12 OYS: Families feel the overdraft fees, even with new rules

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Monday, August 9, 2010

GROVETOWN, Ga. -- Admittedly, Bill Turpak is walking a thin line.

"I'm at the end of my rope," he said. "I'm very frustrated."

His family is on a limited income. But he says it doesn't make him any less responsible with his money.

"(I) never bounced one check in that bank since I opened the account, not one."

It's an account he opened in March. But when four one dollar purchases triggered $140 in overdraft fees, he wondered if he could afford his mortgage.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm worried, because I've got nothing to fall back on no more."

The fees came from an $11 charge Bill is disputing. That overdrew the account. Each overdraft fee was $35. The company who charged Bill refunded the money. But the bank fees were there.

Regions Bank policy is to charge fees only when an account is overdrawn by more than five dollars. Bill's was overdrawn by just under six because of the disputed charges.

To help you avoid overdraft fees:

-- Write down purchases. Don't forget about purchases that haven't cleared.
-- Keep receipts of everything you buy.
-- If your card is lost or stolen, contact your card issuer immediately.
-- Keep your PIN private.

12 On Your Side learned late Monday Regions Bank refunded the fees and the disputed charge. That's $150.95 that 12 OYS has saved consumers like you.


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