A federal court in Harrisburg, Penn., earlier this month dismissed a lawsuit alleging Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union violated provisions of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act after the credit union produced evidence suggesting that someone had removed the legally required notice affixed to an ATM disclosing the fees to be charged to nonmember users of the cash machine.
The dismissal was ordered after the credit union produced affidavits and photos showing the disclosure notice had been posted in 2006 and had been there until early in 2011, shortly before a Pennsylvania couple claimed they used the ATM absent the required disclosure.
Greg Smith, president of the $3 billion credit union, said because of the suit they have had their ATM servicer monitor the presence of the required disclosure on all of their 120 ATMs as part of a service checklist. "These things don't usually fall off," he said in an interview.
The suit was filed by Gerald Riviello and Christina Riviello, who have filed similar EFT Act suits against Tobyhanna Federal Credit Union, Choice One Community Federal Credit Union, Penn State Federal Credit Union, New York’s Service Employees Federal Credit Union, and various banks.
The two are among a proliferating group of so-called ATM vigilantes who are filing a growing number of suits against credit unions and banks over provisions of the EFT Act that require ATM owners to post notification of fees to be charged non-customers both on-screen and on the outside of the machine (see story).
In the Pennsylvania credit union case, U.S. Judge Robert Mariani ruled the credit union provided enough evidence to show it had posted the required notification and reposted it after credit-union employees learned the original notice had been removed or fell off.
The court ruling comes as numerous credit unions have opted to settle EFT Act suits, rather than fight them (see story).
Two Louisiana credit unions, Centric Federal Credit Union and Monroe Telco Federal Credit Union, and two Texas credit unions, First Light Federal Credit Union and Coastal Community Federal Credit Union, agreed last month to settle EFT Act suits brought by a New Yorker named Don Anderson, who has filed more than 30 such suits in the southwest. Terms of the settlement are confidential, but sources indicate Anderson earned $1,000 and attorneys’ fees for his claims (see story).
And at least three Michigan credit unions have agreed to settle EFT Act claims brought by a Michigan retiree named Nancy Kinder who has filed more than 40 ATM suits against credit unions and banks.
What do you think about this? Send us your feedback. Click Here.