• Report: #668958

Complaint Review: 1st Convenience Bank

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  • Submitted: Tue, December 07, 2010
  • Updated: Wed, December 08, 2010

  • Reported By: alex — Alvarado Texas U.S.A.
1st Convenience Bank
Internet United States of America

1st Convenience Bank First National Bank Texas Excessive Overdraft Fees , Internet

*Consumer Comment: I am trying to understand this report..

*General Comment: are u sure?

*Consumer Suggestion: My bank does do the same thing.

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Dear Sir,



Since the change of the laws governing a bank's ability to charge overdraft fees (summer 2010), making them ask the banking customer if they wish to "opt-in" to the Courtesy Overdraft Protection, has allowed banks to charge overdraft fees on items that don't put the customer's account into an overdraft status.



In short a banks ability to charge excessive overdraft fees has not been curtailed, just the opposite, the door has been opened for banks to further leverage fees against their customers.  The 2009 estimate of $38.5 billion generated from overdraft fees, according to USA TODAY research, may be a drop in the bucket.



Let me explain



I have several accounts at the bank that I use, First National of Texas/First Convenience Bank, headquartered in Killeen Texas.  Home of Fort Hood the largest active duty armored post in the United States. 



When reviewing my  account online I noticed that I had been charged several hundred dollars in overdraft fees while the balance was still positive.  I called the bank and the following is a transcript of the explanation I received.



----- Phone call ----



Good Morning Sir.., my name is _____ how may I help you today?



I'm calling about some overdraft fees on one of my accounts.



I'll be happy to assist you with that, what's the last four numbers of the account?


_ _ _ _



Ok sir, I have that account up.  How can I help?



I notices that I was charged $419.64 in overdraft fees.  However the account has a $8.33 balance.



Yes sir, that is your balance but the available balance is -$411.31.



How is that?



You have pending items that haven't been paid yet.



Ok.., but if all of the items were paid the account would only be $3.33 overdrawn.  Why was I charged $419.64 in overdraft fees?



Well sir, your account went into overdraft status with the pending transactions.



Yes but only with one



Let me explain sir.  When the account went into overdraft status the pending transactions are still needing to be paid.  You were charged an overdraft fee for those transactions.



Let me get this straight.  Even though only a single transaction caused the account to go into overdraft since there are 12 other items in pending, some of which have been there for what looks like 10 days or more, I get charged an overdraft fee for all of the items and not just the one that put the account into overdraft?



That's correct sir.



How can you do that?



As part of the convenience of having the courtesy overdraft protection we charge overdraft fees on all items in a pending status anytime the account dips to a zero balance or below.  Is there anything else I can help you with today?



No.., oddly enough you've been of great help.



Thank you for.



I hung up.



---- End phone call ----



"As part of the convenience of having the courtesy overdraft protection we charge overdraft fees on all items in a pending status anytime the account dips to a zero balance or below."



Is this how congress has helped the American public?  By opening the door for banks to prey on their customers in ways they haven't been able to or hadn't thought of in the past?



I ask that you take a stand.  Prohibit banks from legally robbing their customers by charging fees on items that dont put an account into overdraft.  Force them to operate as honorable institutions that rely on their customers for their success and not blatantly take advantage of them for profit.



Keep in mind that there's a very real possibility that your bank is doing the exact same thing.  And wouldn't it be embarrassing to find out that the very bank(s) that our elected officials use, the same elected officials that produced the bill that addressed excessive bank fees, were participating in this predatory business practice.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/07/2010 12:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/1st-Convenience-Bank/internet/1st-Convenience-Bank-First-National-Bank-Texas-Excessive-Overdraft-Fees-Internet-668958. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

I am trying to understand this report..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..but if I am not understanding it..please clarify.

What the regulations change did..was a very simple change..

And that was for the banks to NO LONGER automatically enroll, or "force" any checking account customers into overdraft protection with a DEBIT card.

So at one point in time recently, you, BY LAW, were given the OPTION to enroll in this "service", or not.

If you had not CHOSEN to enroll... the "one" transaction that put this account into overdraft (if it was via a debit card POS or ATM), should have been DECLINED, and you would have not been subject to a SINGLE overdraft fee. Now if this overdraft was caused by a bounced check, electronic bill pay (ach), then it does not matter, those types of payments are always subject to fees if the account can not cover it..and YES..I can even agree THAT is what a register is for.

If you signed anything that allows this bank to cover overdrafts with your debit card..you sunk your own boat. Because if this bank is doing like many other have been since around 2002, they are re-sequencing the times/orders of transactions from highest amount to lowest, which subjects you to overdraft fees on transactions that did have the funds available at the time of the transaction.

Why did you sign up? You should have done nothing and then you would not have been subject to these fees. Sure anyone can blame you and your register..but no one has YET to explain...where in the register does it say that the banks can turn ONE legitimate overdraft fee..into many more? It says this nowhere, which is why around 25% of all banks that pulled this scam, are currently in a major class action lawsuit, identical to the lawsuit Wells Fargo recently lost on California. They are court ordered to cut the crap..no more re-sequencing from high to low..and as well to pay back those fees caused by the bank engineered tactics which resulted in the unjust fees.
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#2 General Comment

are u sure?

AUTHOR: A12345 - (United States of America)

I don't know anything about US Bank, but if you have overdraft protection what that means is that they paid all the items that hit your account.  So..are you sure that the $419 is in fees and that none of it is actually the item that they paid on your behalf?  I think the new law gives you the right to opt out of the overdraft protection...so if you want to avoid this happening again tell them you want to opt out.  Ofcourse - if you find yourself with a negative balance and you opt out all of the pending items will be rejected.

Also, not to put you down, but to help you:

-There is no reason to ever have 12 pending items - pay your bills and everything on a credit card.  At the end of the month pay the credit card.  Don't write a bunch of checks and don't authorize companies to take money out of your account.  That invites things like this.

-No offence, but you overdrafted your account and had 12 items that had not yet been paid.  Thats more than just making a minor error. Don't do stuff like that.

-I'm not saying what the bank is doing is fair, but it is in your power to prevent it.

-Find a local credit union.  They will still charge you fees if you overdraft your account but most of the time they are a bit nicer about it and won't slam you that bad.  Also, pick a small credit union.  At a small credit union you may be able to talk with someone who actually has the authority to do things like reverse fees.  At big banks the branch managers are basically tellers who make an extra$10/hr or so because they stuck around for a few years, didn't steal anything, and show up most of the time when they are supposed to.  They have very limited authority to do anything.  At a small credit union you may actually be able to speak with someone with real authority rather than some clock puncher.

The reason that banks really stick it to people who do this kind of thing is because many (but not all) people who manage their accounts this way eventually cause the bank a loss.  Also, because if somone is so close to the edge that they are bouncing checks frequently they are probably not going to be approved for a loan - and banks make money by lending.  So, they know that you are likely to cause them a loss someday, that it costs them money to service your account, and that you are unlikely to be able to qualiy for a loan anytime soon - so why do they want a customer like that?  The only reason they have to keep someone like that around is if they can stick it to you every time you overdraft your account.  Otherwise - they want to open up the space you take in line, on their phones, etc for someone they can make money off of.  Sorry, but you probably don't work for free, so why should they?  Keep in mind that if you stiff them they will report you on chexsystems and you may not even be able to get an ATM card for 5 years if that happens.

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

My bank does do the same thing.

AUTHOR: Leann - (U.S.A.)

The only difference between you and me is I make sure not to spend more money than I have.  Try using a check register and a calculator.  That should help.

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