ACH transfer fee class action lawsuit
In March 2021, plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a class action lawsuit against Bank of America asserting that certain fees assessed for making automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfers were improper and should be refunded to consumers. Pointing to screen shots from the bank’s website, the plaintiffs’ point to three business day ACH transfers (inbound and outbound) and next business day ACH transfers (inbound and outbound) for both consumer and small business accounts. Bank of America apparently charged $3 to $10 depending on the timing of the transfer and kind of account involved. The plaintiffs in the case paid fees to send money from their Bank of America accounts to their accounts at other financial institutions.
The complaint alleges these fees violate three states’ consumer protection statutes:
- New York’s general business law section 349;
- North Carolina’s unfair and deceptive trade practice law; and
- New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.
These statutes include, in part, state-level provisions prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The complaint claims it is deceptive to charge fees for initiating ACH transfers and so the bank was also “unjustly enriched” by collecting these fees.
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