Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts regarding overdraft fee policy. I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns on this issue.
As you know, Senator Chris Dodd introduced the FAIR Overdraft Coverage Act (S.1799). This bill would make changes to the law with regard to overdraft fees and penalties in an effort to increase transparency and consumer fairness. The FAIR Overdraft Coverage Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for review. More recently, the Federal Reserve issued new rules that prohibit financial institutions from charging overdraft fees on automated teller machine(ATM) and one-time debit card transactions, unless the consumer consents, or opts in, to the overdraft service for those types of transactions. Under the rules, which will take effect on July 1, 2010, before opting in, the consumer must be provided with a notice that explains the financial institution’s overdraft services, including the fees associated with the service and the consumer’s choices.
I hate to see Coloradans who have unknowingly overdrawn funds hit with excessive fees, especially when so many hard-working Americans are already struggling to make ends meet. While I believe that all consumers have a personal responsibility to handle their own finances, I also believe there should be fairness with regard to the issue of overdrawing funds, which is why I welcome the Federal Reserve’s new rules. I will continue to work with my colleagues of both parties to end abusive practices by financial institutions and level the playing field for American consumers.
Again, thank you for contacting me. In these hard economic times, please be assured that I will continue to keep the economic interests of Coloradans at the top of my policy agenda.
I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Coloradans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Colorado and the nation. My job is not about merely supporting or opposing legislation; it is also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation’s politics. For more information about my positions and to learn how my office can assist you, please visit my website at www.markudall.senate.gov.
United States Senator, Colorado