A class action lawsuit addressing unfair overdraft fees was filed against UMB Bank on Monday.
Patrick Stueve, partner in the Stueve Siegel Hanson law firm in Kansas City, said the bank has “unfairly manipulated transactions to generate more overdraft fees.”
According to a release from the law firm, the Jackson County plaintiff has accused UMB of the following actions:
- Re-ordering debit card transactions from the highest amount to the lowest amount, which empties the customer’s available funds as quickly as possible
- Charging overdraft fees when a customer hasn’t overdrawn his or her account
- Charging overdraft fees when UMB did not pay out more funds than were in the customer’s checking account
- Failing to provide a correct account balance on the bank’s Web site or at the point of a sale
The lawsuit also says the practices violated Missouri’s consumer protection law as well as UMB’s contracts with its customers.
“UMB has a strong presence in the state, and this is a Missouri-wide class action,” Stueve said.
Marty Steffens, SABEW chair in Business and Financial Journalism at MU, said overdraft fees have also been a problem for younger users, including college students.
“Students are very dependent on bank cards,” she said.
John Howe, professor and Missouri Bankers Chair at MU, said that regardless of the amount of the overdraft, the customer will still be charged the same fee, which can be around $30 to $40, depending on the bank.
“One dollar over is the same as $100 over,” he said.
UMB has not filed a response, according to Stueve, who said he does not know if they have made any comments.
UMB Bank did not comment when reached.