More Credit Unions Hit With Overdraft Fraud Suits
The San Jose, Calif.-based attorney that filed three class action lawsuits against credit unions last week has been busy.
Attorney Fernando F. Chavez filed two more lawsuits alleging overdraft fraud Monday and Tuesday in Northern California U.S. District Court, this time targeting the $2 billion Educational Employees Credit Union of Fresno, Calif. and the $8.4 billion Alliant Credit Union of Chicago, which has branch offices in California.
The two credit unions join the $9.4 billion SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, $6 billion Star One Credit Union and $1.3 billion Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, which were sued by the same attorney last week in class action overdraft lawsuits.
Similar lawsuits were also filed last week in Northern Alabama U.S. District Court against the $590 million Alabama Telco Credit Union of Hoover, Ala. and the $1.25 billion America’s First Federal Credit Union of Birmingham, Ala. Plaintiffs in those suits are represented by Robert J. Camp, who is also listed as counsel in the California suits.
The court documents appear to be a cut-and-paste job based upon Closson v. Bank of America, a 2011 lawsuit that resulted in a $410 million settlement. Tuesday, the Boston-based Citizens Bank settled its overdraft class action lawsuit for $137.5 million. The $30 billion Citizens was part of a broader class action suit that reportedly involves more than 30 banks.
The credit union suits allege re-ordering; ordering transaction processing from high to low; publishing inaccurate and unreliable account balance information online, by phone and by ATM; delayed transaction posting; exorbitant overdraft fees; failure to disclose overdraft practices; and, deceptive advertising.
Specific legal complaints include fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of the Unfair Business Practices Act and Professions Code, among others.
A woman at Chavez’ law office said he is unavailable for comment this week.