ANNAPOLIS – The House Commerce and Government Matters Committee Friday recommended passage of a bill limiting the amount banks may charge customers who deposit bad checks.
Some banks impose the deposit item returned fee when an account holder deposits a check that is later declined by the bank on which it is drawn. These fees can range from $5 to $25.
The bill was sponsored by Del. Elizabeth Bobo, D-Howard, who said the bill would help small businesses.
“This is the bank fee that hurts them most,” Bobo said.
The original bill would have prohibited the fee altogether, but the committee approved an amendment added by Chairman Gerald Curran, D-Baltimore.
The amendment says the fee cannot exceed an amount established by the bank commissioner. Curran said the amendment was necessary to ensure passage in the Senate.
“Absolute prohibition may go too far,” Curran said. “They’ll kill the bill.” The committee voted 13-6 to send the bill to the full House. Floor debate is expected next week. -30-