An angry ATM customer who has been suing banks across the country the past three years over fee disclosures has struck again, filing suit April 12 against Seattle’s Bellingham’s North Coast Credit Union for allegedly failing to post on the outside of the machine fees charged to noncustomers.
The ATM customer, a New Yorker named Don Anderson, thus so far sued 32 credit unions and banks in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Nevada over the disclosure provisions of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, but last week's suit is the first West Coast institution targeted.
The new suit comes as credit unions are joining banks in asking for Congress to pass legislation that would prevent these kind of ATM suits (see story).
Anderson is one of a growing number of self-proclaimed ATM vigilantes who have been exploiting a loophole in the law that requires ATM owners to post the fee disclosures twice–once on screen and once on the outside of the machine–to file a flurry of suits. One such plaintiff, a Michigan retiree named Nancy Kinder, has filed more than 40 such suits.
Anderson has been filing the suits since 2009 and added half a dozen new suits in the past month, including the new credit union one. Numerous credit unions have chosen to settle claims by Anderson, which typically amount to a $1,000 payment for him and lawyers fees, rather than fight it out through court.
Among the credit union entering into settlements with the prolific plaintiff are: Nevada Federal Credit Union, Centric Federal Credit Union, Coastal Community Federal Credit Union and Firestone Community Federal Credit Union in Texas.
Lawyers representing Anderson in Texas, Louisiana and in California have declined to return phone calls seeking comment.
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