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Bank of America has a relatively new policy that whenever account holders do not receive a direct deposit or maintain a minimum balance of at least $250.00 during any given statement cycle they are penalized or charged a $12.00 monthly maintenance fee, which can take a toll on indigent account holders, or those who work part-time…

This policy especially takes a toll on part-time school employees who are not paid during school breaks and/or holidays. It equally affects full-time school employees who are not paid during summer months, i.e. they are not certified teachers and/or work is not available to them during the summer, and they are unable to land summer employment otherwise.

One would need only put themselves in the shoes of an account holder who has had a decrease in income due to no fault of their own to see why Bank of America’s policy here is flawed. Reasonable monthly maintenance fees for account holders with steady deposits in the higher income brackets are rational, though banks intrinsically profit as holders of their clients’ funds, which they use for business ventures and in turn pay interest to the account holders.

Account holders who experience hardships should not be penalized for them or forced to close their accounts, especially when they are working to improve their financial circumstances. They should rather be eligible for hardship fee waivers, an intervention that would establish customer trust and loyalty through the worst and best of financial times…

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