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New York man files more ATM disclosure lawsuits
DALLAS (1/23/12)--A New York man who had already filed 13 lawsuits against credit unions and banks in Texas and Louisiana, alleging violations of the ATM fee disclosure provisions of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), has added three more lawsuits to the court dockets with the same allegations.

Don Anderson filed the latest barrage of actions in federal courts in Texas  against Coastal Community FCU, Galveston, Texas, on Jan. 12;  and The People's FCU, Amarillo, Texas, on Jan. 18, and against Interstate Bank, according to court records.

The lawsuit documents are all identical, except for relevant dates and the locations  of the ATMs and the names of the institutions owning them. Anderson alleges he used an ATM belonging to The People's FCU on June 25 in Amarillo and one belonging to Coastal Community FCU on July 1 in Galveston. The ATMs had no notices disclosed about the fees for a nonmember using the ATM, according to the complaints filed in the courts.

Anderson is one of several litigants who have filed multiple lawsuits against credit unions and banks charging nondisclosure of ATM fees. 

During the week of Dec. 12, Anderson filed EFTA suits against FirstLight FCU, El Paso, Texas; Firestone Community FCU, Bridge City, Texas; Centric FCU, West Monroe, La.; Monroe Telco FCU, West Monroe, La.; and Capital One Bank.  The week of Dec. 5, he filed EFTA suits against eight other banks (News Now Dec. 20).

Other cases have been filed by a Minnesota man, Adam Johnson, and a Michigan couple, Nancy Kinder and Ray Harrison, who traveled in several states and took photos of ATMs without disclosure notices. Kinder and Harrison filed suits against at least 36 credit unions and banks within two years.

The rash of lawsuits sparked several institutions to offer settlements and prompting warnings about ATM disclosures from the Credit Union National Association, CUNA Mutual Group and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  (News Now Jan. 3 and April 25). Some credit unions have discovered that notices on their ATMs have been removed by others, and the national organizations have warned credit unions to develop and write procedures for regularly inspecting their ATMs.

DieboldDirect, a CUNA Strategic Services provider, is offering ATM surcharge notification decals to help credit unions with the disclosure requirements, said CSS. (For more information, use the link).

Anderson filed the recent complaints as original class action lawsuits.  In a similar ATM disclosure case, a U.S. District Court in Minnesota earlier this month denied a motion by Johnson to certify his suit as a class action lawsuit (News Now Jan. 9).
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