In late May, Bank of America’s $410 million settlement of a class action lawsuit concerning debit-card overdraft fees received preliminary approval  from a Miami federal judge. Thirty five banks were named in a class-action litigation and Bank of America was the first to settle. The final approval hearing will be November 7th.
Did you just get a letter in the mail about the Bank of America overdraft fee lawsuit settlement? Congratulations, you’re due for a little piece of the $410 million dollar settlement that Bank of America agreed to several months ago in litigation named “In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 1:09-MD-02036-JLK” (they’ve settled on a lot of things, but that’s the one this post is about). The agreement has been approved and you can now take action.
Remember a few years ago when it was revealed that banks were (allegedly) playing games when it came to the ordering of various transactions? Fifth Third Bank  settled in April on something very similar. Well, the lawsuit charged that banks were processing charges days after a purchase was made, they were reordering the processing times, and doing all sorts of other chicanery in order to maximize fee income. I won’t be surprised to hear other banks settling too.
The judge ordered that the administrator create a website  (it’s now past July 1st so that’s the website) and toll-free number (1-800-372-2390) by July 1st, so look for a website by then. Also, all class members will receive a postcard by September 2nd.
According to the website, if you want to get payment or account credit, you don’t have to do anything. The website states: “You do not have to do anything to get a payment or account credit from the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final and effective, all identifiable Settlement Class Members who are entitled to receive a cash benefit and who remain in the Settlement Class will automatically get a payment or account credit and will give up their legal rights against Bank of America about thes claims in this litigation.”
If you want to exclude yourself from the settlement, and thus retain the right to bring separate litigation, object, or go to a hearing, you can do so via the website (or find out more information on how to do so. If you do nothing, you’ll get paid a portion of the settlement amount.
(Photo: rainforestactionnetwork )