Classes Certified Against Wells Fargo in Overdraft Litigation

Case: In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation

Issue: Whether the two classes certified against Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (Wells Fargo) is fair and reasonable to remedy the claims of all potential class members.

Case Summary: A Miami district court certified two classes of plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation suit alleging that Wells Fargo used deceptive practices in processing debit-card transactions to generate bank overdraft fees and misrepresented to customers the sequencing of transactions.
Plaintiffs brought the suit alleging that Wells Fargo, and former Wachovia Bank N.A., unlawfully charged them overdraft fees for their checking accounts by deducting funds from their debit-card accounts using a high-to-low posting scheme. Plaintiffs further alleged that Wells Fargo failed to disclose the high-to-low sequencing scheme and deceptively misrepresented their practices.
The district court certified two classes in separate orders: a national class of former customers of Wachovia Bank, and a national class of Wells Fargo customers except California and Indiana. The court also certified several subclasses to cover varying state jurisdictions. The court concluded that the certified classes “protect the interest of all class members to the extent feasible, given these named plaintiffs and state laws, while also affording Wells Fargo the ability to defend itself in every instance.”

Bottom Line: On June 22, 2015, Wells Fargo moved the district court to reconsider its orders granting class certification, arguing that one of the plaintiffs lacks standing to represent a subclass and the orders contain inconsistent class definitions. As of July 1, 2015, the district court has not issued a ruling.

About Thomas Pinder

Thomas Pinder
Thomas Pinder is senior vice president and senior counsel for litigation in the office of ABA's general counsel.
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