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 $612,294 Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit claiming that Citizens Bank, N.A. (“Citizens”), improperly charged 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 December 22, 2015; and
- was charged a usage fee 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 $612,294 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. 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.
Your Rights May Be Affected.
If you do not want to be legally bound by the Settlement, you must ask (in writing) to be excluded from the Settlement Class by March 27, 2017. If you do not exclude yourself, you will release claims that were or could have been made against Citizens, as well as those listed in Section IX of the Settlement Agreement and Release. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may object to the Settlement by March 27, 2017. The Court has scheduled a hearing on June 21, 2017 to consider whether to approve: the Settlement; attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses of up to 27% of the Settlement Amount; and a $5,000 payment to the Class Representative. If approved, these fees, costs and award will be paid from the Settlement Amount before making payments to eligible Settlement Class Members. You can appear at the hearing, but you don’t have to.
You can hire your own attorney, at your own expense, to appear or speak for you at the hearing. You can call the toll-free number or visit the website to learn more about how to exclude yourself from or object to the Settlement or obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement and Release.
For more information:
www.CitizensUsageFeeSettlement.com or 1-844-762-5374
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