Higher One settlementHigher One, a company that markets debit cards to college students, has agreed to refund nearly $11 million to 60,000 students as part of a settlement resolving allegations that the company charged students excessive fees for its student debit card account program, OneAccount.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) accused Higher One and its former partner, The Bancorp Bank, of “deceptive and unfair practices” that included charging multiple overdraft fees on a single transaction, holding overdrawn accounts open for months to accumulate fees, and collecting fees on subsequent account deposits, which were typically funds for tuition and other college expenses from student financial aid.

Higher One is also facing a class action lawsuit over the fees that was filed in July 2012 by seven students in five states. The $5 million Higher One class action lawsuit alleges the company “improperly coerced” students into its accounts through a system that requires them to “opt out” of accounts the company opens without the students’ knowledge or consent. According to the class action lawsuit, Higher One “uses three tactics to make sure that students do not opt out of this default: first, it bombards students with unsolicited and deceptive marketing materials; second, it intentionally delays access to financial aid funds for students who choose to use other banking providers; third, it conceals the true costs of the Higher One accounts.”

“Higher One then proceeds to assess and collect deceptive, unusual, unconscionable and, in many cases, unavoidable bank fees in these ‘captive’ banking accounts,” the class action lawsuit states.

In addition to refunding students $11 million in improperly assessed fees, Higher One also signed a consent order with the FDIC that it will no longer charge insufficient fund fees on accounts that have maintained a negative balance for more than 60 days. Higher One is also prohibited from charging more than three such fees to an account on any given day. The company will also pay a $110,000 civil penalty to the FDIC, while Bancorp will pay a $172,000 penalty.

The FDIC said the Higher One AccountNow refunds will begin distribution in December 2012, adding that the company has already begun to institute policy improvements to its overdraft practices and compliance management systems as suggested by the FDIC.

UPDATE: Higher One has agreed to a $15 million class action settlement over allegations it deceptively marketed its OneAccount bank accounts and imposed improper fees. Click here or visit www.OneAccountSettlement.com to find out how to file a claim for the Higher One settlement.

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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.

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14 Comments

  • Spencer Graham July 4, 2014

    I had a higher one account in Omaha. In 2010 do I have a case?

  • Top Class Actions July 11, 2014

    UPDATE: Higher One has agreed to a $15 million class action settlement over allegations it deceptively marketed its OneAccount bank accounts and imposed improper fees. Click here or visit http://www.OneAccountSettlement.com to find out how to file a claim for the Higher One settlement.

  • ali July 15, 2014

    I’m in michigan and I got mail about it .. In the mail letter it didn’t say it was college atm card .. i was wondering if I ever used that bank . But after reading online description of the lawsuit , I remember my university used higher one

  • brian July 23, 2014

    their NOT on BBB.com, I think its a scam , but Im researching

  • Theran July 23, 2014

    I just got this in my email…is it a scam or what is it?

  • shyronda taylor September 18, 2014

    Is there is a way you could check the status of your case?

  • D. Parker September 28, 2014

    How much will each person recieve?

  • Wendy December 23, 2014

    It’s not a scam, because just about all colleges uses Higher One and I called them last week so see if they received my claim and they said yes. That after the last approval which was in November that the courts will authorize release of funds. My thing is this I will just be glad to get whatever, because we didn’t even know that we were qualified for the money!!

    • darius February 19, 2015

      how do i see if they got my claim

  • darius adams February 19, 2015

    its real they gonna start giving the money out in march of 2015

  • kim bledsoe March 3, 2015

    How do we know when and if we are getting a pay out?

  • Lana Macht March 3, 2015

    How do I find out to make sure my claim was received. I filed mine when it first happened. I am just wondering if I may get anything or what’s going on.

  • Tiffiani Courtland March 13, 2015

    Its sad because I didnt receive anything by mail. I have stayed at the same address for 11 years now. I graduated in 2011 and didnt have access to the University email. But now its too late to file a claim per the website.

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