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News Now

CU System
More suits filed on ATM notices in New Mexico
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (5/24/11)--Three more lawsuits over ATM disclosures of fees have been filed against three credit unions in New Mexico by a Michigan couple who have already filed dozens of similar suits in Michigan and elsewhere. Nancy Kinder and Ray Harrison of Fowlerville, Mich., both retirees, drive around the country looking for ATMs without proper fee-notification signs and photograph ATMs without legal signage, according to court records. They then file class actions lawsuits against credit unions and banks who own the ATMs, saying nondisclosure of fees charged for transactions at ATMs violates Regulation E, the Electronics Funds Transfer Act. The law requires institutions to post a notice in a prominent place on the ATM about fees. More than 36 lawsuits, excluding the most recent three, have been filed in the past 18 months. Working with them is a Chevy Chase, Md., lawyer, Geoffrey Bestor, who teams with local attorneys to file the cases in other states. Bestor and Richard N. Feferman of Feferman & Warren, Albuquerque, N.M., filed the three New Mexico lawsuits. The latest suits are against White Sands FCU and Chino, FCU, both of Las Cruces, N.M., and Firstlight FCU, El Paso, Texas. Firstlight owns and operates several ATMs in New Mexico, said court documents. The suits filed are identical, except for the ATM and credit union information, and were all filed May 17. The rash of suits prompted CUNA Mutual Group to issue a warning to credit unions about a "significant" spike in lawsuits against credit unions related to ATM fee disclosures. Twelve suits were filed between mid-December and January (News Now Jan. 14). At that time, the insurance company said many credit unions sued erroneously believed that a fee notice sign was not necessary since the fee was disclosed on the terminal screen of the ATM. Some suits were prompted when institutions changed their fees but not their signs.


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