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Got A Beef With Your Checking Account?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to hear your complaints.Sometimes the banks make it too easy to pick on them.

But they do it to themselves with big fees and unnecessary products like overdraft protection that sound nice but do little more than take money out of peoples’ pockets.

Well, now all that griping can be put to good use.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which already takes complaints on credit card companies and mortgage lenders, this month began taking complaints on a variety of bank accounts, including checking, savings and CDs.

The government’s financial watchdog says it expects to hear complaints about:

  • Account opening, closing and management.
  • Deposits and withdrawals.
  • Using a debit or ATM card.
  • Making or receiving payments and sending money to others.
  • Problems related to low account funds.

In a blog on the bureau’s website, CFPB Director Richard Cordray wrote:

“Deposit accounts play a critical role in the lives of most Americans. We use our checking accounts and other bank services for cashing paychecks, paying monthly bills, making purchases, withdrawing funds, and managing our money. Many of us store our rainy day fund in a savings account. But checking and savings accounts – whether they are with a credit union, a thrift, or a bank – can also be a source of great frustration. We have heard story after story of consumers being hit with fees they did not expect and do not understand. We take these complaints very seriously.”

The bureau is already taking action on overdraft fees.

In February, officials said the bureau had “launched an inquiry” into how these fees are affecting customers.

These onerous fees are charged when you allow your bank to loan you money when you try to spend more money (or withdraw more money) than is in your account.

The bureau says the average overdraft fee ranged from $30-$35 in 2011 and has increased by 17% in five years.

The bureau, among other things, is “looking into reports that consumers are receiving misleading marketing materials about overdrafts.”

No surprise there.

We’ve heard plenty about misleading marketing efforts.

But we’ve also recently seen complaints from a reader about fees at AmTrust Direct and MyBanking Direct.

What are your bank or credit union complaints?

You can tell the CFBP online using its complaint form or you can call (855) 411-2372.

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