Home State Bank - Willmar Complaint - NSF Profiting/Bounce Protection Policy NOT Followed
WILLMAR, MINNESOTA -- http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS187008+12-Jan-2009+PRN20090112
Banks are profiting from their excessive NSF fees, contributing to those struggling financially being caught up in a cycle of economic challenges that are difficult to overcome. The Star Tribune ran a similar article in September '09: http://www.startribune.com/business/60856687.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUg7Kk8P3iUiacyKUnciatkEP7DhUr It has been recorded that the actual cost for a bank to process an NSF check is less than $3 ($2.68 reported in a survey conducted in 1997): http://www.tc.umn.edu/~mpirg/reports/bank97.html#service . Banks are profiting greatly from charging excessive NSF fees - banks earned an estimated $1.97 billion from the service in 2006: http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_13406085?nclick_check=1 .
From a local perspective, my research has shown the following NSF fees being charged by some of the local banks (information obtained via each bank's web site - not all banks disclosed their NSF fees in their sites):
1) Wells Fargo Bank - $35 NSF fee per item, no fees for overdraft of $5 or less, maximum fees per day - 4.
2) Home State Bank - $30 NSF fee per item.
3) United Minnesota Bank - $27 NSF fee per item, $108 daily max, $30 per 7 consecutive days in overdraft.
4) Heritage Bank - $27 NSF fee per item.
5) North American State Bank - $25 NSF fee per item, $20 per 7 consecutive days in overdraft.
6) Concorde Bank - $25 NSF fee per item.
Banks also dangle their overdraft protection plans before their customers, which is quite profitable to them as well since they continue to collect NSF fees for any checks written against this supposed "safety net."
Home State Bank in Willmar, MN, sent letters to their customer in August of 2004. They defined their "Bounce Protection" program to supposedly provide a "safety net" of up to $300, "as long as you maintain your checking account in good standing (defined as making regular deposits and brining your account to a positive balance at least once every 30 days)." Despite having this "Bounce Protection" on my checking account with them that supposedly allowed a negative balance up to $300, at least twice they bounced checks that if covered, would not result in a balance greater than the $300 limit. Further, despite meeting continuing to meet the requirements of their supposed "Bounce Protection" plan, they bounced a check I wrote last month that was less than $200 and would have resulted in a negative balance in my checking account within the $300 limit. Not only did they fail to grant the coverage they supposedly had offered me since 2004, they bounced the check TWICE and charged me TWO NSF fees. In the first place, it was right for me to assume the check would be covered; afterall, I supposedly had "Bounce Protection." Further, I had continued to meet the requirements of their plan. They did a great injustice to bounce the check, causing me hardship with the business to whom the check was sent. Further, being charged TWO NSF's for a check that rightfully should have been covered by their bank was completely unreasonable. Then last week I received a letter from them, stating they were closing my bank account and I was to pay them the negative balance within 5 days or else they would report me to some place that can prevent me from having a bank account anywhere. TALK ABOUT UNREASONABLE! This bank USED to be a small town, friendly bank - they claim in their ads to supposedly be "People You Can Talk To" - sure, feel free to talk - more relevant - they won't listen. Every since they closed their main office in Kandiyohi and moved their main operations to Willmar, they no longer could care less about their customers. And claiming they are "competitive" in how much they charge for NSF's? Give me a break - they have the second highest fees in this area, second only to Wells Fargo. Guess they need all the extra money they can make off those economically challenged so they can pay off their new bank building.