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There is fine print on both my credit card and auto loan statements saying that by sending them a check, I authorize them to deduct the amount from my bank electronically. They don't deposit my checks, and I don't get them back with my statement.
I have a hard time understanding how this could be legal, or how my bank would allow it without seeing my signature on each individual check, but there it is.
Note that I didn't do ANYTHING to authorize these electronic withdrawals but send in a check. I'm pretty sure my bank has seen nothing from me to indicate that these withdrawals are legitimate.
I'm not worried about Google per se. We will know if Google withdraws funds illegally. I don't think Larry and Sergie are planning on ripping us off and fleeing to Mexico.
This is not so farfetched given that many adsense publishers are also adwords advertisers. If google tries to charge your card for your adwords fees, and the charge is declined, could they then just take the money from your account?
Hearing that this could be the case makes me very hesitant to sign up for EFT.
As for the loan and credit card payments, if you read the fine print on the original contract, there will probaby be something about how writing a check makes your creditor an authorized agent, able to draft their own checks from your account, should you default etc.
Checks are allegedly being phased out, but it's a super long process, I just read somewhere that only something like 1/3 of the people in the US even have debit cards.
There are ways to protect yourself, but I don't think anybody is 100% protected.