Even if you signed up to receive overdraft notifications from your bank, you may still be surprised by unwelcome overdraft fees piling up against your account.
A Fifth Third Bank customer wrote to Consumerist, a blog that focuses on consumer issues, saying that he was shocked to find out that he had racked up $300 in overdraft fees -- a daily overdraft fee as well as a fee for every purchase -- that landed him with a checking account that was $700 in the red.
He wrote that he did not receive any emails from Fifth Third about the overdrafts, though he had signed up for overdraft notifications. As a result, he wrote, "I will soon be finding another bank."
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This is not the first time that the Cincinnati-based bank has charged unsuspecting customers overdraft fees. Taylor McKinley, 27, was charged overdraft fees on a bank account he thought he had closed at Fifth Third, HuffPost Money reported in March. After less than two weeks, he owed $438.35.
Fifth Third agreed to pay nearly $10 million to settle an overdraft fee lawsuit in late 2010, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The bank had employed a common tactic of ordering transactions from largest to smallest, instead of by recency, which caused customers to incur many overdraft fees, according to the lawsuit.
Overdraft fees are one of the many tactics banks employ to make money off of the poor. In an effort to further extract fees from the poor, Fifth Third has entered the payday lending business, charging $10 for every $100 borrowed, according to the National Consumer Law Center.