$17,000 In Overdraft Fees (Your Advice) – $3000 Car – If Personal Finance Were A HS Course

Financial wake-up callI’ve been getting more and more emails from individuals asking for my advice on specific issues. I have always been of the strong belief that a large variety of views are best and then choose the one that you think best fits your situation. I will be listing some of these questions and hope that you will share any advice on how you would handle the situation or approach the difficulty. This first one is a whopper:

I need to know who would be the best person to contact about what happened to one of my accounts with Bank of America. It was linked to another account for my daughter to protect overdrafting. She did a lot of overdrafting, but each time the bank charged the linked account 100.00 or so.

I really do not understand what they did but I lost $17,000.00. I have all the statement that they gave me but I need to talk to some one who could take a look and understand what happened.

If you were in the same situation, what steps would you take to try and resolve this issue?

And some wake-up reading for today:

The Race To Build Really Cheap Cars: Renault-Nissan is hoping to build cars for under $3000 each and the price could be as low as $2500. That would be a 40% reduction on the least expensive sub-compact car available today.

If Personal Finance Were A 4 Year Course In High School: A 4-year plan of what money and personal finance skills high school kids should be learning.

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6 Responses to $17,000 In Overdraft Fees (Your Advice) – $3000 Car – If Personal Finance Were A HS Course

  1. Jim says:

    BoA customer:

    I think that you are probably out of luck as this sounds like a long-term problem that just got out of control over several months. If you had contacted BoA at first or talked to your daughter the first time it happened, BoA might be more willing to forgive the fees for their services.

    However, do some research here:


    You might find some contact information.

    Good luck!

  2. dean says:

    If you don’t understand the charges, go down to the bank and ask for the manager to explain them to you. As Jim mentioned, if this has been a long term thing, you are going to have a much harder time than if it was a one month issue.

    Either way, I would complain long and hard. $17,000 is a lot of money and it isn’t going to hurt to complain. I would keep going up the rank until someone was willing to help reduce the fees or until I reached the president.

    I’d also have a nice long discussion with my daughter about financial responsibility…

  3. Jane says:

    $100 is awfully steep for an overdraft fee (aren’t they normally more like $25?), and $17,000 worth of fees pretty much amounts to extortion if you ask me. I wouldn’t pay anything close to the $17,000 (and it doesn’t sound like you have anything close to that, anyway), and I would fight tooth and nail until the amount due was lowered to a reasonable and fair amount (I wouldn’t expect all of the charges to be dropped).

    Expanding on Jim’s comment, I would do some reasearch at Consumerist, but I would also email them to ask for help.

    I would definitely unlink my account from my daughter’s account. If you want to continue to give/lend her money, find another way to do it.

    I would also figure out how many times my daughter overdrew the account, how much this actually incurred in fees, and make her responsible for paying me back at least a significant portion of the funds to teach her some financial responsibility that it sounds like she may not yet have a sense of. Of course, I don’t know what caused your daughter to overdraw the account so many times. If it was due to legitimate need or emergency and she had no better options, I would probably not be as concerned about making her pay for her mistakes.

    I would also talk to a manager at the bank as soon as possible. Don’t expect someone lower on the rung to have a great interest in explaining the charges to you. Try to go at a time when the bank is not likely to be crowded, so you can get the attention your situation needs. Maybe you can even make an appointment.

    Banks can be evil, but there are some good people working in them who will be sympathetic and want to help you as long as you treat them well. Keep in mind that the person you talk to is probably not actually responsible for all the fees that you’re being faced with, so don’t take your anger out on them (but do be firm and assertive about getting the issue resolved).

  4. Common Sense says:

    I think I need to explain something. You have overdraft protection. The bank did not take $17,000 from you, the money got transferred to your daughter’s account. Here’s how it works. For example, your daughter writes a check for $500, but she only has $450 in her checking account. Your account is linked to hers for overdraft protection. $100 gets transferred from your account to her account. Her account now has $550, so that her check doesn’t bounce. Your account shows a debit of $100. But her account should show a credit of $100, so the bank didn’t take the money, and you really didn’t lose any money at all. The $500 check clears, and your daughter account now has a net of $50. It is not a fee that they charged.

    If your overdraft linked account is your bank of america credit card, then they do charge cash advance fee and finance charge immediately.

    I have overdraft protection from bank of america, and I see both the debit on the linked account and the credit on the checking account that I overdrawn from.

  5. dong says:

    Man, I would have more of problem with the daughter than Bank of America. Bank America is being obnoxious with it’s fees, but that daughter need to learn some lessons. She overdrafted 170 times!!!! Maybe it’s time to cut her off the link or she’s just gonna keep on dipping.

  6. J McWain says:

    I think you can sue your daughter… 🙁 Unfortunately that is the only way to get your money back. If you were charged a fee for the transfer, you might find a sympathetic manager to credit some of the fees back.

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