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Class Action Alleging Excessive Bank Overdraft Fees Can Go Ahead

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Evansville, INAn excessive bank overdraft fees lawsuit originally filed in 2010 is finally scheduled to go to trial later this month in Vanderburgh Circuit Court in the state of Indiana following various delays stemming from Old National Bank’s various efforts to have the lawsuit tossed.

Old National Bank is based in Evansville, Indiana. Three former customers of Old National Bank filed a proposed class action, accusing the bank of posting and arranging transactions in such a way as to inflate bank overdraft fees. The three plaintiffs - identified as Steven Kelly, Jon Cook and Rebecca Cook - were initially rewarded by a ruling from Circuit Court Judge David Kiely that the proposed bank overdraft fees lawsuit could move forward as a class-action lawsuit.

The defendant appealed the ruling to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which - this past April - affirmed the ruling of the lower court. Old National Bank then took its case to the Indiana Supreme Court, which refused the defendant’s petition to hear arguments in the case.

That decision by the Supreme Court automatically upholds the lower court’s ruling, allowing the banking overdraft fees lawsuit to move ahead. The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial later this month, on October 27. The case will be heard by a judge, who will render a decision without the participation of a jury.

The three plaintiffs in the excessive overdraft fees lawsuit accused Old National Bank of breach of contract in arranging and posting transactions in such a way as to maximize fees, or so it is alleged. The appeals court agreed that the defendant had a right to charge overdraft fees, but was not authorized to ignore state law. Old National Bank attempted to invalidate the plaintiff’s claim. However, the appeals court ruled that Old National Bank had not shown that the plaintiff’s claims with regard to breach of contract were invalid.

The judges wrote: “We cannot, by examination of the contract and with reference to undisputed facts, conclude that the deposit agreement unambiguously and consistently provides for the sums actually charged by the bank. Summary judgment is inappropriate where, as here, a fact finder could infer from the designated materials that the bank breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing.”

The defendant did score a few “wins” in the decision. Appeals Court Judges L. Mark Bailey, John Baker and Margaret Robb dismissed allegations of conversion, unconscionability and unjust enrichment claims that alleged Old National Bank intentionally exerted unauthorized control over deposits, as well as a claim that the bank violated the Indiana Crime Victim Relief Act.

“We are aware of no substantive cause of action in Indiana to recover monetary damages for drafting or enforcing an unconscionable contract term,” the judges wrote.

Still, even with that bit of wind out of their sails, attorneys for the plaintiffs say they are looking forward to proceeding with the lawsuit, given the plaintiff’s assertions that arranging transactions from high to low in order to maximize fees and penalties without the customer’s knowledge is quite simply, wrong…

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I just hung up with old National.They tried to charge me a over draft fee for a check being held.The online system shows it was not held.It also shows a very large check I deposited last week and it was not held and I was not charged a penny in fees.They even have a recording while you wait says online banking gives you piece of mind

Posted by

on
I suffered excessive fees from Old National during my account with them. I was at the bank several times because they would shift around my check withdrawals so that the largest ones went thru first -regardless of date being later- so I'd overdraft. Thus, several checks would bounce then purposely. I visited to complain several times then just terminated m account.
I signed up online for the settlement, know I deserve a refund from this settlement.
Can you e-mail me the status of it?

Posted by

on
Hi Steve,
You should have received an email when you submitted your claim here. There are instructions on that email regarding how you can check your claim status. If an attorney has accepted your claim, you will see that information when you check your claim status. Also, check your spam folder in your email--just in case the email from us wound up there.

Posted by

on
I recall Lawyers and Settlements running an article in the last 6-8 weeks about a class action suite against Wells Fargo for similar reasons as stated in this article here --excessive overdraft fees and arranging transactions from high to low in order to maximize fees and penalties without the customer’s knowledge. Does anyone else here recall such a lawsuit? I completed a request for consultation with attorney here, but no one ever contacted me back. Just curious if there is anything going on with a lawsuit against Wells Fargo?

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