Bank of America has won final approval from a federal judge in Miami for a $410 million settlement with BOA customers that said they were illegally charged excessive overdraft fees.
The settlement affects approximately 13 million former and current BOA customers who used debit cards over the last 10 years. The overdraft fees in question were generally $35 per incident.
Laurence Hutt, an attorney for Bank of America, said that affected customers with BOA debit cards from January of 2001 to May of 2011 would receive a payment. Those who continue to have BOA accounts would receive a credit, others who no longer have accounts would receive a check. Neither existing nor former debit cardholders are required to take any further action to receive the money.
Of the $410 million settlement, approximately $123 million will be paid out to cover legal fees for the plaintiff’s attorneys. 30% is a standard percentage for customers’ attorneys to receive in settlements such as this. Affected customers will receive at least 9% of the overdraft charges they paid returned to them, said Hutt.
Barry Himmelstein, an attorney who represented customers opposed to the deal, stated that the bank made $4.5 billion on the overdraft fees and was returning less than 10% of that in the settlement. According to Himmelstein, the average customer in the case had paid $300 in overdraft fees, and would only receive $27 back in the settlement.