Saturday, March 14, 2009

Unemployment benefits and debit cards: unemployed hit with bank fees to get their money

CNN has reported this morning (March 14) that in some (up to 30) states, people are getting their unemployment benefits with debit cards, and being charged bank fees to withdraw cash, check their balances, or even complain.

Banks have not been willing to discuss this practice with the press, and neither have state regulatory officials in some cases (such as in Pennsylvania). The moral question is whether banks receiving TARP money should be allowed to get away with this practice.

There are many news stories; a typical story is in the Dallas Morning News Business section, March 6, 2009, link here.

The CNN report is here.

The National Consumer Law Center has a white paper (PDF) Feb. 25, 2009, “Protections Needed for Prepaid Payroll, Unemployment Benefits, Child Support, and Other Prepaid Payment Cards” here.

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