PAINESVILLE, Ohio, March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A $15,975,000 Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit about the order in which FirstMerit Corporation and FirstMerit Bank, N.A. ("FirstMerit") posted Debit Card Transactions (including ATM transactions) to consumer deposit accounts from March 16, 2005 to August 13, 2010, and the alleged effect the posting order had on the number of Overdraft Fees charged to account holders. On August 16, 2016, FirstMerit was merged into Huntington Bancshares Incorporated and The Huntington National Bank who are the "Defendants." The Defendants maintain that there was nothing wrong with the posting process used and that FirstMerit complied, at all times, with applicable laws and regulations and the terms of the account agreements with its customers. The Court has not decided who is right.
The Class includes all persons (excluding Defendants' employees, officers or directors and Court personnel involved in this case) who, from March 16, 2005 to August 13, 2010:
a. Had an account with FirstMerit Bank N.A. that permitted funds in such account to be accessible by a debit card;
b. Had more than one Debit Card Transaction in a single day;
c. Had their Debit Card Transactions posted from highest to lowest dollar amount; and
d. Incurred an Overdraft Fee as a result of FirstMerit's practice of posting Debit Card Transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount that would not have been incurred had FirstMerit posted Debit Card Transactions "chronologically" as part of the following posting order:
ii. Fees and other non-customer-initiated debits in high to low order;
iii. All ACH transactions from lowest dollar amount to highest dollar amount;
iv. All checks in low to high order;
v. All Debit Card Transactions for which information regarding the time of day that the Debit Card Transaction was authorized at the point of sale or ATM is available, in chronological order;
vi. All Debit Card Transactions for which information regarding the time of day that the Debit Card Transaction was authorized at the point of sale or ATM is not available, in low to high order.
The Settlement creates a Cash Settlement Fund of $8,975,000 and a Debt Forgiveness Settlement Fund of $7,000,000. The Cash Settlement Fund will be used to pay attorneys' fees, costs, expenses and incentive awards to the Class Representatives, and to pay valid claims.
Eligible Class Members will automatically receive debt forgiveness on consumer accounts they may have with negative balances. Class Members who do not have negative balances, have had their debt assigned to a third-party, or who have actual damages above any current negative balance can file a claim for a cash payment. Class Members with any doubt as to whether they are eligible to receive a cash payment should file a Claim Form. Class Members can submit their claim online or visit the website and download a Claim Form and submit it via email, fax or by mail. The deadline to submit a Claim Form is June 19, 2017.
Class Members who do not want to be legally bound by the Settlement, must exclude themselves by May 5, 2017. Class Members who do not exclude themselves will release any claims they may have, as more fully described in the Settlement Agreement available at the settlement website. Class Members who stay in the Class may object to it by May 5, 2017. The Detailed Notice available at the website below explains how to exclude from or object to the Settlement. The Court will hold a hearing on June 2, 2017, to consider whether to approve the Settlement and a request for attorneys' fees of up to 40% of the Settlement Fund, plus expenses and Class Representative incentive awards. Class Members may appear at the hearing, either by themselves or through a hired attorney, but don't have to. For more information, call or visit the website below.
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SOURCE The Court Of Common Pleas, Lake County, Ohio