Sending Office: Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published two reports on overdraft fees charged by financial institutions, and the results unfortunately confirm that overdraft fees are still far too high, and are still eating into consumers’ savings.
Significantly, the Bureau’s most recent overdraft study found that most overdraft fees are incurred on purchases of just $24 or less, and are paid back within 3 days — and yet the median overdraft fee for these small overdrafts is still $34. In other words,
consumers were borrowing $24 for 3 days, and paying a 17,000 percent annual percentage rate (APR). This is effectively a tax on the savings of cash-strapped consumers.
While some progress has been made in protecting consumers from unfair and abusive overdraft fees, there is still a long way to go, and significant problems remain.
That is why reintroduced the Overdraft Protection Act, which will crack down on abusive and deceptive overdraft fees. Under my bill, financial institutions will no longer be able to charge outrageously high overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees;
manipulate the order in which a consumer’s transactions post to their account in order to maximize the number of fees; or charge an endless number of overdraft fees to the most vulnerable.
Specifically, my bill:
- Requires overdraft fees to be reasonable and proportional;
- Prohibits institutions from manipulating the order of transactions to maximize overdraft fees;
- Limits overdrafts to one per month and six per year;
- Codifies the opt-in provisions that the Federal Reserve promulgated in 2009, which require that consumers opt-in to overdraft coverage; and
- Adds additional disclosures to consumers about overdraft coverage programs.
The bill does not impact retailers, who were hit hard by the latest recession. Consumers deserve extensive disclosures relating to the overdraft fees they are paying; they deserve reasonable and measured fees; and they deserve a level playing field.
A list of endorsing organizations can be found below:
- 20/20 Vision
- Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AkPIRG)
- Americans for Financial Reform
- Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)
- Center for Responsible Lending (CRL)
- Communications Workers of America (CWA)
- Consumer Action
- Consumer Federation of America (CFA)
- Consumer Report
- Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
- Georgia Watch
- Gray Panther
- International Union, UAW
- Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
- Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Right
- Madison-area Urban Ministry
- Maggie Cervantes
- Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, Inc.
- Michigan League for Public Policy
- National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
- National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients)
- New Home Development
- Partners In Community Building, Inc.
- PathWays PA
- Pennsylvania Council of Churches
- Public Justice Center
- Reinvestment Partners
- Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
- Tennessee Citizen Action
- The Collaborative
- The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- THE ONE LESS FOUNDATION
- U.S. PIRG
- United Way of Southern Cameron County
- VOICE – OKC
- West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
- Woodstock Institute
- WV Citizen Action Group
If you have any questions or if you would like to cosponsor this legislation please contact Nicole Bartnik-Vella on my staff at
Nicole.Bartnik-Vella@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-7944.
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0