How to Fight a Bank Overdraft

An overdraft can cost you as much as $35 on bank fees and, since you can face charges for each subsequent overdraft, the fees can increase rapidly. The success of your fight with the bank depends on your bank and if you make a habit of overdrawing your account. If you are successful, complaining about the overdraft can lead your financial institution to return any money removed from your account to pay the overdraft charges.


Step 1

Look at your account information to determine if you have overdraft protection. If you did not opt in for this service, you cannot overdraw your account if you are purchasing an item using your debit card or you are making an ATM withdrawal. If you received the overdraft because of either of these reasons and you do not have protection, the bank cannot charge you for an overdraft, because the mistake is its own fault.


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Step 2

Look at your account, and make sure that you actually have an overdraft. If you are missing a deposit that you know you made, the bank possibly credited another customer with your deposit. Making a deposit to cover a purchase after you wrote a check or used your debit card -- floating checks -- is not a bank error. It is not the bank's fault if the deposit does not reach your account before the check.



Step 3

Call your bank, and ask for the removal of the overdraft. Explain the circumstances that caused the problem. Ask to speak to the account manager if the person you speak to says that he cannot help. Often, a teller or customer service representative does not have the authority to overturn an overdraft. A bank manager has the authority to return the fees to your account.


It may take several hours for the bank to reverse any charges, but you should be able to check your balance in a few hours to confirm the return of your money. Most banks provide customers with the option of linking their accounts. This enables you to use your savings account as a way to fund overdrafts.


You will continue to incur overdraft charges until you deposit enough money to cover the overdrafts and any fees if you are unable to win your fight with the bank.



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