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All About Bank of America Lawsuits

Learn what these lawsuits against Bank of America could mean for you.

Bank of America is one of the biggest banks in the United States with millions of customers, but that opens them up to Bank of America lawsuits too.

If you’re experiencing issues with Bank of America, you’re not alone and may be able to receive compensation. There are several current lawsuits and claims filed against Bank of America already. If you are looking to resolve your dispute with Bank of America, keep reading.

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1

Are lawsuits against Bank of America allowed?

For customers of many banks, your contract limits your right to sue. For instance, it’s possible your Bank of America contract says you can’t sue Bank of America in any court except Small Claims Court, thanks to an arbitration clause.

To find out if your account agreement includes this clause, you should look through it for terms such as “binding arbitration” and “dispute resolution.”

If your contract has this clause, you should know that suing through Small Claims Court can be time consuming and complicated. But you do have options for complaining against Bank of America. We suggest considering filing for consumer arbitration as a better solution.

2

What is a class action lawsuit? Can I file class action lawsuits against Bank of America?

Class action lawsuits are designed to bring together a group of individuals with the same complaint.

If your Bank of America contract does not have an arbitration clause, then you are eligible to join a class action lawsuit.

However, if you see an arbitration clause in your contract, you may not be able to file or join an existing class action lawsuit.

3

As a customer, what are my options for lawsuits against Bank of America?

Several organizations accept complaints against companies like Bank of America. For instance, you can take a look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

But if you are looking to take legal action, you may have up to 3 options:

  • One option you have is to sue Bank of America in small claims court. If your claim qualifies for small claims court, you will be asked to attend a court hearing and pay legal fees to make your case.
  • Or, you may be able to do everything from your home. Consumer Arbitration is the process laid out by many contracts in place of a lawsuit. It lets you argue your case before an independent arbitrator (like a judge) who can force them to fix the problem and to compensate you. We at FairShake help make this process easy and convenient. (Find out how…)
  • If your Bank of America contract allows class action lawsuits, then you’ll want to find a lawyer or law firm currently suing the bank, or planning to do so.
4

Five recent and notable lawsuits against Bank of America:

Bank of America Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged Involvement in Ponzi Scheme

According to the Rochester Beacon, a federal judge in a class action lawsuit against Bank of America has ruled that Bank of America was not complicit in a Ponzi type scheme:

Former Citizens Bank and Bank of America branch manager Derline Cunningham’s alleged complicity in Perry Santillo’s $100 million Ponzi scheme does not make the banks liable for Santillo’s crimes, U.S. District Judge David Larimer has ruled.

[…]

If Bank of America and Citizens Bank could be held liable, defrauded investors would stand to recover more. But Larimer’s ruling would seem to pose a significant barrier to the class action. 

[…]

“Because plaintiffs have failed to plausibly allege that the defendant banks and individual defendants had an agreement to engage in fraud, or that the defendant banks took overt actions in furtherance of that agreement, plaintiffs’ conspiracy claims must be dismissed,” the judge wrote in a decision handed down in October.

Bank of America Agrees to Settlement with Fannie Mae

In 2013 Bank of America agreed to a $10 billion settlement with Fannie Mae for mortgages it sold to Fannie Mae during the housing bubble. This story from CNN Business outlines the case:

BofA (BAC) will pay $3.55 billion in cash to Fannie as part of the deal. It will also repurchase 30,000 questionable mortgages that are likely to produce losses, paying Fannie $6.75 billion for the loans. The loans had been bundled into mortgage-backed securities, and then were bought and guaranteed by Fannie Mae.

The purchase of bad home loans by Fannie Mae led to massive losses, a government takeover in 2008 and a $116 billion bailout to keep it functioning as a major source of home loans.

The loans were originated between 2000 and 2008 by Countrywide Financial, a leading mortgage and subprime home loan lender that BofA purchased for $4 billion in 2008. The loans covered by the settlement had an original value of $1.4 trillion. 

The complaint says that CenturyLink “routinely fails to live up to its promises about the total prices consumers will pay for its services,” and worse, wouldn’t honor the agreed-upon prices with consumers when challenged. “Shopping for internet and cable TV service isn’t easy if companies don’t give straight answers about the prices they will charge,” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement.

Bank of America Sued by Consumers for Selling Personal Information

As reported by Consumer Affairs, Bank of America was sued in 2018 by a group of consumers that alleged that Bank of America sold their personal information when applying for credit cards without their consent:

“Plaintiffs’ [personal financial information] is valuable to Defendants,” contends the plaintiffs.

“They regularly enter into agreements with third parties to provide this [PFI: personal financial information] in exchange for money and other financial benefit. Under these agreements, Defendants have profited greatly from the sale of Plaintiffs’ PFI to third parties.”

The plaintiffs feel that their personal profile is of value to the banks and that the banks have profited off that data without the user’s permission without sharing part of that profit with the credit card holder.

“Plaintiffs have a property interest in their own PFI regardless of what Defendants may do to or with it once Defendants have it in their possession, however it may be de-identified and/or aggregated for sale,” alleges the suit.

Bank of America Litigation for Naming Virtual Assistant “Erica”

According to American Banker, Bank of America was sued in 2018 for naming its virtual assistant “Erica” as an alleged violation of a registered service mark:

Underwood says he registered the service mark E.R.I.C.A. with the state of Georgia in 2010 but that his filing applies nationally. The name is an acronym that stands for “electronic repetitious informational clone application.” The name also corresponds to the birth name of Underwood’s twin sister, Erika.

[…]

Bank of America disputes the lawsuit and has filed a counterclaim. The bank says Erica is based on the last five letters of its name. The virtual assistant is a feature within its mobile banking app that answers customers’ questions about their accounts.

In his lawsuit, Underwood accuses the bank of unfair competition. Bank of America’s use of the name Erica, “if allowed to continue, [is] likely to create confusion and reverse confusion. … Because of the defendant’s size and resources, consumers are likely to believe that it is Underwood and My24 that are the junior users and that it is Underwood and My24 that are unfairly competing.”

Bank of America Sued for Alleged Violations of the Fair Housing Act

A 2018 lawsuit accuses Bank of America of alleged fair housing violations under the federal Fair Housing Act for treating bank-owned houses in minority neighborhoods differently than bank-owned houses in white neighborhoods. This story from Housing Wire covers the case:

The suit, filed in June 2018, accuses the two companies of intentionally failing to provide routine exterior maintenance and marketing for Bank of America-owned homes in African American and Latino neighborhoods across 37 metro areas, while consistently maintaining similar bank-owned properties in white neighborhoods.

[…]

“The facts pled raise a reasonable inference that the defendants violated anti-discrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act,” the judge wrote. “The threshold and legal arguments for dismissal are not persuasive.”

NFHA CEO and President Lisa Rice said the group is pleased with the judge’s ruling and looks forward to seeing the lawsuit through.

“Bank of America and Safeguard must be held accountable for their discriminatory actions, must make substantial changes to their policies and practices, and must make the communities they have harmed whole,” Rice said. “Their inaction and refusal to maintain properties in communities of color has created a dangerous and harmful environment.”

See our other Bank of America article discussing other Bank of America Lawsuits here.Even if you aren’t able to cash in on these listed lawsuits, your complaint may fit arbitration with Bank of America. We can help you file a claim and get compensated – learn more here.

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