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Notice

Settlement information last updated on June 19, 2014

Additional Distribution: June 20, 2014

On December 12, 2013, the Court entered an Order approving a distribution of the remaining Settlement funds to certain identifiable Settlement Class Members. Specifically, the Order directs that this distribution be made (1) to those identifiable Settlement Class Members for whom the Settlement Administrator has a current valid mailing address; and (2) who participated in the initial distribution from the Settlement by either receiving an account credit or cashing the mailed check they received from the Settlement; and (3) whose additional distribution, based upon the provisions in the Order and the formula in the Settlement Agreement, is at least $5.00.

The Settlement Administrator mailed the additional distribution checks on June 20, 2014, to the Settlement Class Members meeting the above requirements.

Please note: These checks have an issue date of June 20, 2014, and will become void after 60 days, on August 19, 2014. After August 19, 2014, these checks cannot be deposited or cashed. If you receive a June 2014 check from this Settlement, please cash or deposit it immediately.

If you have questions regarding check reissues or this additional distribution, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on this website.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION OF THE NOTICE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
If You Paid Overdraft Fees to Union Bank, You may be Eligible for a Payment from a Class Action Settlement.

A federal court authorized this notice.  This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

A $35 million Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit about the order in which Union Bank, N.A. (“Union Bank”) posted debit card transactions to customer accounts, and the effect the posting order had on the number of overdraft fees the bank charged its account holders. Union Bank maintains that there was nothing wrong about the posting process used and that it has not violated any laws. Current and former holders of Union Bank consumer checking and/or savings accounts may be eligible for a payment or account credit from the Settlement Fund.Your legal rights are affected whether you act or don’t act.  Read this notice carefully.

Summary of Your Legal Rights and Options in this Settlement

Get A Payment or Account Credit

You do not have to do anything to get a payment or account credit from the Settlement.  If the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final and effective, all identifiable Settlement Class Members who remain in the Settlement Class will automatically get a payment or account credit.

Exclude Yourself from the Settlement

Get no benefit from the Settlement.  This is the only option that allows you to retain your right to bring any other lawsuit against Union Bank about the claims in this case.

Object

Write to the Court if you don’t like the Settlement. 

Go to a Hearing

Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlement.

Do Nothing

You will still receive any payment or account credit to which you are entitled, and will give up your legal rights.


These rights and options – and the deadlines to exercise them – are explained in this notice.
The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether or not to approve the Settlement.  Payments and account credits will be provided if the Court approves the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved.  Please be patient.

BASIC INFORMATION 

1.  Why is there a notice?

 A Court authorized this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. This Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

Senior Judge James Lawrence King, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is overseeing this case. The case is known as In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 1:09-MD-02036-JLK. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. The Defendant is Union Bank, N.A.  

2.  What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit claims that Union Bank processed debit card transactions in order of highest to lowest dollar amount to maximize the number of  overdraft fees assessed to its customers. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that, instead of  declining certain transactions when an account had insufficient funds to cover a purchase, Union Bank authorized the transactions and then processed them in highest to lowest dollar amount order, which had the effect of increasing the number of overdraft fees the bank charged its customers. The complaints in this action are posted on this website, and contain all of the allegations and claims asserted against Union Bank.  Union Bank maintains that there was nothing wrong about  the posting process it used and that it has not violated any laws.  

3.  What is an overdraft fee?

An overdraft fee may be assessed when a customer’s withdrawals from a bank account exceed the available balance.   

4.  Why is this a class action?

 In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives (in this case, four Union Bank customers who were assessed overdraft fees), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims.  All of the people who have claims similar to the class representatives are a class or class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.   

5.  Why is there a Settlement?

The Court has not decided in favor of either Plaintiffs or Union Bank.  Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement.  By agreeing to the Settlement, the parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Class Members receive the benefits described in this Notice. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is  best for everyone who is affected. 

 WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT?

If you received notice of the Settlement by a postcard addressed to you, then you are a Settlement Class Member.  But even if you did not receive a postcard with Settlement notice, you may still be a Settlement Class Member, as described below.

6.  Who is included in the Settlement? 

 You are a member of the Settlement Class if you:

  • Had a Union Bank consumer checking and/or savings account that you could access with a Union Bank debit card, anytime between July 16, 2005 and August 13, 2010; and  
  • Were charged one or more overdraft fees as a result of Union Bank’s practice of posting debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount.

 You are not eligible for a payment under the Settlement if your account was closed with a negative balance and the amount of the benefits  that would otherwise be provided for in the Settlement would be insufficient to make the balance in that account positive. If you are unsure whether you are a class member, you may call 1-866-403-0685 and speak with a representative of the settlement administrator.

THE SETTLEMENT’S BENEFITS 

7.  What does the Settlement provide?

Union Bank has agreed to establish a Settlement Fund of $35 million from which identifiable Settlement Class Members may receive payments or account credits.  The amount of such payments or account credits cannot be determined  at this time.  However, it will be based on the number of people in the Settlement Class and the amount of additional overdraft fees each Settlement Class Member paid as a result of Union Bank’s posting order.  Union Bank will separately pay for settlement administration and related costs; such amounts will not come out of the $35 million Settlement Fund.  

8.  How do I receive a payment or account credit?

If you are included in the Settlement Class and entitled to receive a cash benefit, you do not need to do anything to get a payment or account credit.  If the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final and effective, you will automatically receive a payment or account credit. 

9. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you can’t  sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Union Bank about the legal issues in this case.  It also means that all of the decisions by the Court will bind you.  The “Release of Claims” included in the Settlement Agreement describes the precise legal claims that  you give up if you remain in the Settlement.  The Settlement Agreement is available at www.unionbankoverdraftsettlement.com


EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT

If you don’t want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Union Bank on your own about the legal issues  in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement.  This is called excluding yourself – or it is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement Class.

10.  How do I get out of the Settlement?

To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter that includes the following: 

  • Your name, address, and telephone number; 
  • A statement that you want to be excluded from the Union Bank Settlement in In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation , 1:09-MD-02036-JLK; and
  • Your signature. 
 You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than August 14, 2012, to:

                                                     Union Bank Checking Account Overdraft Litigation Exclusions 
                                                                                        P.O. Box 2712
                                                                                Faribault, MN 55021-9712 

11.  If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue Union Bank for the same thing later?

No.  Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Union Bank for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit.   

12.   If I exclude myself from the Settlement, can I still get a payment?

No.  You will not get a payment or account credit if you exclude yourself from the Settlement. 

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU 

13.   Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and other Class Members as “Class Counsel", including:

Michael Sobol
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Embarcadero Center West
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
         Robert C. Gilbert
         Grossman Roth, P.A. 
         2525 Ponce de Leon Boulevard 
         Suite 1150 
         Miami, FL 33134

Class Counsel will represent you and other Class Members.  You will not be charged for these lawyers.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. 

14.  How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel intends to request up to 30 percent of the money in the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of their expenses incurred in connection with prosecuting this case. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.  The Court will determine the amount of  fees and expenses to award.  Class Counsel will also request that up to $10,000 per Plaintiff  be paid from the Settlement Fund to the four Class Representatives for their service as representatives of the entire Class. 


OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT

You can tell the Court that you don’t agree with the Settlement or some part of it. 

15.  How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you can object to any part of the Settlement, the Settlement as a whole, and/or Class Counsel’s requests for fees and expenses.  To object, you must submit a letter that includes the following: 

  • The name of this case, which is Union Bank in In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 1:09-MD-02036-JLK; 
  • Your full name, address and telephone number;
  • An explanation of the basis upon which you claim to be a Settlement Class Member;
  • All grounds for the objection, accompanied by any legal support for the objection known to you or your counsel;
  • The identity of all counsel who represent you, including any former or current counsel who may be entitled to compensation for any reason related to the objection to the Settlement or fee application; 
  • The number of times in which your counsel and/or counsel's law firm have objected to a class action settlement within the five years preceding the date that you file the objection;
  • Any and all agreements that relate to the objection or the process of objecting – whether written or verbal – between you or your counsel and any other person or entity;
  • The identity of all counsel representing you who will appear at the Final Approval Hearing;
  • A list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Approval Hearing in support of the objection;
  • A statement confirming whether you intend to  personally appear and/or testify at the Final Approval Hearing; and
  • Your signature (an attorney’s signature is not sufficient).
A complete list of the requirements to object to  the Settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement at paragraph 65.

You must submit your objection to the following addresses, so that it is received by the people listed below no later than August 14, 2012:

Clerk of the Court
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building
99 Northeast Fourth Street
Miami, FL 33132
 
Michael Sobol
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Embarcadero Center West
275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
 
Robert C. Gilbert
Grossman Roth, P.A.
2525 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
Suite 1150
Miami, FL 33134
Union Bank
Checking Account Overdraft Litigation
P.O. Box 2712
Faribault, MN 55021-9712
 
 
 
Mark D. Lonergran
Severson & Werson,
A Professional Corporation
One Embarcadero Center
Suite 2600
San Francisco, CA 94111

16.     What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement.  You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement.  Excluding yourself from the Settlement is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement.  If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.


THE COURT’S SETTLEMENT APPROVAL HEARING

The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement and any requests for attorney's fees. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you don't have to do so.   

17. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on September 13, 2012 at the United States District Court for Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, located at James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building, 99 Northeast Fourth Street, Miami, FL 33132.  The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates on the Final Approval Hearing.  At this hearing the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider any request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses.  If there are objections, the Court will consider them at this time.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.  We do not know how long these decisions will take.  

18.  Do I have to come to the hearing?

No.  Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have.  But, you may come at your own expense.  If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you submitted your written objection on time, to the proper address, and it complies with the other requirements set forth in paragraph 65 of the Settlement Agreement, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary. 

19.  May I speak at the hearing?

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Settlement Approval Hearing.  To do so, you must send a letter saying that you intend to appear and wish to be heard.  Your Notice of Intention to Appear must include the following: 

  • Your name, address and telephone number;
  • A statement that this is your “Notice of Intention to Appear” at the Settlement Approval Hearing for the Union Bank Settlement in In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 1:09-MD-02036-JLK;
  • The reasons you want to be heard;
  • Copies of any papers, exhibits, or other evidence or information that is to be presented to the Court at the Settlement Approval Hearing; and,
  • Your signature.

You must submit your Notice of Intention to Appear, so that it is received no later than August 14, 2012, to all of the addresses in Question 15.

 IF YOU DO NOTHING  

20.  What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you do nothing, you will still receive the benefits to which you are entitled.  Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Union Bank about the legal issues in this case, ever again. 

 GETTING MORE INFORMATION 

21.  How do I get more information?

 The notice summarizes the proposed Settlement.  More details are in the Settlement Agreement.  You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement at www.unionbankoverdraftsettlement.com.  You may also write with questions to Union Bank Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, P.O. Box 2712, Faribault, MN 55021-9712 or call the toll-free number, 1-866-403-0685.  DO NOT contact Union Bank or the Court for information.

Disclaimer

Please do not contact either Union Bank or the Court with questions about this Settlement. Any and all callers will be directed to this website. If you have questions, please refer to the FAQs and the other information posted here or contact the Settlement Administrator by writing to Union Bank Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, c/o Rust Consulting, Inc., P.O. Box 2712, Faribault, MN 55021-9712.

This site is not operated by Union Bank. This class action Settlement is supervised by the Court and is administered by an administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing. Union Bank is not authorized to respond to questions from members of the Settlement Class regarding the Settlement.

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