The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

February 17, 2013

FNB to notify customers of debit overdraft settlement



A federal judge has preliminarily approved a class-action settlement of a lawsuit involving the resequencing of debit card transactions at First National Bank of Pennsylvania, and set a hearing for June.

FNB customers whose accounts may have been resequenced, boosting the amount of overdraft fees they were charged, will be notified of their eligibility to receive part of the settlement.

FNB, based in Hermitage, set aside $3 million to pay the settlement. Plaintiff attorney’s fees, costs and settlement administration fees also will be pulled from the settlement account, with the remainder going to eligible customers.

The plaintiff’s attorney are asking for 33ê percent of the settlement for attorney’s fees, and FNB has agreed not to oppose it. U.S. District Court Judge Arthur J. Schwab, Pittsburgh, has final say on all settlement details.

Schwab will hold a fairness hearing June 21.

Two sets of plaintiffs, Kimberly and Kevin Ord and Joan Clarey, filed individual suits that were consolidated. The suits alleged FNB “resequenced” debit transactions - processed them out of chronological order - so that the bank could collect more overdraft fees.

Resequencing transactions is not illegal but the FDIC issued to its member banks a November 2010 “guidance” paper on overdraft payment programs that recommended banks be “especially vigilant with respect to product over-use that may harm consumers.”

The practice has been the subject of lawsuits against larger financial institutions that resulted in settlements in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

FNB did not deny the practice, but said the plaintiffs are trying to impose state regulations on a nationally chartered bank and that a contract dictates the bank’s relationship with its customers. The bank said it can post transactions in any manner it chooses.

As part of the settlement, FNB continued to deny that it did anything wrong, but said it agreed to the settlement to avoid the expense of fighting the suit.

The bank also agreed that “customer paper statements will reflect the actual order of posting.”

Class members will be notified of the settlement by direct mail. A Web site will be posted - it was not up as of Saturday - and advertisements will be placed in Pittsburgh, Erie and Harrisburg newspapers. Potential class members will have the option of declining to receive proceeds of the settlement or objecting to all or part of it.

Class members who receive settlement payments will get checks or credits to their accounts.

The parties did not give an estimate of how many account holders could qualify for the settlement, other than to say it “number(s) in the thousands.”

The Ords and Clarey, who have been named class representatives by Schwab, are slated to receive $3,000 each as “service awards” to compensate them for “the time and effort they contributed to the class as a whole.”

Text Only
Local News
  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • Soap box derby finds new home

    The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.

    April 19, 2014

  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014