When faced with this scenario, you do have a few options.
- Request the company that made the error to fix the error.
- Request the institution charging the overdraft fee to reduce or remove the charge.
- pay it yourself.
Ultimately if you cant get the first two to cover the fees, then you have no choice but to cover it yourself.
You have the most leverage when you can threaten to end the business relationship. For the company that caused the problem, the leverage may actually be with another of their customers. If there is another person involved in this transaction they may have to put leverage on their financial institution to address the issue.
If you already told your credit union you are leaving then you may have lost the leverage.
The issue of walking away should be a non-starter. Depending on the paperwork you signed, they may decide to go after you or not. Your anger with one of the financial institutions shouldn't mean that you walk away from your debts.
Here is the text from my credit union's disclosure document.
Collection and Right of Offset
The Credit Union has the right to seek
collection of any amount owed under this agreement or any other
agreement you have with the credit union, including fees, charges and
overdrafts paid. You authorize the Credit Union to offset from any
other account you have in the Credit Union (except Retirement
Accounts) without demand to pay certain debts or other charges you owe
us. You agree to pay the costs of collection, including court costs
and reasonable attorney’s fees.
The owner and
joint owner (if any) agree to be jointly and severally liable for
negative balances on any accounts in which either or both owners have
an ownership interest, including any overdrafts, regardless of the
cause, and agree to immediately deposit sufficient funds to cover the
negative amount of the overdraft. The owner and joint owner (if any) agree that the Credit Union has
the right to transfer funds from any accounts (except Retirement
Accounts), in which either have an ownership interest, to correct a
negative or overdrawn amount on any account on which either of their
names appear. The owner and joint owner agree to reimburse the Credit Union for
all costs of collection, including court costs and reasonable
You acknowledge and pledge to the Credit Union
a statutory lien in my/our shares and dividends on deposit in all
joint and individual accounts and any monies held now and in the
future, to the extent of any loan made and any charges payable. The
statutory lien does not apply to shares in any IRA.