Is PNC Bank Abusing Loan Servicing Practices?

Once again, the practice of questionable fees charged by banks to consumers is under scrutiny. Claiming PNC bank has systematically abused loan-servicing practices, a class action lawsuit has been filed in Kanawha Circuit Court, West Virginia. The case has since been removed to federal court. The case concerns the assessment of “speed pay” fees as well as excessive document request fees. Consumers who make a payment—generally a mortgage payment—via the internet, a money order or telephone are charged what is known as a “speed pay” fee by the bank.

Although this is a service commonly offered to consumers by their banks, generally speaking, speed pay fees through Western Union and through other banks vary from $3.50 to $7.00. PNC was allegedly charging customers in this case $12.00, which is considered excessive. The named plaintiff claimed he had also been charged “illegal and excessive” document request fees when he requested copies of his mortgage information—and there was no mention of such fees in his mortgage documents.

PNC Ordered to Pay $90 Million for Check Reordering

Just a couple of years ago, PNC Bank, like many others, was part of a multi-district litigation against banks who reordered debit card transactions from highest dollar amount to lowest in order to charge customers multiple overdraft fees. PNC Bank paid a $90 million-dollar settlement to refund consumers for the excessive overdraft fees resulting from reordering between January 1, 2004 and August 15, 2010. Reordering can quickly drain a consumer’s bank account, and triggers the most overdraft fees. At the time of the 2014 settlement, PNC claimed it would now process checks and debit card transactions in the order they are presented.

Homeowners Overcharged for Force-Placed Insurance by PNC

Last month, PNC bank agreed to pay a $32.3 million settlement for a Florida class action lawsuit. The Florida federal class action suit alleged PNC was overcharging homeowners for force-placed insurance. Bank of America, HSBC Bank and others have reached similar deals in recent months. PNC’s latest settlement will provide relief to more than 130,000 borrowers who say they had wind, flood-gap, flood or hazard insurance coverage forced on their properties. According to the motion, the $32.3 million would constitute somewhere between 50 and 100 percent of the recoverable damages had the parties proceeded to trial.

The mortgage agreements by PNC customers have a requirement that the borrower have hazard, wind, and, in some cases, flood insurance on the property which secured the mortgage loan. The agreements also stipulated that if a borrower allowed their insurance to lapse, the bank could force new coverage on the property, and charge that expense to the borrower. Despite this language in the agreements, plaintiffs in the lawsuit claimed the cost of the coverage significantly exceeded the cost of voluntary insurance coverage, and that consumers were paying for kickbacks made by insurers to PNC for these services.

This latest consumer class-action suit against PNC Bank is just one of many filed against big banks across the nation. It would appear consumers are tired of over-paying for bank services when the banks are making billions from excessive customer charges and fees.

Philadelphia Consumer Class Action Lawyers

If you or someone you love have been harmed financially by a negligent or fraudulent bank or financial institution, it is important to realize that you are not alone. You have a voice that should be heard and a right to seek justice. To learn more about your rights and legal options, call the Philadelphia consumer class action lawyers at Golomb Legal, P.C.

Our experienced litigation lawyers have represented millions of consumers and their families across the United States in their quest for justice. Many consumers believe erroneously that there is nothing they can do—no way to fight a large bank. Yet, this is not the case. When thousands band together—extraordinary results can be achieved.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us today at (215) 278- 4449. We accept cases from anywhere in the United States.