Those pesky overdraft fees–the Fed needs to hear from you too!

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Thursday, March 12th, 2009

The period during which you can tell the Federal Reserve to do something about ATM and debit card overdraft fees ends this month! CU sent the Federal Reserve Board our comments this morning, and now they need to hear from you, too.

The comments asked the Fed to:

Make sure banks cannot assess you overdraft fees until you affirmatively sign up with a program to cover your overdrafts. Choose the OPT-IN approach!

Treat overdrafts like all other loans. Right now banks don’t have to tell you the APR of a typical overdraft loan which can amount to over 4000% interest!

Stop banks from clearing your highest transactions first which increases the number of times you overdraft.

Don’t dilly dally in getting this proposal implemented. 90 days is enough time for banks to stop their unfair practices.

To better understand your experience with overdraft fees, we conducted a poll. We found that many people don’t understand how overdraft programs work. An overwhelming number of people want the right to expressly authorize overdraft coverage, so that there would be no overdraft loan – or fee – until they opted-in to the service.

Thanks to all of you who shared personal stories about your own struggle with overdraft fees, we were able to incorporate several stories into our formal comment. But you can describe what happened to you better than we can, and your personal comments will make a real difference right now. Send in your comments to the agency. Tell them your personal experience with overdraft loans and that you want the right to OPT INTO overdraft!

Click here to learn more about overdraft loans.

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