Wachovia Bank Abusive Overdraft Fees Class Action Lawsuit
On October 16, 2009, Wachovia Bank customers filed a consolidated, nationwide class action lawsuit against the bank for the alleged unfair and illegal assessment and collection of excessive overdraft fees.
Wachovia Bank's Alleged Fraud
The complaint charges that Wachovia Bank does not record charges and purchases on ATM or debit cards in the order they actually occurred. Instead, Wachovia Bank reorders the charges and purchases so that the largest charge or purchase is the first one paid by the bank. This manipulative practice is intentionally designed, the complaints allege, to maximize overdraft fee revenue.
Wachovia Bank's overdraft fee collection practices have impacted millions of Americans. In many instances, the overdraft fees cost customers hundreds of dollars in a matter of days, or even hours, when they may be overdrawn by only a few dollars. A series of small transactions over a weekend can result in hundreds of dollars in bank charges.
How Bank "Overdraft Protection" Works
Today, when customers open checking accounts, banks provide debit cards for the withdrawal of cash from ATM machines and the purchase of goods and services. Many consumers are not aware that as part of the process of obtaining the debit card, banks automatically enroll customers in "overdraft protection." The overdraft protection kicks in – usually for a $35 fee - if the customer spends more than he or she has in the account to cover the purchase, up to a limit of a few hundred dollars.
Banks could simply decline to honor customer ATM or point-of-sale transactions if the account lacked sufficient funds, or the bank could warn customers that if they went through with the transaction an overdraft fee would be assessed. In fact, until a few years ago, most banks simply declined debit transactions that would overdraw an account.
Submit Your Complaint
Wachovia customers, and other bank customers who were assessed multiple overdraft fees, please click here to submit your complaint
to a consumer protection attorney. There is no charge or obligation for the review of your complaint.