Class Action InvestigationsNSF Fee Class Action LawsuitClass action lawsuit filed for illegal overdraft fees by Community Bank

September 5, 2019by Shamis & Gentile P.A.

According to a recent class action lawsuit against the Community Bank has claimed that most of the financial institutions are in the game of unethically charging of overdraft fees from the customers. It has also been alleged that the overdraft fees are being charged even when the bank accounts of the customers are having sufficient funds for covering up their transactions. The Community Bank assures the customers that the bank will be charging overdraft fees and non-sufficient fees only when there are insufficient funds in their accounts for covering up the transactions. However, in spite of such assurances, Community Bank has been charged with repeatedly charging non-sufficient fees and overdraft fees from the customers in an ambiguous manner.

Banks are abusing their vigilance

The whole process of charging overdraft fees is very well-mannered. When the banks receive request for authorization of the transactions, it checks by cross-checking the available balance in the account of the customer. Once the bank approves the transaction, it deducts its deducted amount of transaction from the balance which is available. But, in its true colors, when the banks are asked for authorization and processing the transaction, Community Bank willfully determines that the account balance of the customer is not enough to cover up the transaction. As a result, what they end up doing is deducting heavy charges for overdrafts and non-sufficient fees. This is absolutely unethical when it comes from the viewpoint of the customers.

Claim of Community Bank Overdraft Fees Class Lawsuit

The lawsuit claims that the held funds for the other transactions are kept within the accounts, however, the Community Banks are improperly charging overdraft fees of the APPSN transactions. In real facts, the APPSN transactions are always bound to have enough balance for the transactions to be covered.

According to the class action of the Community Bank, the financial institutions are abusing their own discretion’s that are being contracted. According to the contractual discretion, the attempted transaction will be rejected if the bank feels that it is completely inappropriate the cover up the transaction. However, the Community Banks are allegedly pushing through the transactions just for the purpose of charging their non-sufficient fees and overdraft fees.

CFPB calling the action of Community bank as unfair

The CFPB or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken up the issue related to this practice of charging a fee for overdraft from the consumers as deceptive and unfair. This statement was filed in a document in the year 2015. CFPB further went on saying that the customers had no reason to count on this unethical practice which was never disclosed properly for them. Thus, the customers were not able to judiciously avoid acquiring the fees charged for overdraft.

Statement of the accuser

The lawsuit was filed by Charles Kelly who himself is a victim of this unethical practice. He said that he also experienced the same issue in the year 2019. It was the month of June when he was charged with heavy fees for overdraft. The Community Bank willfully authorized a debit card transaction for DirecTV on 31st May 2019. However, Kelly was charged a fee for overdraft of 35 dollars on 3rd June 2019. The Community Bank purportedly charged the accuser with additional non-sufficient fees and overdraft charges while he attempted to transfer funds to his savings account from his checking account.

The Community Bank class action claims on the allegation filed by Kelly that the transaction was authorized by them and was paid into positive account balance just before that date. The bank also claimed that during authorization, the positive funds were withdrawn for the transaction of the debit card on which the accuser was charged with overdraft fee.

The bright truth of Overdraft Fees

It is true that the Community Bank charges most of the consumers with unethical overdraft fees in this deceitful way. According to the accuser, the policies of overdraft of the Community Bank only serve to maximize the overall overdraft fee revenue of the bank. He also claims that the banks were still not happy with the whole lot of money that they charge every year as overdraft fees. That is why the Community Bank came along with their unethical means for gathering more.

Kelly is the representative of a whole lot of consumers who were also charged with huge amounts of overdraft fees by the Community Bank. Most of the overdraft fees were charged by the bank on transactions or on transfers that did not even overdraw their accounts in actual.  In case you have any query about non-sufficient funds fees, feel free to contact Shamis & Gentile, P.A.


Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Community Banks For Illegal Overdraft Fees

Recently a lawsuit was filed against the Community banks for charging illegal overdraft fees, even when the bank account had sufficient fund available in it.

The Community banks, during the opening of a bank account, promises the customers that, they will not charge extra fees, that is overdraft fee or insufficient fund fee, if the account has sufficient fund in it, and bank will only charge the fees if the account has insufficient balance during a transaction. Despite these promises, Community banks are illegally charging the overdraft fee as well as non-sufficient fund fee.

When the banks are asked for the authorization to any of the transactions, they apparently authorize it by crosschecking the account’s available balance. Once the transaction is approved by the bank, it deducts the amount from the balance available in account. But when these transactions are done, Community banks allegedly find that the account lacks in the funds required for the transaction, hence it illegally charges the overdraft fees or nonsufficient fund fee.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken issue with this practice in the banking industry, calling it “unfair” and “deceptive” in a 2015 document.

Consumers had no reason to expect this practice, which was not properly disclosed,” the CFPB wrote. They therefore cannot avoid incurring the overdraft fees being charged.

United Community bank is one such bank which illegally charged overdraft fee. Plaintiff Dennis A. Jones, on behalf of himself and others similar to his problem, situated all over the United states., filed the lawsuit against united Community bank for alleged  practice of assessing overdraft fees on his debit card transactions which he never overdrew more than available balance in his account, along with multiple insufficient funds fees on a single transaction. The lawsuit is brought as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The suit was filed on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The lawsuit alleges that:

  • UCB breached the terms and conditions of its account documents by charging illegal overdraft fees on transactions which were authorized into a sufficient available balance,
  • UCB breached the terms and conditions of its account documents by charging illegal chargers on multiple insufficient funds fees on a single transaction;
  • UCB engaged in deceptive acts or practices related to the imposition of overdraft fees on customers in violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.

United Community Bank’s inappropriate debit card fee practices are lies to Dennis Jones, and many others like him, unreasonably high sums and taking away a considerable percentage of income, said Gerard Stranch, managing partner of BS&J. “Their practice of organizing authorized-positive, settled-negative transactions is delusive and bears potential influence on all of UCB’s customers. UCB’s clients should be conscious of the bank’s practices and the prevalence with which they result in significant, unpredicted, personal cost to customers.”

It the hope that Mr. Jones, representing the victims on behalf of which this case was filed, can put a stop to UCB’s unfair and improper fee practices,” said Lynn Toops, a partner at C&M. Those customers who have been victimized by UCB’s improper/illegal practices, in direct violation of the bank’s terms and conditions, have suffered considerable financial losses. It is our goal to not only be granted restoration of these improper fees, but to hold United Community Bank accountable for their improper actions.”

Plaintiff Charles Kelly, another victim of the illegal charges, said he faced the issue in June 2019, when Community Bank allegedly approved a DirecTV debit card transaction on May 31, 2019 and he was charged an overdraft fee of $35 on June 3, 2019. Community Bank allegedly charged Kelly additional overdraft fees during his attempts to transfer money from his checking account into his savings account.

However, that transaction was authorized and paid into a positive account balance prior to that day, the Community Bank class action claims. Further, at that time of authorization, positive funds were deducted immediately for the debit card transaction on which he was later assessed an OD Fee. Kelly seeks to represent several Classes of consumers who were charged overdraft fees on transfers or on transactions that did not overdraw their account. He also seeks to represent state-wide Classes of the same consumers from Pennsylvania.

The Community Bank Class Action Lawsuit is Kelly v. Community Bank NA, Case No. 8:19-cv-00919-MAD-CFH, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District, New York.

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