Customer Overdraft Policy
Having a check returned due to insufficient funds can be a costly and humiliating experience. That’s why we provide “Bounce ProtectionSM,” a special overdraft privilege for Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M) personal checking account customers. Bounce ProtectionSM gives you an added level of protection against unanticipated cash flow emergencies and account reconciliation errors. We do not encourage overdrafts at F&M. As always, we encourage you to manage your finances responsibly. The purpose of this privilege is to save you from the embarrassment, additional merchant fees, or other problems that might result if a check is returned unpaid.
Bounce ProtectionSM is an overdraft privilege limit that is automatically assigned to your personal checking account. Personal checking accounts have a Bounce ProtectionSM limit of $300, personal interest on checking accounts have a Bounce ProtectionSM limit of $500, and personal Money Market accounts have a Bounce ProtectionSM limit of $1,000. If you have multiple accounts for your household, you may have a limit on all eligible accounts. You may be able to use the overdraft privilege limit assigned to your account 90 days after the account is opened.
There is no additional cost associated with this privilege unless you use it. However, you should keep in mind that you will be charged a $20 overdraft fee for each item paid under the limit, whether the overdraft is by check or by other means. An overdraft fee may be imposed for covering overdrafts created by check, in-person withdrawal, ATM withdrawal, other electronic means, the return of unpaid items negotiated by you, or the deposit of items which, according to the bank’s Funds Availability Policy, are treated as uncollected.
We are not obligated to pay any item presented for payment if your account does not contain sufficient collected funds. However, if you maintain your checking account in good standing (defined as making regular deposits and bringing your account to a positive balance at least once every 30 days) and there are no legal orders outstanding, we may approve your reasonable overdrafts up to the Bounce ProtectionSM limit on your account as a non-contractual courtesy. So as not to exceed your limit, you should note that the amount of the overdraft item plus the bank’s overdraft fee of $20 per item will be deducted from the overdraft limit. We may refuse to pay an overdraft for you at any time, even though we may have previously paid overdrafts for you. Whether your overdrafts will be paid is discretionary and we reserve the right not to pay. For example, we typically do not pay overdrafts if your account is not in good standing, or you are not making regular deposits, or you have too many overdrafts. Normally we will not approve an overdraft for you in excess of the predetermined amount assigned to your account type.
You will be notified by mail of any item paid into overdraft or returned unpaid that you may have; however, we have no obligation to notify you before we pay or return any item. You should make every attempt to bring your account to a positive balance within 30 days. If, after a period of time, your account has not been brought to a positive balance, we may suspend your overdraft privilege limit and take other steps to recover funds. The amount of any overdraft plus our fee(s) shall be due and payable upon demand. If there is an overdraft paid by us on an account with more than one (1) owner on the signature card, each owner and agent, if applicable, drawing/presenting the item creating the overdraft, shall be jointly and severally liable for such overdraft plus our fee(s).
In the event you would like to have this service removed from your account, you may do so by written request and/or the completion of a service removal form at your local branch. One of these two methods will be required to remove the service. You may opt out of the privilege at any time, but you are responsible for any overdrawn balances at the time of opting out. However, once this service is removed, you should keep in mind that if an item is presented for payment and there are not sufficient collected funds in your account, the item may be returned unpaid to the payee and a $20 insufficient funds fee may be charged for each item.
Your Bounce ProtectionSM limit will not be reflected in your balances provided by a Teller, at the ATM, through Online Banking or Telebanker. However, Bounce ProtectionSM may be available to you when you need it.
By keeping accurate records and knowing your balance, you can avoid mistakenly accessing your Bounce ProtectionSM limit and incurring fees. The best way to do this is to use your checkbook register to keep track of your deposits, written checks, withdrawals, and ATM or Debit Card transactions. Always reconcile your register with your monthly bank statement.
If you have a Memorial Family Line Account (MFL) or are using Ready Cash Deposit (RCD) from your Farmers & Merchants credit card, Bounce ProtectionSM will not be applied to your account.