Banks. fuck fuck fuck FUCK FUCK! (money related. help.)

Each month, I have to transfer funds back to my bank in Canada (from our American account) to cover the car payment that’s automatically withdrawn from my account. Until now, we haven’t run into any problems doing this.

Last month, the money was transferred no problem. Nothing was ever communicated to us that there had been a problem with it. The money arrived in my canadian account without any further to-do. This month, I again transfer money.

The bank statement arrives and BOTH DEBITS (for September and October) were made on the same day. Apparantly there was ‘something wrong with the paperwork’ from September. Which was not mentioned to me when I showed up at the bank last week to make the new transfer. Never mind that the money from September had been in my Canadian account for over a month. We’re in the red over 200 dollars. The bank so kindly adds a 100+ NSF fee to that.
We have made 0 transactions since we have found out we were overdrawn. However, since that time 2 more 15.00 transactions have posted - and each has a 100+ NSF fee tacked to it.

We contacted the bank - they acknowledged their error and agreed to debit us half of the FIRST NSF fee. Nothing more. Never mind the fact that there was no way we could have known we were overdrawn when those later transactions were made - because the NSF hadn’t posted yet. Never mind the fact that it’s the bank’s damned fault that there was money in the account that was already spoken for and SPENT BY GMAC!

I know - we should have known that the money was not removed from the account - and we agree that the bank shouldn’t give it to us for free - but they have charged us 300 dollars in NSF fees now. We were just getting out of the damned hole and this is going to keep us from paying our rent.

Can anyone help? PLEASE?

If it’s their fault, I don’t see why they should only credit back half of the original NSF fee. Perhaps you need to find someone a little higher up the food chain to bitch to.

I hope to be doing that tomorrow morning - and towing a couple of people along with me for backup. Also bringing bank statements with me showing that the original transfer showed up in the account in canada no problem.

From past family experience, I know that even when the banks are obviously at fault, getting money out of them is absolute hell. Stick to your guns, have as much relevant paperwork as you can and never be scared to go over somebody’s head.

Sorry I can’t really give you better advice. But this is such a blatant abuse of your consumer rights that they should come around by the thrid or fourth tier of bureaucracy.


Do you have a banking ombudsman system over there? If so I recommend talking to them if the bank doesn’t cooperate. The ombudsman is a disinterested third party who is empowered to resolve the matter fairly.

I’ll look into that, cankerist, thanks for the advice :slight_smile:

You may need a lawyer to write a letter on official letterhead if today’s meeting doesn’t go well.


This is how most finacial institutions run themselves these days. You should first speak to the branch manager of the bank where you opened the account. Before you get into any in depth converstion you should get info on who the higher up the ladder people are that you might need to contact are. Mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and so on.

After you have the unpleasant part of the call over with - then you move on to letting the manager know exactly what happened. Show them at what time you posted a transfer. If the error was on their side they legally can’t hold you liable in canada or the US for the NSF on the account regardless of is you knew or not.

The date which you process the transfer you can show a history of doing this previously and the time taken to process this request. If there is a delay or problem the bank is obligated to notify you of such problems at the time of the transaction.

Banks are held to very strict rules that seem to be upheld almost on an international level because of trade and dollar values. Accounting of funds in each country are very strictly imposed by government standards. Any failure on the part of the bank to act in a legitimate operating capacity is grounds for notification of a government authority to step in and hold the bank under a microscope for a time to find out why they are not complying to reasonable and regulated rules of operation.

the bank branch manager where you have your accounts is always where you start to fix a problem. They are obligated to give you any and all information needed in order to resolve a problem. This includes contact information for government agencies which they are regulated by.


I don’t have any help I can offer with the current situation other than to say what others have: keep persuing it up the chain and hope you find someone particularly sympathetic.

The 100 NSF seems pretty steep. Is it that high because it is an international transfer? My bank charges $16, I believe.

But per the quote above, if money is that tight with you, you need to keep your accounts balanced. If you had, it wouldn’t matter then the transfer actually left your account, you would have known that money was already spoken for and not spent it twice.

Threaten legal action. Sometimes that seems to be the only way to get a banks attention.

And my Canadian bank, only 35 - this is because the account went about 200 into overdraft - and their NSF is percentage based (ICK) on how much the account is currently overdrafted.

How horrid is that?

An additional suggestion, once you do get things straightened out: Find a new bank.

My experience is that when a bank is having problems making ends meet, it starts to do things like this. Your bank is trying to squeeze you, and it is not likely to get better.

I’m confused from your OP how you came to be overdrawn…was one of the transfers done twice? I don’t mean to be obtuse, but I don’t see how the bank has done anything wrong. Sure, a $100 NSF seems exorbitant, but if those are the terms on your account, then so be it. If your complaint is that the first transfer just posted really late, so you thought that you still had the money and wrote checks against it while knowing that it had already been spoken for…well, then I have to side with the bank.

It’s your responsibility to keep track of your balance, and unless the bank duplicated a transaction and caused your account to overdraw, then I don’t see how they’re liable for your mistake.

Of course, if I’ve misread the sequence of events in the OP, then I apologize and everyone can just carry on with their ranting. In any case, I would never do business with a bank that charged $100 for every overdraft.

Never, ever trust the bank. Ever.

I know this sounds bad, and I don’t mean it as a slam against banks. But they’ve got a jillion other accounts to look at, and if the paperwork on yours gets a bit farked up, you can’t count on them to tell you. If you have a checking-type account, keep your checkbook balanced. Keep track of all transactions and don’t believe the bank if they tell you that you have more money than you actually do.

This is going to sound harsh, and I don’t mean it that way, but if you’d been keeping track on your own, there’s no way this’d happened. You’d have the amount of the transfer already deducted out of your account, and thus wouldn’t have spent more during the month. When the deduction finally posted, the money’d’ve still been there. I’m not criticizing; I’m suggesting.

That being said, 300 dollars is a hell of a fee (the one time I overdrew my account, the fee was $30). You could try to work something out with the bank, but they’re likely to give you the above argument. Alternatively, you COULD switch banks–there’re a few that’ll waive the fee for you–but that’s a lot of effort and might not work.

Try to argue it down to one 100 dollar charge. It’s still a lot of money, but it stands a chance of working.

for Obs, AoTL and Jadis - I know I should have been keeping closer track on my finances - but this is also my husband’s bank account and it is hell getting him to let me keep track of things on his side (bad excuse, I know, there’s already been one fight over it this morning - hopefully with all this bullshit I can get that problem to disappear and I’ll actually get access to the online banking account.)

No, the transfer was not done twice - however, the transfer in September was completed to the canadian account, which I keep very close tabs on - if the money hadn’t shown up there I would have been in contact with the bank ASAP. I want to know why it is that the bank both transfererd the money and left the money to be transferred in our account.

There is a small statement at the bottom of the Internation Funds Transfer sheet. It states that 'The undersigned agrees that the LIABILITY OF BANK SHALL BE LIMITED TO TRANSFER ERRORS WITHIN BANK’S CONTROL, OR FAILURE OF BANK TO HONOR AND ORDER UPON THE DATE RECIEVED IF BANK DEADLINES HAVE BEEN MET. Bank is not liable for any loss or damage not within Bank’s control, and in any event Bank is not liable for any consequential or special loss or damage.

Because the problem here is within that bank’s account that we hold, I believe that they are liable - as it is THEIR transfer error and they failed to honor it. I was given a deadline of 5 business days for a transfer. The bank deadline was not met.

Again, I do take partial culpability for this - but if I were to go to the bank tomorrow, should they let me transfer 10,000 dollars to my canadian account when the account obviously does not have the funds? I should have been contacted - if that had been done, the transfer could have been put off until this week and everyone would have been happy - no overdrawn account, rent would be made and the car payment would be in place.

Tom Martino, ( or something close. He helps people deal with business problems. He has a radio show…I used to have similar problems, I quit the system that continually had me on the short end. Gotta know you’re llimitations…Sorry for the lame advice, hope it works for you…

I’m not a big fan of banks either, but I have to agree w/Jadis here. If I’m reading you here correctly, the September payment was received by the Canadian bank in a timely fashion, but for whatever reason was not deducted from your American account until much later. I’m not seeing how this is a detriment to you (after all, you had the [admittedly nebulous] advantage of an artificially higher balance for several days), except that apparently you relied on this incorrect “higher” balance that the bank was showing, and then assumed you had more money to spend than your “real” balance.

I disagree that this is a detriment to you because I don’t think one should ever use the bank’s balance as a gauge for how much you have available to you (although I know many people that do this). After all, who knows how many uncleared checks there might be floating around that could clear at any time; this strikes me as the same thing: a transaction that didn’t clear until later than you thought. While this might be misleading to you, the bank did compromise a bit by refunding part of your fees. On the other hand, youhave a responsibility to be fully aware of your “true” balance [ie, what’s available after all outstanding items have cleared], and spend accordingly.

$100 NSF fee is, I’ll freely admit, completely outrageous. I’d switch banks for this reason alone.

The reason, according to the bank, that the money was not deducted from our account is because they, I quote:

end quote. That’s from the woman that I visit in the bank every month and fill the funds transfer papers out with. So the bank has admitted culpability as well as us.

I do appreciate all the comments - even those that are critical.

Whee! Happy ending. I called the bank today and left a message re the NSF fees - and mentioned I would like to resolve this with them before filing complaints with the BBB and Dept of Finance and Banking. I got a call back and the fees have been waived, save for half of the first.

happy dance