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Should U.S. Policymakers Force Banks to Waive Overdraft Fees During the Crisis?

More than 33 million Americans have filed for initial unemployment over just seven weeks and millions more are expected to file in the coming months. The abrupt loss of earnings has stretched many people’s finances to breaking point, forcing many into overdrafts, which can trigger significant additional charges. In response, some banks have voluntarily suspended overdraft charges and, in a few states, notably New York, governors have issued directives instructing banks to waive overdraft fees and lenders to show forbearance on missed mortgage payments.

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