Jobless hit with bank fees re:unemployment benefits

Promoted. Some banks, like Bank of America, charge $35 - $39 per overage. If you have $20 left in your account before the next paycheck hits and an unexpected item -- say a $20 maintenance fee -- hits just before 3 small checks for under $5 come in, you can suddenly find yourself over $100 in the red. Some banks will refund those overages. Some will not. Originally posted 2009-02-19 20:22:40 -0500. -- GH

The last time I received unemployment compensation in Texas, a check came in the mail.  I was quite surprised to read how the states cut deals with major banks to handle unemployment benefits nowadays..... Following is an excerpt:

Banks slapping fees on unemployment benefit debit cards

For hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs during the recession, there's a new twist to their financial pain: Even when they're collecting unemployment benefits, they're paying the bank just to get the money — or even to call customer service to complain about it.

Thirty states have struck such deals with banks that include Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase and US Bancorp, an Associated Press review of the agreements found. All the programs carry fees, and in several states the unemployed have no choice but to use the debit cards. Some banks even charge overdraft fees of up to $20 — even though they could decline charges for more than what's on the card.

There has got to be a better way.....and pressure from the grassroots usually gets the trick done! Thoughts?

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but not surprising.  And I see some of our favorite welfare banks are on the liist.  Maybe that little fee scheme should go bye-bye if they are getting bailout $$.

I like that concept..................  I'm hoping EVERYONE will use that term when referring to them until

all monies are repaid!  

It's not just mortgage resets that are a problem for people but credit card resets. The credit situation is worse in one respect. Although the typically  amounts owed are not the same magnitude as morgages, the credit card companies can raise an individuals interest rate solely on the basis of their decision that the individual has become more of a credit risk. Twenty-five percent interest rates on credit cards are no longer atypical as far as I can tell.

I had a first-hand experience of this. Wachovia dropped the credit card company they were using and set up their own cards which also were used to cover bank overdraft Being a careful person I applied for the new card at my local bank. Previously the card had been under Chris' name but he was out of town. I got the new card and overdraft etc. But then they started sending us frantic letters and emails about how Chris had to switch his card. I tried to straighten it out with the bank but the letters kept on coming and I just threw them out. Accidentally I threw out a genuine bill on my new credit card twice (there was an automatic charge from the smart tag toll road which I had switched. I wasn't using the card for anything else and forgot about the toll road. So now everytime the tollroad charge comes do I am billed 25% interest on it even if I pay up in days. I've banked with Wachovia for ten years, had a home equity loand there, and keep decent balances in my checking account./But I am now deemed a high-risk customer!

There really needs to be attention paid to usury in all its aspects.

This is kind of off the track of your post but not really.


bank which issues a debit card.  Being small things seem to move a little more slowly but customer service wise excellent.  I have NEVER used a large bank....  It's kinda strange because in the atrium area there are live alligators and turtles....and you can watch come feeding time......I call that a perk!

Our Wachovia (now actually Wells Fargo) Bank was a nice local community bank. And it grew and swallowed smaller fish, and grew and grew to be a big, whale of a bank.


We need unemployment insurance reform.  I support the plans I read in the essay in Thinking Big - The Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act and the Extended Benefits Program.  I haven't seen a better soltuion anywhere else - and I think your post proves we urgently need one.

I say we taken them down one at a time. Its not like they are doing anything for us at the moment.

Are you tired of being nickled and dimed by your bank? • Does your bank charge you outrageous fees for really simple things that used to be and should be free? • Does your bank prioritize your deposits and withdrawals to their benefit and not yours? Does your bank raise your credit card interest rates at a whim even if you are not late on your payments?


I say that we fight back and teach them a lesson. This will only work if we all work together. If we can get enough people to boycott a bank or two, the rest might think twice about where they fit in in our society when the rest of us are struggling to put food on the table.

I know that not everyone can close or move their accounts that easily, but if we can get enough people to close their account and walk it across the street to the local bank, or community credit union, maybe these hot shots will get the message and do something to win OUR loyalty.