• Report: #424635
Complaint Review:

TCF Bank

  • Submitted: Mon, February 16, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, June 08, 2009

  • Reported By:Chicago Illinois
TCF Bank
200 Lake Street East Wayzata, Minnesota U.S.A.
  • Phone: 612-661-6500
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

TCF Bank MANIPULATING Posting of Transactions resulting in numerous OVERDRAFT FEES Wayzata Minnesota

*Consumer Comment: No, you're not addressing the point

*Consumer Suggestion: HELP!!

*Author of original report: Thanks for your suggestion-Edgeman

*Consumer Comment: I understand where you're coming from...

*Consumer Comment: No, he understands perfectly.

*Author of original report: Edgeman- You don't understand my point.

*Consumer Comment: You were right the first time...

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I've been a customer of TCF Bank for a couple of years now and have had a lot of overdraft fee issues. I thought they must have been my fault for miscalculating and not knowing how transactions post, but yesterday I found out that TCF Bank has been ripping me off the whole time.

On Feb. 12 my account balance was $205.14. I made four purchases totaling $45.23 bringing my account balance to $159.91. The same night I checked my account balance online and noticed an ACH transaction pending for $200 after the purchases that I made earlier that day. So I recorded the ACH transaction in my register and brought down my balance to -$40.09. I subtracted a $35 NSF fee amount because that's what the bank charges for overdrafing the account. My final account balnace was -$75.09.

Yesterday, Feb. 15, 2009 I went to a TCF Bank and deposited $160.00 to my acoount to make it current and have a balance of $84.91. However, when I got the deposit receipt I noticed that it stated a -$20.09 balance. I was confused about what was going on. As soon as I got home I checked my account online and noticed that I had been charged $140.00 of NSF fees for the transactions that I had made on Feb. 12,2009 before the actual transaction of $200 that had made my account negative.

I called TCF Bank and spoke to a man named Sebastian who told me that the reason why I had been charged the NSF fees for the other transacions even though I did have money in the account at the time was because TCF Bank posts the transactions from greatest to smallest, even though they weren't made in that order. He said the reason why the bank did this was because they want to pay off the more "SIGNIFICANT" amounts first like car payments, mortgage payments, etc., so it would be less inconvenient for the customer.

But to me, this method IS inconvinient and they are not being fair or ethical. They charge the customer various NSF fees by manipulating the order the transactions post. I know Bank of America got in trouble for the same thing and TCF bank should suffer the same consequences as BOA.

Chicago, Illinois

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/16/2009 10:55 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/tcf-bank/wayzata-minnesota-55391/tcf-bank-manipulating-posting-of-transactions-resulting-in-numerous-overdraft-fees-wayzata-424635. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

No, you're not addressing the point

AUTHOR: Dan B - (U.S.A.)

...and this is just the beginning of how TCF manipulates processing in order to maximize the fees.

Let's say you check your balance online Friday morning and realize your spouse bought something you didn't know about and your account balance after pending transactions will be -$50. You run to the bank and deposit your $500 paycheck. You get a balance on the deposit receipt and it shows a balance of $570.

Whew! You go back to work feeling good that you beat those pending transactions to the bank and avoided the fees.

The next morning, Saturday, you check the balance online and it shows $440. Everything is cleared (no pending transactions). You again let out a sigh of relief that you have beat the NSF charges.

You leave for a vacation on which you use your debit card. Imagine your surprise when you return and find you were charged NSF fees on Saturday (the day AFTER you made the account right, and after everything had cleared and left a positive balance). Then more NSF charges because the first batch of NSF charges cause your vacation spending to overdraw the account again.

This happened to me to the tune of $270 in total fees.

I suggest that a person couldn't possibly be expected to anticipate this would happen in the scenario I described. Since these systems are all electronic, it would sure suggest that TCF's policy of waiting a whole extra day is a predatory one meant only to maximize the fees in situations like I experienced.

Also, the definition of pending is "about to take place" or "impending; imminent" or "to occur or be realized soon"... all of which denote that the thing has not yet taken place. In other words, by definition, TCF hasn't yet paid transactions it calls PENDING.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Happy 5/3 Bank Customer - (U.S.A.)

I must be doing something wrong....
My bank re-arranges all my transactions, and I don't overdraft...

Please tell me what I need to do to overdraft?? I can't stand the fact
that I'm not giving my money to the bank!!
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#3 Author of original report

Thanks for your suggestion-Edgeman

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

Thanks for the suggestion.... I didn't know that all banks practiced that way of posting transactions. I also did learn my lesson -John...I am more than happy to pay for the overdraft fees that are really caused by me, but not the ones that are caused by the bank bacause of the way they decide to post transactions. I still think that is not fair.... and that the procedure should be an option instead of a bank rule.

(Im a SHE not a HE)
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#4 Consumer Comment

I understand where you're coming from...

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

And I'm not saying that paying four overdraft fees is great. I wouldn't want to pay them if it were me.

However, the point remains that processing from largest to smallest does not generate overdraft fees. You'd prefer that transactions be processed in the order they are made but that can only happen if the merchants submit their charges in order.

Let's say that I buy gasoline on Friday night, groceries on Saturday and go out to lunch on Monday. The merchants submit their charges and it goes from their banks and eventually ends up at my bank. My bank receives batches of transactions every day and maybe two or three batches a day. So they take all of the transactions that came in that day and go from largest to smallest. It's quite possible that all three of the above charges arrive at the bank on the same day.

If the charges are unethical, then why agree to those terms and conditions? I've seen a number of offers for credit cards, car loans and other services that I felt were not good deals so I chose not to accept them. You should shop around for a bank that doesn't process from largest to smallest (virtually all of them do). You can also try something like Electric Orange which only charges interest on the negative balance.
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#5 Consumer Comment

No, he understands perfectly.

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

as do most people that do not overdraft. The $200 transaction should have been in your register weeellllllll before you decided to enter it by looking online. Most, if not all, banks process debits from highest to lowest. It's in your terms and conditions pamphlet. OD fees are meant to be a deterrent - meaning that you are suppose to learn your lesson after experiencing the very first one. You, and many others, haven't learned yet.
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#6 Author of original report

Edgeman- You don't understand my point.

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

I know and understand that I didn't have enough funds for all of the transactions mentioned above. I don't deny that I didn't have enough funds. My point is that I did have enough money for the first four transactions, except for the last one. Therefore, I was only supposed to be charged ONE NSF fee. Now you make the calculations:

If on Feb. 12, purcahses are made in this order and posted in the same order as well (which is how it was recorded on my register):

Beg. Bal: $205.14 (with no pending transactions)

1st transaction - 5.15 EB: 199.99
2nd transaction - 28.04 EB: 171.95
3rd transaction - 7.32 EB: 164.63
4th transacation - 4.76 EB: 159.87
5th and last transaction - 200.00 EB: -40.13

I would only be charged ONE NSF fee for one transaction that overdrafted my account.

But that did not happened...TCF manipulated the way the transactions posted and did the folllowing:

Beg. Bal: $205.14 (with no pending transactions)

1st transaction - 200.00 EB: 5.14
2nd transaction - 28.04 EB:-22.90
3rd transaction - 7.32 EB:-30.22
4th transaction - 5.15 EB:-35.37
5th transaction - 4.76 EB:-40.13

TCF charged me $140.00 worth of NSF fees instead of $35 because like they told me..."TCF Bank posts transactions from greatest to smallest"...and I honestly think that's UNFAIR and UNETHICAL.
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#7 Consumer Comment

You were right the first time...

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

These fees are in fact due to miscalculating. If there are enough funds to cover your transactions, then it doesn't matter how those transactions are processed. Try it yourself. Take a piece of paper and write this:

2/15/09 Balance: $215.65

Now write down these transactions:

2/16/09 Grocery store $67.38

2/16/09 Gas station $22.87

2/17/09 Utility payment $74.58

2/18/09 Restaurant $38.14

I challenge you to process those four transactions any way you like. You can process lowest to highest, highest to lowest, in the order they were made, reverse or any method you like. You will not be able to overdraft your account with these transactions.

It takes additional transactions to overdraft the account. In the OP's case, the ACH transaction reduced his balance to $5.14 and there weren't any available funds to cover the four transactions that he had authorized.
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