$7.8 Million Settlement of Bank Overdraft Fee Lawsuit

FDIC-regulated banks charge an estimated $27 billion annually in overdraft fees. In 2010, Gray Ritter & Graham and the law firms of Stueve Siegel Hanson and Tycko & Zavareei filed a class action lawsuit against UMB Bank and its affiliated entities, alleging that UMB customers who are citizens of Missouri were unfairly and deceptively charged overdraft fees. The lawsuit alleged that these practices violated Missouri’s consumer protection law and UMB’s contracts with its customers.

Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that UMB Bank: (a) engaged in a systematic policy of re-ordering debit card transactions from highest dollar amount to lowest dollar amount so as to deplete the customer’s available funds as quickly as possible while maximizing the number of overdraft fees; (b) charged overdraft fees even in situations where in fact a customer has not overdrawn his checking account; (c) charged overdraft fees even in situations where UMB in fact did not pay out more funds than were in the customer’s checking account; and (d) failed to provide accurate account balance information on the bank’s website or at the point of sale.

On May 13, 2011, GRG and the other firms obtained a settlement in this matter of $7.8 million.