This is yet another class action about unfair bank fees assessed to customers. The complaint alleges that Trustmark National Bank (1) charges overdraft fees on transactions that do not actually overdraw accounts, (2) charges two out-of-network (OON) fees on OON ATM cash withdrawals, and (3) charging three OON fees on OON ATM cash withdrawals preceded by a balance inquiry.
The complaint alleges that each of these charges violates Trustmark’s account agreements and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
(1) “Authorize Positive, Purportedly Settle Negative (APPSN) Transactions”: When a debit card transaction is authorized, Trustmark supposedly reduces the customer’s balance by the amount of the transaction, so that the funds will be available when the transaction settles.
However, the complaint says that, if the customer makes later transactions that overdraw the account, Trustmark may charge a $36 overdraft fee when the first transaction settles. This is called an APPSN transaction. In actuality, the complaint says, it’s the intervening transactions that may cause an overdraft; if the funds for the first transaction have been set aside, then they are available to pay for the transaction.
According to the complaint, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) calls this APPSN practice “unfair” or “deceptive.” The complaint claims that the Customer Account Agreement and contract documents for overdraft fees say that Trustmark will not charge such fees on transactions that have sufficient funds to cover them when they are approved.
(2) Two OON ATM fees for one withdrawal: A fee is supposedly charged for the privilege of withdrawing money from an ATM that is not part of Trustbank’s network. However, the complaint claims that Trustmark adds its own, second OON fee for OON ATM use.
According to the complaint, Trustmark’s Consumer Account Agreement only mentions the fees charged by the OON ATM owner, not the additional Trustmark charge.
(3) Three OON fees for balance inquiry and one withdrawal: The complaint claims that when Trustmark customers make a balance inquiry before a withdrawal at an OON ATM, they may be charged three OON fees. The complaint claims that ATMs generally do not inform customers before a balance inquiry that a fee will be charged for it.
When customers make balance inquiries at OON ATMs before making withdrawals, the complaint says, they pay one fee to the owner of the ATM, one to Trustmark for the balance inquiry, and another to Trustmark for the withdrawal—a total of three fees, ranging from $6 to $11. This, too, the complaint says, violates the provisions in Trustmark’s account documents.
The classes include an APPSN Class of all persons who hold a Trustmark checking account who, within the applicable statute of limitations, were charged overdraft fees on transaction that were authorized into a positive available balance. An OON Fee Class and a Balance Inquiry Class have also been proposed.