Johnson v. Community Bank, N.A, Case No. 3:12-cv-01405-RDM.;
Frequently Asked Questions
These FAQs (answers to frequently asked questions) summarize the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, the benefits available, who is eligible for those benefits, and how to get them. For a more detailed and precise explanation of your legal rights and options, you can review the Settlement Agreement here.
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Eligible Settlement Class Members who have open Accounts at Community Bank and are entitled to Settlement payments will receive them by account credit on January 31, 2014.
Eligible Settlement Class Members who no longer have Accounts with Community Bank and are entitled to Settlement payments will receive them by check. Check mailing occurred on January 31, 2014. Please be patient in waiting for your check to arrive.
Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, Settlement Class Counsel and their experts determined that you were an eligible Settlement Class Member who previously incurred eligible Overdraft Fees (see Question 12).
If your Community Bank Account is currently open, you received an account credit on January 31, 2014. If your Community Bank Account has been closed, a check was mailed to you. The account credit or check you received represents your portion of the Settlement.
If you received postcard notice but did not receive a check, then you are not eligible for a payment under the Settlement because your Account was closed with a negative balance and the amount of the payment that would otherwise be provided for in the Settlement was insufficient to make the balance in that Account positive.
If you have an open Community Bank Account, please make sure to double check your account statement and/or online banking for a credit that may have been applied by Community Bank on January 31, 2014.
Award calculations were done separately for each individual Settlement Class Member using that class member’s own Account and Overdraft Fee history and applying the formula set forth in the Court-approved Settlement Agreement. Not every Overdraft Fee that was charged is eligible for payment under this Settlement; in general, only those Overdraft Fees that would not have been assessed but for the high to low posting order were eligible for compensation under the Settlement.
Only a small percentage of all Overdraft Fees charged to Community Bank (see Question 19 customers were affected by high to low posting. And, of the Overdraft Fees that were eligible, only a portion or a percentage of those fees is payable to each Settlement Class Member as their pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund.
The Settlement Agreement is available here and describes, in detail, the calculation and allocation of Settlement Funds.
No. The deadline to object to the Settlement was October 13, 2013. The Court approved the Settlement on November 12, 2013 (see Question 20).
The deadline to request a reissue has passed. Going forward, no checks will be reissued in the Community Bank Overdraft Settlement.
The lawsuit concerns whether Community posted Debit Card Transactions in order from highest to lowest dollar amount, increasing 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 transactions, Community 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 complaint in the lawsuit is posted here, and contains all of the allegations and claims asserted against Community. Community denies the claims in the lawsuit and maintains there was nothing wrong about the posting order used.
An overdraft fee is any fee assessed to an account when paying an item at a time when the account has insufficient funds to cover the item. Fees charged to transfer balances from other accounts are excluded.
In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, two Community 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 Community. 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 this notice. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Community did anything wrong. Community denies all legal claims in this case. Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.
If you received notice of the Settlement by a postcard addressed to you, then you are a member of the Settlement Class. But even if you did not receive a postcard, you may be a member of the Settlement Class, as described below.
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you:
To be included in the Settlement Class, you must have had one or more Overdraft Fees caused by Debit Card Transactions posted high to low by dollar amount in your Account on a single day during the time period listed above. If you did not receive a postcard addressed to you, but believe you are a Settlement Class Member, please contact the Settlement Administrator.
In addition to the $2,500,000 Settlement Fund, Community has agreed that it shall either continue its current practice of posting by low to high dollar amount or it will post by chronological order for two (2) years from the Effective Date of the Settlement. Further, Community has agreed that that for a period of two (2) years from the Effective Date it shall continue its current practices of: (a) assessing a maximum of four (4) Overdraft Fees to a single account on any given day; and (b) not assessing an Overdraft Fee unless an account is negative by five dollars ($5.00) or more.
Unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Community about the issues in this case. Unless you excluded yourself, all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The Settlement Agreement is available here and describes the claims that you give up if you remain in the Settlement.
Settlement Class Members who were charged Overdraft Fees as a result of posting of Debit Card Transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount will receive payments from the Settlement automatically in the form of an Account credit or by check. If you are entitled to a payment for Overdraft Fees charged to your Account, you do not have to do anything in order to receive that payment. As long as you did not exclude yourself from the Settlement, the payment will be made automatically by Account credit or by check mailed to you at the address Community has on file. Please contact the Settlement Administrator if you change your address.
It is no longer possible to exclude yourself from the Settlement. All timely exclusion requests must have been submitted no later than October 13, 2013.
The Court has appointed a number of lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class. They include:
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 thirty-three percent (33%) of the value of the Settlement for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of the costs and expenses of prosecuting the class action. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. The Court will decide the amount of fees to award. Class Counsel will also request that Service Awards of $5,000.00 each be paid from the Settlement Fund to the two Plaintiffs for their service as representatives on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.
It is no longer possible to object to the Settlement. All objections must have been submitted no later than October 13, 2013.
The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on November 12, 2013 at 10:30 am, at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, located in Courtroom 4, 235 North Washington Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503. At this hearing, the Court considered whether the Settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court also considered the request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses. After the hearing, the Court approved the Settlement, awarded Class Counsel Attorneys’ fees representing 30% of the Settlement Fund plus certain expenses, and awarded the Service Awards to the Class Representatives.
This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Settlement Agreement. You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at PO Box to 6659, Portland OR 97228-6659 or call the toll-free number, 1-866-752-0071.
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.
Contact the Settlement Administrator
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