Say No to Overdraft Fees

Ever had to pay an additional $30 for a $5 hamburger or a $15 meal? If you’ve been hit with bank overdraft fees you probably have. Well, you have 10 days left to take action! Consumers have until March 30 to comment on whether banks should ask customers if they’d like to “opt in” to costly lending programs or if they should be allowed to sign them up automatically.

Of the two rules under review, one would add an opt-in measure forcing banks to obtain customer’s permission before enrolling them in a costly overdraft program for ATM and debt card programs. The other measure being considered would let banks continue to sign up customers before asking for their express consent.

Federal regulators have been asking for consumer feedback on many pocketbook issues lately, including unfair interest rate hikes on credit cards. In December, the Federal Reserve Board passed new rules regulating how and when interest could be charged on cards after 60,000 cardholders voiced their concern. Oh, the virtues of democracy.

Bankers and other big-time lobbyists have plenty of opportunities to comment on these issues, now is your turn. After all, civic participation doesn’t end with voting for president.

To comment to the Federal Reserve directly, send an email to: The subject line must include “Docket No. 6-1343.”  Or visit and click “submit a comment on this proposal” under Regulation E.

Remember, you only have 10 days left.

The above video from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) explains depicts how overdraft fees works. The banks are cast as “hungry, hungry hippos,” who venture into the waters amid dark clouds and rain trying to eat helpless little fish, which represent your money. It’s a bit comical, but all too real. For some, paying banking fees is just an unnecessary bill. CRL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting family wealth by eliminate abusive financial practices.

Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at