Bank of America and a proposed class of millions of checking account holders have reached a $27.5-million settlement resolving claims that the bank improperly imposed overdraft fees on authorized purchases. None of the $27.5 million is set to revert back to the bank in any way, and the net settlement fund will pay approved class members in proportion of their wrongfully assessed fees, according to the settlement argument, but no payment will be less than $5. The class includes any holder of a Bank of America checking account since May 25, 2011, who was charged an overdraft fee on an approved transaction with sufficient funds.
Bank of America has also agreed to provide a new and separate disclosure to account holders “to clarify the … practices that gave rise to this litigation.” The case goes back to June 2014, when Bodnar filed her initial complaint over the bank’s practice of charging debit card users overdraft fees on authorized transactions when there were sufficient funds available in a given account to cover the purchases. She accused Bank of America of breaching the contracts it had with account holders by automatically assessing the improper overdraft fees, along with violations of various common law duties and Pennsylvania’s consumer protection statute.
Plaintiffs also asked the court to set a hearing on final approval of the settlement for no later than June. Plaintiffs are represented by Hassan A. Zavareei and Jeffrey Kaliel of Tycko & Zavareei LLP, Jeffrey M. Ostrow of Kopelowitz Ostrow PA, and James C. Shah of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah LLP. The case is in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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