NCUA, Agencies Publish Bounced-Check Guide

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NCUA has joined with its federal bank and thrift counterparts to publish a new consumer resource, "Protecting Yourself from Overdraft and Bounced-Check Fees." The brochure's key message to consumers is that the best way to avoid overdraft and bounced-check fees is to manage accounts wisely. That means keeping an up-to-date check register, recording all electronic transactions and automatic bill payments, and monitoring account balances carefully.

The agencies noted that many banks, savings and loans, and credit unions offer "courtesy overdraft protection" or "bounce coverage" plans so checks do not bounce and ATM, debit card, and other electronic or automatic transactions go through. "But most financial institutions charge a flat fee (often $20 to $30) for each item they cover. Even if a financial institution has a bounce-coverage plan, there is no guarantee an overdraft will be covered," the agencies said.

The interagency information is available on each agency's website, including NCUA's at www.ncua.gov, in PDF format. Single copies are available free from Publications, Mail Stop 127, Federal Reserve Board, 20th and C Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20551.

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