Those overdraft fees won't be so automatic anymore
Overdraft fees allow banks to make a lot of money. Say you buy $10 worth of gas, but you only have $9 in your account. The transaction goes through anyway, and you think everything is OK. Next thing you know, the bank charges fees up to $35 a pop. You can be in a huge financial hole by the time you realize what's happened. Under existing rules, customers must tell banks they don't want such transactions to go through. That will soon change. Banks will have to let customers decide for themselves and opt-in. Otherwise, any debit or ATM transaction that overdraws an account will be denied. The American Banking Association says the rule address the primary concerns of consumers. Susan Weinstock of the Consumer Federation of America disagrees. "There should be limits on the number of overdraft fees allowed," she says, even for customers who opt in. While supporting the Fed's rule, the consumer group is pushing for legislation in the House that would limit all overdraft fees, including those for bounced checks. The Fed's new rule, which takes effect in July, doesn't cover checks.