A recent class action lawsuit alleges that Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union (BFSFCU) has been assessing its customers an NSF charge multiple times for a single transaction. Plaintiff Samario Anthony claims that the bank has made it a routine practice to debit customers with an NSF charge or overdraft fees more than once for a single transaction. Anthony also states that BFSFCU has regularly assessed these fees on transactions that did not actually overdraw the accounts in question, which is a deceptive practice that violates its own contract with depositors.
These questionable fees hit hardest those who carry low balances and struggle to stay afloat. According to the complaint, this has been happening to thousands of depositors, and without a formal court order, the practice is likely to continue.
Under its own Deposit Agreement and Fee Schedule, BFSFCU is permitted to assess a single NSF charge when a depositor’s balance does not have enough money to cover a payment, be it with a paper check or an electronic (ATM or POS) transaction. However, plaintiffs claim that the institution routinely charges NSF fees twice or more on the same transaction. This is in contrast to other major financial institutions, which charge only a single NSF fee, even when items are submitted for payment numerous times.
Anthony’s own experience is offered in the complaint as an illustration of the alleged practice. He says that in February 2019, he attempted to make a payment to his cable provider for $125. The defendant initially rejected the transaction on the basis of insufficient funds, in accordance with its Depositor’s Agreement. However, without the plaintiff’s knowledge or consent, BFSFCU resubmitted the transaction just over a week later – and assessed yet another NSF charge.
It was not the first time; the defendant had taken similar action the previous month. Altogether, Anthony was out $120 on transactions totaling $250.
BFSFCU is not the only bank that has been accused of assessing an NSF charge multiple times on a single transaction in violation of its own contract. Bank of America was sued over the same issue. In the case of one plaintiff, the fees far exceeded the value of the transaction. The woman had attempted to make a $20 payment on her credit card and was charged a total of $115 in NSF fees – all over a single payment.
In another lawsuit against USAA Federal Savings Bank, a plaintiff claimed she was assessed a $29 NSF charge three times for the same attempted transaction, according to a report by the San Antonio Express-News.
Lucrative Source of Revenue
Prior to the end of 2015, banks and credit unions were permitted to combine an NSF charge and an overdraft fee into a single category, known as a “deposit service charge.” That same year, banks with $1 billion or more in revenue enjoyed a windfall of over $11 billion from such fees. At that point, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau instituted a new rule that required these institutions to track NSF and overdraft fees separately – but abuses apparently remain.
Anthony’s NSF charge class action lawsuit is Case 1:19-cv-03754, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Join a Free NSF Fee Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
You may qualify to join this NSF fee class action lawsuit investigation if you were unfairly charged NSF fees by one of these banks:
- Bell Bank
- Busey Bank
- Center Bank
- CenterState Bank
- Flagstar Bank
- Glacier Bank Wings Federal Credit Union
- Hudson Valley Credit Union
- Midwest One
- NBT Bank
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