Wells Fargo seems to assume that people overdraw their accounts through ignorance or carelessness and that, therefore, the best response is to give them a "wake-up call" by charging as many as 5 or more $35 overdraft fees per month. In reality, however, given today's difficult economy, most overdrafts result from people simply having insufficient funds at the time a particular bill comes in, even if they may have the funds later, after their paycheck arrives. In this case, tacking on multiple overdraft fees only increases the problem.
Five overdraft fees of $35 each month, over the course of a year, could add up to a maximum of $2100 - likely enough to pay off the bills that are causing the problem in the first place. Many years ago, there were "debtors prisons" in which people who owed money were incarcerated until they could pay what they owed. The problem, of course, was that while they were in prison, they could not work to make money to pay their bills. Endless overdraft fees represent an analogous problem: the money going into paying these fees could be used to help pay off the debts that are causing the problem.
We are calling, therefore, upon Wells Fargo and other banks to respond to the difficulties faced by many of their creditors by strictly limiting the number and amount of overdraft fees to $25/fee, with a maximum of one fee per month and five total per year, per account. This is more than sufficient to "wake up" anyone who might be in default by carelessness, while at the same time not placing an undue burden on those who are struggling to pay their bills.
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