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Bounce Protection FAQ

Overdraft Protection Program

At times, unanticipated expenses or unforeseen problems can leave you with too little cash in your checking account. Having a check returned due to insufficient funds can be a costly, inconvenient and potentially embarrassing experience. At Farmers & Merchants Bank, we do not encourage overdrafts. As always, we encourage you to manage your finances responsibly. However, we want to save you from the additional merchant fees and possible damage to your credit history that might result if a check is returned. That’s why we provide Bounce Protection, an overdraft service that is available to individually/jointly owned accounts in good standing for personal or household use for Farmers & Merchants Bank's customers.

Bounce ProtectionSM FAQ

 

What is Bounce ProtectionSM?
Bounce Protection is a discretionary overdraft service requiring no action on your part that provides you a safety net up to an automatically assigned overdraft limit.

Your Bounce Protection limit may be available for checks and other transactions made using your checking account number or automatic bill payment and recurring debit card payment. Also, at your request, we may authorize and pay ATM transfers or withdrawals and everyday debit card purchases using your limit.

 

What does my Bounce ProtectionSM cost?
There is no additional cost associated with this privilege unless you use it. You will be charged our paid item overdraft fee of $20 for each overdrawn item created by a traditional paper-based check, a teller withdrawal, an automatic payment (ACH) transaction, or a recurring debit card payment. Also, if you have requested us to do so, we may authorize and cover ATM transfers or withdrawals and everyday debit card purchases. For example, three paid items in one day may result in $60 in paid item overdraft fee. To help you manage your account, the total fees you have paid for items (both paid and returned) during the current month and for the year-to-date will be reflected on your monthly checking statement.


How does Bounce ProtectionSM work? 
As long as you maintain your account in “good standing,” we may approve your overdraft items within your current available Bounce Protection limit as a non-contractual courtesy.

For overdraft privilege consideration, your account is in “good standing” if you (1) make sufficient deposits to bring your account to a positive end-of-day balance at least once every 30 calendar days (including the payment of all bank fees and charges); (2) avoid excessive overdrafts suggesting the use of Bounce Protection as a continuing line of credit; and (3) there are no legal orders, levies or liens against your account.

Please note that the amount of the overdraft plus our paid item overdraft fee of $20 for each item will be deducted from your overdraft limit.  If the item is returned, the returned item NSF fee of $20 will be deducted from your account. No interest will be charged on the overdraft balance.

Please refer to Farmers & Merchants Bank’s Bounce Protection Overdraft Policy for additional details.



How do I know when I use the overdraft limit?
You will receive an overdraft notice each time items are paid, including fees.  You will need to subtract the total fees when balancing your checkbook.


What is my Bounce ProtectionSM limit?
If I have two checking accounts, can I get Bounce ProtectionSM on both?

Locate your account type below and make note of the corresponding limit. If you have multiple accounts for your household, you may have a limit on all eligible accounts.

Personal Check…………………………………………

$   300

Interest on Checking……………………………………

$   500

Market Rate Money Market (Individual)………………

$1,000



How soon can I use my Bounce ProtectionSM?
We will notify you 90 days after your account is opened that you may use the overdraft protection program. This is provided you have maintained satisfactory activity in the account, including regular deposits, consistent with our internal standards for new account types that may offer Bounce Protection. Once you are notified your Bounce Protection limit is available to you, it may continue to be available provided you maintain the account in “good standing” as defined in this brochure.

 

What if I go beyond my Bounce ProtectionSMlimit?
Overdrafts above and beyond your established Bounce Protection limit may result in checks or other items being returned to the payee. The returned item NSF fee of $20 will be charged per item and assessed to your account. An Overdraft/Non-Sufficient Fund notice will be sent to notify you of items paid and/or returned.

 

How quickly must I repay my Bounce ProtectionSM?
You should make every attempt to bring your account to a positive end-of-day balance as soon as possible, and must do so within 30 calendar days. If you are not able to do so, you will receive a letter from Farmers & Merchants Bank informing you that your Bounce Protection limit has been suspended and additional items will be returned. Unless we advise you differently or you request this service be removed from your account, your limit will be made available to cover overdrafts again after you bring your account to a positive end-of-day balance.

 

What if I am having trouble repaying my Bounce ProtectionSM or use it frequently?
Please contact your local Farmers & Merchants Bank branch office if: (1) you do not believe you will be able to bring your account to a positive end-of-day balance within the required time period; (2) find that you are using Bounce Protection more often than you intend; or (3) don’t understand why your account becomes overdrawn. We would like to discuss your situation with you.

Following regulatory guidance, we will contact you in writing if you are paying multiple overdraft fees (i.e., more than six fees in a rolling 12-month period), to provide possible alternatives to Bounce Protection that may better meet your short term credit needs. In the event you ask us to stop writing or contacting you because you have determined Bounce Protection is appropriate for your needs, we will honor your wishes. However, if we identify that the number and frequency of overdrafts increases materially for an extended period of time at some point after that, we may contact you again to ensure Bounce Protection is still the most appropriate option available to you for covering your short term credit needs.


What are some of the ways I can access my Bounce ProtectionSM limit? Will my limit be reflected in the balance I receive?
The chart below shows the different ways you can access your Bounce Protection limit and indicates whether or not this limit will be reflected in the balance provided.

Access points

Is my Bounce ProtectionSM available?

Does the balance provided reflect my Bounce ProtectionSM limit?

Teller

Yes

No

Writing a Check

Yes

N/A

Debit Card (recurring)

Yes

N/A

Debit Card (everyday)

No**

N/A

ATM Withdrawal

No**

No

ACH- Auto Debit

Yes

N/A

Online Banking

No

No

Bill Pay

Yes

N/A

Telephone Banking

No

No



** Bounce Protection service will be made available for ATM or everyday debit card transactions upon your request. Please visit one of our branches to arrange for your ATM and Debit Card coverage.


What are some other ways I can cover overdrafts at Farmers & Merchants Bank?
The best way to avoid overdrafts and fees is to keep track of your account balance by entering all checks, debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals in your check register, reconcile your check book regularly and manage your finances responsibly. However, if a mistake occurs, Farmers & Merchants Bank offers additional ways to cover overdrafts in addition to Bounce Protection.

Ways to Cover Overdrafts at Farmers & Merchants Bank

Example of Associated Rates and Fees*

Good account management

$0

Link to savings account

$3 transfer fee*

Link to cash advance on credit card

2% of the cash advance or $2 (whichever is greater) +finance charge*

Bounce Protection

Paid item OD fee of $20 for each item



*This information is effective as of April 2012 and is provided as examples. Please ask us about our current specific products, rates and fees.

 

What if I do not want to have Bounce ProtectionSM on my Account?
If you would like to have this overdraft service removed from your account, either for all transactions or only for your ATM withdrawal/Debit card (everyday) transactions. This may be accomplished by visiting any of our offices or by writing to your local Farmers & Merchants Bank branch office.

 

Where can I find more information on overdrafts and other financial education materials?
To learn more about overdrafts and smart ways to manage your money, you may visit the following links below where you can also find financial education workshops or individualized counseling in your area.

Your Guide to Preventing and Managing Overdraft Fees.

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Click here to view our Bounce ProtectionSM Customer Overdraft Policy
All F&M Bank Certificates of Deposit are subject to penalties for early withdrawal.
Money Market accounts are limited to six withdrawals or transfers to another account of yours or to a third party by means of a preauthorized or automatic transfer or telephone order or instruction, computer transfer, or by check, draft, debit card or similar order to a third party. Exceeding these limitations may result in transfer of your account to one that pays no interest. A separate application and agreement are required for an ATM card, Online Banking, and Bill Pay privileges. Other transaction limitations or account fees may apply. Refer to the account agreements for details.
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