If it's ever happened to you, this is long overdue!

Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of having over-drafted our checking account at one time or another and when it happens to you, you never forget it.

Thankfully it hasn't happened to me in quite some time, but when I was a little younger it happened to me way more times than I'd like to admit. For many years, the story was always the same. I would forget about writing a check for something and when I would check my balance online, it would say I had more money than I really did because the checks I wrote didn't clear yet. So I would go out and spend and then it would happen, BOOM...checks bouncing everywhere.

The bank I used back then charged me $30 every time this happened and when one check bounced, they all bounced and it would cost me hundreds of dollars to catch back up. Most times, it would take me like 3 months to rebound from it. Has anyone else gone through something like this?

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New York State AG Talks Overdraft Fees

The good news is that if the New York Attorney General has her way, those charges will be a thing of the past sooner than later. According to a press release, New York Attorney General Letitia James has sent a letter to the CEOs of some major banks asking them to eliminate all overdraft fees on consumer bank accounts. The letter states,

"For too long, excessive overdraft fees have hurt the most financially vulnerable New Yorkers. Working families and low-income New Yorkers cannot afford to continue to be harmed by this unfair and punitive practice, while banks reap big profits. I am calling on the largest consumer banks in the nation to do the right thing and remove overdraft fees. We need a fairer and more inclusive banking system that supports all New Yorkers."

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo were the first banks to receive the letter which also stated that overdraft fees have harmful effects on millions of consumers nationwide. Some consumers have reported that they've been charged as much as $35 for a purchase of $5 or less and fees like these have led to banks making over $11 billion dollars in a year.

Some Banks Have Already Eliminated Overdraft Fees

Earlier this year, the largest bank in the United States, Citi Bank announced that it would eliminate overdraft fees and late last year Capital One followed. Let's hope that this step is taken by all banks moving forward including all of the credit unions we have in the Hudson Valley.

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