Holt v. The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod
Retry NSF Overdraft Fee Settlement
Case No. SUCV 2020-01178-BLS1

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • The lawsuit that is being settled is entitled Holt v. The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. The case is a “class action.” That means that the “Named Plaintiff,” Donald Holt, is an individual who is acting on behalf of a group that includes all customers of Defendant who were charged an NSF fee on their accounts for a single payment submitted to Defendant for collection from June 4, 2014 through March 29, 2021, which request for collection initially was rejected for insufficient funds, but subsequently was re-presented to Defendant for collection on one or more additional occasions resulting in additional NSF and/or Overdraft Fees. The persons in this group are collectively called the “Class Members.”

    The Named Plaintiff claims he was improperly charged NSF and/or Overdraft fees. Defendant does not deny that it assessed the Named Plaintiff NSF and/or Overdraft fees, but denies that its practices give rise to claims for damages by the Named Plaintiff or any Class Member. Defendant specifically maintains that it properly and lawfully assessed all fees in accordance with the terms of its agreements, disclosure, and applicable law.

  • In any lawsuit, there are risks and potential benefits that come with a trial versus settling at an earlier stage. It is the Named Plaintiff’s lawyers’ job to identify when a proposed settlement offer is good enough that it justifies recommending settling the case instead of continuing to trial. In a class action, these lawyers, known as Class Counsel, make this recommendation to the Named Plaintiff. The Named Plaintiff has the duty to act in the best interests of the class as a whole and, in this case, it is his belief, as well as Class Counsel’s opinion, that this settlement is in the best interest of all Class Members for at least the following reasons:

    There is legal uncertainty about whether a judge or a jury will find that Defendant breached its agreements with customers or otherwise acted improperly by assessing the NSF and/or Overdraft fees that are the subject of this case. There also is uncertainty about whether the Named Plaintiff’s claims are subject to other defenses that might result in no recovery or less recovery to Class Members. Even if the Named Plaintiff were to win at trial, there is no assurance that the Class Members would be awarded more than the current settlement amount, and it may take years of litigation before any payments would be made. By settling, the Class Members will avoid these and other risks and the delays associated with continued litigation.

    Although Defendant disputes Plaintiff’s claims, it has agreed to settle to avoid the costs, distractions and risks of litigation. Thus, even though Defendant denies that it did anything improper, it believes settlement is in its best interest and in the best interests of all of its customers.

  • If you received a notice, then Defendant’s records indicate that you are a Class Member who is entitled to receive a payment.

  • You have or had three options: (1) do nothing and you will receive a payment according to the terms of this settlement; (2) excluded yourself from the settlement (“opted out” of it) on or before September 21, 2021; or (3) participate in the settlement but have objected to it on or before September 21, 2021. Each of these options is described in a separate FAQ below.

  • If you do nothing, you will receive settlement funds via check mailed to your residence of record when the settlement is paid at the close of the claims period.

    The deadline for sending a letter to exclude yourself from or opt out of the settlement was September 21, 2021.

    The deadline to file an objection with the Court was September 21, 2021.

  • The Court has decided that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court granted Final Approval of the Settlement on October 15, 2021.

  • Defendant has agreed to create a Settlement Fund of $110,000.00. Attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, and a service award to the Named Plaintiff will be paid out of this amount. The balance of the Settlement Fund will be divided among all Class Members proportionally.  Additionally, as a result of this lawsuit, Defendant has implemented changes to its disclosures that clarify Defendant’s NSF and Overdraft fee practices.

  • Class Counsel requested that the Court award up to one-third (33-1/3%) of the value of the settlement as attorneys’ fees plus reimbursement litigation costs incurred in prosecuting the case. The Court granted the requested fees and costs at the Final Approval Hearing on October 15, 2021.

  • Class Counsel on behalf of the Named Plaintiff requested that the Court award him up to $2,000 a piece for their role in securing this settlement on behalf of the class. The Court granted the requested award at the Final Approval Hearing on October 15, 2021.   

  • The balance of the Settlement Fund will be divided among all Class Members proportionally.  Class Members will receive a check for the amount they are entitled to receive from the Settlement Administrator.

  • No. Any amount you are entitled to under the terms of the settlement will be distributed to you unless you chose to exclude yourself from the settlement, or “opt out.” Excluding yourself from the settlement means you chose not to participate in the settlement. You will keep your individual claims against Defendant, but you will not receive a payment. In that case, if you choose to seek recovery against Defendant, then you will have to file a separate lawsuit or claim.

  • The Court held a Fairness Hearing (explained below in Questions 19-21) on October 15, 2021 and granted Final Approval of the Settlement. There were no objections to the Settlement. The Settlement Administrator should begin paying claims within approximately forty days of the Court's approval.

  • If you do not want to receive a payment, or if you want to keep any right you may have to sue Defendant for the claims alleged in this lawsuit, then you must have excluded yourself, or “opted out.” The deadline to have opted out was September 21, 2021.

    To opt out, you must send a letter to the Settlement Administrator that you want to be excluded. Your letter can simply say “I hereby elect to be excluded from the settlement in the Holt v. The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod class action. Be sure to include your name, the last four digits of your account number (current or former) or Social Security Number, address, telephone number, and email address. Your exclusion or opt out request must be postmarked by September 21, 2021 and sent to:

    Retry NSF Overdraft Fee Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91398
    Seattle, WA 98111

  • If you opted out of the settlement, you will preserve and not give up any of your rights to sue Defendant for the claims alleged in this case. However, you will not be entitled to receive a payment from this settlement.

  • No. If you excluded yourself, you will not be entitled to a payment.  The deadline to exclude yourself is September 21, 2021.

  • You can object to the settlement or any part of it that you do not like IF you do not exclude yourself, or opt out, from the settlement. The deadline to do so is September 21, 2021. (Class Members who exclude themselves from the settlement have no right to object to how other Class Members are treated.) To object, you must send a written document to the Settlement Administrator, the Court, Class Counsel, and Defendant’s counsel, at the addresses below. Your objection must include the following:

    • A heading referring to the Donald Holt v. The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod Class Action;
    • Your name, address, telephone number, the last four digits of your account number (current or former) or Social Security Number, and the contact information for any attorney you have retained in connection with this case;
    • A statement of the factual and legal basis for each objection and any exhibits you wish the Court to consider in connection with the objection;
    • A statement as to whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through an attorney, and, if through an attorney, identifying the attorney by name, address, and telephone number; and
    • Your signature.

    Counsel and/or Defendant’s Counsel will file any objections and responsive pleadings at least seven days before the Final Approval Hearing Date.

    Be advised that if you object to the settlement and retain an attorney for purposes of objecting, you are solely responsible for paying that attorney’s fees and costs.

    If you fail to comply with the provisions herein, you will waive and forfeit any and all rights to appear and/or object separately, and will be bound by the terms of this Agreement and the orders and judgments of the Court.

    All objections must be post-marked no later than September 21, 2021 and must be mailed to the above-identified recipients as follows:

    CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR CLASS COUNSEL
    Retry NSF Overdraft Fee Settlement Administrator
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91398
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Jeffrey D. Kaliel, Esq. and
    Sophia Gold, Esq.
    Kaliel, PLLC
    1875 Connecticut Ave. NW, 10th Floor
    Washington, D.C. 20009

    Jeff Ostrow
    Kopelowitz Ostrow P.A.
    1 West Las Olas Blvd., Ste. 500
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

    Brian C. Davis, Esq.
    Melick & Porter, LLP
    One Liberty Square, 7th Floor
    Boston, MA 02109

    MASSACHUSETTS SUPERIOR COURT
    SUFFOLK COUNTY
    Attn: Clerk
    3 Pemberton Square
    Boston, MA 02108
    DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL
    Adam Ramos, Esq. and Katherine Savage, Esq.
    Hinckley, Allen, & Snyder, LLP
    100 Westminster Street, #1500
    Providence, RI 02903
  • The deadline to object to the Settlement is September 21, 2021. Objecting is telling the Court that you do not believe the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate for the class, and asking the Court to reject it. You can object only if you do not opt out of the settlement. If you object to the settlement and do not opt out, then you are entitled to a payment if the settlement is approved, but you will release claims you might have against Defendant. Excluding yourself or opting out is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the settlement, and do not want to receive a payment or release claims you might have against Defendant for the claims alleged in this lawsuit.

  • If the Court sustains your objection, or the objection of any other Class Member, then there is no settlement. you object, but the Court overrules your objection and any other objection(s), then you will be part of the settlement. The deadline to object to the Settlement is September 21, 2021.

  • The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on October 15, 2021. At this hearing, the Court decided the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. There were no objections. The Court also decided how much to award Class Counsel for attorneys' fees and expenses and how much the Named Plaintiff will get as a "Service Award" for acting as the class representatives. 

  • The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on October 15, 2021. You did not have to come to the hearing. Class Counsel answered any questions the Court may have had at the hearing.

  • The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on October 15, 2021. If you objected, you may have asked the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must have included with your objection, described in Question 17, above, the statement, “I hereby give notice that I intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing.”   

  • If you do nothing at all, and if the settlement is approved, then you may receive a payment that represents your share of the Settlement Fund. You will be considered a part of the class, and you will give up claims against Defendant for the conduct identified in the settlement. You will not give up any other claims you might have against Defendant that are not released in this settlement.

  • The Court ordered that the lawyers and their law firms referred to in this notice as "Class Counsel" will represent you and the other Class Members.

  • No. Class Counsel will be paid directly from the Settlement Fund.

  • The Court was asked to approve the amount of attorneys' fees at the Fairness Hearing. Class Counsel filed an application for fees and costs and specified the amount being sought as discussed above. You may review a physical copy of the fee application at the website established by the Settlement Administrator, at www.RetryNSFOverdraftFeeSettlement.com

    For additional information about the Settlement and/or to obtain copies of the Settlement Agreement, the pleadings in this case, or to change your address for purposes of receiving a payment, you should contact the Settlement Administrator as follows:

    Retry NSF Overdraft Fee Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91398
    Seattle, WA 98111

    PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR ANY REPRESENTATIVE OF DEFENDANT CONCERNING THIS NOTICE OR THE SETTLEMENT.

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Mail
Retry NSF Overdraft Fee Settlement
JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91398
Seattle, WA 98111