deposit recognition other depositors enjoy.

Having been a financial analyst for the past thirty years and a consumer advocate for fifteen, I began additional research. The results were quite encouraging. A few of the positive facts that I discovered are as follows:

1. In November 2008 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) published an extensive report concerning automated bank overdraft programs. The report describes many of the problems that customers have reported in reviews. The report also makes it clear that such bank practices are widespread and potentially effect up to 74 percent of all bank accounts. Finally, the FDIC report also discloses that under current bank policies overdraft fees charged to customers can amount to thousands of percent APR on the amount paid by the bank.

2. In December 2008 a policy analyst group published a report that disclosed total overdraft fees charged by banks were $37 billion per year but net profit of the banks during a recent year was only $19 billion. This raises an important political issue: How can we as taxpayers be bailing financial institutions with hundreds of billions of our money, when those same apparently institutions cannot operate as a profitable going concern without gouging customers through abusive fees?

3. In March 2009 House Bill 1456 was sponsored during the 111th Congress. That bill would specifically prohibit order of processing debits and manipulating recognition of deposits to maximize overdraft events and fees. If found that congressional bill to be encouraging for two reasons: first, it recognizes that complaints registered by customers about overdraft charges are entirely legitimate; and second, if passed into law the bill would prohibit many of the current bank practices that result in unwarranted and abusive overdraft charges.

I still feel the sting of hundreds of dollars at a time being taken from my account by abusive bank practices. At the same time, however, I am also hopeful that oversight reports by FDIC and proposed legislative reform by Congress can change those practices in the future. To that end I encourage folks to continue sharing their experiences in public forums.
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kisa64 on 05/07/2009:
The bottom line is, never spend more than what you deposit and never spend a deposit until you know it's cleared and available. It really is that simple. If you do that, they can't charge you OD fees.

I borrow this quote from poster "justcuz", as this is succinct and wise advice.
Anonymous on 05/07/2009:
The poster is correct in that depositors who have a history of overdraft abuse will automatically get extended holds on their deposits.. It is a bank's way of mitigating potential loss.

That being said, the history of overdrafts is created by the customer not the bank. If (as noted above) you don't draw on funds that you don't have available to you, it doesn't matter what order items are posted in, ever. If you don't toe the line, these big banks will exercise their rights to slam you with fees. So the question is, why put yourself in that position?
Norm K on 05/07/2009:
kisa64: Your comment makes sense on the surface, but it is not really that simple. When one deposits cash or money order to cover projected charges, has an available balance indicated online, and then gets charged OD fees that simplistic response doe not apply. It also does not apply where some customers have deposit availability honored by the bank and others do not.
Norm K on 05/07/2009:
KenPopCorn: Holding some "target customers" available funds while others enjoy more advantageous availability is not a proper way for banks to mitigate risk. Which is why FDIC reported in November 2008 that complaints about automated overdraft programs are 12%, whereas complaints about other overdraft programs average about 1%. In addition, it is not true that one can never have an overdraft ever if they deposit more than they spend. One can deposit a money order or cash and still have overdrafts. There are numerous instances where Key Bank shows online beginning and ending credit balance on the same day, but customers experience still overdraft charges. the bank "legs out" credits to create debit overdraft events, then adds the credits in after charges have been made. How can one have a recognized credit balance at begin and end of the same day but still be overdrawn? The answer is that banks manipulate how they recognize deposits to maximize overdraft fees. That is a practice that would be prohibited under Congressional bill H.R. 1456, which is mentioned in the above review.
Anonymous on 05/07/2009:
Norm, the fallacy of your argument is assuming that you can make a deposit and cover a debit or a check that you issued before the funds were in the account. Aside from the fact that this is illegal, the deposit can never beat the electronic memo post of the debit item, and often will not beat a check which is being cleared electronically.

In your example, money orders do not require immediate availability, and probably will not get it. Cash becomes immediately available when it is posted, which is at night when everything else gets posted. Since Key Bank (among others) processes debits before credits, your cash deposit isn't going to prevent an overdraft on a check that is in today's inclearing. As I noted above, you are obliged to have *available* funds before you transact. You can take a chance and try to cover it, but as you have seen, you will rarely win this race.

One last note: the rules about Funds Availability are set by federal law. While a bank may choose to be more liberal than required, they cannot exceed the guidelines. Further, the bank's policy must be given to you when you open the account, and any time you request a copy. It also has to be posted in the branch.

When you open an account anywhere, and this includes credit unions, you may be assured that you never HAVE to pay an overdraft fee, but if you allow it to happen, they will seize the opportunity and collect every fee that they possibly can. It's just the way it is now.
Norm K on 05/07/2009:
KenPopCorn: Thank you for your added comment. It the alleged fallacy you cite raises an several important issues. First among them is that the order of processing -- from greatest to least -- can and will create overdrafts that would not have occurred for checks or debits that were made well after the fact of a sufficient deposit. Bank of America recently settled a class action on that issue for $35 million; Wachovia, SunTrust and Wells Fargo now have class actions pending on that issue. Moreover, such practices are specifically prohibited by H.R. 1456 as sponsored by Rep. Maloney (D-NY). In addition, Consumers Union (Consumer Reports) and other highly credible consumer advocacy groups have recently filed extensive briefs on the subject with regulatory oversight bodies concerning proposed changes to Federal Reserve Regulations. Do you contend that members of Congress, consumer advocacy groups, trial lawyers who bring cases to settlement to return some of the money customers have lost, and regulatory oversight agencies are incorrect on this important and timely subject?

As to cash having immediate availability please Check Federal Reserve Regulation CC 229.10 (a). Cash has the same availability under that section as a Cashier' Check or Money Order (often Teller's Check)under 229.10(c)(v): NEXT business day. So why is cash a good funds deposit immediately for some customers but not for others? Your statement "While a bank may choose to be more liberal than required, they cannot exceed the guidelines" is also an important admission: what customers the bank chooses to be more "liberal" with and those it does not creates the separate class of customers I wrote about in the review.

However, your response does provide on important confirmation: "Since Key Bank . . . processes debits before credits". that becomes a money machine for banks at depositor's expense: precisely as state, withhold recognition of deposits while running all debits in the account. What would happen if customers had the ability to require that all debits to their account be ignored when calculating available balance?

Again, thanks for your added comment. We are flushing out some of the important issues with this dialog. I appreciate that.
Anonymous on 05/07/2009:
A couple of things Norm, the suit that BoA settled was because they did not properly disclose their processing order, not the order itself. The other suits are similar, and none had had huge success.

I reiterate, the order of posting can never, ever, cause an overdraft if your account has sufficient available funds. It is mathematically impossible.

The legislation that you reference has no bearing at all to your problem. That particular piece of legislation proposes that a consumer specifically agree to a transaction that is going to incur a fee. This is anything new; if your account today has overdraft protection and you withdraw more than your balance at an ATM, you get a message saying that continuing the transaction may incur a fee, and you have to agree. The legislation proposes to extend this to debit card transactions. Since the system, as it exists today has no capability to allow a consumer to agree to a fee, the bank will merely decline the transaction. Think about that when you roll that big carriage of food up to the register and hand over your card. Some people will embrace this. My personal bias is that is one more way of allowing government to intrude into our lives so that some people won't have to bear the personal responsibility of maintaining an account like a mature adult. Just MHO.
Anonymous on 05/07/2009:
And one more thing... sorry, I forgot to address the part of the legislation that deals with posting order. In few words: it's a red herring. Neither checks nor debit transactions arrive at a bank piecemeal during the day, each arrives once a day in one huge batch. So if I am a bank, and I receive a transmission with 50,000 debits in it, and six of them are yours, what order did they hit the bank? Similar for checks. But guess what? If the account has available funds, it doesn't matter.
kisa64 on 05/08/2009:
You are right, KenPopcorn. Bottom line, if your account has available funds, it won't matter what order the debits come in. You must base your debits on what you have available in your account at the moment you make the debit, not based on a deposit you made in which the funds are not yet available or one you are about to run to the bank to make. I speak from experience, after two years of continuous overdraft fees, once I followed this practice, I have not had one overdraft fee. I really do believe that it is as simple as that.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
KenPopCorn and Kisa64: Thank you very much for your added comments. However, at this point it appears the conversation is laden with polarized views and circular logic, on which the two of you agree. However, discussion of this important topic is about public information, not one or the other of us "winning" a spat on this Web site.

First, it is not mathematically possible to begin the banking day with a credit balance, deposit a money order for several thousand dollars, end the banking day with a higher credit balance, yet be charged for several overdrafts. Both the debits and credits are recognized the same day. Such events are only possible by manipulating the order of processing. It matters not whether a customer deposits cash, money order or their first born; when banks run all debits before considering any credits that can and will occur. the problem in amplified by banks choosing to process debits from greatest to least order. For example, if you read the other postings about key Bank there are numerous complaints on the subject and many of those address cash deposits. To my mind, the practice is fundamentally deceptive and misleading. It becomes more so when bank managers inform a customers the OD charges are due to "unavailable funds," when in fact the charges are due to a choice by the bank as to how they process accounts to artificially manipulate increased OD charges. There are huge disclosure issues inherent in this troubling phenomenon.

I have written two papers on the subject to date and a third is in progress. Those papers have been sent and receipt acknowledged by Elizabeth Warren, chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel. Again, this is about public information and folks can make up their own mind once they are informed of important and relevant facts.

Finally, we experience a curious phenomenon: bankers holding out their right hand for alms from taxpayers while dipping their left elbow-deep in consumer-taxpayer accounts for often-unwarranted OD fees to the tune of $37 billion during 2008. At the same time banks apparently cannot turn an honest profit from their core business of lending and have precipitated one of the greatest liquidity crises in the history of our nation (where reduced liquidity also increases OD fees). And the regulations (Reg. CC) that govern funds availability are created by the same Federal Reserve that is currently handing billions to banks. I believe that incestuous and unseemly circumstance needs to change.

Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate the dialog. Best always and be well.
Anonymous on 05/08/2009:
Norm... you deposited a check. Checks do not get (necessarily) immediate credit. Overdrafts occur when you don't have sufficient AVAILABLE funds. And again, you are attempting to cover checks or debits which were transacted when you did not have funds. Therein lies the rub.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
KenPopcorn: Your facts are incorrect, your conclusions are therefore false. Please note that my response above clearly identified the deposit as a money order. Why do you incorrectly and falsely characterize the deposit as a check (2nd day or 5th day availability under Reg. CC depending on local out out of town) when it is stated to be a money order?

The deposits to an account that I write about as an exemplar in my papers were Teller's Checks (money order) with a bank as drawee. Under Reg. CC 229.10 (c)(v) such deposits enjoy the same availability as cash (229.10(a).

It is also clear from several other complaints on My3cents that customers depositing cash experience similar OD fees. Unwarranted OD charges are a direct result of bank choices as to how they recognize credits and order of processing for debits. H.R. 1456 clearly identifies that as true because members of Congress have addressed the issue in pending legislation. At the same time there are huge and sustaining disclosure issues.

finally, your statement "Checks do not get (necessarily) immediate credit" illustrates the fact that such practices by the bank create a unique and separate class of customers who do not receive the same deposit recognition as other customers enjoy.

Thanks again for expressing your views. However, asserting false information about the nature of a deposit in an exemplar account, apparently to "win" a point, does not contribute to meaningful dialog. Customers get enough of that when talking to their bank about unwarranted OD fees.
Anonymous on 05/08/2009:
I mean no offense but I find it very odd that Norm can keep track of banking regulations, and financial lingo but cannot do the math to keep a positive balance in an account to keep debit transactions from incurring an overdraft fee. Norm, you are splitting hairs and trying to overpower people with words and run on paragraphs. You are putting a spin on facts so they will suit your needs. This is not helpful. You mention that expressing our views here does not contribute to meaningful dialog.... I can honestly say I haven't gotten anything meaningful out of your posts either.
Anonymous on 05/08/2009:
Norm, a Money Order is NOT a Teller's Check. They are legally very distinct instruments, and they do not necessarily qualify for immediate availability. Do you not read the bazillions of posts about the poor souls who get money orders in the mail, deposit them and wire out funds, only to find that the money order was fraudulent?

I know you think I am picking on you, Norm, but you can't seem to grasp that the source of your problem is the inability to cover transactions that you made when you did not have available funds in the account to cover them. There are clearly many more user-friendly banks than Key Bank, but you are likely to encounter the same problems even there.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
KenPopCorn: If what you say about a Teller's check is true then why were those funds credited the same day that the debits were processed and OD charges applied to the exemplar account? Again, you are incorrect -- customers of Key Bank can and will begin and end the same business day with a credit balance but be charged OD fees. It matters naught what the nature of the deposit is under those conditions when the bank acknowledges them as good funds for available balance on the same day. That is not due to customer's failing but clearly caused by how the bank chooses to recognize deposits while it is processing debits. In this case the representative customer clearly had more than sufficient funds deposited to KeyBank and Acknowledged as good funds by the bank on the same day. Why dump on the customer as a financial miscreant to "justify" charging fees, when the bank knows it has credits the funds on the same day?
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
JohnInSoCal: Why do you assume facts that clearly are not in evidence to respond? Indeed, it is a clear ability to do the math that illustrates the major and sustaining problems with bank debit processing and deposit recognition.

My view is that your opinion of what bank customers seem to grasp is only relevant insofar as it clearly illustrates the deeply frustrating problems that depositors experience when attempting to address their account with bank employees and branch managers.

If you haven't "gotten anything meaningful" from these posts then why do you comment? It seems to me that you would simply move on to what you find to be meaningful.

Dumping on bank customers and those who post about bank problems simply illustrates how some banks treat their customers while begging for taxpayers to bail them out. As of yesterday's stress test reports KeyBank apparently needs to raise $1.8 billion in capital to stay in business. Should customers finance that too, while being demeaned by those begging for their money?

There is something fundamentally flawed about that circumstance. Perhaps it is possible that we need to set aside the issue of whether some banks are too big to fail and address a new question: "Are some banks too arrogant to be safe?"

Thanks for your comment, however dumping on bank customers in general, as well as those who post about manipulative processing policy, adds little or nothing to meaningful dialog.

The two papers I have written have been submitted to and receipt acknowledged by the TARP Congressional Panel and members of Congress. Perhaps we can get to more substantive issues in that forum.
madconsumer on 05/08/2009:
one more time someone wants to blame the bank for their inability to maintain a proper bank account.

sue em.
BokiBean on 05/08/2009:
Nice post, norm. Its been a long time but some people actually do remember when banks didn't try to shove their hands down their customer's pockets to rob them of fees they are not entitled to. I remember when banks were a lot more user friendly.

Come over to the credit union side...there are many of them that have a much more customer oriented manifesto.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
Bokibean: Thanks for your supportive thoughts. I appreciate that.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
MadConsumer: What customer inability are you referring to, when the question at issue is about manipulative deposit recognition and debit processing by banks? You also mentioned "sue em". So should banks now be suing their customers, to enforce the bank's choice as to how customer's accounts are processed and charged OD fees? That would be an interesting phenomenon: "Dear Customer: Here's service on our lawsuit on top of picking your pocket!" I trust that is not what you intended to say.
BokiBean on 05/08/2009:
Anytime, Norm. Heck, I remember when banks would reward customers who opened new accounts with small appliances and stuff like that. Now they make new customers jump through hoops for the privilege of getting robbed by them. ;)
Anonymous on 05/08/2009:
How anybody can defend these big national banks and their consumer unfriendly and deceptive ways is beyond me.
jhartman24 on 05/08/2009:
Norm: Don't worry all these guys supporting the banks are probable unemployed by the banks they work for or soon will be. The great thing is I made the right choice over a year ago and left keyBank. This new bank doesn't charge me overdrafts after I make a deposit and it is available for a "WEEK" before I write a check on it. What's even better is Key is finally getting the message. That had the nerve to call me the other day and offer a GPS if I would switch back. I explained that I could afford to buy my own with the money I now save from erroneous overdraft fees. Even though this does not replace the hundreds of dollars they have stolen from me I do feel a little bit more vindicated.

Unfortunately I do not have much faith in our government to correct the issues. They have been bought and paid for by these institutions. Between them and the CC we are doomed. On the bright side if we let the banking system continue to ruin the nation they will all disappear and we can start over again. It will be tough for everyone but I will enjoy watching those who have used corruption to live the high life be brought to there knees..... I will survive and who knows I may even flip them a penny when I see them begging on the street..... Sorry if I seem cynical but it is high time the people of this country take control close your credit card accounts and burn your debit cards "USE CASH".... If everyone gave there plastic back today the banks would get the clue....
Anonymous on 05/08/2009:
Norm, I have not assumed anything. Do not force words or make assumptions in your post on my behalf or try to tell me or other M3C members what you believe I think about the banking industry. What I did say is that I believe that you have not said anything meaningful in your responses to those posting on your review. I did find some value in what others posted in response to your review. No place in my post did I say I agree with any of the banking policies in place. With that said if the terms are disclosed we are accountable for knowing what the they are.

Since you have the gift of gab and like to talk in circles you can feel free to have the last word. I've made my point.
jktshff1 on 05/08/2009:
"banging head against wall"
Anonymous on 05/08/2009:
LOL Don't hurt yourself jkt. We need you.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
Crabman: Thank you very much for your comment. I appreciate it. I philosophically agree with your apparent views about defending banks at the present time. However, I also note that if we are to pull out of the current economic mess we are in we also need a profitable banking sector that provides increased liquidity to consumers and small business owners. That assumes banks are focused on their core business of lending money and operating honestly while doing so, of course.

As I noted in my posting, bank overdraft fees are reportedly $37 billion for 2008 and profits were $19 billion. Which implies that they cannot make a profit from their core business of responsible lending. One of my greatest personal concerns is that large national banks have apparently become so focused on crafting pretenses to charge overwhelming fees that they may have lost sight of their core business. That is formula that creates situations like the current economic meltdown.

It is also of concern to me that current TARP and other bailout conditions may place small regional banks at an economic disadvantage. For example, the recent increase in FDIC deposits to assist with funding round 2 of the bailout falls more heavily on smaller regional banks that have received little if any TARP funding.

Why should depositors, consumers, and taxpayers pay hundreds of billions to keep in business large national banks that have demonstrated to date colossal ineptitude in their core business of lending and cannot make a profit without manipulating deposits to pile on abusive fees? Of equal importance, why should TARP compound that problem by putting small regional banks that are necessarily more responsive to local customer needs at a competitive disadvantage?
Anonymous on 05/08/2009:
Why is right to come on to somebody's review and post basically smack talk but it's wrong for the OP to respond? I've never understood that about this place. Some of the comments on here can not be construed as anything other than insulting. I thought the review it's self was very well written and the OP comments in general were respectful. Just because somebody has a different point of view is no reason to get ugly or dismissive. Eh, I guess that's just how it is on my3cents.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
JHartman: Thanks for your comment. It certainly is true that many who were previously employed in banking, stock brokerage and mortgage financing are now finding themselves unemployed. That they are also in that situation due to an economic melt down they helped create has a certain ironic justice.

But a larger picture also presents itself: why take joy in another's job loss or economic hardship? It seems to me that we as a people have the ability to come together and create an honest financial system that works for everyone. To get that done perhaps the best solution is to let large national banks continue destroy their own customer base, and thereby eliminate themselves from a truly competitive market place. Those who enter the market vacuum created will hopefully understand that there's good and honest money to be made in core lending business.

As an added advantage, that change would also provide employment for many hardworking and honest bank employees who are not involved in managing or running abusive overdraft systems.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
JohnInSoCal and Jktshff1: what a marvelous thing the internet can be! In the case of the two of you it apparently allows soul mates to meet once again. Rather than banging your heads against the wall on issues normal folks comprehend immediately perhaps you would find head butts with each other to be more productive and enjoyable. Best Always and Be Well.
jktshff1 on 05/08/2009:
Crabby, you are right, the post was well written.
I think it's a willingness to see it from another perspective that causes some of the problem. You've seen that on other reviews. I think that by the time most op's have gotten here, they are already po'd enough that minds get closed to further discussion and other views. They post here more to vent than anything else and when an opposing view is placed, it adds fuel to the fire. Of course, no one on here would badmouth anyone just for the heck of it!!
But what the heck, ya live, ya learn, ya die and forget it all!!LOL
jktshff1 on 05/08/2009:
Crabby, need I say more? I was typing when norm gave his well written response.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
Crabman: thanks for adding your most recent thought.

Your latest comment that addressed insulting comments is important. Mostly so because those who engage in that behavior richly illustrate what many bank customers confront when they question Key Bank policy or overdraft charges.

Apparently some bankers have not yet grasped the idea that talking down to, dumping on, or not providing honest disclosure to those whom they rely on to make a living is counterproductive and self-defeating in the end.
Norm K on 05/08/2009:
JKTSHFF1: Why do you extend your negative comments to all folks who post on this subject by unfavorably stereotyping them in the third person as "They post here more to vent than anything else," and then add a negative label of po'd and closed minded, "they are already po'd enough that minds get closed"?

It seems to me that you're reaching the motor-boat stage . . . butt, butt, butt . . .!
jktshff1 on 05/08/2009:
I have posted nothing negative toward you, matter of fact I agreed with much of what you said.
But you seem to be doing a pretty good job of proving my point without any help.
BokiBean on 05/08/2009:
Crabman, sometimes you have a beautiful way of putting forth what's on your mind. I mean that sincerely, at times you are nothing short of eloquent.
corpbankhater on 02/25/2010:
I don't think some of you who are advocating for the bank are fully understanding the issue here. Let me give a couple of examples to clarify. Let's say you have a checking account with an available balance of $500. You swipe your card for $100, $35, $8, $17, and $40, equaling total debits of $200. Then an e-check clears for $400. You have now spent $100 more than your available balance. Your bank charges $35 per overdraft. Let's say that the merchants submit your debits in the order you swiped. You have overdrafted $100 + $35 overdraft fee so your available balance is now -$135. Now all of us can agree that this is correct, you know banks charge an od fee, so there is no argument. You spent more Han you had. Now let's talk about what these banks are actually doing. Manipulating how transactions post in order to boost revenue. Instead of posting in order submitted, your bank posts highest to lowest. $400, $100, $40, $35, $17, $8. You have still overdrafted by $100. However the first two transactions that posted have already used your entire available balance. You now have 4 overdrafts as opposed to one. The bank charges $35 PER overdraft. So instead of you owing the bank the extra $100 you spent plus $35, you owe them the $100 you spent plus $35 + $35 + $35 + $35. The bank has manipulated your transactions in such a way as to make an extra $105 dollars off of you. If you spend more than you have, you should incur a penalty for that. However, the bank should not be allowed to manipulate the order in which you spent your money to make more profit off of you. That is stealing, plain and simple. It is corporate banks "legally" extorting people who do not have high bankers salaries. People who are working hard and still barely making ends meat. No matter how much ANYBODY tries to justify what these banks are doing, it is still wrong, and if you argue on they're behalf you are wrong. The order in which your transactions post, cannot stop you from getting an overdraft fee If you spend more than you have, but it can have an effect on how many you get, try to prove me wrong...I dare you!
goduke on 02/25/2010:
The problem is, bankhater, that you have in fact, overdrafted. It's a hard argument to say "I know I took more money than I was supposed to, but I'm going to complaint about the manner in which the penalty is applied." It's like complaining about how hight the ticket was for speeding.

Not defending the bank at all. I think banks will maximize their profits at every turn. But if you don't allow the account to go into the negative, you never put yourself in a position to have the bank maximize the NSF potential. Ever.
Anonymous on 02/25/2010:
"$500. You swipe your card for $100, $35, $8, $17, and $40, equaling total debits of $200. Then an e-check clears for $400. You have now spent $100 more than your available balance."

And, if you had taken in account that you only actually had $100 dollars to begin with considering that e-check hadn't cleared yet and could clear at any time... you wouldn't have spent all that money in the first place.
That's were people, mostly, run into problems. They look at their available balance, not taking in account for any check or auto debit that might clear the account that night, and spend money. And the way these banks post transactions from highest to smallest, that's where they get into trouble. This highest to smallest transaction posting is not something new. It's been happening for quite some time now.
There's plenty of places out there, that *don't* do it that way... you just have to shop around and ask questions to see if they do or don't.
But, if you know how the system works, there's steps you can take so a bank can't and won't get your money.
Anonymous on 02/25/2010:
(BA) BKat.
corpbankhater on 02/26/2010:
Apparently you all did not see where I said that I was in agreement that you overdrafted and should pay a penalty for that. However you should pay the penalty on the charge you overdrafted your account with, in this case the $400. The bank should not be able to manipulate the order in which your transactions were processed.

Here is an example of what just happened to me with TDBANK. I have two checking accounts with them. However I did not open the account with TD...I opened it with Commerce before they moved. Not one time in the almost two years I had a Commerce Bank account did I overdraft my account, Not Once! TD takes over and all of a sudden I'm overdrafted with $250 or more in fees just before every payday. So I'm with a bank for two years with 0 overdrafts and all of a sudden a big corporate Bank buys them out and I'm overdrafted every pay period? So all of a sudden after two years of great money management, I am horrible with money for 5 months? I don't think so! There is no such thing as coincidence, I'm very sorry to say!

Here is my most recent problem with them. As I said, two checking accounts, one with nearly $3k in it all times and one with the $100 minimum that I use for daily purchases. When I make a purchase, I transfer money between accounts to cover the charges. Yesterday I look at my account, and what a surprise, my available balance is again in the negative. However my actual balance still positive. So I tranfer money between accounts (that are liked together mind you so the transactions will be covered when they clear. Were they? YES, my account never went into the negative. So again, I transfer $200 because I know my car insurance will be coming out. I look at my balance, $315. I look the next day...$280 in overdraft fees! But wait, how can this happen, my account never once went into the negative, until they hit me for the first $105 in od fees and then processed my $173 insurance payment. Now every transaction that posts after those is a negative transaction so I'm hit for another $70, and another $105 totaling $280 in overdraft fees. Still don't believe they are stealing money? Okay, I did the math, subtracting all transactions since my last direct deposit of $600 and change, witch was three hundred dollars short I might add, can you guess why? Anyway I did all the math subtracting all debits, adding all credits but leaving out the overdraft fees and came up with $56 still available. Clearly, it was they're FRAUDULENT od fees that put me negative in the first place! Okay maybe I'm making all this up to make the banks look bad...well I'll prove it...

History between the banking dates of 02/12/2010 and 02/25/2010
To sort by a column, click on its heading.

Date Type Description Debit Credit Check Image
02/25/2010 ATM DDA WITHDRAW *9877
02/25/2010 ATM DDA WITHDRAW *9877
02/25/2010 FEE OVERDRAFT PD  $105.00    
02/25/2010 CREDIT Online Xfer
Transfer from CK 3990542064    $219.00  
02/25/2010 CREDIT HANDLING CHG REVERSAL    $70.00  
02/25/2010 CREDIT HANDLING CHG REVERSAL    $105.00  
02/25/2010 CREDIT HANDLING CHG REVERSAL    $105.00  
02/24/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
02/24/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $5.55    
02/24/2010 FEE OVERDRAFT PD  $70.00    
02/23/2010 FEE SERVICE CHARGE  $15.00    
02/23/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $8.59    
02/23/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
THI VICTORIA INSURANCE 800 888 8424 *OH  $173.60    
02/23/2010 FEE OVERDRAFT PD  $105.00    
02/23/2010 CREDIT Online Xfer
Transfer from CK 3990542064    $100.00  
02/22/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $3.90    
02/22/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $7.06    
WAWA 680 00006809 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $35.28    
WEBMEMHELP COM 8133560557 KNA  $44.93    
02/22/2010 CREDIT Online Xfer
Transfer from CK 3990542064    $200.00  
02/19/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $10.12    
02/18/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $6.61    
02/17/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $7.40    
MCDONALD S F10270 DUMFRIES *VA  $14.08    
02/16/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
CVS 06852 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $4.87    
02/16/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $5.39    
AMC POTOMAC MI06003644 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $6.00    
02/16/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
02/16/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $8.59    
02/16/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
AMC POTOMAC MI06003644 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $11.50    
MCDONALD S F12704 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $12.21    
02/16/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $18.20    
CCBILLEU COM 1888596927 VALLETTA MALT MLT  $19.95    
DOMINOS PIZZA 4357Q09 111 111 1111 *VA  $23.17    
AMC POTOMAC MI06003644 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $30.00    
WAWA 680 00006809 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $30.50    
ONLINE TAXES 800 7553520 *NY  $39.97    
RENT A CENTER 2346 800 422 8186 *VA  $56.68    
02/16/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
AMC POTOMAC MI06003644 WOODBRIDGE *VA    $15.00  
02/12/2010 POS DDA PURCHASE *9877
WAWA 680 WOODBRIDGE *VA  $11.08    
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There are all my transactions from the day my paycheck went in. I don't think the balances transferred over, so if you still don't believe me do the math yourself, and don't forget to pay attention to which are debits and which are credits to my account. You tell me where I went negative before they conviently charged a bogus $105 to my account...
corpbankhater on 02/26/2010:
Oh, by the way, the $911 direct depost left me with a balance of $641.74, so do the math from that balance. Also the $200 and the $100 transactions were both transfers I made from my other TD account to this one, so they are positive credits, not debits.
Anonymous on 02/26/2010:
CBH, have you figured out yet that you cannot transfer to cover your debits AFTER you do them? As soon as you swipe that card you have created the overdraft because you have committed the bank to paying that debit. Think of how much money you'd save if you made the transfers ahead of time.
corpbankhater on 02/26/2010:
KP, you are exactly right, as soon as you swipe, the bank is COMMITTED to paying that fund. But have they actually paid it? The answer is no, they won't pay until the merchant submits the transaction... When you deposit a check, are the funds instantly available? No they aren't they are available when the check CLEARS. So why should I be responsible for a fee as long as I funds to cover them BEFORE a transaction CLEARS? You can't expect people to pay you a fee before you ACTUALLY overdraft. There is a huge difference between AVAILABLE balance and ACTUAL balance. What are Pending transactions? Transactions that haven't yet posted, or CLEARED. Say my available balance is -$20 but my actual balance is $90. That would mean I have $110 in PENDING transactions. But I still physically have $90 in my account. So as long as my ACTUAL balance is $110 before those PENDING transactions CLEAR, I haven't ACTUALLY overdrafted. That would be like charging you a late fee on your car payment for paying it the day it's due. Does that make sense? No. Again look at my account history I posted...the balances aren't on there but my starting balance was $641.74. Take the time and do the math. Tell me where I ACTUALLY overdrafted BEFORE they charged me any fees. You will see that the first $105 od fee is what eventually caused me to go negative in the first place. Those transactions were simply copy and pasted from my banks website. No edits were made by me what so ever.
Anonymous on 02/26/2010:
Two words:
check register.
Or one word:
corpbankhater on 02/26/2010:
Hey genious, what order do you write down your purchases in your Check Register? In the order you spend them right? Well the banks are manipulating the order in which your transactions post in order to maximize overdraft fees. Not to mention, I do keep a register which I fill out using my receipts when I get home everyday. So being as I don't keep my register on me, for various reasons that make perfect sense, I check my account on my iPhone, or by calling for balance updates while I'm out running around. So IF I there is an oversight, which can happen since I am human, I may not notice it until I get home and balance my register, or check my account again. If one is made, I immediately transfer funds from my larger account with the same bank...BEFORE they actually post, when they are only PENDING!

As far as my brain goes, it works just fine, obviously, being as I seem to be one of the VERY FEW people on this thread who understand the difference between a PENDING TRANSACTION and a POSTED (cleared) TRANSACTION. Not to mention, AVAILABLE BALANCE vs. ACTUAL BALANCE. Maybe you should read all of my posts and try to wrap your brain around some logic!
PepperElf on 02/26/2010:
Now I'm thinking Dr Horrible.

" ' Hey genius'. Wow, sarcasm that's original!"

maybe I should work on my evil laugh some more...
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Unbelievable Theft by Overdraft Charges
Posted by on
KeyBank charged me $123.00 on a $5.00 overdraft. I opened this account and then found out that they (1) sent bills and charged my account before the bills were sent and then overdrafted my account; (2) as a result I tried to close the account because they charged me overdraft charges for each bill and would not waive the charges; (3) I was told I could not close my account early unless I paid an early closure fee! So I left the account open until six months later when I wrote a check for $75 to close the account. I was incorrect that the balance had $75 but instead had $70; thus the $5.00 overdraft. They charged me an initial overdraft charge of $37, then $28.50 for the next three months. They called me on some anonymous number and did not leave any message until I finally answered the anonymous call and discovered just today that they charged me $123.00 on the $5.00 overdraft. They will not waive any of the fees. I just went to KeyBank and deposited the full amount. What a rip off. DO NOT USE KEYBANK~!!!!!!
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Anonymous on 05/05/2011:
banks will do anything to screw people over.
jmyers on 05/05/2011:
That's a fact. I've been banking for 45 years with Wells Fargo's predecessor, BofA and US, all of which handle accounts at least logically. But KeyBank, everywhichway you turn, they are charging you. Seems like they make up the rules as they go and you are not aware of them.....
trmn8r on 05/05/2011:
If you got into a negative balance because of the first overdraft, the bank will nick you on a regular basis until the overdraft is resolved. At my bank it was every three days or so.
CrazyRedHead on 05/07/2011:
At BOA if you overdraft you get hit with the fee then if you don't settle that fee within 5 days they hit you with a second. I would argue that this isn't the banks fault but I'm to tired to do so, I'll just let someone else do tit.
MDM on 06/29/2011:
Every bank will inform you how/and why you overdrafted..more than likely they sent you a notice to your online banking clearly stating how items posted to your account...if you read it, its pretty easy to understand...
Don't Be A Mule on 11/25/2011:
$123 worth of service was not delivered, period. Just because the rules are scribbled out in print somewhere doesn't mean it's OK. Nowhere close. It's an arbitrary fee that takes advantage of people with low funds. It's hilarious to me that anybody comes to the defense of banks on the topic of overdraft fees. Really? Why do banks get a free pass to demolish bad spenders? Maybe that money should go to charity?
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Overdraft Charge Nightmare
Posted by on
I was with another bank for four years and made the biggest mistake by trying Keybank. When you use debit cards with most banks, you are able to access your available balance by phone or the computer. Example, last week I made a purchase at Mcdonalds and a couple of other restraunts during the work week. I checked my account online and those charges showed pending and were deducted from the available balance. So I know where I am at right ? Well that was until this week. I trusted the available balance and used my card for some grocery shopping. My available balance was 20.00. The next evening, my account showed I had 160.00. I knew this was wrong and checked the account again in the morning. It said -2.69. I was like what in the hell. I called the bank and they said it could have been a debit that hard posted late and they adjusted the overdraft fee. I put a few bucks in to bring it current. The next evening my direct deposit of 111.00 went in as available balance. I spent 40.00 and my balance was 71.00 I checked my online account when I got home and it was -87.00. I was hit for four overdraft fees at 147.00. I called customer service and they refused to help. They said the restraint debits I had earlier that week had hard posted. I told them I was misled by their available balance on the online banking. He told me to keep a ledger. Needless to say that's the whole reason you use a debit card and online banking, so you don't need a damn ledger. Anyway I called the branch manager and she reversed all the fees except one. She tried to tell me the I needed to keep better track. The bank I was with for four years, I used my debit card like a sword and the available balance online was always correct. Never not one overdraft. I will be returning to that bank. Sorry I ever tried Key.
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leet60 on 03/31/2011:
Never, ever, rely on the available balance showing on ATM's or online banking. There may be pending charges that have not posted or appeared on the banks computer and the balance indicated is not reliable.

To avoid overdraft charges it is vital that one keep an accurate checkbook register and enter all transactions into the register as quickly as possible after they occur - this is the only way to truly know your available balance.
momsey on 03/31/2011:
It's still your responsibility to know how much you have in your account and how much you can spend. You can never fully trust your online balance because sometimes merchants take longer to post their charges. They were nice to reverse almost all of the overdraft charges.
tnchuck100 on 03/31/2011:
Needless to say a check register would have avoided this problem entirely. No, wait. Obviously it WAS needed to be said.
Cwazychicken on 03/31/2011:
Online balances have been known to act up from time to time. One time it said I had 1000 dollars at my bank lol....but really, it was more like 50. I always keep a memory of what I spend on my bills to try to avoid this from happening. There have been times that I got confused too or my payment was a day late from what it should've been. but I learned my lesson. If you must know your balance, call your bank directly. Yea, its a hassle but better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes atms aren't even up to date..Sometimes checks or debit cards can take a week to actually leave your account. My mom used to always go over from debit card charges, and carelessly spending before knowing what was in her bank. Now she does not use a debit card and has not gone overdrawn in a while. Debit cards can be evil if not used correctly.

Most banks work like this. My bank has helped me out when my paycheck came a day late but other wise, they tell me not to spend what I don't have.
trmn8r on 03/31/2011:
I read your complaint up to the point where you said that you rely on "the available balance shown on the bank's website, right?"

NEVER. I have never, and would never do that. You have to keep track of the balance yourself. There are many idiosyncrasies to bank balances, teller credits, etc. It is something only a bookkeeper could figure out.

The solution is quite simple - an old fashioned bank ledger. Assume anything that is sent or swipteds comes out immediately, and assume deposits will take 2 days to clear. If you do this, you should be alright.
Anonymous on 03/31/2011:
*Assume anything that is sent or swiped comes out immediately*

Exactly. It's what I do.
tnchuck100 on 03/31/2011:
Think of the millions of dollars the banks have managed to extract from clients who relied on those online and ATM balance numbers.

Even today I deposited a $5,000 check in my bank. When I got home and checked online it was shown as part of my available balance. Yes, the bank would absolutely love for me to believe that and try to spend it. As I understand how the system REALLY works I do not spend that money until the hold time has past.
Anonymous on 03/31/2011:
tn, there is no hold time on my deposits. How long is the hold time at your bank?

keynot4me, if you don't keep a running balance of your small debits, it's a good idea to just do one weekly cash debit. Then you'll only have one to keep track of and can pay cash for your small expenditures.
trmn8r on 03/31/2011:
tnchuck -> I agree the banks have benefited from the system. However, I have found most all bookkeeping systems I have had a glimpse of to be undecipherable. One example that comes to mind is my gas utility. Once they sent me a screenshot, because they are unable to send updated bills if they make changes to the account. I couldn't figure it out at all.

My takeaway is that online banking brings the consumer very close to such a system. Additionally, you have clearing issues, courtesy credits of portions of ATM deposits, etc.

I don't believe it is intentional - I think it is a consequence of giving access in a way we never had prior to online banking. And people make assumptions about what they are seeing that don't pan out. There should be a huge WARNING disclaimer, like on cigarettes.
Anonymous on 03/31/2011:
trmn8r, "There should be a huge WARNING disclaimer, like on cigarettes." Like that does any good.

trmn8r on 03/31/2011:
unslated -> I agree. It would be easier to defend the banks though.
leet60 on 03/31/2011:
+10 singsing
Anonymous on 04/01/2011:
Trusting online bank balances is like trusting your dog not to eat a t- bone steak sitting on the kitchen table. Keep a check register, write every transaction and fees down. Don't spend more money than you have and you shouldn't have any problem
Inat on 04/01/2011:
why would you ever depend on someone else to keep track of your money for you? It's YOUR money - others don't care about it. At least this is a lessons learned - now you know to keep a ledger :)
Anonymous on 04/01/2011:
Am I the only person that has not one, but two bank accounts, one with a credit union and one with a regional bank, that can actually rely on the online balance information being correct? I do not use a check register and haven't for years.

Neither of my banks hold deposits, both immediately deduct pending debit transactions from my available balance and the only thing I have to keep track of is any checks I write.

Why can't all banks do this? Oh wait..they can, they just know if they choose not to they'll have a better chance of dinging people like the OP.
FlShopper on 04/01/2011:
I always use a ledger. I trust my bookkeeping more than I trust the bank's.
Anonymous on 04/01/2011:
JC, no you're not and totally agree.

I kept meticulous records for years but came a day I realized the effort far out weighed any benefit. I use MINT.COM where I have to enter NOTHING. I have an easier time keeping track with mint than I ever did with a ledger. You are more apt to make a mistake with manual inputs than finding a bank error. Find a good local bank that doesn't play games with reported online available balances and deposit holds then quit writing checks and the need for a bank register magically dispears.

Ha, My lunch swipe from 20 minutes ago is already showing up in MINT. You got to love the 21st century.
Anonymous on 04/01/2011:
LR, thanks for sharing about MINT.COM.

I also think a local bank or credit union is the way to go. My credit union always posts credits, then debits, each and every day. Have never had a problem with them at all.
Anonymous on 04/01/2011:
Glad to hear I'm not the only one, Lord and Sing.

Anonymous on 04/01/2011:
jc, there just has to be others. Things don't have to be so complicated if you have the correct information to begin with. After looking over MINT.COM, that could definitely be a big help for many people. I've never heard of it, until now.
DebtorBasher on 04/01/2011:
KeyBank DID reverse more fees than they had to. They usually will only reverse once in a 12 month period. The purpose of using a debit card and online banking, ISN'T so you don't have to keep a's for convenience to access your bank information and if it doesn't match up with your ledger, then you have the info right there to find out why.

When you look at your account online, you will see a note that states:

Note: Transaction Balance does not reflect your available balance and should not be used when considering future transactions. The transaction balance is the balance after cleared activity has posted to your account. This balance does not include current day activity. Please refer to the Account Summary for your available balance.
danny54 on 04/01/2011:
Since any funds I use my debit card for come directly out of my checking account, I always log a purchase, etc. in my register immediately, even if the bank's website shows the charge won't clear for 2-3 days. Fortunately, I've never had a problem doing it that way. Also, if I know that I have an automatic withdrawal coming out during the month, I also log that at the beginning of the month so I don't forget and end up overdrawing the account.
Anonymous on 04/01/2011:
danny, I think if the register works for you, then that's great. But, for people who use their debit card like cash; I.e., many small purchases and a small balance, they may not always remember to write every little purchase down. That's where they get into trouble. I think that's a good reason for some people to make one cash withdrawal a week to cover all these little expenses. It simplifies their bookkeeping and possibly keeps them within their budget. Cash withdrawals should always be debited immediately at any bank--except for the very sleazy ones.
Fufu487 on 04/01/2011:
I feel that budgeting, in general, works differently for each individual person. For some people, cash withdrawals work. For others, check registers. Some people have multiple accounts for different purposes (one for automatic bill payments, another for general spending). I think it's up to the individual to keep adjusting your cash spending habits until you find a method that's works for you.
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Puyallup (WA) KeyBank overdrafts are costly and their service sucks
Posted by on

My original review follows and I thank those who responded to my review. Here is an update based on the feedback that has been received thus far:

Some of you said that the overdraft charges were my wife's fault. And perhaps she does bear some responsibility for not checking the paperwork more closely in the drive through lane (she asked to transfer money from savings to checking; the opposite occurred).


1) The bank has systems in place that tell them when overdrafts occur. She had been a good customer for over a dozen years with nary an overdraft. Why did someone at the bank not give her a call and tell her something was going on? Instead, they let overdraft after overdraft pile up, each time collecting, I think, a $39 overdraft fee. If a call had been made, the problem could have been resolved over the phone or she would have been happy to go in and fix it. Instead she continued to write checks and use her debit card not knowing that she was being dinged for each use.

2) Even when she used one of her bank's ATM machines to withdraw cash, it gave it to her. My bank's machine are programmed to tell me that I don't have enough in my account and will not let me have the money. Her bank's ATM gave her the money (an unasked for loan I guess) and then charged her an overdraft fee.

3) When we went in and talked to the operations supervisor who didn't have the power to help resolve the problem (was there no-one in the bank that could?), she said flat out that when we came back later to talk to the manager we would be able to have our story straight. Tacky and unprofessional.

4) When we did go back and talk to the manager, he said he would check it out give her a call no later than the following Monday p.m.
We never heard from him. No phone call, no message, no letter.....nothing. And this was the individual that supposedly had responsibility for the entire bank.

To those of you who think it was my wife's responsibility in total, fine; we can agree to disagree. But as someone who has about 20 years experience in retail including seven as an owner/operator of my own store, this is not how I treated my customers.

By the way, I just read about that bounced check fees made banks some $32 BILLION for banks last year. That can only lead one to conclude that banks, including obviously KeyBank, see this as a revenue source and the concept of customer satisfaction becomes secondary to that of greed.


At last we are free of KeyBank, Puyallup, Washington.

My wife had been a loyal customer for many years with a checking account, savings account and certificates of deposits (CDs).
She went to another branch and asked (she thought) to have money transferred from savings to checking. The clerk did the opposite and my wife did not check the receipts as she probably should have. She was in a drive through with people behind and felt she should move on.

That's when when the trouble began. Checks began bouncing and she began being charged for overdrafts. She used her ATM card several times including once for an approximate $5.00 meal and even used a KeyBank ATM for a cash withdrawal. Rather than alert her through the transaction machines that she was overdrawn, the bank allowed the transactions to be completed and then hit her with an overdraft charge.

When the ding letters started arriving by mail, we went to her branch where we talked to the operations supervisor. We told her the story, that it was an honest misunderstanding and expected the bank to reverse the overdraft charges especially considering the long and uncomplicated history she had with this bank.

But the operations supervisor said she would have to check it out with her higher power (the bank manager). We told her we would come back in a day or two to talk personally to the manager.

"Good," she responded, "that will give you a chance to get your story straight."

Her attitude really ticked off my wife.

We went back a couple of days later and did talk to the manager. A couple of the fees had been waived but not all of them. We again explained how it had happened and asked that all the fees be reversed. He said that he would have to check with his higher power and that he would call us no later than the following Monday P.M. (I think we went in on a Thursday or Friday afternoon).

We never heard from him.

I personally cannot figure out how a bank that stresses service can treat long term solid customers this way. Why, for example, would their own ATM allow my wife to withdraw money that she did not have in her account? Why did not someone at the bank call her when the checks started bouncing to tell her she had a problem?

My conclusion is that KeyBank (and probably other banks too) see these overdraft charges as a lucrative revenue source. And why did the manager say he would call us and then choose not to call. Service and good will to the customer be damned.

No matter. We have closed the account and moved to another bank.

And, if and when the subject of KeyBank comes up, we will do our best to let others know exactly how we feel about this company (in fact, we already have).

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Anonymous on 08/20/2009:
You are correct with your questions. They want those overdrafts to keep coming in. Of course they aren't going to call you to alert to the problem.
madconsumer on 08/20/2009:
"The clerk did the opposite and my wife did not check the receipts as she probably should have."

this is all that needs to be said. the issue lies with your wife.
BokiBean on 08/20/2009:
"Good," she responded, "that will give you a chance to get your story straight."

I probably would have come unglued at that one...
yoke on 08/20/2009:
What did your wife put on her slip she handed to the teller? Did she check transfer from savings to checking or checking to savings? The bank should have a copy of the transaction slip your wife filled out. I know at my CU you have to have a slip in order to do any transactions. They will not do a verbal transaction.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 08/20/2009:
I guess I don't understand what type of transaction your wife completed if not a transfer. Unfortunately, if you overspend then you get hit with all the fees the banks love to impose. They aren't going to alert you to the issue...that way they can collect more money. You're right Boki...I would have lost it if the teller said "Good, that will give you a chance to get your story straight." Talk about rude and insulting...stick with credit unions.
JR in Orlando on 08/21/2009:
Why is making the customer pay the consequence of the customer breaching the banking agreement, always claimed to be poor customer service? Your wife had to be responsible enough to keep track of the deposits she made. Since she did not, and did not verify the deposit had cleared, the two of you bounced checks which under the agreement you signed, meant overdraft charges were due. Why complain about a situation your wife created.

The bank is not your mother and has no obligation to call. Its position is that it does not want to leave you stranded if you need cash. Moreover, if they did deny you, some people in your situation would be right back here gripping about how the bank embarressed them when they went to buy dinner for their family and how the bank should have let them overdraft - the bank knew I was good for it.
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Keybank is stealing money from you...
Posted by on
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- OK here is the scenario: You have 15.30 in your account. You pay for parking at a meter using your credit card. It costs $1.50 and clears. The previous day, you get a fee charged from your school for $15.00 for setting up a tuition payment plan that you thought was paid when you signed up. This goes in as a pending transaction. When you log in the next day you see that this has happened. The "balance for processing items" is 13.80 after the 1.50 is paid but that pending transaction knocks down your available balance to -$1.20. OK you made a mistake so you are going to get an overdraft right? Nope. Two.

$15.30 - pending[$15.00] = available[$0.30]
$0.30 - $1.50 = available[-$1.20]

Key bank then overdraws you because the $1.50 was paid and overdrew your account. OK fine, its a little shady considering that the 15.00 was still pending but whatever, you made an error and you don't mind owning up to it and paying the fee.

so the next day early afternoon, you go into the bank and deposit $700. The day after that you receive ANOTHER overdraft WHAT?? So here is how they STEAL YOUR MONEY:

The next morning your "beginning balance for processing transactions" is: $13.80.

$13.80 - overdraft[$36.50] = -$22.70

Obviously they can't charge you an overdraft for an overdraft fee but then that pending transaction for $15.00 that caused that first overdraft clears...

-$22.70 - $15.00 = -$37.70

That's right, you are now charged another overdraft because the $15.00 item was paid and overdrew your account. The $700 that you deposited the same day is accounted for afterward and your balance at the end of the day is $662.30.

You get another 36.50 overdraft charge posted the next day which brings your balance to $625.80.

Here is the bottom line:

If you have 15.30 in your bank account and two purchases are made in the amount of 1.50 and 15.00, only one item is being paid that is overdrawing your account. If either item is paid alone with a balance of 15.30, the account will not be overdrawn.

Dear Keybank,

You can't charge someone an overdraft for an item being paid based on a pending transaction unless you are going to consider that pending transaction as being paid. If you do that and then charge them another overdraft merely because that pending transaction posts to the account, you are stealing.


If anyone disagrees, I would consider taking a refresher course in arrhythmic.

15.30 - 1.50 = 13.80(OK) - 15.00 = -1.20 (OD)
15.30 - 15.00 = 0.30(OK) - 1.50 = -1.20 (OD)

Only 1 overdraft possible
keybank charged 2 [$73.00]
total balance overdrawn: [$1.20]


I would like to hear your horror stories with this bank and/or any bank. I am building a website that will include all these horror stories and be talking with some lawyers and senators. We have the right as Americans to be protected from theft and reimbursed.

This happens to Americans all the time and has happened to me twice.

Please email me at with any stories, questions, comments, etc and lets try and get some power back to the people.
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User Replies:
tnchuck100 on 09/13/2008:
It's called "creative accounting". It's not fair. It's not right. It's not ethical. But it is legal. You will probably find in your terms of service that you agreed to when you opened the account wording to the effect "we may process transactions in any manner or order that we want to". The sad part is our elected officials just sit back and allow it. Truth be told they are probably profiting from it as well.

Close the accounts with Key Bank. Find a credit union. They will treat you far better.
Anonymous on 09/13/2008:
To avoid such problems you should use a credit card, not a debit card. Even though a debit card can be used as a credit card it is still tied to your checking account for immediate withdrawal. Obtain an actual credit card from your bank.
CrazyRedHead on 09/13/2008:
They are not stealing, you are giving it to them, but I do understand mistakes and goofs on the account holders part. This is why I keep a checking register and write everything down as it happens and use a calculator.
grandma005 on 09/13/2008:
PASSINGBY is right. If you use a credit card there will be no NFS fees. You charge everything on credit card deduct it from your checkbook register. When you get your bill you immediately pay the credit card in full. That way you get to use their money interest free and earn money on interest in your checking account. Not much interest but it keeps you from getting NFS.
madconsumer on 09/13/2008:
what about keeping an accurate balance?
NeveragainAmazon on 09/13/2008:
Odd how it becomes the banks issue when one can not keep an accurate checking register. Be thankful that you have overdraft protection and that the $15.00 payment that was withdrawn for tuition was in fact paid !! Now, that would be humiliating!
DigitalCommando on 09/13/2008:
Hi children, can you say Credit Union? you need to do what Mr. Rodgers does and use a credit union because they won't scuff my new white loafers like the standard banks do!
Anonymous on 09/13/2008:
First, full disclosure: I am Canadian and have no real experience with US banks. Having read a few complaints here, I hope I never have to deal with these banks. The Canadian banking industry is regulated and, while not perfect, there is no need for daily account balancing - purchases with a debit card clear immediately, most deposits are done electronically and are not held for any amount of time...good luck to all of you - it sounds like banking in the US is a hassle at best.
yoke on 09/13/2008:
What did the bank do wrong? All they did was clear items even though the funds were not available. Would you rather the bank return the items unpaid? Either way you would have had NSF's. It was your error that the funds were not there, not the banks.
tnchuck100 on 09/13/2008:
yoke, what did the bank do wrong? They charged two overdraft fees for a same transaction. Once while it was pending and again when they posted it. Plus a third overdraft fee just because they could get away with it.

When are some of you commenters ever going to understand the issue in most of these bank complaints. It's not 1 overdraft fee. It's compounding the problem unnecessarily simply because they can legally screw the customer.

yoke on 09/13/2008:
I only saw the 2 overdraft fees which the bank can charge. The funds were not there to cover the debits.

Maybe what the banks are doing is wrong, but consumers have to stop spending what they do not have in their account. The OP did not have the $16.50 in the account to cover all the charges. The OP admitted to having only $15.30. How is that the banks fault?
old fart on 09/13/2008:
Yoke... the key phrase is "do not spend what you do not have"..AMEN....
yoke on 09/13/2008:
I wonder if the OP would have come on to complain that the bank declined the $15.00 payment that he did not have the funds to cover. The OP spent more than he had and is now blaming the bank for doing him a favor and not returning the fee to his college.
Davenport on 11/16/2008:
I don't think the OP is complaining that they charged two overdraft fees for two transactions. Well, he is, but he's not saying that's how they're stealing. They're stealing because they count the 15.00 transaction as being "paid" not "pending" when they charge the second overdraft for the 1.50.

But then somehow the 15.00 becomes "paid" even though it was already counted as such and they charge a second overdraft fee for the same transaction. So basically what the bank does it retroactively un-count a transaction and then repost it in order to get another fee.
brandonjames on 01/28/2009:
Thanks for that last comment (and those who understand why this is ridiculous).

Just to let you know, I have solved this problem by closing my accounts with this bank and opening an account with another institution which will transfer funds from my savings if my checking balance were to overdraw AND also opted out of "courtesy overdraft protection". As for Keybank? I'm not surprised that they don't offer any protection due to their shady practices.

And for you halfwits who didn't take the time to do the math (if you even could) before you commented me with such responses as:

"blah blah keep a register"
"blah blah why is it the banks fault for your error"


In addition to people making errors (which I am not disputing mine in this situation - if you halfwits had read that far into my post), there is a reason why the city doesn't charge $500 for a parking ticket...

Cheers! [=
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Overdraft Fees
Posted by on
FINDLAY, OHIO -- BEWARE OF KEYBANK! I have been a customer with this bank for almost four years now. I have accumulated overdraft fees here and there and have probably deserved them. So I quietly paid them and moved on with my life. Recently I had a schooling in Key's positively predatory fee policy. Due to a lack of communication, we overdrew our account by approximately $70.

Fortunately I noticed it that morning and got money out of another account to cover the difference. Well, I discussed the issue with the teller and asked if I put in $200 cash deposit on that same day whether I would avoid the fees. I was told yes. Apparently she was not aware that Key's policy is to apply transactions as they come in. Consequently, I examine my account the following morning and see that I have accrued several fees that I was told that my prompt action had avoided. Again I was in the negative. Well, I was mad and I went to see the bank manager. (you pay $40 for a candy bar). He was trying to be nice but obviously felt that it was my fault for being an idiot.

Well, after discussing the matter with him he informed me that the teller should have never have told me that I would be okay. As he explained it, nobody really knows what transactions may be in the pipeline or how they would be processed and could cause further fees. Well, I told him that I knew what was coming in (another 5 transactions) and that if I had been given the proper information on day one, there would have been enough money to cover the incoming transactions plus the fees. He eventually relented and credited the fees for the misinformation I had received from the teller and told me that it would prevent any further fees from occurring (unless I had any outstanding that I didn't tell him about).

I also tried to open a savings account linked to the checking account for overdraft protection. They don't have one. All they have is the credit based version that still is expensive to use and which they refuse to give me. Great, I went home, mission accomplished. I check the account the next day and he did as he said and had credited the account but not before they added more fees to negate the positive credit! And the incoming transactions generated even more fees. Another call to the online reps and the bank manager proved fruitless. Frustrated I have given up trying to work with them. So Iwas stuck with just under $800 in fees.

What I have learned is that Key's policies (and probably quite a few other banks) are very skewed to making lots of money through these punitive fees off those middle and lower middle income class folks who live paycheck to paycheck or suffer from credit deficiencies. Instead of creating policies and products that make money in a positive way and create corporate goodwill like other industries, Key has decided to take advantage of those least able to defend themselves, and in my eyes, with no regard for their corporate image. I also found out that their employees do not have enough knowledge about the very core of their business to give proper information that their customers can depend on to make informed decisions. Matter of fact, if you ask them, they will give some noncommittal BS that does not give any real direction to resolve the issue and leaves you guessing how bad they are going to hit you!

As for myself will be more vigilant about my finances but I will be more vigilant about them at a new bank. And I tell you what, I WILL support reform measures in the Banking Industry.
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Anonymous on 04/11/2008:
I find that the best way to avoid these fees is simply not to obligate more money than is in the account.
heaven17 on 04/11/2008:
Misinformation aside, I agree with PMS.
tander on 04/11/2008:
I think banks do this on purpose that's how they make their money.
DebtorBasher on 04/11/2008:
Transactions are not immediate...they have to wait until their system updates a certain time of day...The deposit may have avoided the fees on the $70 but if you already had payments pending, the teller would not know that until they hit the system. Now, if the fees were FROM that $70 that you inquired about, then the teller did mis-inform you.
CrazyRedHead on 04/12/2008:
Thankfully the only communication I need is with my checking register. I don't spend more than I have and make sure that it is written down and I haven't had a problem in close to 10 years. The the Keep the Change program that I am in, I have to make sure that I have a cushion. Although it is small, it keeps me from overdrafting and incurring maintenance fees on both checking and savings accounts.
b@nkerdude on 05/14/2008:
I work for another bank and hopefully can offer a few points. I've never dealt with this bank, don't even have one near me, but anyhow....unfortunately the teller probably looked at the computer and didn't see a fee yet and assumed it was OK. Every bank I know of, the fee comes out the day AFTER the overdraft. Once a check is on the overdrats, you can't "beat it" with cash. You also have to remember that overdrafts are done in the morning. So on Monday morning when I review overdrafts, they are from items that came in FRIDAY night. A lot of people get upset when a direct deposit comes in and they get a charge. So in this case...their direct deposit is Monday and the check came in Friday night but they can't understand why they get a fee, because they physically see the item pending on Monday. The best advice I have is keep a register and don't chance spending the money expecting a direct deposit (or any deposit for that matter). If there is a problem and your employer doesn't send your payroll, chances are you will not win asking the bank to refund fees because you "expected" a deposit. Most people also say it costs nothing to pay overdrafts, so why is there a fee (and please trust me, I live paycheck to paycheck, too!). It actually does cost money because they have to pay employees to decision the overdrafts, then pay them to contact customers who leave their accounts overdrawn. Just because you may be responsible and handle your overdraft, please remember that a lot of people don't. Most banks are pretty fair if it's your first overdraft or it's not very typical behavior for you. As for Tander's comment, we don't do it purpose but a point to consider - if there wasn't so much money lost due to fraud, there wouldn't be such a need to make up money in fees. Blame the thieves, that's what I do LOL
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Key Bank Limbo!
Posted by on
COLONIE, NEW YORK -- My husband an I have a very successful Automotive Shop in Colonie New York.

Four years ago Key Bank cold call our business (in-person). Promising the world, showing all that they were capable of doing for us, proving that our current bank wasn't doing anything for us! So..Key Bank SOON HAD IT ALL.



Let's talk excessive over draft charges. Our business incurred 14k worth of over draft charges just in 2007 with Key Bank.That's not mentioning the expense of the bounced checks to all our wholesalers. Which trust me after doing business with them since 1987 proves to be quite the embarrassment.All charges 2 tier $38.00 a pop. and after 4 a reoccurring over draft charge appears of $28.50. Key bank has us just about broke.Just how they like it.

So far this branch manager has cashed in my personal investments-I had to use} all of the line of credit linked to this account.Went weeks/months without paying ourselves.Took cash out of my savings and personal checking to cover business over drafts. And I was also at the time trying to keep up on personal over drafts too. So, KEYS answer to all of this is.... THEIR EXCUSES>
I have to be careful what I give back, I don't want to get my hand slapped. They are watching me very carefully, I could loose my job.
This is what happens when you count on funds available.No one knows how long pending is?Our available funds are different then your screen available funds. Just because it says available doesn't necessarily mean its available. Your on line screen is different then mine.You made this mess not Key.You are spending more than you are making.(NO YOU ARE TAKING MORE THAN I AM MAKING)Fees-fees-and more fees. The harder & longer we work the more money they took.They have left us unable to pay our leases. I paid over 7k to be exact in 2007 all went to interest and penalties just on this Key lease.The end of February 08 the equipment lease on our ford pick up is in default. We can bearly pay our bills. Or our,taxes,mortgage and creditors.This is breaking my heart!And has caused more stress than you can possibly imagine.Many sleepless nights. I have worked this business since 1987 and the thought of lossing it is killing me. I have a customer base of nearly 4000 loyal people all neighborhood people they will all soon know what Key Bank has done.This has snowballed into me enduring countless phone calls day in day out from creditors,explaining why I'm behind in payments? why I'm bouncing checks to them after so many years?I hear add $25 -$35 and with payroll taxes $ the debt owed.How is this fair? Why is Key doing this? I just met with our Lawyer, his answer was because they can. Because to someone as small as yourself their corporate Lawyers would bury us alive in red tape and court fees. You will end up broke in the long run. So his advise, let dead dogs ly. My way is fight with all I have left in me.So now the last and final straw was when, after several attempts to save all.I decided to take matters into my own hands.And work out of an account that is possible to balance!My idea by the way. not Keys.I started to take my money out of my operating account and transfer it to my equipment account.All went crazy. I noticed that my account activity stopped dead. I called Key, they froze my accounts, business & personal, YES BOTH And after many unkind words passed between the two of us, And one very loud hang up by her.Do you know they never even notified me, no letter, no phone call nothing just the malicious act of taking without permission.Reason, My account was in the black way to long for them.They needed to get me back into the red.Why else would they of done this? THEY CALLED WHAT I DID ILLEGAL TRANSACTION OF THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS.
Now mind you my 2 accounts are linked souly for this purpose. I was then asked if I knew what kiting was? NO? WHAT'S KITING? I can't tell you that! Then why would you mention it, Was my question! Her answer, just never mind! Just stop doing what you are doing she said.JUST STOP, -JUST STOP, IS ALL SHE KEPT SAYING.WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD NOW.What does this person think I have been trying to do for one whole year? Let me get this straight, it's my money and I don't even have the freedom to move it around as I please.Just so I may stop Key from taking it? I have been leaving a very small amount in that account.Just to keep from further over drafting THE END RESULT.
I am suffering both business wise and personally now! Just as they wanted it to be. They build their Key branches off of the blood and sweat of small hard working business owners like myself. And so many that I have had the privilege of reading about on this site.
Our credit is in the toilet. Almost all of my wholesalers have us on cash!We work until 8-9-10:00 at night 6-7 days a week, to try to come ahead. I am in KEY BANK LIMBO.We have a very tough road ahead of us.
Please all businesses, big and small alike get out while there is still time. Save your selves.I plan on it.

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Anonymous on 02/26/2008:
Fourteen thousand dollars in OD fees! And you don't see any fault on your part? Here's a tip... for that much money you could hire someone to balance your accounts for you.
FoggyOne on 02/27/2008:
What KenPopcorn says.

After the first couple of overdrafts I think I would have gotten the idea that either Key was wrong or I was wrong in looking at my available balance. I would have not just kept writing checks unless I actually talked to a bank employee in person to find out what my real available balance was because I knew the online available balance may be wrong. Unfortunately, I think you took a bad situation and just kept making it worse. You needed professional (accountant) help. But to allow yourself to rack up $14,000 (yikes) in overdraft fees is difficult to comprehend. You better seek someone who can balance a checkbook and who knows how to determine the real available balance of an account.
shopgirl1956 on 02/27/2008:
I was not looking for either your sympathy or your remarks on my accounting skills. Just posting to let other businesses know what key bank is all about!So that it will never happen to then. (friendly preventive insite is all).So please refrain from the personal insults and attach on my accounting qualifications.And as far as knowing your available balance that was one of the issues I had with them. They couldn't tell me. Lets keep this friendly and as a source of caution for other businesses.not for personal attack.Did you catch the since 1987 part of my business? Have you ever ran a business or a business account?Try it than post a comment.

Miss Misery on 03/16/2008:
I am so sorry for your experience. I can figuratively read the 'stress' between the lines of your post. It's too bad you couldn't have had an inkling what Key Bank was capable of prior to having your account frozen. You could have gradually transferred funds to a different bank account. As for my3cents' users' comments - some old standbys, who've been on this site for a while, feel it is their obligation to critique the poster's actions rather than the post. Don't take it to heart and remember that most of this site's users only read. Your information is valuable, so thank you for posting. Good luck with Key.
Ponie on 03/16/2008:
Just the mention of 'kiting' makes me think the bank is on to something. Either you or someone who has access to these accounts, aren't banking according to GAAP. As far as running a business, I've had my own for the past 15 years and have had no problems--yet.
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3 overdraft fees for the same 53 cents !!!! DON'T BANK AT KEY
Posted by on
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- This is the most immoral situation I have ever encounted.

I overdrafted my account by. 53cent by using my debit card. Key accessed $39.00 for this and another $39.00 after it cleared. According to a Key bank supervisor I was charged as the debit pended and when it cleared. I have been a customer of theirs for 30 years!!! Of course I complained and was refunded only to get ANOTHER $39.00 fee because I then deposited a check and withdrew some cash (well within what was immediately available) but wait, because my two prior overdrafts were credited to me in a way that was advantageous to Key, they decided to hit me again and tell me basically, "we already went well above what we could have done for you"
All of this from the pitbull manager Paulma ext 57388. If she comes on the line just hang up and get someone else... she is the type that "likes" authority or at least of pitiful attempt at have some!
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Cwazychicken on 04/01/2011:
That's awful. My bank (Not key) has a rule if you go under a dollar, they will not fee you. Sometimes 5, depending on the bank location. They work with me, I have once gone over 1 penny. That's awful they would charge 39.00 for 53 cents.

As far as the other fees, next time wait til its available before you withdrawal. Sometimes banks take their time on purpose, sounds like they did. But my bank always gets it in the very same day, if not immediate. Sorry you had such bad luck with your bank.
ChuhBaca on 04/01/2011:
That's horrible! If you think they may be violating some sort of regulation, you can submit a complaint to the office of the Comptroller. Maybe call back to speak with Paulma and ask HER the name and contact info of the agency by whom Key Bank is regulated so you can place a complaint. Likely she will refuse to tell you. If she does, then you have the contact info. If she doesn't include that in your complaint.

Big banking is horrible and partially to blame for the state of the economy. They don't care about their customers because they don't need them. They're "too big to fail" and can get bailout money.
My advice would be to find a good credit union. When I met my wife, I was with a CU and she was with First Bank. When she switched to my credit union, our financial situation instantly improved as well as our banking became much less stressful! We no longer had a big bank trying to play "gotcha" with what little money we had at the time. The difference was unbelievable.
trmn8r on 04/01/2011:
I believe, and people here will correct me if I am wrong, that with debits and checks if you opt out of overdraft protection this can't happen.

I can't understand from your description why you were charged the second overdraft fee when something "cleared". I also can't tell what happened after they apparently credited the first two fees, that caused a third fee.

What I *do* know it that banks usually refund one overdraft, and sometimes multiple ones on the *first incident* only. This explains why they wouldn't refund the third one, but I can't there is insufficent information to know why it was charged.

I also believe that someone who uses debit cards for purchases and who does not keep a register to know their balance should not opt in for OD protection. It is far to easy to make a mistake like the first one. I use a checking account with a linked interest bearing account at PNC, that covers ODs with no fee whatsoever. Talk about piece of mind.
trmn8r on 04/01/2011:
I just saw ChuhBaca's comment. A similar theme is a change was made that gave the customer piece of mind. I don't use a credit union, ChuhBaca does. Whatever you can find that works for you.
ChuhBaca on 04/02/2011:
My Credit Union acts similar to your account. I have a savings account from which funds are automatically transferred to keep my checking from being negative.
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