Is Liberty Savings Bank taking liberties with your account?

A friend recently got “upgraded” to a new “Freedom choice” option on her Liberty Savings Bank checking account. However, this was done without an opt-in. It was supposed to provide up to $500 in overdraft protection, stopping those embarrassing moments when a debit card gets declined, or a check bounces. What they failed to mention is that now you get a $35 fee every time you overdraw.

So, the $5 sandwich becomes a $40 sandwich, and the $15 fill-up becomes $50. Sounds good for Liberty Savings Bank and bad for the customer. Before this “New and improved service” her card would be declined if it would cause an overdraft, now, she was looking at $350 in overdraft fees from 10 debit card transactions that totaled $85.

After discovering the massive sucking sound out of her account, and talking with a Liberty Savings Bank manager, Tina Marie Brown, the fees were to be cut in half if the money was paid today. Extortion- nice.

If anyone is wondering why our financial system is in shambles, we don’t have to look just to the big banks, we can have our own local losers ready to screw over the average American.

If you’ve had a similar experience with Liberty Savings Bank and their “Freedom choice” plan- and been in overdraft fee hell, leave a comment. We’ll make it easy for the class action lawyers to get an action started.

Yep, the ads are almost right: “Liberty Savings Bank, our interest is in (screwing) you.”

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29 Responses

  1. jeremy December 11, 2008 / 6:34 am
    Same exact thing with National City. They give you an incorrect balance to bait you into going over (charges suddenly hitting from days or even a full week or more prior!), then hit you with a $34 fee for every bad transaction. In total, we had to pay $182 recently because of this (including a $50 fee from our landlord, who was none too happy about it either). No Xmas at our house this year, not that we cared.

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  2. Joel December 11, 2008 / 9:17 am
    David,

    This “overdraft protection” program has become a common practice among the industry. The FDIC recently did a study assessing it, and it’s been controversial for a number of years.

    I’m a banker, and I agree that customers should have to opt-in, and not be automatically enrolled. Overdrafts are massively profitable for most banks.

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  3. Gene December 11, 2008 / 12:08 pm
    Don’t overdraft – I don’t – don’t buy a sandwich with 5 bucks in your account. Again, responsibility seems to be old hat around here. Your life, your money, your bank account, your responsibility. Grow up. Stop hand holding. Grow some balls and act like a man, or if you are a woman just add and subtract better :) !

    Again, why change the world when you can change yourself, your habits, your life.

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  4. Joel December 11, 2008 / 3:23 pm
    Gene,

    Back in 1934 when there wasn’t money in your account, the bank would return your check. They didn’t have overdraft protection.

    Hell, even 10 years ago banks would return a check if there wasn’t money in the account or would deny a transaction if there wasn’t money to cover. We’re really just asking that the same thing is done now.

    Banks are effectively extending lines of credit to people who didn’t ask for them, charging more when the credit is used, and avoiding all of those pesky regulations.

    This isn’t a question of responsibility- it’s a question of fairness.

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  5. Gene December 11, 2008 / 3:44 pm
    Make it more complicated than it needs to be.

    A returned check fee still applies – grow up and act like a man. You Mo’s are the biggest losers if you can ‘t hack a $35 for YOUR F**K UP. If it is the banks fault they will remove the fees – but MOST OF THE TIME IT IS THE ACCOUNT HOLDERS FAULT.

    It is about taking personal responsibility. YOUR MONEY, YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, YOUR MATH. Fairness? Learn adding and subtract, learn how to act like an adult. People who screw up are guilty of being dumb, and should be shot.

    Don’t over extend yourself. This is not all that complicated.

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  6. In the 'burg December 11, 2008 / 6:26 pm
    “People who screw up are guilty of being dumb, and should be shot.”

    Cool. Let’s start by shooting the dumb people who screwed up and based our entire economy on abstractions rather than tangible goods and services.

    They bought a helluva lot more than a 5 dollar sandwich, and the money not only wasn’t in the bank, it never even existed.

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  7. Gene December 11, 2008 / 7:32 pm
    Agreed.

    We need to get off the “buying” mentality that our culture has become.

    They interviewed a lady the other day on the news, and she said it was hard to buy gifts bc of her pending bills. I say screw the gifts. “Christmas” is such bullshit anymore. Gifts. Whatever. Grow up, save, be an adult.

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  8. J.R. Locke December 11, 2008 / 9:21 pm
    The worst thing is when you make a purchase the morning that your direct deposit comes in. If that purchase charges before your direct deposit is electronically in your account you get charged for $39.

    Credit Unions are usually a little better with these ridiculous charges.

    5/3rd bank used to offer a overdraft protection that would charge a credit card instead of overdrafting your account. Well I asked if I could use a prexisting credit card for this. They said no and said I would have to apply for their credit card, which had a yearly fee of $150 or something crazy.

    I use a bank solely to pay bills. My purchases are done with one credit card and the rest of my money is held….well I won’t say where. But I usually barter.

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  9. Joel December 12, 2008 / 2:52 pm
    Gene,

    I see you didn’t address what I really said.

    I guess you concede the point.

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  10. Gene December 13, 2008 / 10:54 am
    Joel, this is REAL EASY. Don’t spend more money than you have. Again, it is your responsibility, and it is not FAIR to spend money you don’t have. Banks are a business. Grow TF up.

    “It’s Not FAIR! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA” – the true calling of a liberal puss who can’t or won’t be an adult.

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  11. Scott December 13, 2008 / 12:50 pm
    There really needs to be an opt in option to this system. Holding your money ransom is complete bullhockey.

    Gene: you sir are an idiot. Why do you bother taking the time to write sometiing that is so far out there that nobody will ever take you seriously? Yes it is their responsibility to pay attention to the balance in their account, but mistakes do happen. When such a mistake happens the card should be declined, not accepted but with a fee. That starbucks you bought with your last 2 bucks just turned into a 37 dollar drink. Regulators need to end this illegal practice asap

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  12. Gene December 13, 2008 / 2:49 pm
    I agree the card should be declined. But until that is changed, as with writing a bad check, there needs to be a penalty. Who THE F*CK do you think you are to tell a business what to charge for YOUR F*CK UP. It seems to me most of the people reading this do not understand the word RESPONSIBILITY – you MF liberals are cry babies who can’t add and subtract, bitching and moaning that it is someone else fault. Grow up you little shits and take a little pride in what you do in your life and how you do it.

    A five dollar fee would have people writing bad checks/debiting accounts all the time. I think $35 fee plus a daily fee of $7 is fair. If you don’t like it then move banks. You little wussies can’t add and subtract. Do you need help going to the bathroom?

    You can certainly spend the money that is not there, you can earn money, but you little cry babies can’t own up to your own f*ck ups. God forbid we actually need to depend on you when times get tough. Grow up Scott.

    If I am an idiot why do I have more money than you Scott. Do you have low self esteem? Do you need your hand held?

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  13. TeresaLea December 13, 2008 / 6:43 pm
    Look at Gene go all JV on us –

    it’s almost cute…

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  14. Gene December 13, 2008 / 6:49 pm
    Grow up and act like an adult. Evidently that is too much to ask of you folks.

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  15. Joel December 15, 2008 / 9:42 am
    Gene said:I agree the card should be declined. But until that is changed, as with writing a bad check, there needs to be a penalty

    I don’t disagree with any of this. Maybe if you were more interested in the intent of what I was writing instead of calling me a “liberal puss” you would have recognized this earlier.

    But I guess we can’t expect Conservatives to understand the intent of what we’re writing. Strict constructionism, you know…

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  16. Gene December 15, 2008 / 12:08 pm
    Maybe you could just add and subtract better.

    This situation would never occur if you could just pass third grade math. If you think about these situations, where does the problems start? Does it start with the large fee or does it start with the person screwing up? once you folks understand WHERE it starts, then maybe you are old enough to have an account in the first place. At the rocks, Joel.

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  17. Joel December 16, 2008 / 3:43 pm
    Gene,

    You can’t read. Sorry about that.

    Please read my post from Dec. 15 and read your reply. Your reply has nothing to do with what I posted.

    But I guess feigning outrage works for you.

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  18. Gene December 16, 2008 / 3:51 pm
    Did I reply to you? Not necessarily…….. the news, a great show that used to be on HBO.

    Joel, have you been to the rocks?

    Who cares about this……. I don’t bc I don’t bounce check or over draw my account. I became an adult at 18, some of you think it start in your late 40’s. This is recockulous.

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  19. Joel December 16, 2008 / 4:45 pm
    Gene is drunk!

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  20. Gene December 17, 2008 / 6:05 am
    Joel the banker………. or teller?

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  21. Sheila December 18, 2008 / 12:19 pm
    I don’t think you guys get it…all banks have overdraft fees. I would rather have a bank pay my overdraft than charge a fee and not pay it. I bank at Liberty and have used this service to make my mortgage payment on time at another bank. This was much cheaper than missing my mortgage payment and being charged a late fee and having a ding on my credit. As to your opt-in concern…I don’t get that either. I had the option to opt out and then know my checks would never be paid if I made a mistake…why would I do that? I used to bank at a larger bank in town thaqt had all the same fees, but never honored my checks when I overdrafted…then I also got hit by fees by merchants for bad checks.

    I think you are trying to make up a problem here that doesn’t exist. You may call it honest, I call it being sensational.

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  22. Gene December 23, 2008 / 4:34 pm
    So, has anybody over drafted lately? Or did we come to the realization that it is your life, your mistake, your responsibility. If it is the banks fault, the will fix it. It is nice to know people can grow up reading simple tips, tips like watch your money, add and subtract accurately, and drink wine daily. Live by these rules and you just may be considered an adult!

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  23. Joel December 23, 2008 / 6:18 pm
    Gene– I actually overdrafted my account 15 times over the weekend. What with the strip clubs, my aclu membership, those copies of the koran I bought, the birth control I passed a out at CJHS, etc…

    The good news is that I’ve talked them into just charging your account. So no troubles here!

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  24. Gene December 24, 2008 / 7:37 am
    Joel, the difference between you and me is that i can afford it! HaHaHaHaHa…….. Get used to saying. ” Have a nice day!”

    Read this book:
    Teller Joel and the Banker Wannabe Diaries, The Untold Story of A Young Die hard Liberal Who Over Extends Himself And Lies About his Job Status.

    I will have fun counting money. Joel, go back to school, you might earn over $10 per hour one day. And if you father a child, teach your kid to read, count, and smile while they say “Will that be regular or unleaded?” – and I mean coffee. Merry Christmas, HH, HK!

    I love being on top.

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  25. Gene December 25, 2008 / 12:02 am
    3……….2…………1………. it’s Christmas. Now maybe Joel wants his personal bailout. Being a teller can be tough, especially when you screw people out of their money.

    Merry Christmas Mr Esrati. i know it is your favorite holiday!

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  26. Gene December 26, 2008 / 2:40 pm
    @ my bank you can opt out of this……. so switch to 5/3, until they get bought out!

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  27. Sheila January 7, 2009 / 9:27 pm
    At Liberty you can opt out as well. I was asked when I opened the account. Why would I opt out of a service that helps me?

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  28. Gene January 7, 2009 / 9:39 pm
    Sheila, this is about being responsible and acting like an adult. You, my friend, have done your homework. Liberals, the majority who cry about things like this, have a problem with someone taking their money yet want to tax the hell out of those who make more the 60k a year. Thanks for being a responsible adult, I now have faith in our future.

    Joel will be counting you nickels tomorrow, and saying “Have a nice day!”

    Asking sometimes helps.

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  29. Ryan January 12, 2009 / 5:23 pm
    After reading these comments I agree with Gene’s argument of people needing to take responsibility for their actions. However judging by the tone of your posts I advise you to stop counting your money so often because it seems to be affecting your soul either that or stop listening to Rush Limbaugh. You have so much hate in your posts that I almost feel ashamed agreeing with you. Joel may not be the smartest business man but if I was drowning I bet he would jump in to save me while you laughed and yelled at me for not learning how to swim better.

    Now back on topic. While Shelia is correct that you can opt out you shouldn’t have to it should instead be a program that you have to opt in. But the truly criminal part of this program isn’t that they charge fees for going overdrawn, which I think is a valid policy, it’s that the bank rearranges the charges when you go overdrawn so as to charge you more fees and that should be illegal. This happened to me when I went negative by 12 dollars but the bank wanted to charge me 5 $35 fees. And yes I know I shouldn’t use my card for small purchases but we all have to learn, and some of us are lazy so we have to learn twice. This all happened on a Thursday, the item that made me go overdrawn was a large purchase that I made on that Wednesday but they rearranged 4 smaller purchases I had made on Monday and Tuesday to come in after the big purchase so I would get 5 fees instead of one. After arguing with my bank manager that I agree I screwed up and deserved to pay a fee but did I deserve to pay 5 she finally waived the other four. I was ready to close the account and move to another bank until I found out this practice was done by every other bank I checked. They told me that this is their policy and that they always charge the biggest item first but I’ve checked my statement and the 2 times I went overdrawn where the only time they rearranged charges all other times they where charged in the order I made them. Both times I went overdrawn I argued with the bank manager and she waived the other fees so I applaud their willingness to be fair if you force them. However I know a lot of other people even with banks other than Liberty that have had this happen and I told them to argue with the bank manager that they should only have to pay one fee and every single one of them has gotten the other fees waived and I think the banks willingness to waive the fees when you argue shows that even they know this practice is morally wrong at best and possibly even illegal.

    To summarize for those too faint of heart to read the above novel. Overdraft Protection is not the problem although it should be an opt in addition to your account instead of an opt out. The real problem is banks waiting for you to go overdrawn and then rearranging the charges you made so they generate more fees.

    I apologize for any grammatical or spelling errors they where unintentional and I await Gene’s inevitable flame JK Gene :)

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