Dana and Andrea Patterson wrote 115 checks that bounced over a two-and-a-half year period on their checking account at Boatmen's Bank, according to court records. This generated $1,725 in $15 "NSF" fees for the bank.

Boatmen's Bank, like many others, had a policy of clearing checks that came in on a given day from a given customer starting with the check for the largest amount, and continuing in descending order until reaching the check for the lowest amount. This "highest-to-lowest" policy maximizes, as a mathematical matter, the number of checks that will bounce in a given day.

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