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L.A.'s 99% Join Campaign Against $5 Bank of America Debit Card Fee

Photo by Amateur Foto via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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A petition campaign against a controversial fee announced by Bank of America is being bolstered by a number of Angelenos lending their signature to the cause. The national campaign was launched by Washington D.C.'s Molly Katchpole, and is in protest of a $5 monthly fee the banking giant says they will begin to impose on debit card users starting next year.

Katchpole explains how the fee will work, and affect most of the population via the petition: "Not everyone will pay the fee (at least not at first). If you have $20,000 in combined balances at BofA or have a mortgage with the bank, they'll waive the $5 monthly fee. That means this change will hit low income customers the worst - including people like me, a recent college graduate working two part-time jobs."

Those recent college grads, and Americans who are unable to keep so much money in the bank or own a home are those 99% who are taking part in the many "Occupy" protests taking place all over the country and world, including here in Los Angeles. Some gatherings are targeting Bank of America locations, and signage often implicates the Bank as being part of the "1%" the protesters say are in charge of our finances.

L.A. residents speak out about their choice to sign the petition:

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“After being a Bank of America customer for over 15 years, I closed my account after signing the petition,” said Dorothy Kozak. “There is no reason to put additional $5 fees on the backs of millions of lower to middle class customers, when profits remain at an unhealthy margin, and the wealthiest bank account owners are not asked to bear fees simply because their bank accounts are fatter. It’s the opposite of rationality.”

“I am a Bank of America customer and I think the fee is ridiculous,” said Debbie Goodman. “Bank of America should be ashamed of itself after the big government breaks that banks were given. How about giving me a break and forgetting about this fee?”

Currently over 224,000 people have signed the petition. Many Bank of America customers have taken to social media platforms recently to declare they are closing their account with the bank in protest.

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