The lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff Donald Stevens of Crestline, Ohio, contends that such practices violate Ohio law and FirstMerit Bank's contracts with its customers. The action asks the court to stop the overdraft fee practice and order the bank to pay back funds improperly taken from customer accounts and provide interest on the money wrongfully taken.
According to the suit, FirstMerit engaged in a systematic policy of re-ordering debit card transactions from highest dollar amount to the lowest dollar amount, depleting the customer's available funds as quickly as possible while maximizing the overdraft fees.
The suit further states that the bank charged overdraft fees in situations where a customer did not overdraw a checking account and, in addition, failed to disclose or properly disclose its overdraft policies. This resulted in the bank providing misleading account balance information and often charging overdraft fees on top of overdraft fees.