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July 26, 2012 / Corina Valderrama

Class Members to Get Bank Overdraft Refunds

On Tuesday, a D.C. federal judge preliminarily approved a $12 million settlement against National City Bank. Back in February, a class action suit was filed against National City Bank alleging that the bank engaged in unlawful and deceptive practices by improperly charging customers overdraft fees on debit card transactions. The plaintiffs claimed that the bank reordered electronic debit transactions from highest to lowest in order to deplete the account funds quickly while still maximizing the number of overdraft fees collected.

The $12 million settlement allegedly represents 17% to 24% of what the plaintiffs would expect to get at trial. Settlement class members would receive $36 for each eligible overdraft fee incurred during a two month period. One objector complained that limiting the recovery period to two months would insufficiently compensate class members who released their claims for overdraft fees over a six-year period. Judge John Bates said that restricting the recovery to two months prevents “chronic overdrafters … from being unjustly rewarded for their behavior” and added that the two months need not be consecutive.

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