Officially, the overdraft bank fee nightmare is almost over

The Federal Reserve announced on Thursday

that starting July 1, 2010, financial institutions can no longer allow customers to overspend their account and then charge overdraft fees -- in most cases -- unless the customers have signed up for a bank's overdraft protection plan that includes such fees. My guess is, most won't.

As The Washington Post explains, the overdraft fee won't disappear entirely. Banks can still charge overdraft fees on checks or an automatic bill payment. But the days of buying a cup of coffee or stick of gum with your debit card without realizing you don't have the funds and then getting slammed with a $37.50 fee--that will end on July 1, 2010. Instead, you'll simply have your debit card declined. And if that thought truly embarrasses you, then tell your bank you want that overdraft protection.