Rising Bank Fees Put Strain on Consumers Saddled with Credit Card Debt, Other Obligations

Banks are supposed to protect our money. But these days, they seem to be nickel and diming us out of every cent.


According to a recent survey, the nation's biggest banking institutions are piling on new fees - and increasing the minimum balances customers must maintain to avoid those fees.

For instance, the average monthly maintenance fee increased from $11.28 to $12.08 in the past year. And in order to avoid those fees, bank customers must keep an average minimum balance of $3,590. That's up from $4,447 last year - a 24 percent jump.

Even the minimum amount needed to open a simple bank account grew, from $391 to $409.

What's the reason behind the rising fees? While some of it can be attributed to banks' desire to boost profits for shareholders, financial experts also point to the Durbin Amendment.

Enacted last year, the law capped the amount that banks could charge retailers for debit card transactions. Now consumers are paying the price as banks invent new fees to replace their lost income.

Unfortunately, today's consumers must also contend with high credit card bills, large mortgage payments, and rising prices.

If you're already buried in debt and struggling to pay the bills, seemingly small costs - whether increased bank fees, interest rates, or gas prices - can feel like the last straw.
For honest, hard-working Americans, bankruptcy provides a way to fight back.

There's a tendency for consumers to wait until they've exhausted every possible option, including surrendering possessions and giving up their home to foreclosure, before filing for bankruptcy. But the beauty of bankruptcy is that it can prevent the loss of your personal property - and your dignity.

While bankruptcy will affect your credit, it also has the ability to protect assets, stop foreclosure, and help you make payments manageable - all factors that will eventually help credit. In fact, many of our DebtStoppers bankruptcy clients are able to apply for loans and obtain credit cards shortly after filing.

Bankruptcy can't solve every financial dilemma. But for those of us who have reached the breaking point, it can provide welcome relief.

To learn if bankruptcy is an option for your financial situation, call the DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm at 800-440-7235 for a complimentary personal debt analysis with a professional bankruptcy attorney.

More Blog Entries:

Gen-Xers Who Lost Big During Recession May Benefit From Chicago Bankruptcy: June 24, 2012

Older Americans Strain Finances Helping Kids, Grandkids with Debt: June 28, 2012

Additional Resources:

Banking Damage: ATM, Checking and Overdraft Fees Rise in 2012, by Halah Touryalai, Forbes

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