Tax Rascal

There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Checking Account

Categories: Business, Featured, Personal Finance

Free checking ends as banks up fees in response to new federal regulation

Hey there Rascals, here’s a piece of financial news that’s not strictly tax related but definitely relevant for anyone with a checking account. According to this article in USA Today, about ⅔ of major banks are ending free checking. This is a move that’s been looming on the horizon for about a year now, but the banks are finally making good on their threats.

Here are some numbers for you on the rapid demise of the free checking account: Only 45% of non-interest checking accounts are still free, as opposed to 65% last year and 76% in 2009. And now the average monthly non-interest checking account … Read more...

Wachovia and Washington Mutual Customers: Moving on

Categories: Uncategorized

While employees of the former Washington Mutual and Wachovia are busy fixing embarrassingly apt broken signs and fairly awkward ads, their depositors are wondering: what next? Although their deposits are protected by the FDIC, many people would just prefer not to be a customer of JP Morgan Chase or Citigroup — they want their old bank back!

I can’t offer that, but I can offer a few tips on choosing a new bank:

  1. Try to find someone a little less trendy. Wachovia bought one of the biggest providers of adjustable rate mortgages, at the peak of the property boom. And WaMu cleverly reasoned that, at a time when people are beginning to mistrust big financial institutions, and to

Today in the Taxosphere

Categories: Uncategorized

Many bloggers are still processing the effects of the recent financial meltdown and bailout. Here are a few fresh views on that and other matters:

  • Five Cent Nickel explains what happens to your mortgage if your bank goes under. Part of the trouble with the mortgage boom was that the mortgage was disconnected from the people who originated it — you might live a block away from your mortgage broker in Dubuque, and have no idea that your mortgage was being traded back and forth between hedge funds in Greenwich, bankers in London, and sovereign wealth funds in Dubai and Beijing. But that disconnect works out in your favor when the bank you have a relationship with collapses.
  • An


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