America is a funny place to be. As long as you have high balances at the bank, no problem. As soon as you hit a snare though - watch out. Most banks are large chains with policies and rules, and they are totally unwilling to work with their customers. This normally results in excessive fees, which further your financial problems. I have even had one situation where the bank processed several checks on the same day, and a deposit, and the order of their processing was structured in such a way that they were able to justify charging an overdraft fee.

Situation 1 - Dishonorable Check and Deposit Processing

The situation outlined above actually happened to me. There were 3 checks that I had written, with quite varying amounts, that all hit the bank on the same day. I also had a deposit that processed on that same day. Now, the dates on the checks did not match up with the order they were processed in. I thought that banks would process checks in the order they were received, and if they were received at the same time, that they would process them in order by the date they were written. However, what I found was that the bank processed the checks in order from largest amount to smallest amount. Furthermore, they processed the checks before they processed the deposit. The net result for me was that I ran negative for part of the day, and then came back into the positive at the end of the day. What was my reward? You guessed it, an overdraft fee.

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