Banner Bank Multiple Return Fees on One Item Class Action

If your bank charges you a Return Item (RI) fee for an item it rejects for payment, can it charge you a second such fee on the same item? The complaint for this class action says no, in the case of Banner Bank, because its account documents do not allow for such a practice.

The class for this action is all Banner Bank accountholders who, during the applicable statute of limitations, were charged an Overdraft fee or a Return Item fee on an item for which it had previously charged a Return Item fee.

Plaintiff Mary Ellen Bowers has a checking account with Banner. The rules for this account are set forth in two documents called Deposit Account Disclosures and Personal Accounts Schedule of Fees. These documents were drafted by Banner and are imposed on all personal deposit account customers.

What is Banner permitted to do if a transaction is presented in an account but the accountholder does not have the funds to cover it? According to the complaint, the Account Agreement allows Banner two options: “Banner may (a) authorize the transaction and charge a single $30 Overdraft Fee; or (b) reject the item and charge a single $30 ‘Return Item’ Fee…”

The complaint later reinforces this claim: “The Account Documents indicate that only a single RI Fee or a single Overdraft Fee will be charged on an item, however many times an item is reprocessed with no request from the customer to do so.”

However, the complaint says, this is not what actually happens.

On or around April 12, 2019, a payment transaction was attempted on Bowers’s account. Banner rejected the transaction because the account did not contain sufficient funds to cover it. It then charged Bower a $30 RI fee for the rejected transaction. Bowers does not argue against this fee, as it is permitted by the account documents.

Bowers did not ask for the transaction to be attempted again. However, on April 15, without Bowers’s knowledge, Banner tried to process the same item twice more. Since the account still did not have sufficient funds, the transaction was rejected both times. Each time, Banner charged Bowers another $30 RI fee, for a total of $90 in RI fees on a single item.

In another example of this practice, on April 5, 2019, Banner rejected three items presented to Bowers’s account due to insufficient funds, charging her $30 for each rejection.

Then, without Bowers’s knowledge, Banner again attempted to process the three items on April 8. Again, it rejected all three items and charged Bowers three more RI fees, for a total of $180 in RI fees on three individual items.

The complaint describes another instance of this practice and claims that in April 2019 alone, Banner charged Bowers $570 in RI fees.

The counts include breach of contract, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Banner Bank Multiple Return Fees on One Item Complaint

August 28, 2020

If your bank charges you a Return Item (RI) fee for an item it rejects for payment, can it charge you a second such fee on the same item? The complaint for this class action says no, in the case of Banner Bank, because its account documents do not allow for such a practice.

Banner Bank Multiple Return Fees on One Item Complaint

Case Event History

Banner Bank Multiple Return Fees on One Item Complaint

August 28, 2020

If your bank charges you a Return Item (RI) fee for an item it rejects for payment, can it charge you a second such fee on the same item? The complaint for this class action says no, in the case of Banner Bank, because its account documents do not allow for such a practice.

Banner Bank Multiple Return Fees on One Item Complaint
Tags: More Than One Fee Assessed on a Single Item/Transaction, Your Bank