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First County Bank Multiple NSF or NSF/OD Fees Connecticut Class Action

If your bank has already refused an item and charged you an fee for non-sufficient funds (NSF fee), should it later turn around and, without any second request from you, accept the same item and charge you a fee for an overdraft? The complaint for this class action alleges that First County both charges multiple NSF fees on a single item and sometimes charges both an NSF fee and an overdraft fee on the same item.

First County’s account documents do permit it to charge NSF fees—one per item, according to the complaint. It quotes First County’s account documents as saying, “An insufficient balance in your account, which has not been covered by overdraft protection, is subject to a service fee charged against your account according to the Bank’s then current schedule of charges. Checks or other items drawn against insufficient funds in your account may also be subject to the service fee set forth in that schedule.”

The complaint emphasizes that “a service fee” and “the service fee” are singular and therefore indicate that only one such fee will be charged per item. 

Later in the same paragraph, the account documents say, “Alternatively, the Bank may honor the check or other item and create an overdraft.” Here, the complaint emphasizes the word “alternatively,” which indicates that the overdraft charge is imposed instead of, rather than in addition to, the NSF fee.

Also, the fee schedule specifically says that the insufficient funds charge for returned items is “$34.00 per item.” According to the complaint, “The same check, automatic bill payment or other electronic payment on an account cannot conceivably become a new item each time it is rejected for payment then reprocessed, especially when—as here—Plaintiff took no action to resubmit the item.”

In one example of the problem, plaintiff Craig Moskowitz attempted a payment to Capital One on August 27, 2019. He did not have sufficient funds in his account, so First County rejected it and charged him a $34 NSF fee. On September 4, First County decided to retry the item, without any request from Moskowitz and still without sufficient funds in the account. This time, it accepted the transaction and charged Moskowitz an overdraft fee. It is unclear why the bank could not have accepted the transaction the first time and charged him only a single fee. 

Two classes have been proposed for this action.

  • The Connecticut Multiple NSF Class is all Connecticut citizens who, within the statute of limitations period, were charged multiple NSF fees for the same debit item in a First County checking account. 
  • The Connecticut NSF/OD Class is all Connecticut citizens who, within the statute of limitations period, were charged an NSF fee and an overdraft fee for the same item in a First County checking account.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

First County Bank Multiple NSF or NSF/OD Fees Connecticut Complaint

December 5, 2019

If your bank has already refused an item and charged you an fee for non-sufficient funds (NSF fee), should it later turn around and, without any second request from you, accept the same item and charge you a fee for an overdraft? The complaint for this class action alleges that First County both charges multiple NSF fees on a single item and sometimes charges both an NSF fee and an overdraft fee on the same item.

first_county_both_nsf_and_od_fees_compl.pdf

Case Event History

First County Bank Multiple NSF or NSF/OD Fees Connecticut Complaint

December 5, 2019

If your bank has already refused an item and charged you an fee for non-sufficient funds (NSF fee), should it later turn around and, without any second request from you, accept the same item and charge you a fee for an overdraft? The complaint for this class action alleges that First County both charges multiple NSF fees on a single item and sometimes charges both an NSF fee and an overdraft fee on the same item.

first_county_both_nsf_and_od_fees_compl.pdf
Tags: Excessive Fees, More Than One Fee Assessed on a Single Item/Transaction, Overdraft Fees, Your Bank