Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a Notice?

    A Court authorized the notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit, and you had a right to know about all of your options, before the Court decided whether to give Final Approval to the Settlement. On October 28, 2020 the Court granted Final Approval for the Settlement.

    The U.S. District for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is overseeing this case. The case is known as Michael White v. Members 1st Federal Credit Union, No. 1:19-cv-00556 (JEJ), (the “Action”). The person who sued is called the “Plaintiff.” The Defendant is Members 1st Federal Credit Union (“Members”).

    To view a copy of the Notice, click here.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit that claims that Members improperly charged APPSN Fees on certain Point of Sale debit card transactions where there was a sufficient available balance at the time the transaction was authorized, but an insufficient available balance at the time the transaction was presented to Members for payment and posted to a member’s account. The Amended Complaint is posted here and contains all of the allegations and claims asserted against Members. Members maintains that there was nothing wrong with the transaction processing practices it used and that it complied, at all times, with applicable laws and regulations and the terms of the account agreements with its members.

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  3. What does “Overdraft Fees” mean?

    “Overdraft Fees” shall mean the APPSN Fee(s) that Members charged on certain Point of Sale debit card transactions where there was a sufficient available balance at the time the transaction was authorized, but an insufficient available balance at the time the transaction was presented to Members for payment and posted to a member’s account.

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  4. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called class representatives (in this case, Plaintiff Michael White) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. The people included in the class action are called the Settlement Class or (“Settlement Class members”). One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class members, except for those who timely exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

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  5. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of either the Plaintiff or Members. Instead, both sides agreed to the Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Settlement Class Members receive the benefits described in the notice. The Class Representative and Class Counsel believe the Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

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  6. Who is included in the Settlement?

    The Settlement Class includes former Members’ members who were charged qualifying Overdraft Fees between March 29, 2015, and January 14, 2019, and who had closed their accounts prior to January 14, 2019. Excluded from the Settlement Class is Members 1st Federal Credit Union, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers and directors, all Settlement Class members who made a timely election to be excluded, and all judges assigned to this litigation and their immediate family members.

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  7. What does the Settlement provide?

    Members has agreed to establish a Settlement Fund of $910,000 from which Settlement Class members will receive payments. The Settlement Fund will also pay all attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses awarded to Class Counsel, any Service Award to the Class Representative. The exact amount of Settlement Class members’ payments cannot be determined at this time. The exact amount cannot be determined until the notice process is complete and the Court makes a final decision on the amount of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses awarded to Class Counsel and any Service Award to the Class Representative.

    Additionally, Members:

    1. Implemented the 2019.00 Service Pack 6 Release issued by Symitar, a portion of which is designed to prevent an overdraft fee on transactions approved on a positive available balance, and;
    2. Has agreed not to pursue any Settlement Class member for any balance due and remaining unpaid at the time of the closing of the Settlement Class member’s account, other than for negative balances that resulted from a Settlement Class members’ loan, credit card, or fraud. Members calculates the amount forgiven pursuant to this paragraph to be approximately $170,000.00. The amounts forgiven pursuant to the Settlement Agreement shall cease to be reported as owed to Members in any credit reporting service, including Chexsystems, as of the Effective Date of the Settlement Agreement.
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  8. Tax Implications

    The Settlement has potential tax implications for you. To the extent you receive a payment in excess of $600.00 from the Settlement Fund for qualifying Overdraft Fees, you will receive a Form 1099 from the Settlement Administrator for the amount received. To the extent you are entitled to forgiveness of any balance due and remaining unpaid at the time of the closing of your account and the dollar amount forgiven is in excess of $600.00, you will receive a Form 1099c from the Settlement Administrator for the amount received. Receipt of a Form 1099 and/or a Form 1099c from the Settlement Administrator could result in your having to declare income in the amount received on your next tax return and pay tax on all or some of that amount. You should consult your tax advisor on the impact of the Settlement on you individually.

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  9. How do I receive a payment?

    If you are in the Settlement Class and entitled to receive a cash benefit, you did not need to do anything to receive a payment. Now that the Court has approved the Settlement, once it becomes final and effective, you will automatically receive a payment by check for your pro rata portion of the Settlement Fund based on the number of qualifying Overdraft Fees you paid to Members during the period covered by the Settlement. Please be patient as this process can take some time.

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  10. What did I give up to stay in the Settlement Class?

    Unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement Class, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Members about the legal issues in this Action. It also means that all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The “Release” included in the Settlement Agreement describes the precise legal claims that you gave up if you remained in the Settlement. The Settlement Agreement is posted on the here.

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  11. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was June 26, 2020.

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  12. If I did not exclude myself, can I sue Members for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up the right to sue Members for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You needed to have excluded yourself from this Settlement Class in order to try to pursue your own lawsuit. The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was June 26, 2020.

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  13. If I excluded myself from the Settlement, can I still receive a payment?

    No. You will not receive a payment if you excluded yourself from the Settlement.

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  14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court has appointed a number of lawyers to represent you and others in the Settlement Class, including the law firms Kaliel PLLC, Greg Coleman Law, and Golomb & Honik, P.C. Class Counsel will represent you and others in the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  15. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel applied for an award of attorneys’ fees equal to 33% of the value of this Settlement to the Class members, plus reimbursement of their expenses incurred in connection with prosecuting this Action. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. At the October 28, 2020 Fairness Hearing the Court granted Class Counsel’s request for 33% of the value of the Settlement as well as Class Counsel’s request for reimbursement of $46,517 in expenses. The Court also granted Class Counsel’s request that $5,000.00 for the Class Representative be paid from the Settlement Fund for his service to the entire Settlement Class.

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  16. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

    The opportunity to object to the Settlement has now passed, the deadline to object to the Settlement was June 26, 2020.

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  17. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You could have objected to the Settlement only if you did not exclude yourself from the Settlement. Excluding yourself from the Settlement is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you had no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affected you.

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  18. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court held a Final Approval Hearing at 9:30 a.m. on October 28, 2020 in Courtroom 1 at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 228 Walnut St., Harrisburg, PA 17101. At this hearing, the Court considered whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court also considered the request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and for the Service Awards for the Class Representative. Any objections were considered by the Court at the hearing. After the hearing, the Court approved the Settlement.

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  19. Did I have to come to the Hearing?

    No, it was not necessary for you to attend the hearing, even though you had the option to attend either yourself or through your own privately retained lawyer. If you are still a member of the Settlement Class, once the Settlement becomes final and effective you will automatically receive your payment by check for your pro rata portion of the Settlement Fund based on the number of qualifying Overdraft Fees you paid to Members during the period covered by the Settlement.

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  20. May I have spoken at the Final Approval Hearing?

    Yes you had an opportunity to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, the deadline to file your Notice of Intention to Appear was June 26, 2020.

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  21. What happens if I did nothing at all?

    If you did nothing, you will still receive the benefits to which you are entitled under the Settlement Agreement. Unless you excluded yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Members relating to the issues in this Action. If you are still a member of the Settlement Class, once the Settlement becomes final and effective you will automatically receive your payment by check for your pro rata portion of the Settlement Fund based on the number of qualifying Overdraft Fees you paid to Members during the period covered by the Settlement.

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  22. How do I get more information?

    This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details can be found in the Settlement Agreement. You can obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. You may also write with questions to Members 1st Overdraft Settlement C/O Epiq, P.O. Box 6389, Portland, OR 97228-6389, or call the toll-free number, 1-866-977-0814.

    Do not contact Members 1st Federal Credit Union or the Court for information.

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