Saturday, October 25, 2014
Top Entrepreneur News

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 20:00:00 -0500

The solution to a work space that’s out of whack is right under your nose.

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:05:00 -0500

Martha Stewart didn’t do any home decorating until she was 35. And Charles Flint started IBM at 61.

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:00:00 -0500

In a little over two years, Golden Road Brewing has become a $15 million-plus business with 155 employees.

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:00:00 -0500

He inspired many with his words layered with wisdom and designed with wit. Now see how his reflections might speak to you.

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:30:00 -0500

Maggie Harlow knew plenty about franchising before becoming a franchisee. But, she didn't want to take over the family business.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:30:00 -0500

Among the many decisions you need to make when launching a business is selecting a business structure. Here are a few pointers on the tax benefits of an LLC and corporation.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:00:00 -0500

The payoff for landing a large company as a customer is huge, but a lack of preparation can seriously jeopardize future opportunities.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:30:00 -0500

Since even the most earnest workers long for the weekend, miss their kids and job and want to have some laughs, turn those into perks.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:00:00 -0500

The fastest way to learn any business is to study someone who has been successful at it.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:30:00 -0500

Follow these tips to elevate the overall experience of your video conference.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:15:00 -0500

Before making a leap to a new company, figure out the workplace culture to know how best to have influence as a leader of change.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:10:48 -0500

New York City residents and professionals seemed to take news of the city's first case of Ebola in stride.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:00:00 -0500

The law, more commonly referred to as Obamacare, kicks in for businesses with more than 100 employees this January.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:45:00 -0500

A chief technology officer, a visionary, a user design pro and a rainmaker are among the players who are critical for launching today's successful companies.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:30:00 -0500

Entrepreneurship is not simply the frenzy of a startup, it is a set of values that can be passed from one generation to the next.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:26:00 -0500

The charges could apply to late, unplanned packages or the shipping giant might turn down the business if it threatens disruptions during the peak holiday season.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:25:00 -0500

The founder of a co-working space reveals the hidden benefits that come from regularly mixing up its composition and flow.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:15:00 -0500

The buzzy social network with an anti-advertising mission takes small, important steps toward eventual revenue generation.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:10:00 -0500

Designer Klaus Geiger has reimagined the Power Mac G5 with a utilitarian slant.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:00:00 -0500

One expert shares tips to ensure your data stays safe and secure in the cloud.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:55:00 -0500

Learn about actions your company can take to return to civility in the workplace and minimize rudeness with customers.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:30:00 -0500

The generation born between 1945 and 1964 could give a startup some needed expertise and credibility. Here are five roles they can easily fit into.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:15:00 -0500

The essential dynamic of a quality service relationship comes down to a company's addressing these core questions.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:00:00 -0500

With news outlets welcoming brand journalism with native advertising opportunities, marketers need to be careful that they aren’t misleading or blurring the lines between "real journalism" and straight advertising.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:56:58 -0500

You may be tempted to try the rumpled-hair, hoodie look – just don't.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:45:00 -0500

When your phone is less interesting, you look at it less. And that can make you feel like you have all the time in the world.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:30:00 -0500

The benchmark of recruitment isn’t the number of high-caliber candidates who get a job but the number of unsuccessful candidates who would recommend your company to friends.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:25:00 -0500

In downtime between launching companies, Greg Muender decided to try on a pink mustache. And he tracked every penny that came and went.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:03:00 -0500

The tech giant is hiring more than half a dozen leading academics and experts in the field to accelerate its efforts.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:00 -0500

Tactics can be great. And tools can save you time. But ultimately sharing on networks is about building real relationships with real people not a company or its brand.

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 19:01:00 -0500

Enrollment in the expanded Medicaid insurance program for poor Americans is growing rapidly, with projections for at least another 13 million signing on to private insurers who contract with the government to provide the benefits under the Affordable Care Act. A new report this week and recent Wall Street analyst reports [...]

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 18:37:00 -0500

Certain retirement goals remain elusive because people often attach misguided thoughts and beliefs to them. Overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality by taking these steps.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:56:00 -0500

This week’s Apple Loop covers Forbes' long-term reviews and comparisons of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, how to choose the right iPad for you, Apple's Q3 2014 earnings calls, why the iPad is financially slacking, trying to buy something with Apple Pay, moving every developer to 64 bits, and the 5K Retina display vs. the original Macintosh.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:29:00 -0500

One of the biggest myths is that there’s no such thing as a bad idea. Think Microsoft Vista, New Coke, and AOL-Time Warner. How did those ill-conceived attempts at progress fly out of the gate with such velocity that their vulnerabilities weren’t recognized until they hit the global market in full [...]

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:19:00 -0500

LG will launch a phablet suspiciously close to the Nexus 6 at the same time and in some ways it is the better device.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:36:00 -0500

A company founded by a married couple has unveiled the world's first ever graphene 3D-printed battery, heralding an era when consumers will be able to produce their own homemade power sources. A team from Graphene 3D Lab, based in Calverton, New York, has spent more than five years designing a material [...]

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:58:00 -0500

VideoMath is one of the hardest subjects in school, which is why owning a graphing calculator seems like a necessity for students. But what if you could use your smartphone to solve equations by pointing the camera at the problem in your textbook instead of using a graphing calculator? That [...]

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:20:00 -0500

In Brazil's presidential election, voters have a better chance with the opposition.

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:42:00 -0500

Kind of like every baseball player will try to be Major League, I thought that Silicon Valley is where you should start if you want to go big as an entrepreneur. In Japan, of course, there are accelerators and a proud tradition in technology. I had followed the tech industry even [...]

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:26:00 -0500

Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress. Studies have long shown that stress [...]

Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Is Your Bank Stealing From You?
By David Najor :: Friday, August 22, 2008 :: 14172 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance

California, USA - “Few would argue that the energetic entrepreneurs have transformed small business in metropolitan areas of Michigan, California, Illinois, Arizona, and Nevada,” says Rebecca Cohen of California’s Bank & Trust speaking of Chaldeans.  “They are hard-working, brilliant in business, and have a remarkable talent for negotiations.”

Although the accolades and praise rings true to many, Chaldean business owners still remind budding entrepreneurs to be mindful of banks when doing business. 

“Banks are like any other business.  Their inventory is currency.  They want to buy currency when it is inexpensive and sell or loan to you at a higher rate,” says Masood Bajou.  “Chaldeans in business or not, should always keep a close eye on their banks and the fees they charge.”

Increasingly, banks are finding ways to impose bigger and trickier fees on account holders.  Uncovering the creative ways banks assess fees and other hidden costs to their customers was no easy task.  Nonetheless, Chaldeans should be watchful over some of the sneakiest fees and quickly master ways you can avoid them...

ATM Overdraw
Many ATMs are allowing their customers to overdraw on their accounts. Request cash from your bank's ATM, and you will almost certainly receive it -- even if there is not enough money in your account to cover the withdrawal. Banks could easily program their ATMs to decline such transactions or to warn you that such a transaction will trigger a hefty overdraft fee, but that would mean a loss of extra fees for the banks.

Chaldean Self-defense: Check your balance before making the withdrawal if you are not certain there is enough money in your account.

Double ATM fees.
Last year, Bank of America increased its ATM fee for non-account holders from $2 to $3, and other banks are likely to follow suit. ATMs warn customers of this type of charge, but many ATM users do not realize that their own banks often charge an additional fee of between $1 and $2.50 for using an ATM that belongs to another bank chain. That means the total fee for an out-of-network ATM transaction can top $5.

Chaldean Self-defense: Use only your own bank's ATMs.

Check Overdraft Penalities
Clear the biggest checks first to maximize overdraft penalties. Most banks charge a fee of $30 to $40 each time an account holder bounces a check. (Any merchant who received your bad check might charge you a penalty as well.) In addition, many banks now follow a practice that often automatically increases the number of checks that their customers bounce. They do this by first deducting from your account the largest check amounts when processing a batch of your checks.

The banks claim they do this because large checks tend to be the most important, but consumer advocates contend that it is just a way to maximize fees. Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, Wells Fargo and many other banks engage in the practice.

Example: Five checks you wrote reach your bank on a given day -- four checks for small items followed by a $1,400 mortgage payment. If there is only $1,300 in your account, only the final check -- the big mortgage payment -- should bounce. Instead, your bank processes the large mortgage payment first, which means that all five checks will bounce. Rather than a $30 or $40 overdraft fee and one upset check recipient, you now face $150 to $200 in overdraft fees and five perturbed check recipients.

Chaldean Self-defense: Avoid writing many checks or making several debit card purchases in a short period if you are not 100% certain that there will be enough money in your account to cover all of them.   Also, check with your bank to see if they have overdraft protection should you have both a savings and checking account. This is often a free service so be careful of banks that charge for this basic service.

Another hidden fee is getting a penalty for someone else's bounced check. A penalty when you bounce a check is one thing -- but many banks now charge a fee of $5 to $10 to the recipient of a bad check as well.

Chaldean Self-defense: Do not accept checks as payment unless you are confident that you can trust the payer.

Account Dormancy Fees
Some banks charge a fee of several dollars per month to keep an "inactive" or "dormant" account open. In Michigan, Charter One is notorious for this practice.  Banks have different criteria for what they consider a dormant account, so be sure to ask your bank about its rules.

Chaldean Self-defense: Close any unnecessary accounts.

Banks might charge you a fee of $5 or more if you close an account within six to 12 months of opening it. These fees are particularly common at bank branches located in college towns, because banks know that students often close accounts at the end of each semester or school year. Example: Here in California, KeyBank charges an early closure fee of $25 when "Express Checking" accounts are closed within 180 days of being opened.

Chaldean Self-defense: Ask about account closing fees before you open the account. Don't open an account at a bank that charges such a fee if you expect to leave the region or close the account for another reason anytime soon.

Gift Card Fees.
Banks sell gift cards like those offered by retailers. They can be used just as you would use a bank-issued debit or credit card. Unlike retailer gift cards, however, bank gift cards often carry account fees of as much as $2 or $3 per month. If the recipient does not spend the money quickly, a significant portion of it might gradually disappear.

Chaldean Self-defense: Give cash or a check -- or a retailer gift card -- rather than a bank gift card.

Teller and Phone Fees.
Some banks now charge $1 to $5 or more every time an account holder interacts with a teller or customer service representative in person or on the phone (or every time the account holder exceeds a preset monthly teller transaction limit). At some banks, this charge applies even when customers call the bank but interact only with the automated system. Customers are not told that they are being charged a fee at the time of the transaction, and they often are unaware of the rules.

Some banks even charge a fee for certain ATM services, such as requesting a "mini-statement" that summarizes recent transactions.

Chaldean Self-defense: Ask your bank if your account has a limit on the number of free teller visits or calls. If it does, do as much banking as possible through ATMs or on-line.

Also, ask to have any teller or phone fee waived when your call or visit is about a bank error, involves opening an account or is because the bank's ATM is out of service. You also may avoid these fees if you maintain a certain balance in some accounts.

PIN fees.
Some banks now charge a fee of 25 cents to $1.50 each time a customer uses a personal identification number (PIN) for a debit card transaction at a retailer. Debit card users typically can choose to either sign for purchases or type in their PINs.

Banks impose PIN fees to encourage customers to sign for purchases, because banks can charge retailers higher fees when they do. Trouble is, many Chaldean cardholders don't even know that PIN fees exist.

Chaldean Self-defense: Try to use credit cards rather than a debit card. If you do use a debit card, check whether your bank imposes a fee when you enter a PIN. Consider switching banks if it does.

HOW TO AVOID FEES

Many Chaldean bank customers learn that fees only after when charges appear on their account statements -- if they bother to read their statements at all.   By law banks are required to give new customers a "Truth in Savings Disclosure" statement detailing all of their fees and to notify customers in writing when policies change, but few read the fine print of bank literature. Chaldeans should routinely ask their bank for a copy of the fee-disclosure statement for their accounts.

Chaldeans will often say that their banks waive the fees because they are good customers, but this is less common now. At many banks, low-level employees no longer even have the right to waive fees, and the managers who do are increasingly unwilling to be lenient -- though it is still worth asking to have questionable fees waived when they appear on your statement.

Always keep a good record of what you have tied to a bank.  Banks know that if you have your mortgage being automatically withdrawn, direct deposit for professionals, or a business account with business dealings electronically tied, they know you are less likely to leave over the fee charges.  Some banks will take advantage of this situation and nickel and dime Chaldeans to death. 

Having all your information accessible makes it easy to call their bluff and transfer your accounts to another bank.  Competition is the only way to keep the banks offering great service at reasonable costs. 

Now that is advice you can take to the bank!