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I opened a "free" checking account. I received a notice from the bank/credit union stating that it had decided to start charging monthly fees. Can the bank/credit union do this?

Yes. A bank or credit union can start charging you fees on your account as long as the bank or credit union notifies you in writing at least 30 days before it starts charging fees and explains the change to your account.

However, once it starts charging these fees, the bank or credit union can no longer advertise that particular account as a “free” checking account.

Banks and credit unions have multiple types of accounts available, so make sure you review your own account terms. If you feel your bank has violated a promise to you, you may file a complaint.