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  Class action lawsuit filed against United Community Bank for alleged improper overdraft fee practices

KNOXVILLE — Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC (BS&J) of Nashville has filed a class action lawsuit against United Community Bank (UCB). BS&J filed the lawsuit with Cohen & Malad, LLP (C&M) of Indianapolis, Indiana.

The suit was filed Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Plaintiff Dennis A. Jones, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated throughout the U.S., filed the suit. They are seeking redress for UCB’s alleged routine practice of assessing overdraft fees on debit card transactions that did not overdraw checking account available balances, along with multiple insufficient funds fees on a single transaction. The lawsuit is brought as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

“United Community Bank’s improper debit card fee practices are costing Dennis Jones, and many others like him, exorbitant sums and taking away a substantial percentage of income,” said Gerard Stranch, managing partner of BS&J. “Their practice of conducting authorized-positive, settled-negative transactions is deceptive and bears potential impact on all of UCB’s clients. UCB’s customers should be aware of the bank’s practices and the frequency with which they result in significant, unforeseen, personal cost to customers.”

The lawsuit alleges that:
• UCB breached the terms of its account documents by charging overdraft fees on transactions that were authorized into a sufficient available balance, but whose balances were allegedly insufficient at the time the transactions were settled;
• UCB breached the terms of its account documents by charging multiple insufficient funds fees on a single transaction;
• UCB breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing through its overdraft policies and procedures; and
• UCB engaged in deceptive acts or practices relating to the imposition of overdraft fees on consumers in violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.

“It is our hope that Mr. Jones, representing the class on behalf of which this lawsuit was filed, can put a stop to UCB’s unfair and improper fee practices,” said Lynn Toops, a partner at C&M. “UCB’s customers put their trust in the bank to comply with its own promises. Those customers who have been victimized by UCB’s improper practices, in direct violation of the bank’s promises, have suffered considerable financial losses. It is our goal to not only be granted restoration of these improper fees, but to hold UCB accountable for their wrongful actions.”

The plaintiff and fellow class members demand a jury trial and judgments that include:
• Declaring UCB’s overdraft fee policies and practices to be wrongful;
• Ordering UCB to cease its conduct regarding overdraft fees;
• Restitution of all overdraft fees paid to UCB by the plaintiff and classes as a result of the alleged wrongful practices; and
• Actual and punitive damages.

Additional information about the suit and the firms can be found at and

United Community Bank has three branches in Knoxville - 10514 Kingston Pike (Farragut), 11134 Kingston Pike (Farragut), and 9610 Countryside Center Lane (Farragut).

Published May 21, 2018

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