NJ to replace unemployment checks with debit cards

TRENTON, N.J. - October 27, 2010

But check-cashing businesses, which collect $521,118 each week in fees, tell the Statehouse Bureau of The Star-Ledger of Newark and The Record going paperless will inconvenience customers and cut into their profits.

The state says it will save as much as $8 million a year.

The Labor Department expects to send the last checks by February, forcing 460,000 recipients to get direct deposit or receive a Bank of America debit card.

Critics say debit cards and direct deposit could cost the unemployed more in the form of out-of-network ATM fees and overdraft charges.

Those opting for debit cards will be permitted two no-fee withdrawals per month at ATMs not operated by Bank of America. They will not pay fees for purchases from stores that accept Visa debit cards.

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Information from: The (Newark) Star-Ledger and The (Woodland Park) Record, http://www.nj.com/starledger and www.northjersey.com

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