Report: #492888

Complaint Review: Sovereign Bank

  • Submitted: Thu, September 10, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, September 01, 2010
  • Reported By: littlebit9071 — Levittown Pennsylvania USA
  • Sovereign Bank
    United States of America
  • Phone: 8007625895
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

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

 To Sovereign Bank/Bank of Santander


This letter is to inform you and everyone else out there, the general public and the government of your crooked practices in banking. I am a single mother of two struggling to maintain my household. I have a hard time putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our heads, so every once in a while I will make a mistake on my finances. I will accept responsibility for that and dont have a problem paying the fee that is associated with that. My problem is when during a holiday weekend I make a number of transactions that I know I have money in the bank for and come the next business day you guys decide to put a check which is the largest amount transaction ahead of all my other smaller transactions and therefore it makes all of my smaller transactions which I had the money for bounce. The check was for 169.10, all of the other transactions were for the following amount:

$18.86, $17.05, $13.71, $10.70, $7.23, $2.12, $2.12, $2.12, $1.07

A total of 74.98, you guys charged me $315.00 for 74.98 in which the money was in my account when I made that purchase. There is also a pending transaction from an online payment I made for 74.13 which I had the money for also and now that will not go through and I will end up with another 35.00 overdraft fee and a late fee that the vendor will charge me in addition to the 30 fee they will charge for my payment not going through.  Now Im -385.00 and counting and that was part of my rent money from my next check. What am I suppose to do now? Instead of paying 35.00 overdraft fee for the check of 169.10 I had a total of 315.00 plus the pending charge. I called your bank and all they were able to do was refund 70.00, 2 of the 9 transactions that I had money to cover. This is not right! I know we as adults have to be responsible for keeping track of the money but we are human and we make mistakes. These mistakes should not cost us dearly and put us at risk of losing our apartment because we couldnt make the rent because the bank took 315.00 in fees. Seriously, you want to charge me 35.00 for $1.07 because thanks to you organizing my transaction from highest to lowest , instead of organizing them in the manner that they happened. You the banks should be ashamed of yourselves, we are not rich! We are struggling to survive and feed our children for you to be stealing money from us like this! I hope you know I will be sending this letter to everyone, the papers, the government, every blog and website I can find to warn everyone and make them aware that Sovereign Banks practices are malicious and deceiving! You could-of given me a break since it wasnt common practice for me but you show no mercy on us the hard workers of America. In this economy you should not be taking but helping, I will close my account with you guys and I hope the rest of the country does the same and we put you out of business.




Is this Ripoff Report About you?
Ripoff Report A business' first line of defense on the Internet.
If your business is willing to make a commitment to customer satisfaction Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation? Fix it the right way. Corporate Advocacy Program™

Set the record straight: Arbitration Program

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/10/2009 01:41 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

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
Also a victim?
Repair Your Reputation!

Updates & Rebuttals


#1 Author of original report

Finally banks have been held responsible

AUTHOR: littlebit9071 - (USA)

Looks like at least one big bank has been held responsible for their crooked business practices.

Respond to this report!


Many banks are doing this...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (U.S.A.)

This type of overdraft "protection" works out very well for the banks if they re-sequence transactions from highest to lowest.

The banks will tell you they process highest to lowest to protect the "large" transactions..under the assumption that it is a mortgage or car payment which is certainly more important then a cup of coffee..right?. See how much they care about us? The problem is that it is all a crock...because if you have overdraft protection..the bank covers it..whether a small transaction overdrew you by 50 dollars..or a 1000 dollar transaction overdrew you by 50 dollars.

Now in the case of the original posters avalanche of fees...

I guess the bank thought the 169 dollar check was a mortgage payment?

In essence what happens when you mix overdraft protection with re-sequencing is if the account has a SINGLE overdraft for whatever reason...the largest transaction of that day wipes it out..and then all the other small items purchased with the debit card get overdraft fees applied to them as well. Now since the smaller transaction had the funds available at the time of the transactions..and even the register would clearly display is it the bank can do this???

Because they have figured out a way to legally alter time and profit by it.

So aside from being extremely careful not to overdraft at banks that do this manipulation..and many do...heed my advice to opt out of this type of overdraft protection. If you have a savings account you can enroll in a better form of protection most banks offer that can link the accounts together. But the type of so called protection the banks give you as standard..and never will ask you at the time you join the bank if you wish to opt out of very bad for some customers..the only thing it really protects is the the tune of over 38 billion dollars in fees the banks collected in 2009 alone. So you see how this all is in their best financial interests..and not ours?
Respond to this report!


Piece of Cake

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

YOU spent monies you did not have period - ATM, phone and online balances are not correct - The only way to avoid OD fees are to keep a check register, balance your monthly bank statement and stop using your debit card like it was a credit card -

I speak from experience - as the daughter of a CPA I know about finances - got a BA in it and I still screwed up my account on many occassions - I learned from my mistakes

Grow up and start taking responsibility for your Finances especially since you have children!

Respond to this report!


Wells Fargo

AUTHOR: 28hudson - (USA)

Wells Fargo also processes the largest checks first then down to the smallest. Our business banker, a VP (and 2 others) confirmed this. He said Wells claims that customers think the largest checks are most important therefore would want those processed first. He agreed the process generates a great deal of income for the bank.

That doesn't make much sense if they are going to pay check and allow your account to go into overdraft, the order of payments for any given day wouldn't matter, except to generate fees. Which of course put you further into overdraft causing even more fees.

Respond to this report!


Sorry this happened to you...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (U.S.A.)

You are not the only one..I see a few reports a day come in regarding this practice of the bank re-sequencing transactions which cause many additional fees for transactions that did have the funds at time of transaction...and as well have discovered many banks do this. If you choose to switch banks make sure to read the terms carefully. If the bank engages in this practice..or you wish to stay with your current bank, you have a right to opt out or decline "overdraft protection".

The type of overdraft protection you currently have is not good for a struggling person that can occasionally make an error in their account..and you must be extra careful now that you are fully aware of what the bank will do if you overdraft one time. You will expect a single fee..which is what would be the right thing..but instead the bank will re -sequence transactions and fleece you dry. This type of overdraft protection is nothing more then a "short term loan" in the event of an overdraft. As you notice..this "loan" comes with a steep fee..or equivalent of 1000% to 3000%+ interest rate. You can not afford this "loan"..for you this "protection" is not a good deal.

You can continue to attempt to recover some fees..I have found that almost anyone at the bank can decide whether or not to refund..and how much..but the hard part is finding the employee/manager willing to work with you. As well, if you did this more then once a is even harder to recover funds from these fees. I can suggest you be polite with whomever you speak with..and try not to get too defensive. Bottom line is the bank does not care about your hardship..they do not care that you are suffering during this economic crisis...all they care about is getting your you have an uphill battle.

Many of us would like the laws to better protect consumers from this ripoff that the re-sequencing causes. Here is some info if you wish to participate in any investigations and possible lawsuits.

Finkelstein Thompson LLP is currently investigating claims that several banking institutions are systematically re-sequencing their customer's checking and electronic debit transactions from the highest to lowest dollar amount instead of posting the transactions in the order in which they were actually received.  It is alleged that the practice of re-sequencing electronic debits from largest to smallest maximizes the bank's profits from overdraft fees by putting the customers' accounts into a negative balance as quickly as possible.  Many customers claim they had sufficient funds in their accounts to cover the transactions when they made the purchase and when the bank authorized the charges. 

It is alleged that some banks, are in violation of 12 U.S.C. 4303(b)(1) for their failure to disclose that the condition precedent of a pre-existing overdraft could cause the assessment of additional overdraft fees.  Instead, the banks have been lying to consumers that the condition precedent was insufficient funds.

  {The true reason why you were assessed the additional overdraft fees that you did NOT cause is because you actually had a pre-existing overdraft in your account that the bank used to manipulate your account to create additional overdraft fees by a creative accounting practice}.

{The bank then falsely accused you of being at fault for the additional overdrafts you didnt cause by lying to you about having insufficient funds in your account.  In fact, without the pre-existing overdraft(s) in your account (condition precedent), it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for the banks creative accounting practice to have assessed additional overdraft fees against you that you did not create}.

{That is why the bank engages in tactics to make you overdraft your account. For example, the bank will not immediately post your correct available balance or the bank will drop a hold on your account to only apply it later to make you believe you have more available funds in your account then you do. The bank will also split two pre-existing overdrafts created on the same date so it can create additional overdraft fees on two different posting dates instead of one}.

You can google "Finkelstein Thompson LLP" for contact info if you wish to participate.

In addition..many have been fighting to get some laws changed..but it is also an uphill battle. But this should not mean we roll over and give in..this country was founded and built on principle..lets not lose this...

H.R. 946, introduced in the US House of Representatives on February 8, 2007, would increase regulation of overdraft loan programs. The proposed legislation would Amend the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) to clarify that overdraft fees are covered, require written consent before enrollment in the overdraft loan program, require financial institutions to warn the customer when an ATM withdrawal will trigger a fee, and prohibit financial institutions from changing the order of check clearing or delaying the posting of deposits solely to increase overdraft fees. This bill was referred to committee in April 2007 and died in committee.

As of February 2009, the FDIC was taking comments on the issue.

Respond to this report!


Where did the check come from?

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

They don't just randomly put checks through, you had written the check and they withdrew the funds when it was received.

Had you written the check before the weekend and just hoped to "float" the check for a few days, you did not have the money to spend over the weekend because you should have known it was already spent.  If you wrote the check after the other transactions you again didn't have the money because you would have known that that amount would have put you into overdraft.  Either way you were in the wrong.

A checking account is NOT a line of credit, it does not matter what your financial position is.  If you overdraft you are subject to the terms you agreed to, this includes their posting order and fees.  If you think any bank will be any different..think again.  This is standard and if you did the same thing at another bank the same thing would happen again.  You can get hit with Overdraft fees for overdrafting by $0.01.

The best thing you can do is first keep a register.  That is write down each and every transaction you make when you make it.  This way you know what you have available, as long as you don't spend more than you have available you will run into no issues.  Next is to cut up your debit card, it is a convenience but if you have a habit of overdrafting it is best to go "old school".  In taking out a set amount of cash for your small transactions and using that instead.  This way if you do overdraft you will only have the OD fee for the cash withdraw rather than the 8-10 Debit Transactions.

Respond to this report!
Ripoff Report Recommends
ZipBooks Accounting Software

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.