According to a study conducted by Moebs services, consumers paid $32 billion in overdraft fees in 2012, and with the average fee standing at around $27, incurring these charges can easily add up. But with so much confusing government legislature surrounding overdraft fees, many customers do not know that they can appeal against an overdraft fee and fight to claim it back.
The first thing you will need to do is get all of your necessary paperwork together, have statements and any administration letters on hand so you are well organised. Try to deal with the banks in writing whenever it is possible; that way you will always have a written record of what has been said.
When dealing with banks you need to know your rights, they have huge teams of legal experts that know every financial law there is. But knowing your rights will mean that you are better equipped to do battle with them. Knowing your rights will also mean knowing what your responsibilities are. When you signed your banking agreement, you entered into a contract. If you have broken the terms of that contract, then your bank is unlikely to refund your overdraft charges. However, if you believe the charges are unreasonable or unfair, then you have every right to dispute them.
Be persistent, the bank will be reluctant to part with their money and will try to ignore your demands or simply refuse them. But frequent letter writing and phone calls will prove to them that you will not be fobbed off and you are quite serious about claiming your fees back.
Wait for your bank to reply and see what they say, they should reply within two weeks and if they don’t then you need to contact them again. Tell them that the standard two week time frame has passed and if you do not receive a satisfactory response, then you will consider taking legal action.
If your claim does go to court, then if you are claiming less than $5,000 it should be heard in a small claims court. You will need to have all of the necessary paperwork with you and be able to prove that the overdraft fees were either unlawful or unfair and that the bank acted in violation of their code of conduct. If you win your case, then the bank will have no choice. Moreover, the bank will have to reimburse you, and if they ignore your claim, then you will win by default after 14 days and can legally demand your money back.
Banks will not make claiming back charges easy, they will do everything that they can to avoid paying you the money that you might be entitled to. But with persistence, knowledge and determination you can get back what is rightfully yours.