In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation Case No. 1:09-md-02036-JLK
A Court authorized this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of these class action lawsuits and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. This notice explains the lawsuits, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Senior Judge James Lawrence King of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is overseeing this case. This litigation is known as In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, No. 1:09-md-02036-JLK and Simmons v. Comerica Bank, N.A., S.D. Fla. Case No. 10-cv-22958 and N.D. Tx. Case No. 3:10-cv-00326-O. The persons who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” Comerica Bank is the “Defendant.”
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The lawsuit concerns whether Comerica posted Debit Card Transactions in order from highest to lowest dollar amount to maximize the number of Overdraft Fees assessed to its customers. The lawsuit claims that, instead of declining transactions when an account had insufficient funds to cover a purchase, Comerica Bank authorized the transactions and then processed them in highest to lowest dollar order, which had the effect of increasing the number of Overdraft Fees the bank charged its customers. The complaints in this action, posted here, contain all of the allegations and claims asserted against the bank. Comerica Bank maintains there was nothing wrong about its approval of transactions or the posting process it used.
An Overdraft Fee is any fee assessed to an account as a result of paying an item when the account has an insufficient available balance to cover the item. Fees charged to transfer funds from other accounts are excluded.
In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, two Comerica Bank customers who were assessed Overdraft Fees) sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. Together, all the people with similar claims (except those who exclude themselves) are members of a “Settlement Class.”
The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Comerica Bank. Instead, both sides have agreed to a Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Settlement Class Members receive the benefits described in the Notice. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Comerica Bank did anything wrong. Comerica Bank denies all legal claims in this case. Class Representatives and their lawyers believe the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you were a holder of a Comerica Bank Account who, during the Class Period applicable to the state in which the Account was opened, incurred one or more Overdraft Fees as a result of Comerica Bank’s High-to-Low Posting.
The Class Periods by state are:
To be included in the Class, you must have had two or more Overdraft Fees caused by debits posted to your account on a single day during the time period listed above.
Excluded from the Class are all current Comerica Bank employees, officers and directors, and the judge presiding over this Action.
If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, call the toll free number, 1-877-819-8914. You may also send questions to the Settlement Administrator at info@ComericaBankOverdraftSettlement.com or PO Box 2876, Portland, OR 97208-2876.
If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to Settlement Class Members who do not opt out of the Settlement. Comerica Bank will pay $14,580,000 to a Settlement Fund to make payments to eligible Settlement Class Members, as well as to pay for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, as well as service award payments to the Class Representatives who initiated the lawsuit (see Question 14). Comerica has also agreed to pay all fees and costs associated with notice and administration of the Settlement.
If money remains in the Settlement Fund more than one year after the Settlement Administrator sends the first Settlement Fund Payment check to Settlement Class Members, it will be distributed as follows:
Detail on how any money remaining in the Settlement Fund will be distributed can be found in paragraph 102 of the Settlement Agreement.
The Settlement Agreement provides precise and more detailed explanations of the benefits to members of the Settlement Class.
Any payment you are eligible to receive will be based on the number of Overdraft Fees charged to your Comerica Bank consumer deposit account as a result of High-to-Low Posting of Debit Card Transactions during the applicable Class Period. It is not possible to know at this point how much any Settlement Class Member’s payment from the Settlement will be. Payments will be based on the number of people in the Settlement Class and the amount of additional Overdraft Fees each Settlement Class Member paid as a result of the High-to-Low Posting. Only a small percentage of all Overdraft Fees that were charged by Comerica Bank were affected by High-to-Low Posting. Therefore, not every Overdraft Fee that was charged is eligible for payment under this Settlement.
If you are in the Settlement Class and entitled to receive a cash benefit, you do not need to do anything to receive a payment or Account credit. If the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final and effective, you will automatically receive a payment or Account credit.
Settlement Class Members who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement Class will receive their payments, either by Account credit or by check, only after the Court grants final approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see “The Final Approval Hearing” below). If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.
Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you cannot sue or bring a claim against Comerica Bank, or be part of any other lawsuit against Comerica Bank about the issues in this case. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The Settlement Agreement describes the claims that you give up if you remain in the Settlement.
PLEASE NOTE: THE DEADLINE TO REQUEST EXCLUSION HAS PASSED.
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Comerica Bank for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit.
No. You will not get a payment or Account credit if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.
The Court has appointed a number of lawyers as Class Counsel to represent all Settlement Class Members. Four of the Class Counsel have been appointed as Settlement Class Counsel. They are:
You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
Class Counsel intend to request up to 30% of the $14,580,000 Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of certain costs and expenses of prosecuting the class action. The Court will decide the amount of fees and costs to award. Class Counsel will also request that service award payments of $10,000 be paid from the Settlement Fund to each Class Representative for their service as representatives on behalf of the whole Settlement Class. Class Counsel’s fees, costs, and expenses as well as service award payments to the Class Representatives will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.
The Court held a Fairness Hearing at 10:30 a.m. on June 3, 2014, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building, 99 N.E. 4th Street, Eleventh Floor, Court Room No. 2, Miami, FL 33132. At the Fairness Hearing, the Court considered whether the proposed settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate. After the Fairness Hearing, the Court approved the Settlement, attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, and the Service Awards.
No. Settlement Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time, to the proper addresses, and it complies with the other requirements described in the Settlement Agreement, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.
PLEASE NOTE: THE DEADLINE TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT HAS PASSED.
NOTICE:This website provides a summary of the Settlement and is provided for informational purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy between the text of this website and the original text upon which it is based, the text of the original document shall prevail.
Questions? Contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-877-819-8914
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