Two more credit unions have settled ATM suits brought by a local retiree who has filed almost 40 suits against credit unions and banks under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.
Under the settlements of separate class-action suits, AAC Community Credit Union and Lenco Credit Union will pay nonmember users of certain ATMs up to $250 to settle violations of the EFT Act, which requires ATM owners to post a fee notice on the outside of their machines.
The settlements also call for each credit union to pay $1,000 to Nancy Kinder, the local retiree who has filed more than three-dozen ATMs suits; $12,000 to Kinder’s favorite charity, the Karmanos Cancer Institute; and 15,000 in legal fees. Kinder gets the biggest payment because she initiated the suits and is considered the class representative.
AAC Community has agreed to set aside $46,000 for the settlement and any funds not spent to compensate victims will go back to the credit union or its insurer, CUNA Mutual Group, which is paying for the settlement under its bond.
In the Lenco case, 1,555 nonmembers who used the credit union’s ATM in Adrian between April 19, 2010, and April 18, 2011, are eligible for the payment. Lenco has agreed to set aside $39,500 to satisfy its settlement.å
A hearing is scheduled for April 28 in federal court, where the Lenco settlement is expected to be approved.
Lisa Milton, a Troy, Michigan, lawyer representing both credit unions, said she expects few members of the purported class in either case to make a claim, as happened in an earlier ATM settlement she entered into with Kinder on behalf of ELGA Credit Union.
“Historically, there have been few or any claims that can be confirmed to be legitimate,’ Milton said in an interview. In the ELGA case, she said there were no claims other than Kinder’s that could be confirmed.
Kinder has also filed ATM suits against Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union, Jackson Community Federal Credit Union, Northwood Credit Union, White Sands Federal Credit Union, Chino Federal Credit Union, FirstLight Federal Credit Union and Sunrise Family Credit Union, among others.
A bill introduced in Congress April 17 would go a long way to curing the growing number of lawsuits over ATM disclosures by eliminating the requirement that ATMs disclose fees on the outside of the machines or on-screen (see story).
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