Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase are ready to offer a little relief if you get charged with an overdraft. Bank of America and Wells Fargo plan to stop charging consumers who overdraw by small dollar amounts--respectively by $10 and $5--and lower the number of times, to four from 10 a day, that consumers can get hit with an overdraft fee. Most of Bank of America's changes will take effect in October while Wells Fargo is trying to figure out when the changes will take effect. Furthermore, BofA is also eliminating a policy in June of automatically paying overdrafts for new customers and charging them $35 each time instead overdraft will be opt-in. Chase says they start clearing debit card and ATM transactions in the order they occur, rather than by largest dollar amount first--a dirty trick that empties consumers' bank accounts faster amounting in more overdrafts. Interesting timing considering that financial institutions are expected to reap a record $38.5 billion from overdraft fees in 2009, according to Moebs Services, an economic research firm. Read more here.
In an unrelated story, a California woman, Ann Minch, made a widely publicized YouTube video calling for a "Debtors Revolt," announcing she wouldn't be paying her credit card bills because her interest rates skyrocketed. Her frustration came after her credit card rose from 12.99% to 30% even though she was a longstanding customer and always made her payments on time. This happened throughout the industry as a number of credit card issuers boosted rates and changed terms on their cardholders ahead of a federal law that reins in such acts.
Well, Ann's video took off and a BofA executive contacted her and restored her rate back to 12.99%. Here's a link to the full story
and below is the follow-up video from Ann, which she says that they still are screwing up her interest rate.