Bank of America: Judge Grants Initial Approval of Class Action Settlement

On June 28, 2021, a District Judge in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted Plaintiffs’ unopposed motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement in an action against Bank of America, N.A. The Court preliminarily approved the Settlement Agreement as fair, reasonable, and adequate.

The lawsuit, initially filed in 2020 by attorneys from Miller Shah LLP, alleges that Bank of America “knowingly concealed, suppressed, and consciously omitted material facts” to class members concerning the different online payment options for their credit card. Cardholders have the choice of four different payment options to pay their monthly bill, including options for “Amount Due” and “Minimum Amount Due.” However, these choices misleadingly result in the same payment amount. Plaintiffs allege that cardholders who select to pay or enroll in automatic payments for “Amount Due” reasonably conclude that this choice is different from the option for “Minimum Amount Due,” but that is not the case. In reality, cardholders who select to pay “Amount Due” pay only the minimum payment, which results in unintended and unknown growth of credit card debt and increases Bank of America’s profits in the form of interest payments.

Plaintiffs allege that there is no reason for Bank of America to offer both the “Amount Due” and “Minimum Amount Due” options other than to profit from cardholders’ confusion. This duplicative payment option is misleading, breaches Bank of America’s contract with customers, and violates the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The parties fully executed the Settlement Agreement on May 21, 2021, resolving all claims against Bank of America.

The Final Approval Hearing is set for November 17, 2021, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark Division, to determine whether the proposed Settlement Agreement should be finally approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also decide whether to enter judgment approving the Settlement Agreement, Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs, and a service award to the class representative.

Updates will be posted to this blog as the matter progresses. The Case caption for the lawsuit is Michael Jette et al v. Bank of America, N.A., Case No. 2:20-cv-06791, filed in the District of New Jersey.

The legal team at Miller Shah, LLP has significant experience representing class action matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this post, please contact Kolin Tang (kctang@millershah.com) or Natalie Finkelman (nfinkelman@millershah.com). The firm can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

Miller Shah, LLP is a law firm with offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The firm is an active member of Integrated Advisory Group (www.iaginternational.org), which provides clients with access to excellent legal and accounting resources across the globe. For more information about the firm, please visit https://www.millershah.com/.

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