Bank of America Pandemic Overdraft Fee Lawsuit
Bank of America is facing a lawsuit seeking class action status. Two customers say the bank refused to honor promises to refund overdraft fees to clients who faced financial hardship during the pandemic.
Bank of America pledged at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to provide needy customers with financial assistance, and to refund certain overdraft and NSF fees. But, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, the bank did honor that pledge.
Anthony Ramirez, a truck driver from California, and Masako Williams, an 85-year-old retiree in Texas, say they asked the bank to refund them for several hundred dollars worth of overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees (NSF) that they were charged in 2020 and 2021 when they experienced a lack of work for themselves or the family members that support them.
Bank representatives repeatedly denied their refund requests and that it seemed like the bank did not have an adequate system in place to grant these refunds, Reuters reports. Williams was once denied a refund by a bank representative who said “the computer program used would not allow” it, according to the lawsuit.
Bank of America spokesperson William Halldin did not comment on the case directly but told Reuters that the bank “provided tens of millions of dollars in fee waivers during the height of the pandemic in 2020.” Bank of America also said in January it would reduce overdraft fees to $10 from $35 starting this May, and that it would stop charging a $35 nonsufficient funds fee for things like bounced checks. Other banks have also followed suit as they face increased scrutiny from regulators over overdraft and NSF fees.