Currently, overdraft protection (ODP) is available to our customers when they withdraw funds at an ATM or on everyday debit card transactions.
There have been recent regulation changes which require First Farmers Bank to discontinue our overdraft protection at these convenient points-of-service. In order to continue usage of the overdraft program at an ATM, or with a debit card, our accountholders are required to “opt-in” for that benefit.
When our customers used overdraft protection in the past, it enabled FFB to cover an unexpected expense or help clients avoid embarrassment due to an error in their recordkeeping. This meant customers were able to pay for something at the grocery store, fill up their gas tank, or withdraw money from an ATM in an emergency. These are the reasons our customers used this safety net – and the reasons it makes sense for them to opt-in to continue the current level of overdraft protection to their account.
First Farmers Bank will still authorize overdrafts on checks, automatic bill payments and other transactions using customer’s checking account number at our discretion. By opting-in, clients are authorizing overdraft protection on ATM and everyday debit card transactions as well. If they have more than one account utilizing overdraft protection, they need to make sure they opt-in for each of their accounts.
It is important to remember this represents a significant change that will affect every debit card customer who appreciates the overdraft feature. Opt In is offered at no cost to the customer and can be setup to be used as a safety net if an unexpected situation occurs.
Below is a brief summary of the new rules.
New Federal Reserve rules give debit and ATM card users’ additional options regarding overdrafts. Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions must offer you the ability to make decisions about overdraft services for transactions made with your debit or ATM cards.
Here are some key things you need to consider when reading the notice:
The basic facts
Types of overdraft services. An overdraft occurs when you make a purchase or ATM transaction but don't have enough money in your account to pay for it. For a fee, your bank's overdraft services will cover you when you become overdrawn. This fee can apply to each time you overdraw your account.
Generally, there are two types of overdraft services:
Standard overdraft services. FFB will cover your transaction for a flat fee of $30 each time you overdraw your account. For example, if you make a purchase with your debit card for $150 but only have $100 in your account, your account will be overdrawn by $50 and FFB will charge you a fee. If you then make an ATM withdrawal for $50, your account will be overdrawn by $100 and you will be charged another fee. In this example, since FFB’s fee for overdraft services is $30, you will pay a total of $60 in fees.
Overdraft protection plans. FFB may offer a line of credit or a link to your savings account to cover transactions when you overdraw your account. Banks typically charge a fee each time you overdraw your account, but overdraft protection plans may be less expensive than standard overdraft services.
The new rules
You choose. In the past, some banks automatically enrolled you in their standard overdraft services for all types of transactions when you opened an account. Under the new rules, FFB must first get your permission to apply these services to everyday debit card and ATM transactions before you can be charged overdraft fees. To grant this permission, you will need to respond to the notice and opt in (agree).
Existing accounts. If you do not opt in (agree), beginning August 15, 2010, FFB’s standard overdraft services won't apply to your everyday debit card and ATM transactions. These transactions typically will be declined when you don't have enough money in your account, but you will not be charged overdraft fees.
New accounts. If you open a new account on or after July 1, 2010, FFB cannot charge you overdraft fees for everyday debit card and ATM transactions unless you opt in. If you open a new account before July 1, 2010, FFB will treat you as an existing account holder: you will receive a notice about FFB’s overdraft services and will have to decide if you want them for everyday debit card and ATM transactions.
Flexibility. Whatever your decision, the new overdraft rules give you flexibility. If you opt in, you can cancel at any time. If you do not opt in, you can do so later.
Checks and automatic bill payments. The new rules do not cover checks or automatic bill payments that you may have set up for paying bills such as your mortgage, rent, or utilities. FFB may still automatically enroll you in standard overdraft services for these types of transactions. If you do not want FFB’s standard overdraft services in these instances, talk to us; you have the option to cancel.
How can I Opt In
Website. You can click on the 'I Agree' button at the bottom of this page and that will take you through a series of screens that will allow you to electronically Opt In. You will need your account number for each account you choose to enroll.
Call. You can call us at 1-502-484-3434 to arrange to receive the opt-in form via mail or fax.
Branch. You may visit your local First Farmers Bank location and they will have forms for you to access and submit, continuing your overdraft coverage on your accounts.
Mail. You should receive an Opt In notice by mail and you can return the form by mail or return it to your local First Farmers Bank branch.
One Time Electronic Agreement
By clicking the 'I Accept' button below, you agree to the terms of this one time Electronic Consent Agreement (the 'Agreement'). In the Agreement, "you" or "your" refers to the person using First Farmers Bank's Web Site, "we", "us" or "our" refers to First Farmers Bank (the "Bank"). In order to access the Bank's Website, you must have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a Web browser that supports the level of encryption employed by the Bank, currently 128-bit, and frames. You understand the Bank will provide you an ATM/Debit Card Overdraft Consent Form in an electronic format. If you would like a paper copy of your ATM/Debit Card Overdraft Consent Form, please contact email@example.com or call 1-502-484-3434.
When clicking on the 'I Accept' button below, "I have read and agree to this electronic disclosure agreement" you indicate your consent to the terms, conditions and responsibilities contained herein. For more information, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-502-484-3434.