Published: Aug 16, 2010 10:38 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 15, 2010 9:04 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - New federal rules that went into effect Sunday ban banks from automatically enrolling customer in overdraft protection.

So if you don't "opt-in" to the coverage, you better know how to balance your account.

You may be able to avoid those pesky overdraft fees, but you could hear that dreaded word instead- declined.

"Can you imagine how embarrassing this is," says Alex Sanchez, President of the Florida Bankers Association. "The groceries are packed and the young guy says to you here are your groceries and then you put your debit card in and it rejects."

The state Bankers Association supports the new rules that make overdraft coverage optional.

"Don't write the check and don't use the debit card if you don't have the money," says Sanchez.

Eddie Howell of Fort Myers agrees, but he won't be opting into the coverage.

"To me, if a person pays attention to their bank account and their checkbook and the balance, they wouldn't have overdraft fees," says Howell.

He's on top of his account, but some people weren't even aware of the new rules.

"I didn't even know," says Sherri Hart. "I'm glad you came up and told me 'cause, I mean, I usually try not to withdraw, but sometimes obviously it does happen."

Experts suggest linking your saving account to your checking account so money can be transferred automatically if needed.