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Bank Overdraft Fee Class Actions

Is your bank overcharging you?
Contact us to find out if you're paying improper overdraft fees.
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Opening a personal bank account is supposed to help you save money, but banks and credit unions also charge all sorts of fees — fees for making ATM withdrawals, surcharges for writing too many checks in a given month, and so on. One of the most burdensome charges is also one of the most common:

the overdraft fee.

WHAT ARE OVERDRAFT FEES?

Overdraft fees occur when a bank customer doesn’t have enough money in his or her checking account to cover a transaction. The overdraft can be the result of a bounced check, a debit card purchase, automatic bill payments, or an ATM withdrawal.

 

Many banks offer what they call “overdraft protection” as a service, but it’s actually a fee — signing up for such protection authorizes the bank to process the transaction and charge you a fee instead of rejecting it. The practice can provide consumers with ready access to funds when needed, but financial institutions typically charge a stiff fee (median charge: $34) for this service in addition to requiring repayment of the deficit in the account.

 

Overdraft fees and “insufficient funds” fees have become a lucrative revenue stream for many banks and credit unions, which collected an estimated $34.3 billion from overdrafts in 2017. Complaints about excessive fees and deceptive or misleading policies designed to boost overdraft revenue have cast a spotlight on some of the more outrageous practices. If you have been improperly charged an overdraft fee — or, in some cases, multiple fees on the same transaction — you, too, may have a claim against your bank.

UNCOVERING EXCESSIVE FEES

The overdraft fee process can seem straightforward enough. The bank is clearly entitled to reimbursement for advancing funds to cover a customer’s transaction, and the customer should expect to pay something for that privilege. But how the bank or credit union chooses to handle overdraft situations can affect how much the consumer ends up paying. There are several ways banks can manipulate the process to increase fees.

 

Some banks have been known to submit an overdrawn check for processing two or three times over several days, racking up multiple penalties on what is essentially the same transaction. Or a transaction may not be processed in the order the customer expects. For example, a customer may make a debit card purchase that the bank authorizes because there are sufficient funds in the account, only to be assessed an overdraft fee for that transaction because a subsequent check exceeds the available balance; in other words, the bank chose to submit the same debit card purchase twice for payment, in order to collect an overdraft fee on that transaction as well as the overdrawn check.

 

These practices often are not disclosed in the financial institution’s official overdraft fee policies. In fact, the way a bank or credit union imposes overdraft fees on its customers may contrary to its policies, as put forth in the account documents provided to customers. In addition to being grossly unfair, the fees may also violate state and federal consumer protection laws.

What credit unions and banks already have cases filed?

Franklin D. Azar & Associates has filed lawsuits against the following credit unions:

  • Canvas Credit Union (Formerly known as Public Service Credit Union),
  • Elevations Credit Union,
  • ENT Credit Union,
  • First Financial Bank (Ohio),
  • Mountain America Credit Union.
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What credit unions and banks are Franklin D. Azar & Associates investigating?

The credit unions and banks that Franklin D. Azar & Associates is investigating are the following. If you’re a member of one of these credit unions or banks and you feel as though you’ve been unfairly charged, then contact us now.

  • Ally Bank (online)
  • America First Credit Union
  • APCO Employees Credit Union
  • Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union
  • BancFirst
  • Bank of England
  • Bank of Little Rock
  • Bayer Heritage
  • Crescent Bank
  • Eastern Bank
  • Fairmont FCU
  • Firefly Credit Union
  • First America Credit Union
  • First Choice America Community Credit Union
  • First Guaranty Bank
  • Forcht Bank
  • Fort Knox Federal Credit Union
  • FNB Bank
  • George United Credit Union
  • Glacier Bank
  • Gulf Coast Bank & Trust
  • Home Bank
  • HSBC NA.
  • Investor Bank
  • Keesler Federal Credit Union
  • Kentucky Bank
  • Liberty Bank
  • Max Credit Union
  • One West Bank
  • Origin Bank
  • Red River Bank
  • Redstone Federal Credit Union
  • Regions Bank
  • Robins Financial Credit Union
  • Simmons Bank
  • Suncoast Credit Union
  • Transcend Credit Union
  • TruStone Financial Credit Union
  • University of Kentucky Credit Union
  • Valley National
  • Wings Financial Credit Union
  • Wintrust
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What if my credit union or bank isn’t listed but I think I’ve been charged unfair fees?

There is always the potential for new cases as we receive more information that allows us to open an investigation. If you feel as though your credit union or bank has treated you unfairly, then reach out to us for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.

 

If you were charged overdraft fees or NSF fees by your credit union or bank that you believe are improper, the attorneys who work at Franklin D. Azar & Associates are ready to investigate these fees on your behalf.

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HOW CAN I FIGHT BACK?

Pursuing individual claims in response to improper overdraft fees can cost more than most consumers could ever expect to recover. But many stung by overdraft fees have chosen to band together in class action lawsuits, seeking recovery of excessive fees and attempting to get banks to change their overdraft practices. A class action lawsuit gives more people access to the judicial system for relief, saves on legal costs and court time, and allows individuals to combine their claims to make their case exponentially stronger.

 

Several class action lawsuits have resulted in multi-million-dollar settlements against financial institutions for misleading customers about their overdraft fees and charging them fees they should not have incurred.

DO I HAVE A CASE?

The best way to determine if you have a potential case is to meet with a knowledgeable attorney. The attorney can review the overdraft fees charged to your account, the bank’s stated policies, and the applicable law, and advise you how to proceed.

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THE CLASS ACTION ATTORNEYS AT FDAZAR

Franklin D. Azar & Associates is one of the largest plaintiff law firms in Colorado, known for championing the rights of individuals who have suffered damages at the hands of large corporations. Over the past 30 years, our attorneys have secured more than $1.5 billion in compensation for our clients, including more than $750 million from Walmart in a wage and hour dispute that involved hundreds of thousands of class action participants and litigation in 26 states.

 

FDAzar is well known in the class action community. Our class action department is staffed with experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who are passionate about litigating large, complex cases on behalf of consumers, employees, and investors. If you have suffered damages as a result of unfair business practices, data breaches, or corporate misconduct, the class action attorneys at FDAzar may be able to help. Speak with a member of our class action team today. The consultation is free.