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Debit card usage "OVERDRAFT PROTECTION" questions
Old 10-08-2022, 04:06 PM   #1
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Debit card usage "OVERDRAFT PROTECTION" questions

I posted about the drama with my corporate REIT landlord wanting to "no longer handle paper checks" and requesting all tenants to start paying via ACH / debit card % credit card on file with them. I declined to do this back in August & Glory Hallelujah, October's rent check was claimed unrecieved, got a Notice to Pay or Quit etc, so ended up paying by debit card that is now on file with them (their mission accomplished)

Based on advice received here, I moved all monies
except next month's rent moved to another a/c within Wells Fargo, and turned off "Overdraft Protection" for the debit card. I intend to close this a/c at move out, and thar would be that.

I woke up this morning to an "advisory" email from Wells Fargo about my stupidity in turning off "Overdraft Protection" and how I should be reconsidering it. But the part in bold freaks me out:

__________________________________________________ _

This letter is to confirm that Debit Card Overdraft Service will not be added to (or is being removed from) the above-referenced checking account. If the service is being removed, this will occur effective October 12, 2022. Here is some information that may be helpful.

What you need to know
If you do not have enough money in your checking account or in accounts linked for Overdraft Protection (such as a savings account or credit account):

·Your ATM and everyday (one-time) debit card transactions will be declined. You will need to have cash, credit card, or another payment source to complete your purchase.

Checks and other transactions such as Bill Pay, ACH, and debit card transactions that you have established for recurring payments (such as utilities or health club memberships) may continue to be paid into overdraft (at our discretion) and our standard overdraft fees will apply.*

· Consider other optional services to help you manage your account and ways to avoid overdrafts or declined debit card purchases.

Blah blah blah... oh & blah blah blah...Alternatively, blah blah blah ... You could also bleh blah bleh blah BLEH BLAH

We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serve your banking needs. Thank you for choosing Wells Fargo.

Deposit Products Group
Consumer & Small Business Banking

__________________________________________________ __

Here's my question - THE POINT of turning off "overdraft protection" is DEFEATED IF Wells Fargo, in its infinite wisdom & sacred "discretion", decides to HONOR previously paid debit card transactions such as rent even if I have requested that it not & if the a/c has been closed & drained to ZERO BALANCE & card reported lost or stolen?

What kind of SCAM is this? Is there a way to tell them to NOT honor any transactions esp debit card transactions on a DRAINED a/c? Maybe a letter from a lawyer? Should I simply move our savings a/cs out of Wells Fargo's clutches when I still can to prevent this?
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:27 PM   #2
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this is not a scam, this is normal, and all banks might do this. I think you're overthinking this whole thing.
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:31 PM   #3
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this is not a scam, this is normal, and all banks might do this. I think you're overthinking this whole thing.
No. I am not. Allowing a transaction to go - simply because it was previously permitted to go through after we've declined Overdraft Protection - is a scam.

It permits unscrupulous merchants & service providers who make It hard to cancel to take advantage of this and "win".
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:34 PM   #4
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Do ACH or if they don’t charge a surcharge, use a credit card. It’s really pretty simple.
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:38 PM   #5
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You are just using this account to pay the rent, will have the money in the account in advance of the due date, and know the amount of the rent. It should not be a problem. I suspect the bank sends out this e-mail to everyone who declines the overdraft - as it is a source of profit for the bank.
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:44 PM   #6
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You are just using this account to pay the rent, will have the money in the account in advance of the due date, and know the amount of the rent. It should not be a problem. I suspect the bank sounds out this e-mail to everyone who declines the overdraft - as it is a source of profit for the bank.
My question is the threat to permit a transaction to go through even after we've moved out, because monthly payments are offered "overdraft protection" even if such "protection" has been declined by the customer.

That worries me.
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Old 10-08-2022, 04:55 PM   #7
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My question is the threat to permit a transaction to go through even after we've moved out, because monthly payments are offered "overdraft protection" even if such "protection" has been declined by the customer.

That worries me.
Can't you simply close your accounts there when you move out?
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:04 PM   #8
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Can't you simply close your accounts there when you move out?
Absolutely my plan.
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:04 PM   #9
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My question is the threat to permit a transaction to go through even after we've moved out, because monthly payments are offered "overdraft protection" even if such "protection" has been declined by the customer.

That worries me.
I have always declined overdraft protection.

I don't like the language which you highlighted either. I "push" out my payments, rather than allow a pull - but am not in the same situation with a landlord. I also get texts on my phone alerting me to activity on my account.

Agree with plan to close out account ASAP following the last payment.
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:11 PM   #10
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I get it. What's the point of declining overdraft protection if the bank can decide on their own to create an overdraft? It kind of defeats the purpose of declining it.

I'd pay be credit card and collect the rewards provided they didn't tack on a surcharge for that.
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:18 PM   #11
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I get it. What's the point of declining overdraft protection if the bank can decide on their own to create an overdraft? It kind of defeats the purpose of declining it.

I'd pay be credit card and collect the rewards provided they didn't tack on a surcharge for that.
I recall from Safire's prior thread that they do impose a surcharge. Edit - yes, $75
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:19 PM   #12
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I used to keep enough money in my checking account to pay what my expected bills were. Several years ago, I got a letter in the mail saying that my account was overdrawn, and I needed to deposit x dollars. Apparently, I had added a digit to a payment and went from making a $500 ish payment to a $5000 ish payment. My automatic overdraft took the insufficient funds from my savings account until it hit the magic 6 transfers when the subsequent withdrawals hit the account and then they cut it off.
Since then I have a $2000 buffer and put a warning on my account that warns me if my account falls below $2000.
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:29 PM   #13
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I recall from Safire's prior thread that they do impose a surcharge. Edit - yes, $75

Citi Master Card - which I tried to pay with, despite a "surcharge" of $64 - declined claiming they don't allow "Property Payments" on the card.

I had to pay by debit card, promptly emptied the a/c of everything except next month's rent, turned off Overdraft Protection and thought we were "safe" until I got this email with the wording in bold. It is incredibly frustrating.

I called Wells Fargo demanding a physical address where I could send a lawyerly-sounding letter that they NOT HONOR anything on the a/c beyond what I'm authorizing only to be told "we aren't got no physical address where you could send one of 'em lawyer letters but not to worry, we won't honor nothing."

Wells Fargo just lost the trust of a loyal customer of 26 years.
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Old 10-08-2022, 05:57 PM   #14
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Safire, commercial banks are not our friends, none of them. There is no such thing as a loyal customer and that goes for insurance companies also.
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Old 10-08-2022, 06:38 PM   #15
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When my friend died trying to get Wells Fargo to direct deposit his survivor pension for his wife took months and 4 in person visits to different branches plus numerous phone calls despite me having all the POA’s for medical, financial. We needed the money to pay her nursing home bill because she had Alzheimer’s. They kept mailing a paper check to his old address. I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 ft pole. Ugh!!
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Old 10-08-2022, 06:57 PM   #16
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Time to find a new bank, IMHO. Actually two new banks. One for your regular banking. And one for your landlord that only keeps enough money in it each month to pay the rent.

The problem with debit cards is that you don't have the same legal protections as you do with a credit card. Once the money is out of your account, it can be a fight to get it back.
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Old 10-08-2022, 07:27 PM   #17
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When my friend died trying to get Wells Fargo to direct deposit his survivor pension for his wife took months and 4 in person visits to different branches plus numerous phone calls despite me having all the POA’s for medical, financial. We needed the money to pay her nursing home bill because she had Alzheimer’s. They kept mailing a paper check to his old address. I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 ft pole. Ugh!!
And that is often the problem with POA's. Institutions are under no obligation to accept/honor them.

Guardianships / Consevatorships issued by a probate court, on the other hand, are a different matter.

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Old 10-08-2022, 07:47 PM   #18
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this is not a scam, this is normal, and all banks might do this. I think you're overthinking this whole thing.
i have to agree. you might want to consider...

- keep 2 or 3 months of rent payments in the account OR set up an automatic txfr into the rent payment account from whatever source you have. that will ensure there is enough $ to cover rent + whatever fees the landlord dreams up and to avoid overdraft.

- every bank we do or have done biz with in the last few years offers text and/or email alerts upon any activity for the account. withdrawls, deposits, balances below #X, etc. strongly recommend you set up alerts for this account. we have similar alerts on all banks and credit cards.
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Old 10-08-2022, 09:50 PM   #19
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Gauss, I also had paperwork showing that I was her guardian. They were mailing the check timely but just to the wrong address. They just couldn’t seem to mail it to the right address or put it into her account. We didn’t care which one they did.
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Old 10-09-2022, 05:21 PM   #20
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Checks and other transactions such as Bill Pay, ACH, and debit card transactions that you have established for recurring payments (such as utilities or health club memberships) may continue to be paid into overdraft (at our discretion) and our standard overdraft fees will apply.*

My interpretation of this paragraph is this: If you have set up a payment as “recurring” and your account balance is insufficient, WF will continue to make this payment. This is not the same as a payment that you might make monthly, but you are manually entering the payment instructions each month. Just don’t set up your rent payment as recurring and you should be fine.

And yes, you could set up rent as recurring, but you don’t have to. Your payment history is not what determines if a payment is recurring. It is the type of payment instructions given to the bank. One payment instruction given that is valid for multiple payments (recurring), vs one payment instruction that is valid for a single payment (not recurring).
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