The Center for Responsible Lending released a study today titled, "Overdraft Explosion: Bank fees for overdrafts increase 35% in two years." I've never heard of this organization before and their web site says they are, "a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices." While these folks may not be a banker's best friend, their study is getting some notice and it's worth reviewing.
The summary findings, as detailed in this article on The Consumerist, are:
Finding 1: Over 50 million Americans overdrew their checking account at least once over a 12-month period, with 27 million account holders incurring five or more overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.
Finding 2: Banks and credit unions collected nearly $24 billion in overdraft fees in 2008.
Finding 3: Overdraft fee income for banks and credit unions rose 35 percent from 2006 to 2008.
The good news is that U.S. Bank's recent changes to our overdraft policy go a long ways in addressing these concerns - and more!
Speaking of good news, it was another good day on the stock market. Probably because investors heard the news about this clueless guy who left his $100,000 watch in his Ferrari Modena which he parked overnight on the streets of Jersey City only to find the car had been broken into and the watch and other items stolen. More proof that there is one born every minute!