American Banking: Are We Being Overwhelmed by Questionable Fees?

For most of us, growing up with financial responsibility meant balancing the checkbook down to the penny after every transaction. But some people struggle to stay financially balanced with online purchasing and quick swiping of debit and credit cards at brick and mortar retailers. Check-bouncing has evolved into overdraft charges – and the hefty fees that come with it. While people are familiar with bank fees, what many don’t know is – are these fees legal?

Overdraft Fees

A recent article from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) reports that Americans are still paying outrageous overdraft fees annually. In fact, the report revealed that we pay $14 billion a year in fees. When you add in insufficient fund fees it totals a whopping $17 billion.

ATM Fees

Perhaps you live within your means and don’t make any mistakes that lead to overdraft protection fees. Do you use ATMs? A joint SNL Financial/CNN investigation revealed that Americans paid $6 billion dollars in ATM fees in 2015, and that’s just to the three largest banks – JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Protecting Consumers

In 2010, the Federal Reserve generally prohibited banks from automatically enrolling customers into overdraft protection. That was supposed to reduce the fees that banks were charging consumers. It hasn’t slowed things down.

Legal Help

The Carter Law Firm can help you if you have been the victim of improper fees, excessive charges to your accounts, and hidden interest increases or fees. For additional information regarding any of these violations, please complete our contact us case evaluation form, and a representative from our firm will contact you as soon as possible.