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Overdraft Coverage Changes
At First Federal of Northern Michigan it is important to us that you understand the products and services we offer and are comfortable with the choices you make. That's why we want to explain the overdraft protection options available to you at First Federal and the changes that are now in effect.
First, it is important that you understand what is meant by the term "overdraft." An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but we pay it anyway. We do so because we understand that most of our customers will have a recordkeeping error in their checkbook or saving's record sometime during the life of their account. That error can result in embarrassment and additional fees to you when we return the transaction back to the merchant or payee. And, since we charge you the same fee for paying an item into overdraft as we do to not pay and return it, we feel that, in most situations, the right thing to do is to pay the item and prevent further distress to you.
We also recognize that no single form of overdraft protection fits every customer's needs. That's why we currently offer two different ways for you to cover occasional overdrafts: standard overdraft practice and Overdraft Sweep Protection. Both options are explained below.
Our standard overdraft practice automatically applies to your checking account. This service permits First Federal to pay overdrafts for any type of debit attempting to clear your account, such as: checks (including checks converted into an electronic format), ACH transactions, automatic or electronic bill payments, ATM transactions, and debit card transactions. For each item that is paid into an overdraft, there is a $30.00 fee charged to your account. This is a discretionary service and we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay a transaction.
Our second option is our Overdraft Sweep Protection. It links a secondary account to your primary account so in the event an overdraft occurs, money from one account will automatically transfer ("sweep") to the other to cover the overdraft. Sufficient funds must be available in the "transfer from" account for the sweep to occur. A $5.00 fee is charged to your primary account for each sweep transfer.
Recent regulatory changes required us to change how we handle our standard overdraft practices. These changes required First Federal to discontinue your overdraft protection for ATM and everyday debit card transactions beginning August 15, 2010 unless you affirmatively agree ("opt-in") to overdraft protection for these types of transactions. This means that unless you tell us that you want us to continue to apply our standard overdraft services to your ATM and everyday debit card transactions, we will decline any of these types of transactions that overdraw your account. Overdraft protection service for checks, automatic bill payments and other transactions made using your account number will remain unchanged if you choose to exclude ATM and debit card transactions from this Protection. By opting in, you can assure that this protection continues to remain available to you. If at any time you wish to cancel either part or all of your Overdraft Protection, you may do so by opting-out in writing.
We hope that this information will help you make an informed decision about the overdraft protection options that First Federal has to offer. If you need additional information, please visit your local branch or call one of our customer service representatives at 1-800-498-0013. If you are ready to opt in to receiving continued overdraft protection for your ATM and everyday debit card transactions, simply complete the consent form and return to First Federal.