How Much Are You Paying in Brookline Bank Fees?
Banks collect billions in fees from their customers. Learn about Brookline Bank fees and how they are assessed. If you feel that fees have been inappropriately charged by your bank, you may be able to file a bank overdraft fees lawsuit.
Overview of Brookline Bank
According to its website, Brookline Bank began in 1871. It currently has 30 offices in the Boston area and offers banking services online and by phone.
The bank’s checking account disclosures indicate that it charges a number of fees, including a monthly maintenance fee on some accounts, fees for non-bank ATM withdrawals, and an overdraft fee.
Brookline Bank Locations
According to its website, Brookline Bank has physical locations throughout Greater Boston and the north shore. Brookline Bank headquarters is located in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Brookline Bank Fees
Indeed, according to its checking account disclosure pamphlet, Brookline Bank fees include a $35 overdraft fee. The bank notes that these fees are assessed in two different situations; when they pay an overdraft item and when they return an overdraft item unpaid.
The pamphlet indicates that Brookline Bank can charge up to six overdraft fees each day – amounting to a total of $210. The bank calls its overdraft fee program the Overdraft Privilege Service. It notes that customers can opt in or out of the program at any time. In addition, it offers several overdraft protection plans that may save customers some money if they qualify and opt in.
Customers who opt in to Brookline Bank’s Overdraft Privilege Service can expect that the bank will cover up to $800 in overdrafts, including overdraft fees for certain transactions, including one-time debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals.
“Overdraft Privilege is a purely discretionary service,” states Brookline Bank, “which means the Bank may – but is not required to – pay any overdraft item or transaction.”
Additionally, Brookline Bank customers who do not opt in can expect an overdraft fee if they overdraft their checking account using a check or other transactions, online banking bill payments, and through recurring electronic payments.
“For example, an overdraft could be created by a withdrawal at a teller window or an ATM withdrawal, a check, a telephone transfer, a Debit Card point-of-sale purchase, an online payment or transfer, a preauthorized debit, or any other type of electronic funds transfer,” states the bank’s information on its Overdraft Privilege Program. “Whether or not a transaction creates an overdraft may be affected by when it was received by the Bank; transactions may not be presented for payment in the order they originally occurred. If your account is a joint account, each accountholder is responsible for payment orders and withdrawals made by any accountholder.”
According to the bank’s website, they will charge an overdraft fee each time they pay an overdraft.
Can Brookline Bank Customer Service Help with Fees?
According to CNBC, banks will assess more than $30 billion in fees this year alone. Reportedly, despite customers still facing harsh economic realities and pleas from federal regulators to waive overdraft fees as the coronavirus pandemic continues, banks are charging even more.
A Bankrate survey reportedly revealed that the average overdraft fee has reached a record high of $33.47 per overdraft – Brookline Banks fee is only about $1.50 more. According to CNBC, during the early stages of the pandemic, banks offered fee reversals and waivers, but those programs have come to an end.
Despite these trends, experts say that the first step Brookline Bank and other bank customers should take when they are assessed an overdraft fee is to contact customer service. A Pew Charitable Trusts researcher told CNBC that customers should explain their situation.
“If it’s the consumer’s first overdraft and the consumer is a long-time customer, the bank is more likely to refund the fee,” the expert told reporters.
In addition, Brookline Bank customers can ask customer service to ensure they have opted out of the bank’s overdraft protection program. Customers can also use Brookline Bank online banking, call, or visit one of its physical locations to ensure they are opted out of the program.
Bank Fee Lawsuits
A number of banks and credit unions have faced lawsuits over allegations they improperly assessed overdraft fees.
Earlier this year, Bethpage Federal Credit Union was accused of using an “accounting gimmick” to rack up overdraft charges against customers. A lawsuit alleged that the credit union timed transactions in customers’ checking accounts to make it look like they had overdrafted the account in order to assess fees.
Bethpage is not the only financial institution under investigation for assessing excessive overdraft fees. In addition to Brookline Bank, lawyers are also looking into overdraft fee practices at Valley National Bank, Wings Financial Credit Union, and Lake Michigan Credit Union.
If you have been charged an Overdraft Fees and/or NSF fee by one of the three financial institutions listed below:
- Valley National Bank
- Bethpage Federal Credit Union
- Wings Financial Credit Union
- Lake City Bank
- Kearny Bank
- Trustco Bank
- Brookline Bank
… you may be eligible to join a free class action lawsuit investigation into claims that these banks and credit unions are engaging in bad practices and abusing their power over consumers through multiple and excessive charges at ATM machines.
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