Report: #352133

Complaint Review: Bank Of America, N.A.

  • Submitted: Wed, July 16, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, August 05, 2008
  • Reported By: Caseyville Illinois
  • Bank Of America, N.A.
  • Phone: 800-432-1000
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Will someone please contact me if there is a class action lawsuit filed against Bank of America for the way they handle their online banking and overdraft fees? I have an attorney in the family and I am having him check in on it and see if I have a case.

Its not so much that I get charged overdraft fees for going over my account balance when using my Visa check card. If I go over and get charged a fee, I deserve it. Its that BOA's online banking is designed so that you are FORCED into overdraft fees. Let me explain what happens and if you are a lawyer, please contact me because I want to sue this institution on behalf of EVERYONE LIKE ME THAT GOT RIPPED OFF.

Example: Lets say you don't have $10000 in your account at all times. If you did, there wouldn't be a problem. The problem arises when, like me and every hard working American who because of the economy or other situations, is forced to live paycheck to paycheck. Lets say are coming to the end of the week and you only have $10 left in your account. You get gas and you accidentally pump $11 in gas. You do not get paid for another two days so your account online is shown in red (negative). You borrow money from a friend to cover the charge. Its past the cutoff time at the ATM, but to make amends you deposit $11 in your account to cover the overdraft. You check your account online and it shows you have a positive balance of $10. You wake the next morning and your account is still positive so you figure you got the money in on time. Wrong! You got the money in past the cut-off time, so the money will not post until the end of business the next day, but the online banking shows a positive balance. You therefore decide that you still have $10 and so you use your card to make purchases. Lets say you make 4 purchases for $2 each and 1 purchase for $1.99. You check your account that afternoon (the day after you overdrafted and made the deposit) and your account shows a balance of 1 cent. You go home figuring you are OK, but instead you get screwed by BOA. That afternoon after the cut-off time, they charge you the $35 fee for the original overdraft. Being they use the "largest transaction first" this fee gets placed for posting first and your 5 charges (worth $9.99) get placed in order of amount after that. Therefore your balance shows you being in the red for $44.98. Worse yet, now the five transactions you made will get overdraft fees if you don't deposit another $44.98 in your account by the cutoff time. The problem lies in that in most circumstances they post the $35 AFTER it is too late to make a deposit to cover the overdraft, therefore you are caught in a vicious circle of overdraft fees which unless you deposit a huge amount in the bank you cannot get out of.

I have spent well over $4000 in fees this year ALREADY and its only July. I have finally decided to drop the BOA account and get one elsewhere. I should have done it MUCH sooner. I should also have kept a written register of my transactions, but BOA made me feel as if their online banking was excellent.

If there is an attorney out there willing to take my case, please contact me as I will certainly jump on board and I am sure there are PLENTY of people out there like me, that has plenty of evidence to proove my case.

Moral of the story is STAY AWAY FROM BANK OF AMERICA.

Bank of America Victim
Caseyville, Illinois
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/16/2008 07:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE Employee

Signature Debit

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

The reason you got charged the $35 fee when you swiped your card for the 11.00 transaction when you only had 10.00 in your account BOA has to honor that check card purchases, wheither you have the money or not. When you swiped the card for 11.00 that company put a hold on your account for 11.00, it's called an autorization hold. Meaning that amount is "set aside" for that purchase. However, if there is a auth hold for 11.00 on your account and you only had 10.00 then that causes a overdraft. If you had made the deposit the same day before the cut off time, you would have avoided the overdraft fee. You said you didnt so, you are liable for the overdraft charge. Keeping a transaction register is the best way to keep track of you purchases. I do agree, Bank of America's Online banking isn't always correct, because it doesnt always reflect authorization holds on your account. I am a BOA customer my self, but because I work for BOA, I understand how it all works, so I am sure to have my butt covered. If you need more information, feel free to email me at (((ROR redacted)))

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Read your Disclosures!

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

I am not a lawyer and I will not pretend to be one... but when you open any account, be it checking, savings, credit card, mortgage, auto loan I mean any account YOU MUST READ THE DISCLOSURES! It is important to know what you are agreeing to when you sign your signature card for your account, or when you agree to any contract for that matter.

The posting priority or posting order of transactions on your account, which you agree to when you open the account, is defined in your account disclosure which can be found at a branch, ordered by phone, or viewed in PDF format on the Bank of America web page. These documents include posting priority, cut-off times, funds availability, interstate processing, electronic funds transfers and much more. Please seek one out so you can see for yourself. Its all there in relatively plain english and can be very helpful in maintaining any account you have.

Weather or not Bank of America is violating any actual laws is up for the courts to decide, and its hard to imagine that someone isn't working on a case right at this moment... but in the mean time I urge you, for your own benefit, to seek out the knowledge that you need to maintain your finances!

Good Luck!
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Keep a register

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

Instead of changing banks, just keep a register and do not spend more money than your register says. At pretty much every bank in the country the exact same situation you described would result in the exact same amount of fees. A fee never posts the same day the OD item posts, it posts the day after. There is no reason to mess with a cutoff time of an ATM or at a branch, just don't spend more money than is in your account. In a situation where you "accidentally" pump more gas than you can pay for (or something similar), then certainly don't go up and rack up many small debit card purchases within a day or two. If you've had that much in OD fees this year, you might want to re-evaluate how you keep track of your finances instead of blaming the banking institution whose terms and conditions you agreed to when you open the account.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

I agree with Edward.

AUTHOR: J G Shrugged - (U.S.A.)

You overdrew your account, made a deposit to cover it, and then went ahead and spent money without even thinking about the fees that would have incurred from the first transaction!

Posting order doesn't matter if your balance never goes below zero.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Winning the bank game

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

If you want to win at the bank game, you have to lose the victim mentality. As someone pointed out, no one had a gun to your head, there was no physically coercion. You allowed the bank to fleece you, and they will continue to do so as long as you see yourself as the victim of a faceless. unstoppable machine.

I, too, am a hard working American who once lived paycheck to paycheck, but now I have a huge cushion in the bank. Want to know why? Because the $4000 a year I was paying in fees is now in my pocket due to my financial vigilance.

These fees are ridiculous, but the banks have rigged the game in such a way as to make them perfectly legal. Hell, they'll probably raise them in the months to come, and the only thing you can do is watch every penny you spend.

1) Online banking is a tool, but it's not the only tool. Track your finances in a spreadsheet or in Quicken or MS Money.

2) STOP SPENDING MONEY WHEN YOU'RE LOW. If you were down to $10, what 5 things could be so urgent at $2 a pop? I know this just may be an example, but so many people on ROR complain about fees after making a slew of small purchases. This reflects poor money management. You don't need a cup of coffee, a soda, a movie, a bag of chips, or whatever else costs $2 a pop. If, in your example, those purchases had not been made, one would have made it to payday without a barrage of fees.

Here's a tip, slash all useless spending (cable tv, movies, dining out, whatever) and save your money for 4 months, then find a bank that actually treats you like a human and pays you to keep your money with them.
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#6 Consumer Comment


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

I fully understand the example you gave. I also DO NOT WORK for the bank. I am selfemployed - not in the banking field. I have however been a customer of BofA for over 10 yrs. (Fleet Bank). Here is the situation. I have searched re: Class Action Suit - have found nothing as it relates to your topic. In my town BofA has an ATM where you can deposit CASH up to 8 p.m. for credit for the same day. Have used this ATM on a regularbasis - never a problem. I wait for the morning mail. If no checks in the mail and I need to deposit some money - just to feel secure - I deposit after diner, but befor 8 p.m. whatever amount I desire. It must be in cash and the deposit must be below $7500.00. Max. I ever deposited was 5K and it was immediately credited to my account. It was also immediately available to be drawn on. Find out where BofA has such an ATM in your town.
But let us address the real problem. With inflation being what it is and the cost of gasoline going thru the roof most people with a regular weekly paycheck are in trouble. You are forced to run your household on nickel and dimes and are "borrowing" from the bank, intentional or not and the bank is making a killing on your "tying to pay Peter by stealing from Paul." Here is what you must do or you will continue paying more NSF charges. It is possible as you have already paid BofA over 4K in charges. Establish your own OD Protection. Open a Savings Account an link it to your Checking Account. Start with $10.-$25. WEEKLY. Before long you will have $100.-$200. in OD protection. You must develop this discipline. Every payday put a small amount into your savings account and stop plaing bigshot by using your Debit Card. The bank wants you to use the card, for obvious reasons. The are making a killing. You have to stop operating with such small balances in your checking account. For you it is too risky. The smallest problem and you end up paying fees thru the nose and you always find a way to pay the bank. I operate with much more money on a daily and weekly basis, yet even I can't (refuse to) afford to pay these fees. Do you have a clean credit card? If so, charge all weekly expenses on the card and pay off the card 100% on a weekly basis. Again, you must have the discipline. HWH - Buffalo
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#7 Consumer Comment

Using Debit Cards

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

First of all, you admit to overdrawing your account. The second you swiped the card you were overdrawn, so there is no such thing as rushing to the bank to cover the debit... the damage has already been done. So as far as a law suit goes, you don't really have grounds.

You might want to give consideration to cutting up the debit card. Think about how much you'd save if you'd just have taked that hypothetical $10 in cash, and paid cash for the 4 $2 (and 1 @ 1.99) item.

Using a debit card for chump change purposes is just not well advised, particularly if you do not have a solid grasp of exactly how much is spendable in your account. If you revert to using cash and writing checks, at least you stand a small chance of beating that check to the bank if you screw up, but even that time frame gets smaller all the time.
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#8 Consumer Comment

BofA "forced" you to overdraft your account?!

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

By your own admission, you overdrafted your account. You then make a deposit that wouldn't cover the overdraft fee that you agreed to when you opened the account. You admit that you should have kept a register.

And yet your user name implies that they are a victim of your account and that the online banking service FORCED you to overdraft your account. How did that happen? Did a hand holding a gun come out of your monitor and demand you to spend money?
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