AFR Supports Overdraft Lending Reform

penguincakesAmericans for Financial Reform and our partners sent these letters (House, Senate, both links are PDFs) to Congress stating our strong support for overdraft reform.  New bills introduced in the House and Senate take dramatic steps to protect consumers from sneaky overdraft loans.  You can read more on Americans for Fairness in Lending’s blog.

Here’s what the bills would do:

  • limit the number of overdraft fees institutions can charge per month and per year, without preventing them from offering a lower cost alternative if they want to continue charging for overdrafts;
  • require that all overdraft fees be reasonable and proportional to the cost to the institution of processing the transaction;
  • require institutions to obtain consumers’ affirmative consent to fee-based overdraft coverage for debit card and ATM transactions;
  • clarify that overdraft fees are a finance charge under the Truth in Lending Act;
  • require a real-time warning at an ATM before a cash withdrawal would trigger an overdraft fee; and
  • prohibit institutions from reordering transactions to maximize fees.

(Photo: penguincakes)