NewAlliance Bancshares Update: Paul Bass catches the new incarnation of the New Haven Savings Bank in yet another violation of its old stated policy of being "a very nice bank": Smith-Alves has multiple sclerosis. Her government disability check gives her little more than $500 a month to live on. She deposits that money in an account at NewAlliance--which until last month was known as "New Haven Savings" and, until it was hijacked by a group of greedy out-of-towners looking to milk it for millions, went by the slogan "a very nice bank." In January Smith-Alves went into the hospital for major surgery: a partial hysterectomy and removal of fibroid tumors. She wanted to make sure her bills would get paid during her hospital stay. So she paid them with postdated checks, to be covered once her monthly disability payment arrived. Five of those checks were cashed early. NewAlliance didn't notice they were postdated. The bank cashed them. The checks bounced. Smith-Alves returned from the hospital to learn that the bank was charging her $28 for each of the five bounced checks. That $140 might not account for much of NewAlliance's billions. But it accounts for more than a third of Smith-Alves' monthly income, putting a huge strain on her budget.


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