My checking account at Bank of America was recently charged four $35 overdraft fees for a total of $140, and my account ledger balance never dropped below zero on any day during the time period.
When I first noticed the overdraft fees, I was fairly upset and wrote a note to the bank through online banking. I received a response that the fees could not be removed, so I went to my local branch. I had to wait 20 minutes before I could even speak to anyone. I explained the situation and the bank associate said he understood and he would remove the charges. However, once he signed into his system he said the checkmark boxes to remove the fees were grayed out. The bank system had blocked him from removing the fees and he told me unfortunately there was nothing he could do to change the situation.
Still curious, I asked the banking associate what triggered the overdraft fees in the first place. He explained that transactions are processed each day staring with the highest amount first. I said ok I understand but at no point did my ledger balance drop below $0. He then told me the fees were charged on pending transactions and the system forecasted that my ledger balance would drop below $0, hence the overdraft fees for each item. Well, the banking system's forecast was wrong and it did not see cash deposits that same day made before the cutoff period.
Here are my questions- Why does Bank of America charge overdraft fees on pending items rather than cleared items? If the bank can hold my pending direct deposit a day before it clears, shouldn't I expect to be fairly compensated for the bank holding my funds for 24 hours? How can they instanly clear debit transactions and charge fees on those but hold credit transactions for a longer period of time?