Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Posts Tagged ‘insufficient funds fee

Sweet Irony

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Total Black: -$199.84
Total Red: $269,947.64

Total black has been sliding further and further into the red.  I noted in Oops . . . I Did It Again that two bills were pending: a check to the landlord and a check to a doctor—both remaining debts from living in New York.  Both checks cleared, but because of the kinks in getting my finances online in a new city, they cleared with a negative balance.  I was able to get enough into one of my two checking accounts with Bank of America to cover the gap caused by the rent check.  But not enough for the check to the doctor.  Bank of America, of course, charged me an insufficient funds fee for both.  Then, in the other checking account, as I noted in And Again . . . , I got hit with a third insufficient funds fee when a student loan I had on automatic bill pay posted, drawing me into the red.  That’s three bills that cleared, but brought me under.  Today Bank of America just charged me an extended overdrawn balance charge on one account.  I imagine another is in its way for the second checking account.  I can’t imagine any better example of adding salt to the wound than to hit your customers with two fees for the same transaction.  Obviously, if you didn’t have the funds to begin with, you may not have them five days late.  But that’s how the big banks do business, I guess.  Keep reading . . .

And Again . . .

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Total Black: $566.79
Total Red: $269,947.64

Well, looks like I did it again—once more.  That same student loan I forgot so many times before, including back in Head Meet Wall, came back today.  Of course.  Because I’ve stubbornly refused to take it off automatic withdrawal.  So my eighty-eight dollar payment will now cost me thirty-five dollars more because of an insufficient funds fee.  Why is this simple lesson so hard for me to learn?  Keep reading . . .

Breakfast With Narcissus

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Total Black: $129.96
Total Red: $270,000.16

Yesterday began a little tête-à-tête in the comments to Knut’s post Raise. Your. Voice. on his blog First Tier ToiletKnut alleged that he dropped my blog from his blogroll because I’m narcissistic and write about boring things like what I ate for breakfast.  So, let’s have some breakfast with Narcissus, shall we?  What am I serving up today?  Keep reading . . .

Head Meet Wall

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Total Black: $6.41
Total Red: $226,422.43

Well, it happened again.  Insufficient funds fees.  Three of them.  And once again it happened because the only student loan I have on automatic debit, the only bill I have left on automatic debit, slipped my mind.  Even I have to wonder how many times my head must meet that wall. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

March 1, 2010 at 23:57

More More More

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Total Black: -$66.34
Total Red: $229,108.48

All day long a non-existent Lady Gaga tune has been going through my head.  An imaginary earworm, if you will.  In that husky voice of hers, she chants “More More More” and sings about all the people pulling at her.  Since this past weekend, I’ve felt the same.  It started with an email from my sister scolding me for not calling my mother.  Credit card companies won’t let up.  Even commenters are getting a bit demanding.  And now the temp job too.  Can you hear her?  More more more . . . . Keep reading . . .

Fifth Day of Accounting

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December 10th and my fifth day of accounting.

Total Black: $65.10

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $0.00
Secondary Checking: $0.00
Savings: $0.00
PayPal Account (Personal): $0.71
PayPal Account (Blog): $0.00
Amazon Payments Account: $0.00
Mutual Funds Account: $64.30

FICO Score 497 [to be updated]

Total Red: $230,322.41

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard: $5,637.00
Visa: $8,133.82
Visa: $5,605.17
American Express: $2,402.17
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line: $6,010.35

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $96,810.17
Private Student Loans: $33,518.49

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $1,280.08
IRS (2008): $27,952.00
NY State (2008): $0.00

Other Loans

My mother: $42,973.16

Total black is nil, but that’s mostly because I sent nearly everything to credit cards as well as a payment to the IRS.  I realized this morning that I haven’t been counting cash on hand in my numbers.  So, I suppose total black would be up by about forty dollars to account for the cash in my wallet.  I withdrew the remaining amount yesterday evening so that I’d use cash for the next few days.  I saw a bit of the Suze Orman Show the other day.  She’s pushing a Back to Cash movement.  I’ve been dancing around that issue for some time if only to avoid debit card insufficient fund fees.  So, I decided to commit myself to using cash for six months—the longest amount of time her site allows.  Here’s hoping I can keep my promise. Keep reading . . .

More Shenanigans

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Total Black: $295.48
Total Red: $231,123.38

Pay came through last night.  In fact, I was still awake around 2 a.m. when it showed up in my account.  I had been slowly siphoning the money in my secondary checking account, money that I had parked there for the COBRA payment to the firm.  By yesterday afternoon the check still hadn’t been cashed, so I transferred the remaining money into my primary checking account to use it buy a few things, like lunch and some groceries.  So last night when I saw that my paycheck had been deposited and the check still hadn’t been cashed, I quickly transferred the $399.22 (covering two months) back into the other checking account to cover it, gave a sigh of relief, and then quietly drifted off to bed.  But of course, this afternoon the check showed up in my account as if it had posted on September 18th, even though I viewed my account at 2 a.m. the next day, September 19th, and the check wasn’t there.  This is the kind of shit I wrote about in What Is This, Sarcasm? that makes my blood boil.  I guess the new day I wrote about in A New Day Has Dawned has limits.  I borrowed the money I had allocated for that check knowing full well I might incur an insufficient funds fee.  And if it had presented a few days earlier, when the entire amount wasn’t in the account, I would have happily paid the $35 fee and been done with it because it would have been my fault.  I’m not proud to have to play these games, but skating this close to the financial edge requires running a few risks.  But it infuriates me when Bank of America rewrites history, when it moulds time to suit its purposes, and allows the check through just when enough money is in the account.  What’s the chance that the check presented conveniently a day before I transferred the exact amount into my account.  No, the check had not presented on September 18th.  And if the bank functions on Pacific time, then the money I transferred would have hit my account in time to cover it anyway.  Tomorrow I’m calling Bank of America and demanding back the $35 fee I paid today. Keep reading . . .