What can I do if my bank over drafted my account and charged me fees, but I never agreed to the overdraft contract? 3 Answers as of February 28, 2014

I opened a checking account with Regions, and it has been pretty decent, but after I made 5 overdrafts, they have placed over $200 worth of overdraft fees on my account. I had been watching my account and they didn't update my balance, but 3 days later they posted them all at once in descending value (not chronologically by purchase) and slapped a hefty overdraft fee on top of it. For $14.21 worth of purchases, I am now stuck with $252 of fees. I went to the bank and spoke with the manager, and although he admitted that my account did not have "overdraft coverage" (a fancy way of saying that they'll slap a $36 fee on every transaction that contributes to a negative balance, and not having coverage strictly states your transactions will be DENIED, not OVERDRAWN). He refused to discuss any sort of reconciliation and told me that I had to pull my account out of the red by the end of the month or they'd put another fee on it! I'm living paycheck to paycheck and although I can cover the amount I overdrew, I cannot cover the $252 of overdraft fees, and if I don't cover them quickly, they'll add up faster than I can repay them! I don't know what to do, and I need legal advice, but I can't pay for legal counseling or a lawsuit! Any advice would be deeply appreciated.

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Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
I suggest that you carefully read your account agreement. As a general rule, banks are protected when they charge overdraft fees whether it covers the overdraft or does not. You might consider closing the overdrawn accountor stop using it, use a prepaid debit card on which you load money and can only spend what is on the card. If that does not work, you might seek assistance from your local legal aid office.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 2/28/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
I doubt there is much they would do to help you nor is there much to do in the way of lawsuits. You can look online to see if there are any class action lawsuits against this bank that you may be able to join into.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/28/2014
Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC | Daniel A. Edelman
What the bank did may well be actionable. For more immediate resolution, try complaining to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 2/28/2014
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