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Complaints against Bank of the West Extend Beyond Unfair Overdraft Charges

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San Francisco, CABank of the West continues to be plagued with complaints five years after a 2012 settlement over excessive overdraft fees. That unfair overdraft fees class action was settled for $18 million in 2012. However, the complaints against Bank of the West keep coming.

Bank of the West is hardly the only culprit with regard to Bank of the West overdraft charges and other excessive fees. The entire banking industry – including credit unions – has been painted with a similar brush. Banks have been known to reorder deposits in such a way that generates, for the bank additional fees – essentially nullifying any sense of control a consumer has in tightly managing his or her account in order to avoid overdraft fees and other charges the bank has, on the surface, every right to collect.

It’s the sleight-of-hand alleged in many an unfair overdraft fees lawsuit that is serving to tick more, and more people off and send consumers pursuing excessive overdraft fees legal help.

However, there appears to be more angst directed at Bank of the West according to consumers posting in, an online rating and comments blog that continues to attract negative comments for Bank of the West – comments which have combined to secure the banking enterprise a single star (out of five) in the rating system.

One responder, identified as Cody, of Aurora Colorado, wrote about Bank of the West overdraft charges on December 21st of last year that “My account was over drafted (sic) $2. They charged me 2 x $36 fees. I asked to close the account. They refused unless I paid the fee. Now I have $168 in fees from the $2 overdraft because they wouldn’t cancel the account. I’m not going to pay these thieves...”

Another responder had a different problem. ‘Tom’ of Wichita Kansas wrote on February 26 of last year that “After making a deposit of over $5,000 I was informed a 10 day hold was put on the funds. One day after making the deposit I contacted the bank on which the check was from and they confirmed the check had cleared and Bank of the West had the funds. I called the Bank of the West and they refused to transfer the funds to my account for 10 days even though the check I deposited had cleared. Their online policy states all deposited check funds will be available two business days after deposit date. I'm closing my account today…”

Two years after settling allegations of unfair overdraft fees in 2012, Bank of the West was back in Court, this time settling with a putative class of consumers upset over the bank’s alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) with regard to unwanted and – according to the plaintiffs – unauthorized calls to consumer cell phones in an attempt to collect on debts the consumers had with the bank (Younus Bayat and Mohammed Ereikat v. Bank of the West, case number 3:13-cv-02376-EMC in the US District Court for the Northern District of California).

However, it is the unfair overdraft fees and other excessive charges that have customers complaining the most. And the lawsuits keep coming as consumers pursue excessive overdraft fees legal help. One of the most recent lawsuits is Welch v. Bank of the West et al, Case No. 2:17-cv-01720, filed earlier this month in Nevada.

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