For the past 20 to 30 years more and more consumers have been hit with an overdraft fee. And while some banks might be within their rights to charge their customers, in other cases these exorbitant overdraft fees might be outright illegal.
Luckily there is a way in which you as an individual consumer can protect your rights, seek damages and achieve justice: class action lawsuits. So in this blog post we will explain all you need to know about how class action lawsuits can help you and others in a similar situation.
The basics of overdraft fees
Before discussing class action lawsuits themselves, let us first quickly run through what the overdraft fee actually is. In short, an overdraft occurs when you spend more money than you have in your account, causing a negative balance.
Many banks charge overdraft fees to cover the negative balance, but these fees can be steep, even unreasonably so in many cases. And while the fee itself is one thing, some banks have even been accused of manipulating their process for handling transactions in order to maximize overdraft fees, which can be illegal.
The basics of class action lawsuits
As the name suggests, this type of lawsuit is where a group of people with a similar claim all join a single lawsuit in order to achieve compensation from the company in question. This process allows for more resources to be pooled than any one individual could contribute with, and also provides more coverage and awareness.
Thus a class action lawsuit makes it possible to hire skilled attorneys with the necessary experience, and also leave enough money to conduct the various investigations and see the case through to the end, whether in terms of a trial or settlement negotiations.
Another important benefit of a class action lawsuit, is the fact that you will not need to carry the burden all alone. The entire nature of these lawsuits is rooted in the idea that a united front of multiple plaintiffs can provide moral support for each other, provide different insights and pieces of evidence, and ultimately achieve a higher chance of success when it comes to demonstrating the scope and impact of the alleged misconduct by the bank.
There are a few things to consider for consumers who might have been victims of unfair or illegal overdraft fees. First and foremost you should be careful in documenting and keeping records of all your transactions, overdraft fees and other important information.
This way it will be possible to argue your case better in court or settlement, and thus increase your chances for success dramatically. It will also make it easier for a lawyer to discern whether or not you have a case to begin with.
Another important piece of advice is that you should also consider looking into the various policies of your bank in relation to your overdraft fees, to find out whether there is any obvious evidence of unfair or illegal behavior. It might be necessary to hire a skilled professional to help navigate the legal areas, so feel free to contact us for more information.
Whether you should join a class action lawsuit or not, is ultimately a decision only you can make. Many people choose to join a class action for multiple reasons, not just because of the monetary compensation. It is also an effective way to stand up for both themselves and other victims of these greedy practices in the banking industry.