Firm at forefront of fight against banking industry over debit card overdraft fees

September 2009 --PE&G is involved as counsel to consumers in three federal court class action cases against the banking industry's practice of using so-called "overdraft protection programs" as major profit centers -- alleging these programs are employed without adequate disclosures to bank customers and in a manner that maximizes a customer's overdraft charges. According to one report, banks earned billions of dollars in fees derived from these programs, mostly on the backs of working poor and middle class families. The New York Times recently editorialized against the practice, calling it the "debit card trap," because it often results in a "domino effect" of cascading fees charged to an account holder. According to an F.D.I.C. report in 2008, bank debit cards "can carry an annualized interest rate that exceeds 3,500 percent." The Times later ran a lead article on overdraft fees, and the NBC Nightly News also ran a piece about the practice, featuring an Army private's fight against fees charged to him for transactions of less than five dollars a piece. The firm is partnered with one of the country's top class action law firms and two public interest groups in taking on this pernicious practice. For more information about these lawsuits, please contact Nick Carlin or David Given at the firm.