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Commonly Asked Questions


BASIC INFORMATION

Why is there a Notice?

Answer:

A Court authorized this Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give Final Approval to the Settlement.  This Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

Judge Charles A. Pannell of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is overseeing this Settlement.  The litigation is known as Lunsford v. Woodforest National Bank, et al., No. 1:12-cv-103-CAP (N.D. Ga.).  The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.”  Woodforest is the “Defendant.”

What is this litigation about?

Answer:

The litigation principally concerns Woodforest’s practice and/or process of posting Debit Card Transactions each day in order of highest to lowest dollar amount, which may result in the assessment of additional Overdraft Fees that would not have been assessed if Woodforest had used other posting, sequencing, or processing methods (for example, posting transactions each business day from lowest to highest, or in chronological order or random order).  These practices (and others) are referred to as “Debit Re-Sequencing Overdraft Practices.” 

 The lawsuit claims that, instead of declining transactions when an Account had insufficient funds to cover a purchase, Woodforest authorized the transactions and then processed them in accordance with its Debit Re-Sequencing Overdraft Practices, which may have had the effect of increasing the number of Overdraft Fees the bank charged its customers. 

 The complaint in the lawsuit is posted under Court Documents and contains all of the allegations and claims asserted against Woodforest.  Woodforest maintains there was nothing wrong about its approval of transactions the Debit Re-Sequencing Overdraft Practices used, or the Overdraft Fees assessed. 

What is an Overdraft Fee?

Answer:

An Overdraft Fee is any fee assessed to an Account when paying an item at a time the Account has insufficient funds to cover the item.  Fees charged to transfer balances from other Accounts are excluded.

Why is this a class action?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, two Woodforest customers who were assessed Overdraft Fees) sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims.  Together, all the people with similar claims (except those who exclude themselves) are members of a “Settlement Class.”

Why is there a Settlement?

Answer:

The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Woodforest.  Instead, both sides have agreed to a 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 this Notice.  The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Woodforest did anything wrong.  Woodforest denies all legal claims in this case.  Class Representatives and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

Who is included in the Settlement?

Answer:

You are a member of the Settlement Class if you:

·                     Had a Woodforest deposit Account that you could access with a Woodforest Debit Card during the applicable Class Period; and

·                     Were charged one or more Overdraft Fees as a result of Woodforest’s Debit Re-Sequencing Overdraft Practices.

 The applicable Class Period is the period from January 11, 1997 through December 30, 2013 for Kentucky and Ohio Settlement Class Members, the period from January 11, 2002 through December 30, 2013 for Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, and West Virginia Settlement Class Members, the period from January 11, 2006 through December 20, 2013 for Alabama, Georgia, and New York Settlement Class Members, the period from January 11, 2007 through December 20, 2013 for Florida and Virginia Settlement Class Members, the period from January 11, 2008 through December 30, 2013 for Pennsylvania and Texas Settlement Class Members, and the period from January 11, 2009 through December 30, 2013 for Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina Settlement Class Members.  For each Account, the relevant state for purposes of determining the applicable Class Period is either the state in the accountholder’s current or most recent address as reflected in Woodforest’s files, or the state in which the Woodforest branch connected to the Account is located, whichever has the longer potentially applicable statute of limitations.  However, if the state in the accountholder’s current or most address is not one of the 17 states mentioned earlier, then the relevant state is automatically that of the Woodforest branch connected to the Account, Additional information about determining the relevant state is set forth in the Amended Settlement Agreement.

To be included in the Settlement Class, you must have had one or more Overdraft Fees caused by debits posted to your Account on a single day during the Class Period and meet other criteria for membership in the Settlement Class set forth in the Amended Settlement Agreement.

What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

Answer:

If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, visit this website or call the toll free number, 1-866-880-0214.  You may also send questions to the Settlement Administrator at info@WoodforestOverdraftSettlement.com or to the address below: 

Woodforest Overdraft Settlement
P.O. Box 3097
Faribault MN 55021-2697

THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS

What does the Settlement provide?

Answer:

If the Settlement is approved and becomes effective, it will provide benefits to Settlement Class Members.  Woodforest will pay $7,750,000 into a Settlement Fund to make payments to eligible Settlement Class Members, as well as to pay for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and special service payments to the two Class Representatives who initiated the lawsuit.  Woodforest has also agreed to pay costs associated with administering the Settlement.

How much will my payment be?

Answer:

Any payment you are eligible to receive will be based on the number of Overdraft Fees charged to your Woodforest deposit Account as a result of Woodforest’s Debit Re-Sequencing Overdraft Practices.  It is not possible to know at this point how much any Settlement Class Member’s payment from the Settlement will be.  Only a small percentage of all Overdraft Fees that were charged by Woodforest were affected by Woodforest’s Debit Re-Sequencing Overdraft Practices.  So not every Overdraft Fee that was charged is eligible for payment under this Settlement.  Further, if your Account was closed by Woodforest with a negative balance that was written off as uncollectible, any payment you would otherwise be eligible to receive from the Settlement will be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the dollar amount of the negative closing balance.

When will I receive my payment?

Answer:

Settlement Class Members who are entitled to payment from the Settlement will receive their payments, either by electronic payment to their Woodforest Account or by mailed check, only after the Court grants Final Approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are finally resolved (see “The Final Approval Hearing” below).  If there are appeals, resolving them can take time.  Please be patient.

What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

Answer:

Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you can’t sue Woodforest or be part of any other lawsuit against Woodforest about the issues in this case.  Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions by the Court will bind you.  The Amended Settlement Agreement is available under Court Documents and describes the claims that you give up if you remain in the Settlement.

HOW TO RECEIVE A PAYMENT

How can I receive a payment?

Answer:

Settlement Class Members who were charged Overdraft Fees during the applicable Class Period due to Woodforest’s Debit Sequencing Overdraft Practices will receive payments from the Settlement automatically, either as an electronic payment to the Settlement Class Members’ Woodforest Accounts (if the Settlement Class Member still holds the Account) or in the form of a check (if the Settlement Class Member no longer holds the Account).  If your Account was closed by Woodforest with a negative balance that was written off as uncollectible, any payment you would otherwise be eligible to receive from the Settlement will be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the dollar amount of the negative closing balance.  For more information, please see the Amended Settlement Agreement, which is available under the 'Settlement Agreement and Court Documents' tab of this website.

If you are entitled to a payment based on Overdraft Fees charged to your Account, you do not have to do anything in order to receive that payment.  As long as you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement, the payment will be made automatically, either by electronic payment to your Woodforest Account or (if you no longer have that Woodforest Account) by check mailed to you at the address Woodforest has on file.  Please contact the Settlement Administrator if you change your address.

EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT

How do I get out of the Settlement?

Answer:

To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter or other written document by mail to the Settlement Administrator.  Your request must include:
• Your name, address, telephone number, and Woodforest Account number;
• A statement that you want to be excluded from the Woodforest Settlement in Lunsford v. Woodforest National Bank, et al., No. 1:12-cv-103-CAP (N.D. Ga.); and
• Your signature.

You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than April 21, 2014, to Woodforest Overdraft Settlement, P.O. Box 3097, Faribault MN 55021-2697.  You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or at the website.

If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Woodforest for the same thing later?

Answer:

No.  Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Woodforest for the claims that the Settlement resolves.  You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit.

If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment?

Answer:

No.  You will not get a payment if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Answer:

The Court has appointed a law firm to represent all Settlement Class Members as “Class Counsel.”  They are:

E. Adam Webb, Esq.
G. Franklin Lemond, Jr., Esq.
WEBB, KLASE & LEMOND, LLC
1900 The Exchange, S.E.
Suite 480
Atlanta, GA 30339

You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

Class Counsel intend to request up to 33.33 percent of the $7.75 million Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of the costs and expenses of prosecuting the class action.  The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.  The Court will decide the amount of fees to award.  Class Counsel will also request that special service payments of $5,000 each be paid from the Settlement Fund to the two Class Representatives for their service as representatives in prosecuting the Action on behalf of the Settlement Class.

OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT

How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

Answer:

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you can object to any part of the Settlement, the Settlement as a whole, Class Counsel’s requests for fees and expenses, and/or the special service payments to the two Class Representatives.  To object, you must submit a letter that includes the following:
• Your name, address, and telephone number;
• A statement saying that you object to the Woodforest Settlement in Lunsford v. Woodforest National Bank, et al., No. 1:12-cv-103-CAP (N.D. Ga.);
• The reasons you object to the Settlement, along with any supporting materials;
• Information about other objections you or your lawyer have made in other class action cases; and
• Your signature.

The requirements to object to the Settlement are described in detail in the Amended Settlement Agreement in paragraph 75.  You must mail your objection to each of the following three addresses, and your objection must be postmarked by April 21, 2014:

 

Clerk of the Court
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
Attn: Case No. 1:12-cv-103-CAP
75 Spring Street, SW
2211 U.S. Courthouse
Atlanta, GA 30303-3361

G. Franklin Lemond, Jr., Esq.
Webb, Klase & Lemond, LLC
1900 The Exchange, S.E.
Suite 480
Atlanta, GA 30339

Michael A.F. Johnson, Esq.
ARNOLD & PORTER, LLP
555 Twelfth Street N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20004-1206

What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

Answer:

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement.  You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself.  Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING

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

Answer:

The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing on May 19, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, located at the United States Courthouse, 75 Spring Street, SW, Atlanta, GA 30303-3361.  The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional Notice, so it is a good idea to check this webiste for updates.  At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  The Court will also consider any request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for special service payments to the two Class Representatives.  If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.  We do not know how long these decisions will take.

Do I have to attend the hearing?

Answer:

No.  Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have.  But you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense.  If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you submitted your written objection on time, to the proper addresses, and it complies with the other requirements described in paragraph 75 of the Amended Settlement Agreement, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.

May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing.  To do so, you must send a letter saying that you intend to appear and wish to be heard.  Your Notice of Intention to Appear must include the following:
• Your name, address, and telephone number;
• A statement that this is your “Notice of Intention to Appear” at the Final Approval Hearing for the Woodforest Settlement in Lunsford v. Woodforest National Bank, et al., No. 1:12-cv-103-CAP (N.D. Ga.);
• The reasons you want to be heard;
• Copies of any papers, exhibits, or other evidence or information that you will present to the Court; and
• Your signature.

You must send copies of your Notice of Intention to Appear, postmarked by April 21, 2014, to all three addresses listed in the question 'How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?'.  You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

GETTING MORE INFORMATION

How do I get more information?

Answer:

This Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement.  More details are in the Amended Settlement Agreement.  For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Amended Settlement Agreement under Court Documents.  You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at Woodforest Overdraft Settlement, P.O. Box 3097 Faribault MN 55021-2697 or call the toll-free number, 1-866-880-0214.

Disclaimer

Please do not contact Woodforest, its counsel, or the Court with questions about this Settlement.  Any and all callers will be directed to this website.  If you have questions, please refer to the FAQs and other information posted here, or contact the Settlement Administrator by calling 1-866-880-0214 or writing to Woodforest Overdraft Settlement, P.O. Box 3097, Faribault, MN  55021-2697.

This site is not operated by Woodforest.  This class action Settlement is supervised by the Court and is administered by an administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing.  Woodforest and its counsel are not authorized to respond to questions from members of the Settlement Class regarding the Settlement.

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