Bethpage Federal Credit Union is in the crosshairs of a proposed class action filed over its alleged practice of charging multiple non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees for the same transaction. The lawsuit alleges that Bethpage, in violation of its account agreements, assesses a new NSF fee each time it reprocesses a payment that has already been rejected for insufficient funds, even when the accountholder has not taken any additional action.
“This practice works to catch accountholders in an increasingly devastating cycle of account fees,” the case reads.
According to the case, Bethpage’s account agreement specifically states that the credit union will charge a single NSF fee when it rejects an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction due to insufficient funds. In Bethpage’s “sole and undisclosed view,” however, an ACH transaction becomes a new transaction—subject to an additional NSF fee—each time it is reprocessed, the lawsuit says. Consumers, according to the suit, are unaware they may be hit with an NSF fee more than once.
“But Bethpage’s account documents never disclose that this counterintuitive and deceptive result could be possible and, in fact, suggest the opposite,” the complaint states.
In fact, there is “zero indication” in the account agreement that one item or transaction may incur multiple NSF fees, the case argues, and no reasonable consumer would expect such, the suit says.
“Customers reasonably understand, based on the language of the Account Agreement and Fee Schedule, that the Credit Union’s reprocessing of checks or ACH payments are simply additional attempts to complete the original order or instruction for payment, and as such, will not trigger NSF Fees,” the complaint reads. “In other words, it is always the same item.”