Frequently Asked Questions

PAYMENT INFORMATION

  1. About these FAQs
  2. What is the status of my payment?
  3. Why did I receive a check or credit?
  4. Why didn’t I receive a check or credit?
  5. What is this account message stating that I received a deposit or credit?
  6. How was my payment calculated?
  7. Can I dispute my payment or receive more money?
  8. Does my check or credit include my automatic payment and my Claim payment?
  9. Why is my award for less than the amount on my claim form?
  10. How do I deposit my check that says “for deposit only”?
  11. How can I get a new check if I lost mine?
  12. How can I have my check reissued under a new name (e.g. last name change)?
  13. What is the timeframe to request a new check?
  14. When will my check be reissued?
  15. Can you update my address and re-mail my check?
  16. What do I do if the person on the check is deceased?
  1. What do I do if the person on the check is now under guardianship/gave me power of attorney?
  2. Can I request a check instead of an account credit?

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. What is this litigation about?
  2. What is an Overdraft Fee?
  3. Why is this a class action?
  4. Why is there a Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
  6. What does the Settlement provide?
  7. How can I receive a payment?
  8. How do I submit a claim for a non-automatic payment?
  9. How was my claim decided?
  10. How do I get out of the Settlement?
  11. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
  12. How will the lawyers be paid?
  13. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
  14. When and where did the Court decide to approve the Settlement?
  15. How do I get more information?

PAYMENT INFORMATION

  1. About these FAQs

    These FAQs (answers to frequently asked questions) summarize the lawsuits, the Settlement, your legal rights, the benefits available, who is eligible for those benefits, and how to get them. For a more detailed and precise explanation of your legal rights and options, you can review the Settlement Agreement.

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  2. What is the status of my payment?

    Eligible Settlement Class Members who have open Accounts at Citizens Bank or Charter One and are entitled to Settlement payments will receive them by account credit on September 19, 2013. Those Settlement Class Members’ account statements and online banking reflect a deposit with the description: “Overdraft Fee Lit Crd-see citizensoverdraftsettlement.com.”

    Eligible Settlement Class Members who no longer have Accounts with Citizens Bank or Charter One and are entitled to Settlement payments will receive them by check on or before approximately September 30, 2013. Check mailing commenced on September 19, 2013 and will conclude on September 25, 2013. Please be patient in waiting for your check to arrive.

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  3. Why did I receive a check or credit?

    Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, Settlement Class Counsel and their experts, under supervision by the Court, determined that you were an eligible Settlement Class Member who previously incurred eligible Overdraft Fees (see Question 23, Question 24).

    If your Citizens Bank or Charter One Account is currently open, you received an account credit on September 19, 2013. The account credit had a description stating, “Overdraft Fee Lit Crd-see citizensoverdraftsettlement.com.” If your Citizens Bank or Charter One Account has been closed, you received a check. The check or credit you received represents your portion of the Settlement.

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  4. Why didn’t I receive a check or credit?

    If you received postcard notice but did not receive a check or credit, then you are not eligible for a payment under the Settlement because your Account was closed with a negative balance and the amount of the payment that would otherwise be provided for in the Settlement was insufficient to make the balance in that Account positive (see Question 24). Citizens Bank and Charter One employees as of November 2012 are also not eligible for a payment.

    If you have an open Citizens Bank or Charter One Account, please make sure to double check your account statement and/or online banking for a credit that may have been applied by Citizens Bank or Charter One on September 19, 2013.

    If you submitted a claim, the Settlement Administrator analyzed your claim and your supporting documents (including, if applicable, your worksheet) to confirm whether you were entitled to a payment (see Question 27). Claimants whose claims were incomplete or did not establish that they were entitled to a payment, were notified in writing to correct any problems with their claims. Claimants were denied if they did not timely correct the identified problems.

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  5. What is this account message stating I received a deposit or credit?

    The account credit was issued by Citizens Bank or Charter One. The credit represents the settlement benefit to which you are entitled under the Settlement (see Question 6). The credit appears on your statement with the following description: “Overdraft Fee Lit Crd-see citizensoverdraftsettlement.com.”

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  6. How was my payment calculated?

    Award calculations were done separately for each individual Settlement Class Member using that class member’s own Account and Overdraft Fee history and applying the formula set forth in the Court-approved Settlement Agreement. Not every Overdraft Fee that was charged is eligible for payment under this Settlement; in general, only those Overdraft Fees that would not have been assessed but for the high to low posting order were eligible for compensation under the Settlement. Only a small percentage of all Overdraft Fees charged to Citizens Bank, Charter One, or Acquired Bank (see Question 25) customers were affected by high to low posting. And, of the Overdraft Fees that were eligible, only a portion or a percentage of those fees is payable to each Settlement Class Member as their pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund.

    The Settlement Agreement is available here and describes, in detail, the calculation and allocation of Settlement Funds.

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  7. Can I dispute my award or receive more money?

    No. The deadline to object to the Settlement was January 31, 2013 (see Question 31). The Court approved the Settlement on March 12, 2013 (see Question 32).

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  8. Does my award include my automatic payment and my Claim payment?

    Yes. If you had eligible Overdraft Fees in more than one time period, it was possible for you to receive an automatic payment and a non-automatic claim payment, if you submitted an eligible claim and the Overdraft Fees charged to your Account met the conditions outlined in the Settlement Agreement and Claim Forms for non-automatic payments (see Question 25).

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  9. Why is my award for less than the amount on my claim form?

    The Settlement Administrator analyzed your claim and your supporting documents (including, if applicable, your worksheet) to confirm whether you are entitled to a payment. Only a small percentage of all Overdraft Fees that were charged by Citizens Bank, Charter One, or the Acquired Banks were affected by high to low posting. So, not every Overdraft Fee that was charged is eligible for payment under this Settlement.

    Claimants whose claims were incomplete or did not establish that they were entitled to a payment under the Settlement Agreement were notified in writing to correct any problems with their claims. Some Overdraft Fees were denied if Claimants did not timely correct the identified problems.

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  10. How do I deposit my check that says “for deposit only”?

    If your Settlement check is for $100.00 or more, it has a “for deposit only” restriction as a fraud prevention measure. If you are unable to deposit the Settlement check into your bank account and/or unable to cash the check at another bank or check cashing agency, you may request that a replacement check be issued to you without the ‘For deposit only’ restriction. You must submit your request no later than March 18, 2014.

    To request a replacement check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208- 3410, accompanied by a signed written request asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. Please include an instruction that the replacement check be issued to you without the ‘For deposit only’ restriction.

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  11. How can I receive a new check if I lost mine?

    If you have lost the Settlement check, you may request that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. You must submit your request no later than March 18, 2014. To request a replacement check, you must submit a signed written request to the Settlement Administrator at Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208- 3410, asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. The replacement check will be issued and mailed to you.

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  12. How can I have my check reissued under a new name (e.g. last name change)?

    First, please go to your financial institution in which you are a current account holder as they may cash the check if the documentation regarding the status of your name change is presented.

    If your bank will not cash or deposit your check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410, accompanied by a signed written request asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. You must submit your request no later than March 18, 2014. Please include instructions for the name that should be included on the replacement check. You do not need to provide documentation for the name change.

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  13. What is the timeframe to request a new check?

    You can contact the Settlement administrator for a check reissue up until March 18, 2014, by writing to the Settlement Administrator at Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410. Any reissued checks must be cashed within 180 days from the date of the reissuance and will be void if not cashed by that date.

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  14. When will my check be reissued?

    The check will be reissued within 3 to 4 weeks after the Administrator receives the written request and any required supporting documents.

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  15. Can you update my address and re-mail my check?

    Yes. Please send a letter requesting a reissuance of your check which includes your former and current mailing addresses to Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410.

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  16. What do I do if the person on the check is deceased?

    First, please go to your financial institution in which you are a current account holder as they may cash/deposit the check if documentation regarding the status of the account holder and your status as the beneficiary/executor is presented.

    If your Settlement check is for $100.00 or greater and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator, along with a letter of instruction, proof of beneficiary/executor and proof of death of the person named on the check (i.e., copy of death certificate).

    If your Settlement check is for an amount less than $100 and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410, along with a request form, signed under penalty of perjury, declaring that you are lawfully designated to receive the funds on behalf of the deceased class member.

    Please click here to download the request form you must complete, sign and return. Please send the original check, written reissue request and any supporting documentation to Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410. You must submit your request no later than March 18, 2014.

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  17. What do I do if the person on the check is now under guardianship/gave me power of attorney?

    First, please go to your financial institution in which you are a current account holder as they may cash/deposit the check if documentation regarding the status of the claimant and your status as the guardian/power of attorney is presented.

    If your Settlement check is for $100.00 or greater and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410, along with a letter of instruction and proof of guardianship or power of attorney.

    If your check is for an amount less than $100 and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410, along with a form, signed under penalty of perjury, declaring that you are lawfully designated to receive the funds on behalf of the class member. Please click here to download a copy of the form you must return.

    Please send the original check, written reissue request and any supporting documentation to Citizens Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208 -3410. You must submit your request no later than March 18, 2014.

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  18. Can I request a check instead of an account credit?

    No. The Settlement Agreement specifies what categories of Settlement Class Members received an account credit or a mailed check. In general, Settlement Class Members who no longer have an Account received a mailed check, and Settlement Class Members who currently have an Account received an account credit.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. What is this litigation about?

    This litigation is known as In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, No. 1:09-md-02036-JLK. Senior Judge James Lawrence King of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is overseeing this case. The people who sued are called the "Plaintiffs." RBS Citizens, N.A., including its Citizens Bank and Charter One brands, and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania (“Citizens”) are the "Defendants."

    The lawsuits concern whether Citizens 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, Citizens 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. You can review the Complaints in the lawsuit on this website.

    Citizens Bank maintains there was nothing wrong about its approval of transactions or the posting process used. The Court has not decided in favor of either Plaintiffs or Citizens Bank, instead both sides agreed to the Settlement, which confers the benefits described in the Settlement Agreement.

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  2. What is an overdraft fee?

    An overdraft fee is any fee assessed to an account as a result of paying an item when the account has an insufficient available balance to cover the item. Fees charged to transfer balances from other accounts are excluded.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called "Class Representatives" (in this case, 11 Citizens 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".

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  4. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Citizens. 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 on this website. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Citizens did anything wrong. Citizens denies all legal claims in this case. Class Representatives and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    If you received notice of the Settlement in a postcard addressed to you, then you are a Settlement Class Member. But even if you did not receive a postcard, you may still be a Settlement Class Member, as described below.

    You are a member of the Settlement Class if you:

    • Had a Citizens consumer deposit account that you could access with a Citizens debit card anytime between January 1, 2002, and August 13, 2010, and/or had a Charter One consumer deposit account that you could access with a Charter One debit card any time between July 25, 2005 and August 13, 2010; and/or
    • Had a consumer deposit account with an Acquired Bank ( see Question 25) that you could access with a debit card between January 1, 2002 and August 27, 2007; and
    • Were charged one or more overdraft fees as a result of posting Debit Card Transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount.
    • Were not a Citizens Bank or Charter One employee as of November 2012.

    To be included in the Settlement 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.

    You are not eligible for a payment under the Settlement Agreement if your Account was closed with a negative balance and the amount of the benefits that would otherwise be provided for in the Settlement will be insufficient to make the balance in that Account positive. Citizens Bank and Charter One employees as of November 2012 are also not eligible for a payment.

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  6. What does the Settlement provide?

    Citizens Bank/Charter One established a Settlement Fund of $137.5 million that provided check payments and account credits to eligible Settlement Class Members, attorneys’ fees and expenses to Class Counsel, and Services Awards to the named Plaintiffs

    You are not eligible for a payment under the Settlement Agreement if you do not meet the criteria to be a Settlement Class Member, including if you were a Citizens Bank or Charter One employee as of November 2012, or if your Account was closed with a negative balance and the amount of the benefits that would otherwise be provided for in the Settlement will be insufficient to make the balance in that Account positive (see Question 23).

    Citizens Bank and Charter One have agreed that, for a period of at least three (3) years after certain of their systems are reconfigured, they will not change the order in which they post debit card transactions to customer accounts. Citizens Bank and Charter One may change their posting order at any time to comply with any applicable statute, regulation, judicial order, regulation guidance, order, or request, or otherwise with the agreement of their regulators.

    The Settlement Agreement provides precise and more detailed explanations of the benefits to members of the Settlement Class.

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  7. 25. How will I receive my payment?

    Payments were made in two ways, depending on the dates eligible Overdraft Fees were charged to your Citizens Bank, Charter One, or Acquired Bank Account.

    Type of Payment Account Origin Overdraft Fee Charge Time Period Class Member Action Required
    Automatic All Citizens accounts (including accounts from Acquired Banks after conversion to Citizens accounts) January 1, 2002, through August 13, 2010 None-Payment will be made automatically
    Automatic All Charter One accounts July 25, 2005, through August 13, 2010 None-Payment will be made automatically
    Non-Automatic Mellon Bank's former Mid-Atlantic Franchise Branches (PA, DE, NJ)* January 1, 2002, through August 15, 2002 File a Claim Form
    Non-Automatic Medford Savings Bank (MA) accounts* January 1, 2002, through December 14, 2002 File a Claim Form
    Non-Automatic Commonwealth Bank (PA) accounts* January 1, 2002, through March 14, 2003 File a Claim Form
    Non-Automatic CambridgePort Bank (MA) accounts* January 1, 2002, through August 22, 2003 File a Claim Form
    Non-Automatic Community National Bank (MA) accounts* January 1, 2002, through December 12, 2003 File a Claim Form
    Non-Automatic Roxborough-Manayunk Bank (PA, DE) accounts* January 1, 2002, through February 6, 2004 File a Claim Form
    Non-Automatic Charter One Bank, N.A. accounts* January 1, 2002, through July 25, 2005 File a Claim Form
    Non-Automatic GreatBank (IL), GreatBank Chicago, and First National Bank (IL) accounts* January 1, 2002, through August 27, 2007 File a Claim Form

    * Acquired Banks.

    Automatic Payments:

    Settlement Class Members with eligible Overdraft Fees during the time period for automatic payments due to posting of Debit Card Transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount received payments from the Settlement automatically, either as account credits (if the Settlement Class Member still holds the Citizens Bank or Charter One Account) or in the form of a check (if the Settlement Class Member no longer holds the Citizens Bank or Charter One Account). Those who received notice of the Settlement in a postcard addressed to them received an automatic payment, unless their Account was closed with a negative balance and the amount of the benefits that would otherwise be provided for in the Settlement will be insufficient to make the balance in that Account positive. Citizens Bank and Charter One employees as of November 2012 are also not eligible for a payment.

    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 were required to submit a Claim form to establish that they were charged eligible Overdraft Fees. Settlement Class Members who submitted Claims that were approved by the Settlement Administrator received a payment in the form of a check.

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  8. Can I submit a Claim?

    You are no longer able to submit a claim. The deadline to submit a claim was May 6, 2013.

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  9. How was my Claim decided?

    The Settlement Administrator analyzed your claim and your supporting documents (including, if applicable, your worksheet) to confirm whether you were entitled to a payment. If your application was incomplete or did not establish that you were entitled to a payment, the Settlement Administrator notified you to correct any problems with your claim. If you did not correct the identified problems, your claim was denied. If the Overdraft Fees that were 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 were eligible for a payment.

    The Settlement Agreement provides further details.

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  10. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    You are no longer able to exclude yourself from the Settlement. The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was January 31, 2013. The Court approved the Settlement on March 12, 2013 (see Question 32).

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  11. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and others in the Settlement Class as “Settlement Class Counsel”. They include:


    Bruce S. Rogow, Esq.
    Bruce S. Rogow, P.A.
    Broward Financial Center
    5000 East Broward Boulevard
    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
    Grossman Roth, P.A.
    2525 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
    Suite 1150
    Coral Gables, FL 33134
    Ted E. Trief, Esq.
    Trief & Olk
    150 East 58th Street
    34th Floor
    New York, NY 10155

    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.

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  12. How will the lawyers be paid?

    At the Final Approval Hearing on March 7, 2013, the Court considered whether the Settlement was fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court also considered the request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and that Service Awards of $10,000 each, or $5,000 each for married couples, be paid from the Settlement Fund to the 11 Class Representatives for their service as representatives on behalf of the whole Settlement Class. After the hearing, the Court approved the Settlement, awarded Class Counsel attorneys’ fees representing 30% of the Settlement Fund plus certain expenses, and awarded the Service Awards to the 11 Class Representatives.

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  13. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    You are no longer able to object to the Settlement. The deadline to object to the Settlement was January 31, 2013. The Court approved the Settlement on March 12, 2013 (see Question 32).

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

    The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on March 7, 2013, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, located at James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building, 99 Northeast Fourth Street, Miami, FL 3312. At that hearing the Court considered whether the Settlement was fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court also considered the request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for payment of the Service Awards to the 11 Class Representatives. After the hearing, the Court approved the Settlement, awarded Class Counsel attorneys’ fees representing 30% of the Settlement Fund plus certain expenses, and awarded the Service Awards to the 11 Class Representatives.

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  15. How do I get more information?

    More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which provides a complete, definitive statement of the settlement terms. Details about your legal rights are in the Detailed Notice. You also may write with questions to Citizens Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3410, Portland, OR 97208-3410, or send an e-mail to info@CitizensOverdraftSettlement.com.

    Do not contact Citizens or the Court for information.

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NOTICE: This website provides a summary of the Settlement and is provided for informational purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy between the text of this website and the original text upon which it is based, the text of the original document shall prevail.

Questions? Contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-273-0426 or
info@CitizensOverdraftSettlement.com