Washington, DC: A class action lawsuit filed today would require Citizens Bank to refund hundreds of millions of dollars in unlawful overdraft charges -- which Citizens Bank often charged even when the customers had enough funds in their accounts to pay for the purchase.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court on behalf of Jessica Duval, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, and other bank customers who were unfairly and illegally charged overdraft fees by Citizens Financial Group Inc. ("CFG"), for charges she made on her ATM/debit card. CFG is the parent company of Citizens Bank and Charter One Bank.
The class action lawsuit alleges that these charges violate federal and state law, as well as the contractual relationship the bank has with its customers. The lawsuit seeks certification of a class action on behalf of Citizens Bank and Charter One Bank customers who were improperly charged overdraft fees or who received insufficient disclosures about such overdraft fees.
The complaint alleges that Citizens Bank/Charter One manipulates debit transaction posting to cause overdraft fees even when there are sufficient funds to pay for a certain purchase. Citizens Bank uses several different methods to cause a customer to incur an overdraft fee even when her account has never been overdrafted.
The complaint also alleges that Citizens Bank directly violates the terms of its account agreement by allowing purchases and withdrawals even when a customer has an insufficient balance. For example, one contractual provision states that the bank will not allow withdrawals when there are insufficient funds. In fact, the class action alleges that the bank does allow withdrawals on insufficient funds even at its own ATMs -- and it does so without any prior warning to the customer. According to the complaint, the bank does this for the sole purpose of charging its own customers an overdraft charge.
The complaint also alleges that Citizens Bank has not allowed its customers to opt out of "overdraft protection," as recommended by Federal regulators.
Citizens Bank Class Action Legal Help
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I had two checks presented for payment from the same company on the same day. Citizens deducted the higher amount check first causing both checks to bounce. If they had deducted the lower amount first only one check would have bounced. I called the office and the customer service rep told me the higher figure is always deducted first. This just does not make sense to me. I thought the law suit that was filed stopped Citizens from doing high to low.
Posted by Connecticut
As a customer of Citizen's Bank I received numerous overdraft fees to total multiple thousands of dollars. At times my account was put on hold, and even though a merchant had not withdrawn a previous purchase, citizens bank still overdrew my account. In the beginning of their online services, they refused to show holds on accounts, so even though my online account would read a certain dollar amount, my real account balance would be hold and therefore overdraw.
Posted by New Hampshire
Repeated and more than one overdraft charge per transaction.
Posted by Washington
Unable to make bill payments due to lack of funds from overdraft charges as high as $74 each, and multiple times in a single transaction day.
Posted by Massachusetts
Numerous unfair overdraft fees. A purposefully obscure and confusing contract. A purposefully obscure and confusing system of obtaining balances on line and on the phone. No warning of insufficient funds. Purposeful manipulation of credit charges and ATM debits for the purpose of charging as many overdraft fees as possible.
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