On June 21, 2017 the United States District Court of New Jersey granted final approval of a class action settlement involving allegations that Citizens Bank was overcharging Home Equity Line of Credit customers improper usage fees. DeNittis Osefchen Prince was lead class counsel for the Settlement Class of approximately 16,000 persons.
If you paid usage Fees on a Home Equity Line of Credit Account to Citizens bank You May be Eligible for a Payment from a Class Action Settlement.
A $612,140 Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit claiming that Citizens Bank, N.A. (“Citizens”) improperly charged usage fees (“Usage Fees”) to certain Home Equity Line of Credit (“HELOC”) account holders. Citizens disputes the allegations and has not admitted liability or wrongdoing of any kind. The Court has not decided which side is right.
The Settlement includes anyone who:
• is or was the holder of a HELOC account that was on Citizens’ systems between December 1, 2008 and December 22, 2015 that was charged a Usage Fee; and
• was charged a Usage Fee between the time the Account was converted to Citizens’ systems or the time the Account was originated at Citizens; and
• a Usage Fee was charged even though the percentage of the credit line in use was equal to, or greater than, the percentage required to avoid a Usage Fee as set forth in the loan note (the “Usage Fee Class”); or
• has or had an Account that included a rider or otherwise prohibited or waived Usage Fees for the life of the Account (the “Usage Fee Rider Class”).
Together, the Usage Fee Class and Usage Fee Rider Class are called the “Settlement Classes”. The people included in the Settlement Classes are called “Settlement Class Members”. You may be a member of the Usage Fee Class or the Usage Fee Rider Class, but not both.
What are the Settlement Terms?
Citizens has agreed to establish a Settlement Fund of $612,140 that will provide payments, via a credit or check, to eligible Settlement Class Members. Individual payments will vary and depend on account-specific factors such as Usage Fees charged, account usage, prior fee waivers, the terms of the loan note at issue, and whether the account was charged off with an outstanding balance. Settlement Class Members may not receive a payment if Citizens previously waived Usage Fees exceeding any amount that the Settlement Class Member might be owed as part of this Settlement. Please note that not every Usage Fee that was charged entitles a Settlement Class Member to payment. Payments will be based on the formula set forth in paragraph 3.09 of the Settlement Agreement. The amount of each Settlement Class Member’s payment has not been finalized at this time. Any money left in the Settlement Fund after distribution and any required reissues shall be distributed through a residual unclaimed property and escheatment process based on the State law of each eligible Settlement Class Members’ last known address.
How to Get a Payment?
Current account holders will receive an automatic credit to the principal balance of their accounts or will receive a check if it is not possible or reasonable to provide a credit. Past account holders will receive payment via check sent by mail to the last address known to Citizens. Past account holders whose accounts were closed with a charged off balance will receive a credit to the charged off balance
and, if the eligible Settlement Class Members’ payment amount exceeds his or her charged off balance, a check for the difference. If it is not possible or reasonable to provide a credit to past account holders with a charged off balance, payment will be sent via check to the last address known to Citizens.