Learn what these lawsuits against Citibank could mean for you.
Like most big banks, Citi has been the target of its share of legal actions. And as a customer, some of them might be relevant to your own issues.
If you’re looking for your legal options, here are some things to know about Citibank lawsuits:
It’s likely your Citibank Bank contract says you can’t sue Citi in any court except Small Claims Court, thanks to an arbitration clause.
Because suing through Small Claims Court can be time consuming and complicated, we suggest consumer arbitration as a better solution.
Class action lawsuits are designed to bring together a group of individuals with the same complaint.
However, if you see an arbitration clause in your contract, you may not be able to file or join an existing class action lawsuit.
Sometimes you’ll see lawsuits against banks that are brought by government agencies or other financial institutions, which unfortunately may have more options than the average consumer.
One option you have is to sue Citi 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 can do everything from your home. Consumer Arbitration is the process laid out by Citibank 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.
Citibank Lawsuit due to Excessive Consumer Robocalling
Citibank has been accused of robocalling in the past, as seen in this 2017 lawsuit story told by LawyersAndSettlements.com:
The parties in a class action against Citibank for alleged Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations have reached a settlement in the lawsuit.
US District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on June 20, 2017 granted the joint motion for dismissal filed June 19 after both parties reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount in the consumer lawsuit. The lawsuit had not yet been certified as a class action.
San Diego resident Russell Smith filed the lawsuit Smith v. Citibank NA, Case No. 3:16-cv-03007, US District Court, Southern District of California as a class action on December 12, 2016. In the lawsuit, Smith alleged that Citibank violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing automated calls to his cell phone and leaving pre-recorded and artificial messages.
Smith claimed that Citibank placed calls with an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) to his cell phone while attempting to collect a debt on his closed Best Buy credit card account. Citibank allegedly placed the ATDS calls without Smith’s consent, according to the complaint.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 1991 to protect consumers from unsolicited pre-recorded or autodialed “robocall” telephone calls, text messages or faxes.
Citibank Lawsuit over Unjust Account Closure
As reported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Citibank was dealt a lawsuit earlier this year when they closed an American-Muslim man’s bank account without justification:
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and the Tariq Law Firm today announced the filing of a federal discrimination lawsuit against Citibank for closing, without justification, credit and bank accounts of a Muslim customer.
According to the lawsuit, Citibank closed Mohammed Ahmed’s, an American-Muslim of Bangladeshi descent, bank accounts around March 4, 2019, without providing any reasons for the closure. The following week, Citibank closed Ahmed’s credit card accounts. When Ahmed requested an explanation for the closures, Citibank refused to provide one.
Ahmed is suing for violations of federal, state, and city anti-discrimination laws.
Citibank Lawsuit over Mortgage Debt Price-Fixing
The Baltimore Business Journal has this 2019 story of the city of Baltimore filing a class action against Citibank and a number of other banks for their role in limiting mortgage lending:
Baltimore officials have filed a class-action anti-trust lawsuit against against several large banks charging conspiracy based on price-fixing of mortgage debt.
The suit was filed Thursday by City Solicitor Andre M. Davis on Thursday in U.S. District Court. It charges that the banks in part controlled limited financial pathways to mortgage lending based on the sale and purchase of debt bonds issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., or Freddie Mac.
Defendants include Bank of America, Barclays, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, First Tennessee Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and UBS.
The suit claims the defendants controlled the mortgage bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the Baltimore primary and secondary mortgage markets. It mirrors a larger criminal investigation recently opened by the U.S. Department of Justice into the same price manipulation issues.
Citibank Lawsuit over Internal 401(k) Fraud
Last year, Citibank was finally held responsible for an old lawsuit which stated that the bank set up its 401(k) retirement plans in a fraudulent manner that benefited the company and hurt retiring employees. This story comes from InvestmentNews:
Citigroup Inc. has reached a $6.9 million settlement with plaintiffs in a more than decade old lawsuit alleging the financial services firm stuffed its retirement plan with expensive in-house investments, thereby enriching the company at the expense of its employees.
The lawsuit, Leber v. Citigroup Inc. et al, was originally filed in October 2007 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs claimed the company breached its fiduciary duty by including high-cost, underperforming investment products managed by Citigroup subsidiaries and affiliates — including Smith Barney and Salomon Brothers — in the Citigroup 401(k) plan.
Parties filed for the proposed settlement Aug. 1. Citigroup didn’t admit to wrongdoing as part of the proposed settlement, which still must be approved by the judge. Citigroup spokesman Mark Costiglio declined to comment.
Citibank Lawsuit over Manipulation of Global Interest Rates
This 2018 lawsuit summary, reported by United Press International, details how Citibank manipulated the Libor, which influences global lending rates, in order to make millions of extra dollars in profit:
June 16 (UPI) — Citibank settled a lawsuit filed by attorneys general in 42 states for $100 million after an investigation found the bank manipulated Libor, a benchmark interest rate that helps set lending rates globally.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced the settlement on Friday, saying Citibank made millions of dollars of gains from its “fraudulent conduct.”
Citibank is the third bank that settled with state attorneys general for illegally influencing the Libor, following Barclays and Deutsche Bank, which have been fined $420 million collectively.
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