A proposed class action claims OnPoint Community Credit Union has improperly charged accountholders multiple $30 insufficient funds fees on single transactions, and out-of-network ATM fees for balance inquires.
According to the lawsuit out of Oregon, OnPoint’s account agreements with customers allow the credit union to charge only one $30 fee when it pays or rejects a check or electronic payment due to insufficient funds in a customer’s account. The case alleges, however, that the defendant has breached its customer contracts by routinely charging more than one fee per transaction.
“Plaintiffs do not dispute Defendant’s right to reject an item and charge a single fee, but OnPoint unlawfully maximizes its already profitable fees by unlawfully assessing multiple fees on the same item,” the complaint alleges.
Per the case, there is “zero indication anywhere” in OnPoint’s account documents that the credit union will treat as a new, separate item subject to an additional $30 fee a check or electronic payment item that is reprocessed after being initially rejected due to insufficient funds.
“The Contract indicates that only a single fee will be charged ‘per item,’ however many times that item is reprocessed,” the lawsuit states. “An item, whether it be a check or an electronic payment item, reprocessed after an initial return for insufficient funds, especially through no action by the customer, cannot and does not fairly become a new, unique item for fee assessment purposes.”
According to the case, OnPoint did not disclose this “abusive practice” until February 1, 2021, when its fee schedule was updated to state, “for the first time,” that fees are charged “per presentment.” Because OnPoint provided “no such disclosures” prior to February 1, customers never agreed to pay multiple fees per transaction before that date, the lawsuit argues.
OnPoint, the case claims, has failed to act in good faith and consistently with consumers expectations, and instead “abuse[d] that discretion to take money out of consumers’ accounts without their permission and contrary to their reasonable expectations that they will not be charged multiple fees for the same item.”
The lawsuit goes on to claim that OnPoint has acted against consumer expectations by assessing fees for “the mere act of checking a balance” at an out-of-network ATM. Per the case, the ATM screen does not advise customers that they will incur a fee for a balance inquiry, and most ATM owners do not charge fees for balance inquiries, especially when the inquiry is performed prior to a cash withdrawal.
“Thus, there is simply no warning at the ATM that a balance inquiry alone could incur a fee,” the complaint scathes.
In fact, OnPoint expresses “the opposite” in its account documents, and provides instead “express and implied indications” that balance inquiries will not incur out-of-network fees, the lawsuit alleges. As a result, consumers do not understand “and are never warned” that a balance inquiry “in which no funds are transferred in any way” counts as a separate “withdrawal/inquiry” subject to a separate fee, the case says.
The lawsuit proposes to cover two subclasses of Oregon citizens who, during the applicable statute of limitations, were OnPoint checking accountholders who were charged, respectively, multiple fees on the same item and improper out-of-network ATM fees.
Initially filed in Multnomah County, Oregon Circuit Court, the lawsuit was removed to the Portland Division of the state’s district court on April 15, 2021.
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