Check This Out

March 13, 1992

Now that the House bank - whose advertising slogan could have been, "No fees ... no matter what!" - is closed, congressmen will have to take their business to the same banks that the rest of us use.

And if they continue their check-bouncing ways, they'll soon become acquainted with the area banks' NSF (non-sufficient funds) fees, which are said to average $25 for each bad check. Here's what they'd pay in penalties:

*The 8,331 bad checks written by House members in the year ending June 30, 1990: $208,275

*The as-yet unnamed congressman who wrote 996 rubber checks in the 39-month period under review: $24,900

*The 100 congressmen who bounced at least 45 checks each in three years: $1,125 each

Those fees, of course, don't include any that are levied by merchants, many of whom charge whenever they have to return a check. And this also assumes that the banks would keep a customer that repeatedly bounced that many checks.

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