If you’ve received a postcard from Bank of America informing you that you should expect to receive a check as part of the overdraft lawsuit, but you haven’t received a check, you may be wondering what you can do. Consumerism Commentary receives many questions about these checks because I’ve written about them and the lawsuit itself several times over the past few years.
Those who have received checks since they began sending them out last year have discovered that they are receiving only a small portion of what they’ve paid in overdraft fees. Some are receiving checks with a value below a dollar. Some are receiving hundreds of dollars, as they report, but these households must have paid thousands of dollars in overdraft fees to qualify for refunds that high. So if you haven’t received your check yet, don’t get your hopes up for a sizable refund unless you’ve somehow paid thousands of dollars in fees.
You may have missed your check in the mail. It, like the initial communication from Bank of America, takes the form of a postcard. Because checks don’t usually come in the form of postcards, many recipients are not identifying them as such and potentially throwing them in the garbage along with junk mail.
In November 2012, when the initial batch of checks were mailed, addresses for many former Bank of America customers were not available. Over the past year, the settlement administrators have been trying to locate new addresses for many of the members of the class action who didn’t receive the settlement checks because they couldn’t be located. In September 2013, the lawyers who represent the settlement sent out a new batch of these postcard checks because they were able to identify addresses for former Bank of America customers.
The attorneys want to make it as difficult as possible for those who deserve the refunds to receive and deposit the checks. The checks sent in September 2013 become void after 90 days, which is very aggressive. Often companies that issue checks that aren’t cashed until after the void date will still honor those checks, but these attorneys will not honor expired refund checks. Furthermore, if you need to have your check reissued for any reason, the deadline to request this was October 18. This is a policy designed to ensure as few people as possible cash or deposit these refund checks.
Compounding the problem is the fact that some bank tellers and even some supervisors seem unaware that these postcards are legitimate checks. Technically, I could write a check to you on the back of a napkin, and as long as the napkin includes my name, your name, and an amount a bank should honor it if it can find our accounts. The check doesn’t even need to include account numbers or routing information.
If your address changed since you had a Bank of America account and you believe your check was not or will not be sent to the correct address, you’ll need to write a letter requesting the address change to the following address:
Checking Account Overdraft Litigation
P.O. Box 2505
Faribault, MN 55021-9505
The lawyers may issue another round of checks in the future. If you have any further questions, you can call the settlement administrator at 1-800-372-2390, but I don’t know how much success you’ll have trying to contact the attorneys over the phone.
Have you not received your overdraft refund check from Bank of America? Share your updates by leaving comments below this article.