Florida MDL Judge approves four more excessive overdraft settlements

Posted on: August 26th, 2013 by Steve Larson

FeeFlorida federal judge King, who had been assigned a number of excessive overdraft cases by the MDL panel, signed off on four other settlements of class actions accusing the bank of manipulating debit card transactions to collect higher overdraft fees.  The suits involved claims against Harris Bank, Commerce Bank, Great Western Bank and M & I Marshley.  

The suits were filed in 2009 alleging that the banks improperly changed the order of customers’ debit card transactions in order to maximize overdraft fees. The classes in the suits consisted of bank customers that opened accounts between 2003 and 2010.  Harris Bank agreed to set up a fund of $13 million, Commerce Bank agreed to set up a fund of $18 million, Great Western Bank agreed to set up a fund of $2.2 million, and M & I Marshley agreed to set up a fund of $4 million.

The settlements follow a number of other settlements in the MDL against more than 30 different banks, including JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Bank of America NA and PNC Bank NA. The actions accused the banks of cashing in on excessive overdraft fees by ordering debit card transactions from largest to smallest so larger transactions would empty customer accounts and smaller transactions then would trigger multiple overdraft charges.

In March, Judge King approved a settlement that required TD Bank NA to pay $62 million. The bank also was forced to pay an estimated $750,000 for all costs associated with class notice and settlement administration, according to the settlement agreement.  BofA, JPMorgan and PNC settled out of the MDL for $410 million, $110 million and $90 million, respectively. RBS Citizens NA agreed in April 2012 to pay $137.5 million to resolve its alleged role in the scheme.  US Bank recently agreed to pay $55 million to settle claim made against it.