First class action certified against Union Bank in excessive overdraft cases against banks

Posted on: July 26th, 2011 by Steve Larson

I earlier wrote a posting about the excessive overdraft fees cases we filed against several banks that have all been transferred to Florida.  On July 18, 2011, U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King orally ruled in court that he would grant a motion for class certification filed by customers of Union Bank.  In other words, customers may sue as a group over the bank’s overdraft-fee policy of reordering debit transactions to highest to lowest.

On July 25, 2011, Judge King issued his order approving class certification, and allowing for four different subclasses as part of the trial plan.  His order can be found here.

This ruling may affect hundreds of thousands of customers of the San Francisco-based bank in California, Oregon and Washington.

Similar suits are pending before the same judge against Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank.  This probably indicates the judge is going to certify class actions in the other cases as well, because the cases are all nearly identical.

In February, Bank of America, the biggest U.S. bank, agreed to pay $410 million without admitting liability to settle these type of allegations against it.

The case is In Re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 09-cv-02036, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).