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LaVerne Arthur, Published January 07 2010

Who made it legal for a bank to steal my money from me?

I have heard so many stories over the past year about how corporate banks have been ripping off their customers. I now know the feeling firsthand.

I had to go into my bank, whom I shall not name, (it rhymes with Hell’s Cargo) for a question about my account, like: Where’s my money? I then sat down and made him explain to me how it is legal to charge a person $35 up to 10 times per day for an overdraft. Well, now, let’s see, that is 35 times 10 equals $350 of my hard-earned money that the bank will take as a “fee” for any “item” that was overdrawn. Now they say “item” because it doesn’t matter how much said “item” costs. In my case, one of these “items” came to a grand total of $4. Yes, not a typo; four whole dollars. So that $4 purchase cost me just under $40. Now that was on one day.

That same day one of my bills that I pay direct from my checking account went through, overdraft No. 2. That cost me another $35, bringing the bank to a total of $70 for fees from me that day.

Now, I can see if I overdraw once, my other checks or purchases don’t go through and I find out, oh no, I ran out of money. That would make the fee understandable. That is not the case; these fees are allowed to build up for one obvious reason: You now have a debt owed over your own money. Beautiful, not even the mafia could have thought up a better score.

I applaud President Barack Obama for the way he jumped at these crooked corporate banks and the way they have been making people walk the treadmill of debt with high interest rates, hidden fees, and ballooning payments on mortgages and loans. Unfortunately, these new laws passed are not yet in effect. So these financial institutions are still issued their “license to steal” for as much time as they need.

It is our money that had to bail out these same banks. This is the worst thing Congress could have done. Now we get ripped off on our own money, and then when they get their hands caught in the cookie jar (look it up, it was right after the new laws passed), we get to pay taxes to help these ailing businesses before they fail. I don’t know about you, but this smells like something I stepped in when I didn’t let the dog out last night.

Needless to say, I am no longer doing business with Wells, I mean Hell’s, Cargo ever again. I warn all who are still using this and any other of these banks that are just as guilty as these thieves. Beware of the hidden costs, fees and a banker who will only tell you the good side of their story. Make them explain what anything in that booklet says that looks suspicious. Don’t give them the authority to charge you up to $350 per day of your own money “to protect you.”