Branch Banking and Trust Informative - Predatory banking practices

Review by JessR67 on 2007-07-14
BB&T uses predatory banking practices. BB&T rather than withdraw funds according to the order in which they were charged takes the largest first. They did this to me which then caused me to overdraft. Ok, I can deal with some fees. But by the time I made a deposit of $1100 a day or so later they had charged me over $600.00 in overdraft fees without ever contacting me or putting a hold on my account. Had they taken the money out in the order in which it was charged I would have incurred one, MAYBE 2 fees. Not 13. I have 2 children who just lost their father to a heart condition in April. I myself am awaiting approval for SSI as I have a congenital heart defect and fibromyalgia. $600 might not be much to BB&T or even to the average person, but it is the difference between survival and going under for me and my children. I have since researched BB&T and found so many people that they have done this to. When I called the 800 number a supervisor told me as they were based in NC they could manipulate the withdrawls any way they liked and tough that I should deal with it. How can a bank be allowed to manipulate funds in such a manner? If this is not a predatory banking practice I don't know what is.

Please help if you can!
Comments:11 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-02-08
Posted by SAJ on 2007-07-14:
First, many banks process large items first, as their opinion is that the larger items are mortgage, car, etc. payments, which they think is the most important items to pay for their customers. Second, I don't think an employee of any business, even banks, would tell you "it's tough, so deal with it". Third, why did you write the checks if you knew there wasn't enough funds to cover them?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-15:
All the complaints on here about overdraft fees are starting to become annoying. How is it the banks fault if you are not responsible enough to balance your account? How hard is it to keep track of your balance and not deduct more than you have? It shouldn't matter what order the bank processes the checks, as long as you have not written more than what you have in, none of them will bounce!
what happens if you write a check and the place of business doesn't submit it to the bank for lets say for 3 weeks or more? Do you keep track of it and deduct it from your available balance, or do you just look at the available balance and keep writing checks?
The loss of your husband and your personal health conditions are indeed sad, but have nothing to do with irresponsible banking practices on your part.
Posted by S. on 2007-07-15:
Jess, have you been living under a rock the past couple of years? From all I've read/heard, this is SOP for the banking industry.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2007-07-15:
If you got the money in the account, why should it matter what order they show up. It sounds as though you are writing or using your card for money that you don't have, and are also not keeping a checking register to balance your account properly. This is not a good way to set an example to your children, and it is not the banks fault. This is not predatory nor is it illegal, it is the way that most all banks do business. It is also in the paperwork that you agreed to when you signed up for the account.
Posted by JessR67 on 2007-07-15:
As I stated I knew I would be getting one or 2 fees. Living on limited income with no insurance when a health issue arises the doctor must be paid. And these were not checks they were charges (debit card). As far as SOP it is actually illegal in my state to take highest first etc, but not in NC and I WAS told "tough, deal with it" by a supervisor at their 1800 number. Check this article out if you think this practice is ethical: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2007-07-11-bank-fees_N.htm This is just one of MANY. I'm so glad to know you sanctimonious posters have never have money or health issues or crisises. It does my heart good =)
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-16:
Jess, I read through the article and it seems to me that the long and the short of it is that more and more customers are going overdrawn, so banks have changed their policies, because "customers don't want their transactions denied." The fees are high, on average over $30, but IMO why shouldn't a bank make a profit off a customer's inability to manage their account? Think about it from the bank's perspective.
I'll stand behind my earlier comment, never deduct more than what you have deposited, and you won't have to worry about incurring overdraft fees. If you don't have money to survive on, consider other options if you need it before knowingly overdrawing your account, like your local food bank.
Posted by JessR67 on 2007-07-16:
Justcuz: Thank you for a civilized reply. Again I understand I was going to incur fees, although I was unaware of the highest to lowest policy, which caused 13 rather than 2 fees. Sometimes, unfortunately, we find out these things the hard way.
Posted by 2 cents on 2008-05-20:
BB&T unlike every other bank I have used is extremely shady. Example:

They take $300 worth of purchases and hold them for sometimes days leaving your balance around $5 to $10. Sorry I invest my money and don't hold a large balance in checking account making less then 1%. Then they charge you fees for being disconnected with customer service dropping you below the minumum. Now your available balance is -$1.01 and here it comes one by one $30 NSF Fee transaction, $30 NSF fee transaction..My whole life I have balanced my checkbook until I used BB&T, I have left and have never had one problem with any other bank.
Posted by yoke on 2008-05-20:
2 cents, I am confused. Are you saying that it is the banks fault that they are holding $300 worth of purchases and leaving you a balance of $5 or $10. They bank is only holding what you have already spent. Say you have $310 in your account and you spend $300 that leaves you with a balance of $10, the bank had nothing to do with that. It should not matter how long the bank holds onto the debit, they could take 5 months if they want, the money is not there for you to use. You only have $10 to use. What is so difficult about that and how is it illegal for the bank to do that. The only one doing something illegal is the person overdrafting the account.
Posted by tugboat on 2008-06-27:
Anyone who has been ripped off by your bank, listen up for a sure fix I used today to get quick solution. On Friday I deposited a $1000, I will up-front tell you it was through the BB&T ATM after the 4pm cut-off. It was also another banks check. My issue with BB&T was that it showed credit on my account, so over the weekend I used my ATM card seven times. On Monday I went to use it again & it was frozen. I checked my account on line and even though it showed my deposit, BB&T did not give me the credit and I had seven bounce charges totaling $245. I spoke to my teller I usually deal with and I have to say that she is a wonderful person and was doing her job when told me there was nothing she could do to help me. The Branch did not have time to speak with me because she was doing employee reviews and said that she would call me on my phone to discuss my issue. Two days later & still no phone call I returned & spoke to my teller & another bank officer (Branch Manager still not available). I explained my position nicely to them & also let them know that on Monday I would welcome them to work with coffee & donuts from my picket line in front of the bank. This did get there attention and they responded with how upset they would be to have me arrested. Their warning was very much appreciated and then provided them with a copy of my picket permit for their bank location & then I HAD THEIR ATTENTION. Two hours later a bank rep called with their apology & instantly my $245 appeared in my account. The key is be nice, but firm in your stance & have your permit in hand.
The charges were all after the credit and from the largest amount to the smallest amount. This is not relevant to my case, but does support the theory that they do play with the order. The reason given is that THEY want to protect YOU from bouncing your mortgage or car payment. This is interesting since they do not bounce charges in order to collect additional $35 fees. Point being, the only reason for moving charges around is to increase the number of charges.
Good Luck but blame the bank or yourselves. The teller is just doing his or her job!!!
Posted by JF :( on 2009-02-08:
2cents-- when you use your debit card the bank puts that amount of $ on hold. They hold it until the merchant you used your card with comes and collects their $. That is how it works. Also, you are informed that you will be charged a $2 fee for calling customer service more than twice a month. Once again, you should include this in your register. Dont call more than 7 times ( 2 free calls = 5 @ $2 a piece), or you will be below $0.

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