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Fresh Start for a Badly Overdrawn Checking Account

My Mom has Alzheimer's and my sister and I started taking over her finances and discovered she was overdrawn nearly $600.00. We went to the bank and were told that as a last resort only, our bank offers a "fresh start". This allows them to take out so much per month for six months, but zeroed out her account, so that when her check went in it was not eaten up with that negative balance and fees. I don't know if all banks offer this, or if you have to have a direct deposit set up (which I think most people do) in order to do this or what all the rules are, but it is interest free with her bank.

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If there is no other alternative and you are in dire straits, ask your bank if they have something like this in place. I can see why they wouldn't advertise this, but in today's economy, so many people are behind.

Source: Discovered this yesterday from a very helpful bank employee.

By Karen from Union, SC

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February 10, 20090 found this helpful

I cant even begin to show my thoughts. That was very nice of the bank. Now if only credit card companies will pass the offer on to me, lol.

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February 10, 20090 found this helpful

A lot of small town banks will "eat" the overage charges in cases like this. THAT would have been the kind thing to do! Our bank does it quite often for people who have difficulties like this. It's not an escape for the chronic over-spenders but for those who are in situations like your mother. I'd think about looking for a friendlier bank.

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February 10, 20090 found this helpful

I worked for a bank for over 10 years and believe me, not many banks do this. Sometimes if you go in and talk with an officer, they will work something out for you. Those overdraft and other fees make the bank money. The bank I worked for was one of the good ones who would try to help you if you were in a situation such as yours, but there's no written rule that they have to. I'm happy that you have a good bank. Also, check and see if they have "overdraft protection" free of charge. You will avoid any returned checks up to the amount of the overdraft protection plan.

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February 10, 20090 found this helpful

I feel your pain...this is so difficult for you, I know. I'm glad that the bank was able to work with you, though I do agree that they really should have eaten the charges....they make enough off the people that just don't mind their accounts. I'm surprised they let it get up to $6oo.

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