Bank error not in you favorAs I do each morning, I logged into my Bank of America account to make sure that everything in my checking account was in order and as I expected it.

I’ve been doing this sort of thing for, hmmmmm, probably almost 10 years now. It’s become part of my routine.

In all that time, there has been only one instance of an inconsistency. Just one.

Then, this morning, I saw this:

Return Item Chargeback


I clicked on the transaction. As is the norm, that doesn’t tell me anything. Sometimes I wonder why they even let you click on transactions for “more details.”

At first I’m thinking, in a semi-panic mode, did I overdraw my account?

That’s never happened.

How could it happen?

I strive to never dip below $750 $1500 (when Bank of America starts to charge me monthly maintenance fees).

I haven’t written any big checks lately…

There isn’t a holiday this week that could have messed up the dates on my auto-payments either…

“Return item”? Maybe it’s a re-stocking fee of some sort. But I haven’t returned anything in years. And that would have gone onto a credit card, I’d think…

And the term “chargeback” really makes it sound like a credit card transaction or something. My checking account is just that — a checking account. There isn’t a debit card attached to it. No little VISA or Mastercard logo on my card either.

Maybe it’s a bank error — but not in my favor?

Yeah, that must be the problem.

A quick Google of “Return Item Chargeback” gave mixed results.

You know, stuff from that “Yahoo Answers” service. Sure, they can call it a “new way to find and share information”, but in my experience, it’s been mostly misinformation…

You’d think Bank of America would have a listing of all of their transaction descriptions somewhere on their website.

They don’t.

I looked.

But I did come to the conclusion that it wasn’t an error on BoA’s part.

It’s that one of my clients wrote me a bad check back on September 2 and this is it coming back out of my account.

Thankfully, it was only $9.00. No sweat.

But I’ve got to keep it in the back of my mind that before I do any large scale projects for them in the future, I need to be paid up front.

Who bounces a $9.00 check?

I almost feel bad for the fees they’re going to incur because of this…

And how awkward is it going to be to let them know, “Hey, remember that $9 invoice I sent you? Yeah, well, you need to pay it again…”


  1. Unfortunately that $9.00 check will cost YOU $10.00 as BoA will charge you a $10.00 Returned Deposit Item fee.

    I had this happen to me today. I asked the BoA customer service person how I could be charged for someone else’s bounced check and she said, “Their bank charges us so we have to pass that fee down to you.” What a bunch of crap! How am I responsible for someone else’s inability to manage their money?

  2. This just happened to me, but the return was in the neighborhood of $2700. Basically almost all of my account. Apparently they had technical difficulties processing a paycheck. I was not warned, and the amount was pulled, with a return mailed to me at a later date. I learned this after spending an hour on the phone. When the Customer Service agent tried to get the refund issued he was unable to contact the correct people in the other department of the bank due to “technical difficulties”. I still have no guarantee that I will receive this money back.

  3. been there my last pay check bounced aint that great? it really sucks because not only in bank of america they treated me like crap and made me wait for a lond time but because they charged me 10 dollars as well and because when i asked for another check at work they took like a week to issue another one and of course they didnt even said sorry nor paid the 10 bucks

  4. Same thing JUST happened to me! They told me on the 800 Customer service line that “return item chargeback” meant it was considered a check error, meaning the date was wrong, the check numbers were messed up or it was not endorsed properly. I have been deositing the same paycheck from the same company to the same ATM for almost a year now. I didn’t even find out until I got the bounced check fees (5 x $35 each) notice in the mail. I am lucky enough that my boss is going to re-pay me the amount AND pay my fees, but this bullshit is taking me away from the uber BoA to a local bank that I can speak to a person who knows about me and my account without all the bull.

  5. I had this happen with two checks. i’m a music promoter and a nightclub’s payment to me bounced twice on my account. Thankfully I wasn’t in dire need of the money , so I didn’t spend any of that money. But BOA charged me 10 dollars for each item. I called to ask why and at first they person on the phone said that it’s part of there fees. I went online and printed out their WHOLE list of fees. It’s not on there. So I went into a branch with that list and asked why, and a Brancg manager said it’s because the bank that returned it charged them, so they charged me. I called HFC ( The bank that the checks were made from) and they said that they don’t charge a fee to the bank they just charge a fee to the person who writes the Bounced check.

    Long story short. The Ten Dollar charge is BOGUS! Do not let them charge you for a Deposited item return!

  6. Update, since this just happened to me, my school sent me a scholarship check which bounced, awkward right? But the chargeback fee is now $12. I was nice on the phone and they took it off. But the lady made a point in saying that she wouldn’t be able to do this if it happened again.
    Come on BoA, $12 seems like a lot for a mistake that wasn’t mine.

  7. I made a BOA deposit on 8/3/12. BOA reported all the deposited checks as having cleared from 8-6 to 8-8. Then this morning, on 8-9, I get the news one of the checks they reported as cleared (for 672.30) bounced. Not only that, BOA want me to pay a $12.00 return item chargeback fee. If the customer doesn’t make the check good I get screwed out of $672.30 in goods, because the goods would not have been shipped if BOA hadn’t reported the check as having cleared. To top it off, there’s a $12.00 fee BOA wants as a penalty because a customer wrote out a bum check that BOA turned into a possible $672.30 loss because they reported the checkl as having cleared.

    I’m not getting stiffed for something that has me as an innocent victim. There’s always small claims court.

  8. This chargeback thing is at best VERY STRANGE. Upon the opening of a checking account with one deposit, the next item on the bank statement said “chargeback item. There were no debits, checks written, etc. and only one deposit to open the account. YET ANOTHER ILLEGAL TACTIC BY BOA. They are “bank robbers.” The BOA overdraft settlement litigation – which “SETTLED” (if you can call it that), returned only $10 – $60.00 per customer, actually it was around $10.00 average. This settlement was for BOA illegally taking MILLIONS from account holders in overdraft fees. They illegally set up a system whereby the charges or debits were posted in an order favorable for them to collect #36.00 per overdraft charge. They should have not honored the check/debit. NOW ITS A LAW THAT THEY CANNOT NOR ANY OTHER BANK CANNOT DO THAT. They kill you with fees you never heard of too. GET OUT—-BANK OF AMERICA IS BAD NEWS. Also, forget about the Countrywide foreclosure issues, they made millions off that too.

  9. Wow. My payroll check that I deposited a few days ago just bounced. Bank of America slapped me with a $12 “chargeback fee” for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. How was I supposed to know my company didn’t have sufficient funds? What a completely SCAM. How is this even legal? BOA didn’t even contact me that the check bounced!!!!

    We need serious banking reform to stop this type of extraction of money from honest, working people.

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