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Notice

A copy of the mailed Notice is available here.


 Overdraft Fees to JPMorgan Chase, N.A.,
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 $110 million Settlement has been reached in several class action lawsuits about the order in which JPMorgan Chase, N.A. (“Chase”) posted debit card transactions to consumer deposit accounts, and the effect the posting order had on the number of overdraft fees the bank charged its account holders.  Chase maintains there was nothing wrong about the posting process used.  The Court has not decided which side is right.

Current and former holders of Chase consumer deposit accounts may be eligible for a payment or account credit from the Settlement Fund. 

Settlement Fund payments also may be available to holders of certain consumer deposit accounts with Bank One (which Chase acquired in 2004).  Chase acquired certain deposit accounts of Bank of New York (“BoNY”) in 2006, and Washington Mutual Bank (“WaMu”) in September 2008. This Settlement applies to any overdraft fees charged to those accounts after  they became Chase-owned accounts.  This notice refers to all of these accounts as “Chase” accounts.

The Settlement offers payments or account credits to people who paid overdraft fees as a result of Chase posting debit card transactions in order from highest to lowest dollar amount between January 1, 2003 and March 29, 2010.

                     Your legal rights are affected whether you act or don’t act.  Please read this notice carefully.

Summary Of Your Legal Rights And Options In This Settlement

Get A Payment or Account Credit Automatically

If you are eligible for a payment or account credit for overdraft fees charged between January 1, 2005 and March 29, 2010 (or between April 1, 2007 and March 29, 2010 for holders of Chase accounts that formerly were BoNY accounts), you do not have to do anything to receive a payment or account credit.  Your payment or account credit will be made automatically if the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final.

Submit a Claim Form

By submitting a Claim Form, some Settlement Class Members will be eligible to receive payments based on overdraft fees charged between October 2, 2006 and March 31, 2007 for holders of Chase accounts that formerly were BoNY accounts, or between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2004 on other Chase accounts.

Exclude Yourself

Get no benefits from the Settlement.  This is the only option that allows you to participate in any other lawsuit against Chase 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 automatic payment or account credit to which you are entitled, and you will give up your right to participate in further litigation against Chase about the claims in this case.

 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 to approve the Settlement.  If it does, and any appeals are resolved, benefits will be distributed to those who qualify.  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 these class action lawsuits and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement.  This notice explains the lawsuits, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

 Senior Judge James Lawrence King of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is overseeing this case.  This litigation is known as In re: Checking Account Overdraft Fee Litigation, No. 1:09-md-2036-JLK.  The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.”  Chase is the “Defendant.” 

2.  What is this litigation about?

 The lawsuits concern whether Chase posted debit card transactions in order from highest to lowest dollar amount to maximize the number of overdraft fees assessed to its customers.  The lawsuits claim that, instead of declining transactions when an account had insufficient funds to cover a purchase, Chase authorized the transactions and then processed them in highest to lowest dollar order, which had the effect of increasing the number of overdraft fees the bank charged its customers. 

 The complaints in the lawsuits are posted on this website under Court Documents and contain all of the allegations and claims asserted against Chase.  Chase maintains there was nothing wrong about its approval of transactions or the posting process used. 

3.  What is an overdraft fee?

 An overdraft fee is any fee assessed to an account when paying an item at a time the account has insufficient funds to cover the item.  Fees charged to transfer balances from other accounts are excluded. 

4.  Why is this a class action?

 In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, 15 Chase customers who were assessed overdraft fees) sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims.  Together, all the people with similar claims (except those who exclude themselves) are members of a “Settlement Class.” 

5.  Why is there a Settlement?

 The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Chase.  Instead, both sides have agreed to a Settlement.  By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Settlement Class Members receive the benefits described in this notice.  The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Chase did anything wrong.  Chase denies all legal claims in this case.  Class Representatives and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

 

Who Is Part Of 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, you may 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 Chase consumer deposit account that you could access with a Chase debit card anytime between January 1, 2003 and March 29, 2010; and
  • Were charged one or more overdraft fees as a result of Chase’s practice of posting debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount.

 To be included in the Class, you must have had two or more overdraft fees caused by debits posted to your account on a single day during the time period listed above. 

7.  What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

 If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, look on this website or call the toll free number, 1-877-552-1296.  You may also send questions to the Settlement Administrator at info@chaseoverdraftsettlement.com or P.O. Box 8041 Faribault, MN, 55021-9441.

                                                                                 The Settlement Benefits

8.  What does the Settlement provide?

 If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to Settlement Class Members.  Chase will pay $110,000,000 to a Settlement Fund to make payments to eligible Settlement Class Members, as well as to pay for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and special service payments to the 15 Class Representatives who initiated the lawsuit (see Question 21).  Chase has also agreed that, for a period of at least two years, it will not charge overdraft fees on individual debit card transactions of $5.00 or less (see Question 11).  Finally, Chase has agreed to pay costs associated with administering the Settlement.  If there are any funds remaining in the Settlement Fund after payments are made to Settlement Class Members, all remaining funds will be distributed to a nonprofit organization or organizations agreed upon by Class Counsel and Chase and approved by the Court. 

9.  How much will my payment be?

 Any payment you are eligible to receive will be based on the number of overdraft fees charged to your Chase consumer deposit account as a result of posting debit card transactions high to low between January 1, 2003 and March 29, 2010.  It is not possible to know at this point how much any Settlement Class Member’s payment from the Settlement will be.  Only a small percentage of all overdraft fees that were charged by Chase were affected by high to low posting.  So, not every overdraft fee that was charged is eligible for payment under this Settlement. 

10.  When will I receive my payment?

 Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims and/or are entitled to automatic payments will receive their payments, either by account credit or by check, only after the Court grants final approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see “The Final Approval Hearing” below).  If there are appeals, resolving them can take time.  Please be patient.  

11.  What other benefits does the Settlement provide?

 Chase has also agreed to implement the following change to its business practices:  For at least two years, Chase will not charge an overdraft fee on any individual debit card transaction of $5.00 or less for Settlement Class Members who are Chase Account holders as of May 24, 2012.   

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

 Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you can’t sue, or bring a claim against Chase through the arbitration process, or be part of any other lawsuit or arbitration against Chase about the issues in this case.  (Arbitration is a process between consumers and businesses that uses a neutral person to resolve a dispute.)  Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions by the Court will bind you.  The Settlement Agreement is available here and describes the claims that you give up if you remain in the Settlement.

How To Receive A Payment 

13.  How can I receive a payment?

 Payments will be made in two ways, depending on the dates overdraft fees were charged to your Chase account. 

Type of Payment

Account Origin

Overdraft Fee Charge Time Period

Class Member Action Required

Automatic

All Chase accounts(except former BoNY accounts)

January 1, 2005 through March 29, 2010

None—Payment will be made automatically

Automatic

Chase accounts that formerly were BoNY accounts

April 1, 2007 through March 29, 2010

None—Payment will be made automatically

Non-Automatic

Chase accounts in 2003 and 2004

January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2004

File a Claim Form (see Questions 13 and 15)

Non-Automatic

Chase accounts that formerly were BoNY accounts

October 2, 2006 through March 31, 2007

File a Claim Form (see Questions 13 and 15)

 Automatic Payments:
Settlement Class Members who were charged overdraft fees during the time period for automatic payments due to posting of debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount will receive payments from the Settlement automatically, either as account credits (if the Settlement Class Member still holds the Chase account) or in the form of a check (if the Settlement Class Member no longer holds the Chase account).

 If you are entitled to an automatic payment for overdraft fees charged to your account, you do not have to do anything in order to receive that payment.  As long as you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement (see Question 17), the payment will be made automatically, either by a credit to your Chase account or (if you no longer have that Chase account) by check mailed to you at the address Chase has on file.  Please contact the Settlement Administrator if you change your address.

 Non-Automatic Payments:
Settlement Class Members who were charged overdraft fees during the time periods for non-automatic payments due to posting of debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount may receive payments from the Settlement by submitting a Claim Form (see Question 15).  For holders of Chase accounts that formerly were Bank of New York accounts, the Claims Period is from October 2, 2006 through April 1, 2007.  For all other customers, the Claims Period is from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2004.   

14.  Can I get an automatic payment and submit a claim?

 Yes.  If you have eligible overdrafts in more than one time period, it is possible to get an automatic payment and submit a claim for a non-automatic payment.  As long as the overdrafts to your account meet the conditions outlined for non-automatic payments in Question 13, you may submit a claim.  

15.  How do I submit a claim for a non-automatic payment?

 You can submit a claim online or by mail.  You can view and print a paper Claim Form here.  You can also request that a Claim Form be mailed to you by calling 1-877-552-1296 by emailing your request to the Settlement Administrator at info@chaseoverdraftsettlement.com, or by writing to the Settlement Administrator at P.O. Box 8041, Faribault, MN 55021-9441.   

If you submit a claim, you also must provide documents (account statements) supporting your claim.  For each overdraft fee for which you are asking for a payment, you must provide: (1) the monthly account statement showing the transaction that caused the fee to occur, (2) (if different) the account statement on which the fee appeared, and (3) the account statement after the one on which the fee appeared.  If the overdraft fees were charged to your account on more than three different days, you must also submit a worksheet explaining why you believe those fees were charged due to the posting of debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount.  The Settlement Administrator may require you to provide additional documents. 

Claims must be postmarked or uploaded to the website no later than February 8, 2013 and paper claims must be mailed to:
                                                                        Chase Overdraft Settlement
                                                                            c/o Rust Consulting
                                                                                P.O. Box 8041
                                                                        Faribault, MN 55021-9441

Claims can be submitted only for eligible overdraft fees charged to your account during the Claims Period, that is, from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2004 (or from October 2, 2006 through March 31, 2007 for holders of Chase accounts that formerly were Bank of New York accounts).  Payments for overdraft fees in other periods will all be made automatically without any need to submit a claim.  Any Claim Form requesting a payment based on overdraft fees charged outside the applicable Claims Period will not be considered.  However, you may submit a claim based on overdraft fees charged to your account during the Claims Period even if you think you may also be entitled to an automatic payment. 

16.  How will my claim be decided?

 After you submit your claim, the Settlement Administrator will analyze your claim and your supporting documents (including, if applicable, your worksheet) to confirm whether you are entitled to a payment.  If your application is incomplete or does not establish that you are entitled to a payment, the Settlement Administrator will notify you to correct any problems with your claim.  If you do not, your claim will be denied.  If the overdraft fees that are the subject of your claim were charged to your account during the Claims Period due to the posting of debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount, and would not have been charged under the alternative method used for the Settlement calculation, you will be eligible for a payment.  

The Settlement Agreement provides more detail on how claims will be decided.

                                                         Excluding Yourself From The Settlement
If you don’t want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue or proceed in arbitration against Chase 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. 

17.  How do I get out of the Settlement?

 To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter or other written document by mail to the Settlement Administrator.  Your request must include:

  • Your name, address, telephone number, and account number;
  • A statement that you want to be excluded from the Chase Settlement in In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 1:09-MD-2036-JLK; and
  •  Your signature. 

You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than November 5, 2012, to P.O. Box 8041, Faribault, MN 55021-9441.  You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or at the website. 

18.  If I do not exclude myself, can I sue or bring an arbitration against Chase for the same thing later?

 No.  Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue or bring an arbitration against Chase for the claims that the Settlement resolves.  You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit or arbitration. 

19.  If I exclude myself, 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 

20.  Do I have a lawyer in the case?

 The Court has appointed a number of lawyers to represent all Settlement Class Members as “Settlement Class Counsel.”  They include: 

Bruce S. Rogow, Esq.
BRUCE S. ROGOW, P.A.
Broward Financial Center
500  East Broward Blvd
Suite 1930
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394

 

Aaron S. Podhurst, Esq. PODHURST ORSECK, P.A.
25 West Flagler Street
Suite 800
Miami, FL 33130

Robert C. Gilbert, Esq.
GROSSMAN ROTH, P.A.
2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd
11th Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Russell Budd, Esq.
BARON & BUDD, P.C.
3102 Oak Lawn Avenue
Suite 1100
Dallas, TX 75219

 

Richard Golomb, Esq.
GOLOMB & HONIK, P.C.
1515 Market Street
Suite 1100
Philadelphia, PA 19102

 

 You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. 

21.  How will the lawyers be paid?

 Class Counsel intend to request up to 30 percent of the value of the Settlement for attorneys’ fees plus reimbursement of the costs and expenses of prosecuting the class action.  The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.  The Court will decide the amount of fees to award.  Class Counsel will also request that special service payments of $5,000 each, or $2,500 each for married couples, be paid from the Settlement Fund to the 15 Class Representatives for their service as representatives on behalf of the whole Settlement Class. 

Objecting To The Settlement 

22.  How do I tell the Court if I do not 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, Class Counsel’s requests for fees and expenses, and/or the special service payments to the 15 Class Representatives.  To object, you must submit a letter that includes the following:

  • Your name, address, and telephone number;
  • A statement saying that you object to the Chase Settlement in In re: Checking Account Overdraft Fee Litigation, 1:09-md-2036-JLK;
  • The reasons you object to the Settlement, along with any supporting materials;
  • Information about other objections you or your lawyer have made in other class action cases; and
  • Your signature.

 The requirements to object to the Settlement are described in detail in the Settlement Agreement in paragraphs 78 and 79.  You must mail your objection to each of the following three addresses, and your objection must be postmarked by November 5, 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

Robert C. Gilbert, Esq.
GROSSMAN ROTH, P.A.
2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd
11th Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33134

David Lesser, Esq.
WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP
399 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

 

23.  What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

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

                                                                    The Final Approval Hearing
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement and any requests for fees and expenses.  You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you don’t have to do so. 

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

 The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing on December 10, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. 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, 11th Floor, 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.  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 that time.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.  We do not know how long these decisions will take. 

25.  Do I have to attend the hearing?

 No.  Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have.  But you are welcome to attend the hearing 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 addresses, and it complies with the other requirements described in paragraphs 78 and 79 of the Settlement Agreement, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary. 

26.  May I speak at the hearing?

 You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final 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 Final Approval Hearing for the Chase 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 you will present to the Court; and
  • Your signature.

 You must send copies of your Notice of Intention to Appear, postmarked by November 5, 2012, to all three addresses listed in Question 22.  You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement. 

Getting More Information 

27.  How do I get more information?

 This notice summarizes the proposed Settlement.  More details are in the Settlement Agreement.  For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Settlement Agreement here.  You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at P.O. Box 8041, Faribault, MN 55021-9441 or call the toll-free number, 1-877-552-1296.

Disclaimer

Please do not contact either Chase 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 emailing info@chaseoverdraftsettlement.com, calling 1-877-552-1296, or writing to Chase Overdraft Settlement, P.O. Box  8041 Faribault, MN 55021-9441.

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

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