Colorado Springs-based Ent Credit Union and attorneys representing some of its members have mutually agreed to a settlement of a class-action lawsuit entitled Nelson, et al. v. Ent Credit Union, filed March 4 in the District of Colorado.
The terms of the agreement are confidential, according to a news release issued by Ent, but it will involve refunds to impacted members of all the identifiable overdraft fees and insufficient funds fees (NSF fees) raised in the lawsuit — an action all parties felt was in the best interest of Ent Credit Union members.
According to the statement from Ent, the excess overdraft fees and NSF fees were primarily caused by software issues that were unknown to the credit union until the lawsuit was filed.
“Our goal is to always do right by our member-owners,” Ent CEO Chad Graves said in the release. “We are truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our members and are grateful to both our members and their attorneys for bringing it to our attention. While we believe our member agreement allowed for the charges in question, the way the fees were assessed isn’t consistent with our values, nor were they policies we would have ever intentionally created.
“That’s why we are refunding all the fees in question, plus interest, to members affected over the course of the past three years.”
According to Ent, the charges resulted from two primary sources which Ent only became aware of through this process. The first is a default hold setting in its core transaction system software. This setting allowed for non-PIN, signature-approved debit card transactions to result in a courtesy pay charge although the account was positive at the time the member made the debit card transaction, but negative when it was paid by Ent.
The second issue was related to multiple attempts from merchants to collect payments owed, which could result in more than one fee for the same payment.
According to its statement, Ent has changed both processes to avoid future occurrences. Since the processes were modified, Ent has been conducting a thorough search of transaction data to determine all members that were impacted.
Internal and external experts are continuing to assess impact, according to the release, and Ent expects to contact all impacted members with refunds before the end of 2019.
The plaintiffs and the class in this case are represented by Jeffrey Kaliel and Sophia Gold of the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Kaliel PLLC, and by Franklin Azar and Michael Murphy of the Denver-based law firm of Franklin D. Azar & Associates, P.A.