The California Supreme Court ruled that banks can use cash from Social Security checks to cover overdraft fees incurred by their customers.
It seems perfectly logical: When people overdraw their checking accounts, any overdraft fees are paid out of checks that are deposited into the account. Why should Social Security checks be immune when other checks aren't?
The problem is that overdraft fees -- $15 for buying a 99-cent pack of Twinkies when you only had 82 cents in the account -- are complete and total garbage. Why the (expletive) should government money be used to line the coffers of the most incompetently-run organization in history, Bank of America? And even if government money should be used to unjustly feed these pigs cash, don't we already have a program for that? Yes, it's called TARP.
The bottom line is that people who are collecting Social Security and bouncing checks are, shockingly, likely to be among our most vulnerable citizens. No society with any kind of conscience would allow the one safety net we have in this country to be siphoned off to pay overdraft fees to banks that are receiving far, far more government help than these senior citizens could ever dream of. If the court found that it didn't have the authority to interpret the statute in question to explicitly ban the use of SS checks to pay overdraft fees, the legislature should move quickly to make the statue more explicit.
And one final point: Bank of America fought this thing all the way to California State Supreme Court in a battle that has lasted more than five years. Can you imagine how much cash BofA must be raping out of our elderly and economically-disadvantaged citizens?
Take the first steps to building your portfolio.View Course »