Fifth Third Bank Overdraft Lawsuit Settlement

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Fifth Third BankA few years ago, banks did some crafty things to juice up their fee revenue. One of those things was the re-ordering of debit card and ATM transactions to maximize insufficient funds and overdraft fees. Instead of posting the transactions in chronological order, which one would expect, transactions at Fifth Third Bank were not posted in chronological order. Fifth Third Bank was sued in a class action lawsuit and settled for $9.5 million.

If you are or were a Fifth Third bank customer between October 21st, 2004 and July 1st, 2010 and were assessed at least one overdraft fee with a debit card transaction, you can submit a claim form. Your settlement is amount is is up to three times the amount you claim on the form. If you can’t remember whether or not you paid an overdraft fee, you can submit a request with Fifth Third Bank and they will provide that data free of charge (according to the claim website).

The deadline to submit a claim is May 2nd, 2011.

Here is the official settlement website.

(Photo: valkyrieh116)

{ 194 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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194 Responses to “Fifth Third Bank Overdraft Lawsuit Settlement”

  1. joe says:

    Folks; per the fifth third website. The appeals have been dismissed as of Sept, 26th. All VALID claims will be paid by Jan 26, 2012.

  2. DianaR says:

    if someone gets a check sometime soon or has already received a check from them can you let us know how much it was for? Just trying to get an idea of how much they are going to pay vs the amount per claim…? that would be interesting to know especially if we all end up w/a $10 check!

    • cynthia osborne says:

      they are still practicing just as before. I have just paid 165.00 for an overdraft of 30.00. when i paid the 165.00 it was to close my account. instead they said they had to wait for my check to clear. my check cleared on the same day that they charged me an additional 56.00 overdraft fee. they failed to tell me that if i cashed the check and deposited cash, i wouldn’t have been charged the extra fees. now i have to pay whatever they charge to close my account. i had direct deposit of my payroll check to post on wed. every two weeks but i didnt have access to my money for another 24 hrs. the are still rip offs

  3. Julie says:

    I was just wondering if Sarah is such an adult and never had an overdraft at 5/3, then why is she creeping on this page??

    • Venetta says:

      Julie, Sarah is a CHAT ROOM GROUPIE and is looking to benefit from our reactions to her childish remark as the bank cashed in on our accounts. We are PAYING HER TOO MUCH ATTENTION more than she is worth.

  4. Melissa says:

    and what if we knew we was being screwed over and refused to pay the over draft charges… They changed my account without telling me it was changed and caused an over draft and then charged me everyday it was over drafted knowing I was on disibility and only got paid on the first of the month …. I believe the over draft was a little over $1.00 and the over draft charges added up to over $200.00 …. I havent paid and it is on my credit so I cant get a bank account …. they have been a pain in the backside since they took over the bank

  5. uno says:

    BMAC, What is the “comptroller of the currency”?

    • BMac says:

      google Comptroller of the Currency, they handle complainst against banking institutions, you can file a complaint on line. Trust me if enough people drag down their servers with complaints, they will change their ways… good luck

  6. Leroy Greer says:

    I was one of 5/3rd bank customers with overdraft fee charges filed before the 2011 deadline,no word on any action to date. whats happening with this case.

  7. Kristy says:

    all appeals are over and 5/3 has until 1/26/12 to start mailing settlements out. don’t worry leroy, even us who were screws out of hundreds of dollars will probably only see $60 of it if were lucky.

  8. Nikki says:

    The settlement was $9.5 million and the attorney’s got $3.6 million. The rest is to be split between approx 100,000 claims. That is approx $58 for each claim.

    • Jason says:

      I don’t remember seeing anything in the settlement documents that said how the payouts would be broken down. My assumption, and hope, is that it would be based on the amount of the claim. For example: Let’s say there were $13 million in valid claims, approximately double the award amount. That would equate to 50 cents awarded for every dollar claimed. So if you had one overdraft fee for $35, you would get $17.50. If you had multiple overdraft fees for $500, you would get $250.

      That makes the most sense to me, which means it will NEVER happen.

  9. Anonymous says:

    i filed a claim with this overdraft. now they can’t find a claim on me. I’m not crazy or old, I hope that the people who have filed a claim like myself really do get this money!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just got off phone with lawyers , I had over 2500 in overdraft fees but I am only getting back less then 400 so good luck people they screws us all

    • Jason says:

      You had over $2500 in overdrafts in ONE 45 day period? That means at $35 per overdraft you bounced 71 items in a month and a half? How is that even possible? Even counting their $8 a day fee after 7 days, that’s still 63 items, mostly checks since you can’t use your debit card with a negative balance, that you wrote knowing you were negative. Be glad they’re not prosecuting you for check fraud! If you messed up the form and claimed the entire 18 month period, which I think is more likely here, you should get nothing back for not following the rules of the settlement.

    • Jason says:

      BTW, just got an email back from the official lawyers, and the data is still being processed. There is NO WAY to know at this point wht you are getting back.

  11. Nicole says:

    What Sarah said just makes me sad. I can remember crying on the phone to a 5/3 rep when I had just deposited my paycheck and the next day funds were reshuffled on my account to where overdraft fee ate nearly my entire check. I had no money. It was all going to the banks and I was not being irresponisble. It was done by reshuffling debits made over a 2-3 day period so that my account was negative and then they would post my paycheck (which was direct deposit). Then I would be hit with multiple (I believe at one time it was 12+) overdraft fees and my entire paycheck was gone. I know I’ll never see that money again, but I think it is harsh and unfair to say that I brought that on myself. I was making just $7.50/hr starting out teaching. In my eyes what was done was theft, but big business always wins. It was a lesson learned for me. Oh, and Sarah, I haven’t had an overdraft in in over 3 years…ever since I stopped backing with 5/3.

  12. KRoushWV says:

    This whole settlement is truly sad 🙁 The attonreys settled without even knowing the number of claimants! How can you settle a case and not know how much it should be worth? My husband and I had separate bank accounts with 5/3 before we were married. We both incurred multiple overdraft fees. My husband incurred his because of an unauthorized charge on his debit card. He filed the necessary paperwork and the manager promised that the funds would be available within 24 hours. That never happened and that was the reason for the overdrafts. How is that his fault?

    The comment about not being able to use your debit card if your account is negative is not true. 5/3 did authorize charges after the unauthorized charge and that is what put him in the negative. Neither one of us have had any overdraft charges since we left 5/3 bank!

    • Jason says:

      1) The attorneys did know how many claims they received. The cutoff was May 2, 2011 and the settlement was approved at the end of July.

      2) You have to pre-authorize the bank to accept debit card transactions that would put you into the negative. Granted, that is a huge fee generator for the bank, which is why they push it so hard; but it also shows a lack of financial responsibility by the consumer. “I know I don’t have enough to cover this, but I’m willing to pay an additional $35 for my instant gratification.”

      The fact they refused to return the fees after unauthorized charges means after their investigation, you were found to be liable; or have had it happen too many times for them to feel comfortable returning the fees. Also, the manager of the bank has no decision making power to return the fees once a dispute form is filled out and sent to the fraud center in Columbus. It takes 5-7 business days.

      3) I am definitely NOT pro-5/Turd in this matter, but the fact that so many people are saying they haven’t had an overdraft charge since leaving 5/3 tells me that they have learned from their past mistakes. A better argument is to say you HAVE received an overdraft, but the bank worked with you to solve the problem.

      • Julie says:

        I have had overdrafts since this happened, but as Jason said, the manager of the main branch in my city worked with me.

        I too am on disability with a fixed income. I don’t deliberately try to overdraft my account Jason, but I do make errors sometimes or occasionally forget auto-bills that come out.

  13. michelle says:

    Recieved this today,
    Thank you for your inquiry. Your claim,#, has been deemed to be timely and complete, however, all claims are still pending Fifth Third’s review and are being processed. Determination letters will be mailed upon completion. Payments related to eligible and valid claims are to be issued by January 26, 2012, however at this time, we are unable to determine specific award amounts. We appreciate your patience; please continue to advise us of any questions or concerns

  14. scott says:

    good news eveyone i’ve got a check from 5/3 today my fees was $1900 and I got a check for $2400 not 3 times as much but im happy with that good luck all:)

  15. mimi says:

    It seems that you are the ONLY one that has received payment.

  16. Jason says:

    It DIDN’T happen! Just received this from the lawyers:
    “Regrettably at this time we are still unable to determine specific award amounts or exact dates of disbursements, which will not necessarily be the same for every claimant. You will receive written notification with more information within the next two weeks. We appreciate your patience in this matter.


    Office of the Settlement Administrator”


  17. jenni says:

    i want all my 1500 back they are full of shit

  18. Jason says:

    The class action website was updated on January 12. Looks like another month of waiting.
    “January 12, 2012 UPDATE: Claims processing is currently ongoing. Claimants are scheduled to be notified by mail in January, if their claims have not been approved. These notification letters will advise claimants on steps they may take to remedy deficiencies and/or contest the Claims Administrator’s initial determination. It is presently expected that substantially all checks will be mailed to eligible claimants by February 29, 2012.”

  19. Jason says:

    Looks like another month of waiting.
    The settlement website was updated yesterday:
    “January 12, 2012 UPDATE: Claims processing is currently ongoing. Claimants are scheduled to be notified by mail in January, if their claims have not been approved. These notification letters will advise claimants on steps they may take to remedy deficiencies and/or contest the Claims Administrator’s initial determination. It is presently expected that substantially all checks will be mailed to eligible claimants by February 29, 2012.”

  20. tami says:

    what a bunch of crap they didnt hesitate to take our money but sure in the hell they are with giving our back to us.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I had an acct with 5/3 and my paychecks were automatically deposited and on pay day i went to get lunch my whole paycheck was gone they cleaned out my savings acct. and charged extra fees on top of that for late charges and didnt even recieve a notice my acct was negative until 3 weeks later! i couldnt even put gas in my vehicle elect bill bounced

  22. michigan customer says:

    I recently had a problem with 5th 3rd regarding the posting of deposits and nsf charges…i contacted the U.S. Consumer Protection agency and filed a complaint online…got most of my money back thanks to the president’s formation of this agency…suggest if you have a problem with them that you go this route

  23. Anonymous says:

    We received a letter today stating our settlement amount will betwen $65 and $78 and will be mailed by the end of Feb. (Our claim was for $360)


  24. Walt says:

    Just got two letters from the lawyers. We will only receive $14.00, and it was over $1.200.00 that they took from us. This is not fair. The letter reads, the setttlement exceeds the funds available for didtribution to eligiable claimants.


  25. bj says:

    I received a letter today from the claims administrator telling me that my claim was denied. To be honest I had to “guess” at my amount, but I definately put down a conservative number compared to the true amount. I had closed the account and did not have the statements. As usual 5th 3rd screwed me again.

    • Jason says:

      Part of the settlement was that statements would be made available online for the previous two years so people could go back and check their numbers. You screwed yourself.

      • michelle says:

        not true at all. they NEVER put statements and such online, i had to guess at mine as well, although mine was fairly accuate considering i lost EVERYTHING and i mean EVERYTHING, i had to seach and search, and the good lord let me find 1 paper with my account #

        • Jason says:

          That’s odd, because I followed the claim form, did my own due diligence, and found over two years of past statements on their website. It was then a simple matter of finding the 45-day period with the largest overdraft fee total and writing it on the form. They were also set up to give you statements if you walked into the bank.

        • Jason says:

          Just to put this to bed, straight from the signed and approved settlement (Page 16, Paragraph 25):
          “25. In order to assist Settlement Class Members to properly and accurately complete a Claim Form, Fifth Third shall make available at no cost on its website (, all Settlement Class Members account statements for a period going back sixteen (16) months from the date of request by the Settlement Class Member.”

          So, all you had to do was notify 5/3 and tell them what time period you wanted and they HAD to put it online. And yes, I know 16 months isn’t two years, but with the current statements on my online account at the time, I had over 24 months to choose from.

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