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Bank Accounts

The ability of consumers to save and grow wealth depends highly on their access to affordable, responsible financial services. However, many products and services are predatory, hurting consumers and stripping equity from their homes. This section of the website has information and resources on a variety of areas related to consumer credit and access to banking services, as well as mortgage lending and foreclosures. It includes information on the work Empire Justice Center and other consumer advocates do to ensure that consumers have access to affordable, responsible consumer financial products

Savings and checking accounts can help consumers hold onto their money, while offering many conveniences.  When opening an account, consumers should shop around, asking about minimum balances, rates, fees and other terms,  to see which bank or credit union provides the best account for their needs.  Institutions may offer additional services on their accounts, such as overdraft protection, but these extras can carry hefty fees or costs.  You should know the terms of your account and be careful not to overdraw.  Moreover, a bank account may be restrained if a judgment creditor attempts to collect the debt.

This section of the website describes the work of Empire Justice Center and other consumer advocates on bank accounts, overdraft protection and restrained bank accounts and points consumers to resources for finding responsible, low-fee savings and checking accounts.



KeyBank Announces Investment of Millions in Upstate Communities
Upstate communities are heartened to see KeyBank invest in communities with expanded lending, community development initiatives, and philanthropic grants and investments. Read More

Top Ten Ways The CFPB Can Help You With Financial Questions
The U.S. PIRG Education Fund has put together this great resource of how the CFPB can help you. It includes information on how to make complaints to the CFPB. Read More

Why Overdraft Fees Should Be Limited to a “Reasonable and Proportional” Standard
In April, NCLC released a white paper on overdraft fees, saying the fees should be "reasonable and proportional" to better protect consumers. Read More

Bank Accounts: Articles


Press Release: Empire Justice Center and Local Advocates Announce Agreement with KeyBank
Today, local housing, lending and consumer advocates were breathing a collective sigh of relief and expressing support for KeyBank’s announcement last week of its commitment to invest $16.5 billion in low and moderate communities over the next five years. Read More

N.Y. AG finds sponsors for payroll cards bill
Two New York lawmakers will sponsor a bill designed to increase protection for workers using payroll cards, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Tuesday. Read More

Bank Accounts: In the News


Joint Comments on Sterling Bancorp's Acquisition of Astoria Financial
We joined with other advocacy organizations representing Long Island to submit comments on Sterling Bancorp’s Proposed Acquisition of Astoria Financial Corporation. Read More

GRCRC Comments on JPMC 2011-2013 CRA Performance in Rochester
GRCRC about the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency'd examination of JPMorgan Chase. Read More

Bank Accounts: Policy Advocacy


Legal Services Journal - Spring 2010 Issue
This issue of the Legal Services Journal contains articles on Consumer and Community Development, Immigration, Public Benefits and Disability Benefits. Read More

Disability Law News - July 2009 Issue
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP advocates. Featured in this issue is an article "Court of Appeals Issues New Decisions". Also in this issue you will find articles on Regulations, Court Decisions, Administrative Decisions, and the Bulletin Board along with other articles. Read More

Bank Accounts: Newsletters


Top Ten Ways The CFPB Can Help You With Financial Questions
The U.S. PIRG Education Fund has put together this great resource of how the CFPB can help you. It includes information on how to make complaints to the CFPB. Read More

Consumers Can Register Complaints with the CFPB
Any consumer with a complaint involving a mortgage, a student loan, a credit card, a bank account, a car loan, a money transfer or a credit report, can register a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Debt collection issues and payday loans will be added soon. Read More

Pew Charitable Trusts Safe Banking Opportunities Project
The Pew Safe Banking Opportunities Project, a two-year initiative, develops standards for safe, affordable, fair, and empowering bank accounts... Read More

Bank Accounts: Resources