Bell Bank Multiple NSF Fees on Single Item Class Action

This class action is another in a long line of recent ones alleging that a bank has improperly charged multiple nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees or overdraft (OD) fees on a single item. The complaint in this case alleges that Bell Bank has also done this, and that it has thereby breached contractual promises and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The Nationwide Class for this action is all Bell Bank checking account holders nationwide, who, during the applicable statute of limitations, were charged multiple fees on a single transaction. There is also a Minnesota Class for those who were charged multiple fees in Minnesota.

On July 9, 2018, plaintiff Sahlberg Farms, LLC attempted to make a one-time payment to Amex EPayment, as an ACH (Automated Clearing House) transaction out of its Bell Bank account. Bell rejected the transaction because the account held insufficient funds and charged Sahlberg a $30 NSF fee. The complaint has no quarrel with these actions.

Three days later, however, on July 12, without Sahlberg’s knowledge or request, Bell elected to try to process the payment again. The account still did not have sufficient funds. Bell rejected the transaction a second time and charged Sahlberg a second $30 NSF fee.

Five days after that, on July 17, Bell chose to try to process the transaction a third time. Again, it rejected the transaction and charged Sahlberg a third $30 NSF fee.

The complaint alleges that all three attempts at processing concerned a single transaction—the same payment to Amex EPayment. According to the complaint, Bell admits this by describing the attempt at processing as “Retry Pmt.”

Bell’s own Account Documents do not permit these multiple charges, the complaint says. It quotes Bell’s Terms and Conditions use of the singular in speaking about them: “…that transaction will be a nonsufficient funds (NSF) transaction if we do not pay it or an overdraft transaction if we do pay it. You will be charged an NSF or overdraft fee according to our NSF or overdraft fee policy. You will be charged the fee even if…”

The complaint also quotes Bell’s Electronic Transfer Fund Document as saying that Bell “will charge you for each transaction that overdraws your account”…

According to the complaint, “The same check, ACH debit, debit card transaction or ATM withdrawal on an account cannot conceivably become a new one each time it is rejected for payment then reprocessed, especially when—as here—[Sahlberg] took no action to resubmit [it].”

Likewise, Bell’s Fee Schedule is quoted as having an “Overdraft Item Charge” and a “Returned Item Charge.”

In contrast, the complaint quotes from the materials of other banks, specifically giving the customers notice that multiple fees may be charged per item.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: News

Most Recent Case Event

Bell Bank Multiple NSF Fees on Single Item Complaint

April 2, 2020

This class action is another in a long line of recent ones alleging that a bank has improperly charged multiple nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees or overdraft (OD) fees on a single item. The complaint in this case alleges that Bell Bank has also done this, and that it has thereby breached contractual promises and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Bell Bank Multiple NSF Fees on Single Item Complaint

Case Event History

Bell Bank Multiple NSF Fees on Single Item Complaint

April 2, 2020

This class action is another in a long line of recent ones alleging that a bank has improperly charged multiple nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees or overdraft (OD) fees on a single item. The complaint in this case alleges that Bell Bank has also done this, and that it has thereby breached contractual promises and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Bell Bank Multiple NSF Fees on Single Item Complaint
Tags: Charges in Excess of What Was Promised, Excessive Fees, More Than One Fee Assessed on a Single Item/Transaction, Your Bank