January 23, 2009

"Claim Your Share ($78) of The Bank of America Overdraft Settlement"

I think we've mentioned overdraft fees before, and if you've ever lived on a tight budget, you know that some banks charge progressively increasing overdraft fees and that Bank of America is one of the worst offenders.

So we were psyched to hear that Bank of America has settled a class action lawsuit over its policies that include approving transactions that generate overdraft fees and clearing transactions in high-to-low order to increase the number of overdrafts.

If you had a Bank of America, Fleet, LaSalle or U.S. Trust Company debit card and paid an overdraft fee some time between 2000-2007, you are probably eligible for a $78 settlement payment.

You can submit your claim online (or print a form to mail). The deadline is May 1, 2009. This seems legitimate - I called the "Claims administrator" number and spoke with someone who confirmed the information and the form doesn't ask for your Social Security number or anything like that. FAQ and court docs available here.

The settlement website says:

The lawsuit claims Bank of America made statements in its advertising, website, and customer agreements to encourage its customers to use Bank of America debit cards and increased the number of insufficient funds fees, overdraft fees, returned check fees, and similar fees...through the order in which such transactions were posted and the account balance information it provided. The lawsuit also claims that Bank of America authorizes debit card transactions that will result in overdraft fees; fails to warn customers that specific debit card transactions may result in overdrawn accounts; posts debit card and other transactions in high-to-low order; and provides account balance information to customers that is not current, accurate or as advertised.

Hope this info is helpful, and everyone is having a good day!

1 comment:

D. Patrick Caldwell said...

I've been browsing articles on blogspot on the topic of overdraft fees and I found yours. I've been interested in this practice for some time now. I've long felt like the financial industry intentionally takes advantage of the disadvantaged.

I've concocted a short (2 question) survey to look specifically at overdraft fees and level of income.

Would you mind terribly if I leave this comment soliciting responses from your readers?

The instructions are simple:
1) Take the survey
2) Give these instructions to everyone you know

Thanks a million,
Patrick Caldwell