By Hans Bader
The so-called financial “reform” bill that passed Congress — the Dodd-Frank Act — is wiping out many free checking accounts, since many banks can’t afford its red tape unless they either charge a monthly fee, or require a minimum balance of well over $1,000.
Ted Frank’s bank is now charging him a $15 monthly fee and $0.50 per check on his formerly free checking account, thanks to the consumer “protection” red tape in the Dodd-Frank Act, which was recently signed into law by the president.
Earlier, the same thing happened with credit cards, where a law passed by Congress in 2009 had the effect of reviving annual fees and wiping out many cash-back and rewards programs. Congress passed a law called the CARD Act of 2009 (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act) that resulted in some of my wife’s previously-free credit cards charging her an annual fee, or chopping her rebates on purchases (she canceled those cards, and used other cards instead; but some cardholders don’t have other cards without annual fees). Many, but not all, credit cards have reinstated annual fees or canceled rebates and rewards programs thanks to the CARD Act. The law effectively forces responsible people to subsidize irresponsible people. Passed in the name of consumer protection, it actually ripped off many consumers.