Bank of America / Wells Fargo check cashing fee update

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David Lazarus has another update on the controversy surrounding Bank of America's and Wells Fargo's charging non-account holders fees to cash their paychecks here in California.

Class action lawsuits are scheduled to be filed against Bank of America and Wells Fargo by California businesses who now find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Attorneys and consumer advocates have observed that class-action suits were all but inevitable - once the violation of the state labor code came to light, thousands of California employers were immediately subject to fines of more than $100 for every paycheck reduced by a fee.

Employers were left holding the bag because the banks insisted that they're beyond the reach of state regulations on this matter. The suits seek injunctions barring the banks from charging the paycheck-cashing fees and a refund of all such fees already paid.

A Visalia (Tulare County) nonprofit called Karis House, which runs six homes for troubled teens, was expected to file suit against Bank of America yesterday. The organization has 60 employees, about a dozen of whom do not have personal bank accounts.

A suit against Wells Fargo is being brought by a Bakersfield firm called Ability Answering-Paging Service, which has 65 employees, about 10 of whom do not have personal bank accounts. The suit is expected to be filed by the end of the week.

Both plaintiffs are being represented by Nick Roxborough, a Los Angeles attorney specializing in unfair trade practices.

The state Senate Banking Committee is holding a special hearing on the paycheck-cashing fees in San Francisco City Hall on Monday, April 26, at 6 p.m. All interested parties are invited to attend.

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An excerpt from San Francisco Chronicle, " Paycheck Fees Face Lawsuit " - David Lazarus, Lazarus at Large: Chaffee said she was outraged to learn that Wells is charging her workers without personal accounts $5 to cash each of their twice-monthly paychecks Read More

29 Comments

Does anyone know the status of this class action litigation re banks charging people to cash their paychecks? Does anyone know of similar action taken in other states besides California? Please advise. Thanks.

I work for Wells Fargo and I hate that check cashing fee. I was always proud of the fact that we never charged a fee and that B of A did. When I heard that a fee was going to be instituted, I was against it. I believe it is an unfair practice and it is wrong to charge a fee for cashing a check from the originating bank. I understand that banks have high losses with fraudulent checks and if they want to bring up revenue to cover for those losses, but it is not fair to charge innocent people who just want to get paid for the work they have done. I've seen several accounts close because employers prefer to go to a bank that does not charge their employess. It is a ridiculous policy and a form terrorizing customers.

This really irritates me as well Guillermo, but in a different way. My employer hands me a paycheck every other week. I believe that after that check is handed to me and the funds are in my account their obligation to me has been fulfilled. How I handle my finances is my business. If I choose to pay for my banking priviledges, that's on me. Let's look at it like this as well. My employer provides me with health insurance. If I don't like the fact that I have to pay the co-payment at the pharmacy or the doctor's office am I going to hold my employer responsible for that as well? - I don't think so

Bank of america will not verify funds on checks written to my buisness. I have paid fees on the bounced checks with no way to recover my losses. Today I was charged $15.00 to exchange one of their checks for a cashiers check to insure tne check is good. Is this a fair trade practice and is there anything I can do about it? Thanks for your time. Reid Jones, Amarillo, Texas

I have worked for Bank of America for over 5 years and in that time I have served 1000s of people that do not have an account with my bank aka "non-clients". A fact about serving "non-clients" is that the amount of time that is needed to handle a "non-client" is over 3 times as long as a client because of the risk involved in serving a basically unknown person. The Bank is simply charging the "non-client" for the use of its facilitys, if the "non-client" has an issue with that then why don't they take the check to there own Bank ??? In regard to the $15 fee for the Cashier's Check. Doing business has certain risks and costs associated with the type of business that your in, there are a number of services that are available to business owners (Telecheck, etc...) that help to ensure the negotiablity of checks. If owners find a need to go to the Bank and get a Cashier's Check then they must be prepared to pay for that service. I am not at all saying that Banks are innocent but I am saying that Banks are not non-profits, if they provide a service then they can charge for it.

I can't believe that Bank of America just robbed my family of $132 just before Christmas!!!

I had enough money in my account to cover three transactions scheduled to come through. Those showed in my "pending" as one charge for $2, one for $17, and one for $7. One that did NOT show in my pending was an EFT for $213. All four went through on the same business day, and OF COURSE they charged my account the $213 first, so that there wouldn't be enough for the others. So instead of generating ONE overdraft fee, I got FOUR! Had they debited the account for the others FIRST I would only have gotten one overdraft fee for the $213 charge, which NEVER showed in the pending to be taken out!

Add to that, the transfer I made for $100 into that account that they didn't count until the next day, even though they say, "the first $100 of any deposit is available immediately." I guess that is unless they can extort $132 from an out of work American family just a couple of days before Christmas! Those UNFAIR overdraft fees actually resulted in my account being overdrawn again the next day, and now they are really robbing me blind.

I guess this is what they mean by the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. When I spoke to them about which one they took first, they couldn't have cared less. They treated me like I was dirt on their shoe!!! This is how to treat a person that has been their customer for 10 years? They read me the script like a robot, regardless of me actually making sense. I would hear, "I understand how you feel, but..." But I guess those phone jockeys are trained to care as much as the greedy CEO of this organization.

I have told all of my neighbors, I will be telling my co-workers, friends, family, and everyone I come into contact with from now on. Everyone will know how Bank of America robbed a family just before Christmas, and cost us the meal we were planning to buy for our Christmas dinner.

Michael Rolends,

25% of americans do not have "thier own bank". These people like me can niether open an account due to places like Chex Systems or simply can't keep the required amount in the account for the "Free" checking.

I can see where that a Non-account holder might take longer to cash since you don't have the ID's on file. However, the company that opened the account pays your fees and keeps your company open. Itis morally wrong to charge clients, family and other honest people for the shortcomings of your managements thought process.

I to work at several banks as a Data security consultant. I see every day how many non-account holders cash payroll and other checks. I also see how many of them don't get pi$$ed off becasue they try to rob them of a few dollars to cash a check that they require the money from. These are the banks that still treat people fairly and care about the wellbeing of thier customers, Account or non-account.

Funny how that I cash a check regularly at a bank that doesn't charge me a fee (Non-account holder)and they smile and ask how I'm doing. Every time I go to a BofA, your branches are always stuck up and snobby like you are better than everyone and expect everyone to be a criminal.

You may be a large bank, but you are not to big to crumble.

I went to a boa today and was going to cash a check, I am a new person in a new city and it was my payroll check, of course two forms of identity were asked for, I produced my drivers license and birth certificate which happened to be handy. I was told that they would not accept a birth certificate but would accept a credit card????????? Since when did credit cards become more valuable than birth certificates to validate who someone is?????

Bank of America you Suckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

However long or far the law allows the banks to go on with this act it is still theft. They should look at their funds as see them dwindling however, because not only are they loosing customers, there are also going to be more people who are pissed off enough to say, "If the bank steals from me, why shouldn't I steal from them?" Thus you will have more fraudulent checks then before and more burglary. Not to mention law suits.

On another note I asked BofA for a reciept of charge for their $5 fee. they said they didn't have any. I'm not sure but isn't that illegal? shouldn't they be sued for that if nothing else?

Micheal Rolands,

You Suck! We don't go to another bank to cash a check because that bank WOULD HAVE A MORAL RIGHT TO CHARGE ME FOR THE CHECK SINCE IT'S NOT THEIR CHECK. You are only another supporter of a greater theft scheme. I hope you get mugged for five bucks on the street so that you can know how petty it feels.


Chris Davis,

You Rule. Please tell me what your bank is. Will they charge me without an account if it is not their banks check?

How can you get in on the lawsuit to recover your charges for cashing checks at B of A?

I would like to get information regarding recovering $5 check cashing fees from Bank of America. Is there a class action suit going for employees to recover the charges?

I had a customer issue to me a check. BOA wanted $5 to cash the check. I informed the customer
that his bank would not honor the check for full amount. He went to the bank and registered his
dissapproval. I went back another time and when they wanted $5 I informed them that this
was not acceptable. I asked them if they were refusing to honor the face value of the instrument.

They cashed the check for full amount.

I have a BOA credit card. The payment was due on Sunday. I made a cash payment
at BOA on Friday. Next I noticed a late fee. I went to the BOA branch and
inquired how this is possible as I had made the payment in cash on Friday and
there could be no debate that Friday is before Sunday. They informed me that
I was wrong as payment must be made before 2:00 pm on the preceeding day.
There is no making sense with these people. If you get anywhere close to
a deadline they beat you with a 50 foot pole.

"Since when did credit cards become more valuable than birth certificates to validate who someone is????"
One cannot enter a birth certificate into the system. Credit cards are harder to forge and have your name as well as a company to connect you to.

"and OF COURSE they charged my account the $213 first"
This is an automated process not only dependant upon BOA. Ur merely paranoid.

"can't keep the required amount in the account for the "Free" checking."
Free accounts are offered with direct deposit... HMM BUSINESS CHECKS...

"If you get anywhere close to a deadline they beat you with a 50 foot pole."
BOA has millions of transactions everyday that take at least SOME time to be processed in the system. Try not waiting till the last day next time:)

"How can you get in on the lawsuit to recover your charges for cashing checks at B of A?"
You cant

"On another note I asked BofA for a reciept of charge for their $5 fee. they said they didn't have any. I'm not sure but isn't that illegal? shouldn't they be sued for that if nothing else?"
No. The fee was disclosed to you prior to cashing the check.

"I had enough money in my account to cover three transactions scheduled to come through"
Regardless you spent more money than you had. You would have been negative anyways... BOA didnt steal your christmas... you never had one...

"Bank of america will not verify funds on checks written to my buisness."
They will if they are drawn on boa.. i bet they told you that too


your a jack a$$ Booyakasha ...learn the american way FREEDOM not pay as you go....the others have the correct perception of BS or as you call it BOA... either way BOA writes their own programs and have designed it this way so that the deposits are completed last after the checks and unavailable fund fees apply... automated process my butt... do some research jack off before you give your 2 cent (which im sure bank of america would charge you for)....lol

I heard of someone spray painting the screens of the ATM machines at several BofA locations in my city. At first I thought it was just kids, but then I noticed that the article said they were only hitting BofA.

My guess is that it was a pissed of customer, one that probably got robbed by their overdraft scheme who figured if they are costing me money, I will cost them money.

That's much more productive than bitching on a website. If the bank charges you excessive overdrafts then let them pay a few hundred dollars to fix their ATM's.

I wouldn't do it, but I like that it was done.

Banks make 6 billion a year in od fees.

If anyone thinks this is by accident then they are just another one of the herd....

i agree with jason kudo's to the "spray painting robin hoods" lol


OP: "and OF COURSE they charged my account the $213 first"

Booyakasha:
'This is an automated process not only dependant upon BOA. Ur merely paranoid.'

I say: "Not only dependant upon"?. First of all, you can't spell. Secondly, what the hell does that mean? That BOA doesn't have any control over their own computer system? Who is in control of it then, fool? Al Qaeda? Dr. No?

I don't use BOA, but the reference to the "automated process" is the typical response from vapid, slack-jawed bank customer service representatives everywhere. An equally popular variation on the theme is the shoulder-shrugging, quasi-mystical: "The computer just does it that way". Translation: "I, the bank employee, and all bank employees, have subsumed our wills to and are complete and utter slaves of the all powerful computer, and besides, we have little or no analytical skills or capability of independent thought to begin with. The computer works in mysterious arcane ways that a mere human could never comprehend, therefore you, the customer have no choice but to accept it."

Of course and obviously the process is "automated", Booyakasha. Do you really think that the OP thought that some decrepit clerk in a green eyeshade somewhere was making these determinations? OBVIOUSLY, the process is "automated" (a more appropriate term would be "rigged") but in the bank's favor, ALL of the time.

OP said: "I had enough money in my account to cover three transactions scheduled to come through"
Booyakasha said: Regardless you spent more money than you had. You would have been negative anyways... BOA didnt steal your christmas... you never had one...

I say: It put years on me to read this. Did you actually know George Orwell, BK? This is an example of the type of garbled, tortured prose that causes poets and other sensitive types to drown themselves. Translation: You didn't have much money "anyways" (a classic weasel word, BTW) so why complain if the bank took whatever you did have?

Booyakasha, you are a hateful person. Go get your vile soul dry cleaned.

After reading other posters' experiences I realize my own experiences were not isolated ones. Recently I tried to cash my payroll check at my employer's bank, Fleet/BOA but was told to open my own account as the check is only depositable and not cashable "on request of my employer". I've never heard that before.

Both my old bank, FirstUnion as well as my current bank, Commerce bank, practice overdrafting the biggest debits first so that smaller debits also become overdrafts and applicable for OD fees.

We need lagislation and otherthan Bush and Republicans to lead this country.

Wow it's a good thing I entered this site before I tried opening an account with these blood sucking parasites. I just recently received my refund check and I'd much rather open a bank account with it than let those foul check cashing establishments rob me. Any suggestions? Also, thanks for the advice and comments you're all posting, you are getting through to people, and as a result BOA's business will suffer; after all "the customer is always right". Oh and Booyakasha I'm guessing you're just angry at the world, get some help!

After reading everyones comments I thought I should throw in my 2 cents. I too am against the fee somewhat for non customers cashing checks however the bank I work at charges these fees also. Our policy is to only charge on checks over $3000.00 and the fee is .5% That helps out the low income non-customers that just want to cash their smaller paychecks. I guess the only big thing I can think of is that we're doing this non-customer a service. Instead of them depositing it in their account and waiting for it to clear, we're providing verification of funds as well as instant cash. I think these fees are important to the bank however there needs to be a dollar limit, like the $3000.00, so regular paycheck cashers can have some relief.

I made a $150 cash deposit in an ATM machine at the BofA here. I didn't have a deposit ticket but wrote everything on the envelope. I have done this here and in CA in the past with no problem. They even say you don't have to have a deposit ticket. I have been waiting since 4/27 for my money. Every time I call they tell me something different. Anything from 'it will take 48 hours' to 'we have 45 days' to resolve the problem. They say they will refund any fees once my claim is resolved (I was told 6/9 is the date). If I'm told I'm 'a valued Bank of America customer' once more I will get sick. I heard that many people in this town have the same problem. I have already opened another account with the local credit union but want my $150 and fees back. What if they refuse my money? What recourse do I have? Help!

To those that got hit with NSF charges by BofA where they did not process Highest first check out this page.

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/chk/19991110.asp

Regarding the $5 check cashing fee. I also was told there would be a $5 fee. I advised branch manager that if they did not honor the check at it's face value, I would return the check to the issuer of the check. And no longer accept BofA check for payment. Suprise, suprise, they cashed it without a fee. I have however, writting in to my new agreements that "If your financial institution charges a fee to process or cash your payment, that fee will be re-billed to you." Enough of these and people will switch to banks with different policies.

Bank of Amreica is legaly and moraly wrong. No one held a gun to their head and said they had to go into the banking business. Not honoring the face value of their own checks with their letter head on it is simply theft. Nothing more and nothing less. They should be prosecuted.

On July 1st,06 I made a $500.00 cash deposit at the Bank of America in Northridge California only to have it "debited" back out of my account a week later when B of A falsely claimed the deposit envelope was empty. This is a clear cut case of THEFT!!! Each attempt to resolve the matter (i.e. review the DVR of both the ATM and the room the deposits are opened in) was denied. Bank of America not only steals money, they specialize in "stone-walling" there customers.

The theft of the bankers is legend. Its been going on since the beginning of time and employees who support or carry out the immoral banking practices of today have no idea that they are supporting the enslavement of themselves and their own children with each advance in outrageous fees they support.

Ever notice that the most expensive Real Estate in EVERY city and town in this country is owned by a group of people who produce nothing, create no wealth, but only have vaults, bookeeping systems, YOUR money and state and federal regulators in their pockets? How is that possible without legalized theft? It is time to hold the bankers accountable for their criminal activity and those who carry out their crimes are selling their own children's souls for a lousy paycheck!!!

On to the question of fees for, "Non-customers." The bank is acting as an agent and paid by the person writing the check, to give that bank customer's payee an amount of money on his or her behalf. They are not doing a service for the "Non-customer," they are paying out theircustomers money at the request of their customer. That is what they are being paid for! The bank has already collected its fees from the proper source and agreed to pay out their customers money ON BEHALF OF THAT CUSTOMER. But then, its the pee-ons that do not have the resources to fight it that, as happened historically, that are getting ripped off by the Shylocks. How rare. How typical.

Bank employees - is it worth your integrity to carry out this obvious fraud for an extra pound of flesh form the already poor? Bless you, the burden of your acts will come back to haunt you. When, by the way, was the last time you saw a happy banker? His theft is a burden he does not even know is the source of his turmoil and the destruction of his family. If you want to understand why and how that happens, I suggest you read the life story of a hired assasin who got to face his unconsciously carried pain in a near death experience and now, happens to make his way in the world by supporting and creating a safe, loving environment for dying veterans! Every idle word and act is accounted for in this energy system called life, including every person who perpetrates banking theft!

Okay, I can sympathize with the check cashing fee problem. But when it comes to overdraft fees on checking accounts, please tell me how it's the bank's fault if you write checks for more than you have in the account?
The data entry clerks don't necessarily pick the largest check to subtract from your account. That particular clerk has a stack of checks to work through; most of them are NOT from your account. They have come in from some source, maybe he/she got his/her stack that day from one branch. maybe from some other branch. maybe from the day's mail to a particular branch. but he's not sitting there with a stack of YOUR deposits and checks to go through. He's sitting with a stack of deposits and checks from all over town, and he goes through them one at a time from the top to the bottom.

He's also paid just slightly over minimum wage and works at night. HIs choice, I agree. But it's not a conspiracy. I'm amazed at the number of people who do not reconcile their checking accounts. There are just WAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY too many people who don't know that a check they wrote four months ago hasn't cleared. How could you NOT know that? How could you NOT know that an EFT for $213 was going to hit your account? You should assume that the EFT is payable the minute you make it. You should assume the check is payable the minute you write it.

Banks should NOT EVER charge ANYONE for cashing checks drawn on themselves. That's why their OWN customers pay fees--for the convenience of being able to pay by check. THAT IS immoral. But your bank tells you UPFRONT how much you should expect to pay for overdraft fees. I had to pay some overdraft fees recently because I forgot to record a purchase--it was my own fault, and it had a domino effect, and I hated to spend that money on something I couldn't use--except as an expensive lesson NOT to let my purchases get away from me.

If you're sitting here on a computer, you have access to your bank account online. USE IT--DAILY if you need to. But for heaven's sake, it's NOT the bank's fault if you spend more than you make. Yes, it's hard to make ends meet sometimes; we get emergencies, etc. but that's not the bank's fault, either. If you have a credit card and miss a payment and get socked with an outrageous interest rate afterward, you agreed to it when you signed the papers--check the papers you signed. you DID read them, didn't you?

It's not George Bush's fault or the Republicans fault that someone isn't "latagating" this. It's the fault of the ignorant people who refuse to learn to read and do simple math.