Class-action lawsuit challenges Zions Bank's debit card overdraft practices

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  • thatsme7039 BOISE, ID
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    I don't think this article uses the best example to explain what it is that Zions bank is doing. They have done this to me several times so I know exactly where this lady is coming from. In one situation, I had my auto insurance coming out of my bank account automatically that I forgot about. The day before this transaction took place, I made 5 or 6 smaller transactions which would have made me about 10 dollars short for the insurance. Rather than charging my account in the right order to charge a 25 dollar fee for the insurance, they charged the insurance first making me short for the 5 or 6 debit transactions so they could collect more than $100 in fees. So they charged the fees for transactions that I had money to cover, but manipulated the order in which the charges took place so they could make more money. That's why the lady is suing and as long as she saved her receipts to prove the order, she shouldn't have a problem winning this case.

  • Veritas Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 8:17 p.m.

    Phranc, you're right: the Southern Utah posters (SunnyAllDay and IamPersonallyResponsible) never bothered to read or understand the article. The article and the lawsuit itself clearly point out that Zions manipulated which charge would hit the books first; the larger the debit to hit first, the more likely multiple overdrafts would be charged on a given day, regardless as to whether the largest debit was the last one incurred on that day!

    Unfettered manipulation like this constitutes bad faith on the part of Zions, not stupidity and irresponsibility on the part of the customer.

    Go for it Plaintiffs!

  • Victim2 REXBURG, ID
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:00 a.m.

    When I read the article about the lady in Sandy I said to my self "That was me 16 months ago at Zions Bank!" Yes,I was a victim of their predatory practices too! Yes, sometimes the consumers ARE the victims of large corporations. I was not trying to spend money I did not have. I have been very careful about that throughout my life having worked at 3 different banks during my career. I had been a customer of Zions for more than 11 years with not a single overdraft. I had a clean account and money to cover all my charges. Until an error at my mortgage bank caused my payment to come out twice in one month before I had detected it. What does Zions do? Run the $690 mortgage payment through before the 6 debits of $50 or less that occurred on the same day. This caused $250 in overdraft charges versus $25 if the large one had run last.I Think they are "Forgetting who keeps them in business"!!! Oh ya,those who have to pay the high fees are! I just might join the lawsuit!

  • Just an old guy Centerville, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 3:02 p.m.

    Well, these posts were fun to read. For me the heart of the matter is two fold: 1) Any business, bank or otherwise, is there to make money. Some do it with honor, others with a little less honor, and some are just crooks. I don't know the Latin, but the English is Buyer Beware! Have you ever looked at the interest rates charged by the Pay Day Loan places? 2) We have come to expect Big Brother to pass laws to protect us. They do, and the laws don't. Honesty and fairness can't be legislated. For any law or regulation, someone will figure a way around it - if there is a profit to be made. Conclusion, find a financial institution that best meets your needs, read and understand the Small Print, and don't spend more than you have. You have to look out for your self, no one else will.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    In the case of the check card that is used in credit-card mode (i.e., without the pin number), where there are a couple of days (or so) before the bank actually pays the merchant and the customer makes a deposit meanwhile, it is, again, patently unfair, unethical, even dishonest, for a bank to assess an overdraft charge when the customer actually has sufficient money to pay that item by the time the bank is ready (or asked) to pay it. Again this didn't happen in the past. But, then again, some banks saw another opportunity to expand their "revenue through fines" campaign in this fashion, and chose to alter their system and "depositor agreement" fine print accordingly.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    @IamPersonallyResponsible | 7:01 a.m. Oct. 7, 2011

    It used to be that it was impossible to run a debit card for money that you did not currently have in your checking account (the transaction would be declined). In other words, there was no danger of overdraft -- nor of overdraft fees.

    But then Zions and other banks changed that -- OSTENSIBLY for the "convenience of the customer;" e.g., so that if a guy is at a restaurant with some girl he's trying to impress, he will have the option of taking care of the ticket at the expense of an overdraft fee, instead of having to suffer the profound embarrassment of being told -- in front of the girl -- "Sorry, declined."

    But that, of course, is a bunch of malarkey. The REAL reason was that the banks knew that most customers would not read the copious, fine print of their updated "terms" -- and that they stood to make a TON more money on "fees."

    It was egregious enough that a new law eventually came out that required that banks give customers the option of "opting out" -- that is, going back to the way debit cards USED to work.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 7, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    Re: Razoo | 5:49 p.m. Oct. 6, 2011
    "Reminds me of why I left Zions Bank over 25 years ago"

    Reminds me of why I have overdraft protection. Starting in January Bank of America will start charging their customers $5 a month for the privilege of using a debit card. Glad I stayed with Zions Bank.

    Oct. 7, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Did any of you blaming the customers for spending money they dont have even bother reading the article? I will never understand this strange mentality that corporations are always the innocent victims of greedy consumers.

    The lawsuit also claims Zions doesn't uniformly post deposits to checking accounts before debit transactions, resulting in more overdraft fees.

    In many cases, customers' accounts were not actually overdrawn either at the time of the debit transaction or at the time the overdraft fees were charged, the suit alleges.

    There are some that did over spend but there are also others that if their claims prove to be try had not spent money they did not have but where in fact victims of predatory practices aimed at stealing money from them, I know its hard to imagine but just maybe there are some corporations that are not always victims.

    Oct. 7, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    Wells Fargo is even worse. They process all debits before credits. so if you deposit money and then pay your bills, you still get the overdraft even though you have deposited the money

  • wow Trabuco Canyon, CA
    Oct. 7, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    All Banks do this. It's not just Zions.
    I agree with the comments of just don't spend more than you have. However, they still get you anyway they can.
    Example: A few years ago, I needed to make a purchase for over $100. I only had around $50 in my checking account, but I had plenty of money in my savings accout. So, I ran my debit card as credit card so it wouldn't clear for a couple of days. Then, I went immediately to my bank and transfered $100 from saving to checking. Two days later when the transaction cleared, I had plenty of money to cover the charge. The bank charded me an overdraft fee because the money was deposited 20 minutes after the transaction was completed. Bottom is that YOU CAN'T TRUST YOUR BANK! reguardeless of who it is.

  • SoUtBoy25 Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    First, don't spend what you don't have.

    Second, maintain your deposit accounts at smaller financial institutions (i.e. community banks). They are not fee driven institutions. They provide services for a fair price. They invest your money back into the community you live in. And they support local schools (through taxes), and community causes.

    Zion's is a just another big bank except they try to appear small.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    Simple solution - don't spend more than you have.

    Who do you think you are? Barrack Obama?

    you know why there are all those fees, don't you? You know why there are thousands of dollars paid in fees for each mortgage or consumer loan you get, don't you? You know why there are reams and reams of paperwork, don't you? Consumer "protection" regulations. The regulations "protect" consumers from their money.

  • IamPersonallyResponsible HURRICANE, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 7:01 a.m.

    So, let me make sure I understand this... People who knowingly overdrew their bank accounts are suing over the overdraft fees they had to pay? Whatever happened to being personally responsible for managing your finances and not spending money you don't have? It seems like not too long ago, that was considered check fraud. How about we go back to where the banks don't allow you to overdraft your account at all and your rent check and car payments aren't paid. Seriously people, isn't it time to quit blaming others for our own mistakes?

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 7, 2011 5:14 a.m.

    Why is anyone complaining? There is an easy fix, take your money out of the bank and stop using debit and credit cards. It amazes me that people work long and hard at a job for their money then deposit it in a bank where the bank makes the people pay fees to get their money back. That's what is dumb and irresponsible.

    Its no crime to carry cash or use cash and it saves you hundreds of dollars a month in bank fees. With the economy what it is, its amazing how many waste so much money, so keep their money in their pockets. If getting robbed is really such a driving fear then learn to defend yourself from being robbed.

    FYI, in government we have too many lawyers as it is. In fact our legislative and judicial system are one and the same. Lawyers as legislators think like a layer and existing laws and it confuses their motives and reasons for being a representative. If we want a separation of powers in government, we have to stop electing lawyers(justices) to run the legislative system.

  • SUNNY ALL DAY Saint George, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 5:59 p.m.

    We need more law schools, more law firms and significantly more lawyers!

    3 law firms to address this "problem"?

    Sign of the apocalypse?

  • Razoo Toquerville, UT
    Oct. 6, 2011 5:49 p.m.

    Reminds me of why I left Zions Bank over 25 years ago.