Tag Archives: BMO

At TD, A 45 Cent Short NSF Is $96 In Fees

Yesterday brought a tiny victory to consumers on something that’s mostly ended in the U.S. for some years. The Ontario Superior Court approved a settlement with TD Bank for not fully disclosing that an NSF for one item triggers two NSF charges.

The lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, Tyler Dufault, was 45 cents short on an auto payment from his account. As a result, the item bounced (NSF). But creditors have the ability to re-try/re-process it a second time. Thus, the TD charged two NSF fees of $48 each. Bottom line: 45 cents short in his account triggered $96 in NSF charges.

The class-action lawsuit related to improper (or no) full disclosure to customers that two NSF fees can be triggered. Of course (surprise!) the TD did not admit to anything but settled the class-action suit for $15.9 million. That’s like you and me paying a nickel as TD had annual revenues of $75 billion last year! Lawsuits against all other major banks are ongoing.

If you are one of the 105,000 people caught in this by the TD between February 2, 2019 and November 27, 2023 the settlement will be $88. If it’s happened at one of the other banks, stay tuned for their likely settlements.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the U.S. the average cost of processing an NSF cheque is less than one-half of a penny ($0.005), since it’s entirely automated. Yes, this is one of the predatory charges of banks in general until the Federal Government steps in as they did in the U.S. No – getting an overdraft is a very bad idea with the staggering rates and fees.

Ironically, both the TD and BMO in the U.S. do not charge NSF fees to their southern customers. But here…well…if they can – they will. Will any of the banks change their policies? Not hard to guess that that’s a firm NO. They’ll add two lines to their five to 10 page account disclosure and carry on double charging. Sick, sad but true.

Hacking an ATM Seems Easy & God Can’t Get Credit?

Two 14-year olds in Winnipeg seemed to have no trouble hacking a Bank of Montreal ATM machine. They found an ATM internal operating manual online and decided to test it at a real machine.

They actually managed to get into the operating system of the ATM, and guessed the six digit password on the first try! Gee, when the password is 123456 you think there’s a problem? That was enough for them to get out of the system and go into the branch to share their information. But the branch staff didn’t take them serious. So the kids asked if it would be OK to get the proof and were told good luck trying.

Back at the ATM, they went back into the operating system and printed out the amount of money in the machine, the transaction history and the income made from surcharges.

They even changed the ATM surcharge down to a penny and the greeting to read: Welcome to the BMO ATM. Go away! This ATM has been hacked.

Back in the branch with all the printouts, the staff now realized they had a problem.

BMO Media relations stated in an email to the Calgary Herald that no customer information and contents of the ATM were ever at risk. Yea..right…

God can’t get credit?

A Russian immigrant by the name of God Gazarov can’t get credit. Yes, his first name really is God. He was named after his grandfather, and in Eastern Europe that first name is quite common. It’s kind of like many Latinos name their son Jesus.

But Equifax, one of the credit reporting agencies is refusing to accept his first name. As a result, they won’t open a file with his current credit references. No credit report – no borrowing, no credit cards, or car loan – something he tried to apply for last year. He now has a lawyer and is suing Equifax.

5 Short Insights

A week ago, the Fraser Institute released a report that showed how bad the financial situation is in Ontario:  The Ontario government debt is almost double that of California. They have only a third of the population (14 million vs. 38 million) and double the debt? California is really working on getting it down – Ontario seems to be really working on continuous increases. They’re already spending 10% of all their revenues on interest payments.

According to a BMO survey last week, 44% of Canadian homeowners intend to buy another home in the next five years. Boy, if that’s even close to true, that’s a lot of economic activity in the next few years! Not just for realtors and real estate prices but the average person spends over $10,000 on new appliances, renovations, etc.

Yesterday, the payday lender Cash Store Financial, with 510 stores, filed for bankruptcy. How sad (he says sarcastically). BC laws allow $23 of charges on a $100 payday loan. That wasn’t enough, as a BC court ordered them to pay back $1 million in overcharged fees. And then there’s the U.S. class action lawsuit and huge problems in Ontario…

I didn’t know a bunch of listeners have been saving thousands of dollars on eye glasses. I’ve heard from three people that Zenni Optical (zennioptical.com) and their $20 to $30 prescription glasses are actually a hit in the Okanagan! Can’t blame people…oh, and there’s another online seller now: goggles4u.com. For both, you’ll need to just enter your prescription with your P.D. (papillary distance) from your optometrist.