Overdraft Law and Legal Definition
An overdraft is a deficit in a bank account caused by drawing more money than the account actually holds. It is said that the drawer of the check has overdrawn his account. In the United States, Overdraft Protection is a financial service offered by the banks. When sufficient funds are not present to cover the withdrawal amount, Overdraft Protection pays items presented to a customer's account. It can cover ATM withdrawals, purchases made with a debit card, electronic transfers, and checks. However, withdrawals through ATM and purchases made with a debit card or checks are considered preauthorized and must be paid by the bank when presented, even if this causes an overdraft. If there is a prior agreement with the account provider for an Overdraft Protection plan then interest is normally charged at the agreed rate, provided the amount overdrawn is within this authorized overdraft. If the balance amount overdrawn exceeds the agreed terms, then fees may be charged and higher interest rate might apply.