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Eight out of 10 consumers did not pay overdraft fees in the past year, according to survey results released by the American Bankers Association today. Of the 20% of 1,000 consumers surveyed last month who paid an overdraft fee, 52% said that they did so only once or twice. Eighty-five percent of the respondents who paid an overdraft fee in the past year said they were glad the bank covered the payment, according to the survey. The percentage of consumers who paid an overdraft fee in the past year remained unchanged from a survey conducted last year, Carol Kaplan, a spokesperson for the association, tells CardLine. She says no one needs to pay overdraft fees if they carefully manage their accounts. In its announcement, the association offers tips on how to avoid overdrawing accounts. The association's survey results match those found in research by the Center for Responsible Lending, Leslie Parrish, a senior researcher at the center, tells Cardline. Though a small group of accountholders pay most of the overdraft fees, the center and other consumer advocates would like banks to change the way they run overdraft programs by requiring consumers to opt in to overdraft protection and to compel financial institutions to provide clear disclosures on the protection, Parrish says.

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