• Frequently Asked Questions
    1. When will I receive payment?
    2. Why did I receive a check?
    3. Why didn't I receive a check?
    4. How was my payment calculated?
    5. Can I dispute my award or receive more money?
    6. How can I receive a new check if I lost mine?
    7. How can I have my check reissued under a new name (e.g. Last Name Change)?
    8. Can you update my address and re-mail my check?
    9. What do I do if the person on the check is deceased?
    10. What do I do if the person on the check is now under guardianship/gave me power of attorney?
    11. Why was there a notice?
    12. What is this litigation about?
    13. What is an overdraft fee?
     
    1. Why is this a class action?
    2. Why is there a Settlement?
    3. Who is included in the Settlement?
    4. What does the Settlement provide? 
    5. What am I giving up to remain a member of the Settlement Class?
    6. How do I get out of the Settlement?
    7. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue NBT Bank for the same thing later?
    8. If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment?
    9. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
    10. How will the lawyers be paid?
    11. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
    12. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
    13. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
    14. How do I get more information?
     
    1. When will I receive payment?

      Checks were sent to Eligible Settlement Class Members on August 28, 2014.

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    2. Why did I receive a check?

      Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, the parties and the Defendant determined that you were an eligible Settlement Class Member who previously incurred eligible Overdraft Fees. (See FAQ 16).

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    3. Why didn't I receive a check?

      If you did not receive a check, then you are not eligible for a payment under the Settlement.

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    4. How was my payment calculated?

      Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, the parties and their experts calculated a pro rata share of the Settlement Fund based on the number of Settlement Class Members and the amount of the Settlement Fund available for distribution.

      Details on all of the Settlement benefits are available in the Settlement Agreement.

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    5. Can I dispute my award or receive more money?

      No. The deadline to object to the Settlement was May 28, 2014. The Court approved the Settlement on June 27, 2014.

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    6. How can I receive a new check if I lost mine?

      If you have lost the Settlement check, you may request that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. To request a replacement check, you must submit a signed written request to the Settlement Administrator at NBT Bank Overdraft Litigation, PO Box 2995, Portland, OR 97208-2995, asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. The replacement check will be issued and mailed to you.

      Your check will be reissued within 3 to 4 weeks after the Settlement Administrator received the written request and any required supporting documents.

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    7. How can I have my check reissued under a new name (e.g. Last Name Change)?

      First, please go to your financial institution in which you are a current account holder as they may cash the check if the documentation regarding the status of your name change is presented.

      If your bank will not cash or deposit your check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at Settlement Administrator at NBT Bank Overdraft Litigation, PO Box 2995, Portland, OR 97208-2995, accompanied by a signed written request asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. Please include instructions for the name that should be included on the replacement check. You do not need to provide documentation for the name change.

      Your check will be reissued within 3 to 4 weeks after the Settlement Administrator received the written request and any required supporting documents.

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    8. Can you update my address and re-mail my check?

      Yes. Please send a letter requesting a reissuance of your check which includes your former and current mailing addresses to the Settlement Administrator at NBT Bank Overdraft Litigation, PO Box 2995, Portland, OR 97208-2995.

      Your check will be reissued within 3 to 4 weeks after the Settlement Administrator received the written request and any required supporting documents.

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    9. What do I do if the person on the check is deceased?

      First, please go to your financial institution in which you are a current account holder as they may cash/deposit the check if documentation regarding the status of the account holder and your status as the beneficiary/executor is presented.

      If your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at NBT Bank Overdraft Litigation, PO Box 2995, Portland, OR 97208-2995, along with a request letter, signed under penalty of perjury, declaring that you are lawfully designated to receive the funds on behalf of the deceased class member.

      Your check will be reissued within 3 to 4 weeks after the Settlement Administrator received the written request and any required supporting documents.

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    10. What do I do if the person on the check is now under guardianship/gave me power of attorney?

      First, please go to your financial institution in which you are a current account holder as they may cash/deposit the check if documentation regarding the status of the claimant and your status as the guardian/power of attorney is presented.

      If your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at NBT Bank Overdraft Litigation, PO Box 2995, Portland, OR 97208-2995, along with a letter, signed under penalty of perjury, declaring that you are lawfully designated to receive the funds on behalf of the class member.

      Your check will be reissued within 3 to 4 weeks after the Settlement Administrator received the written request and any required supporting documents.

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    11. Why was there a notice?

      A Court authorized notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to give Final Approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement and your legal rights.

      Judge John F. Lambert of the Supreme Court of Delaware County, State of New York, is overseeing this case. The case is known as Costello v. NBT Bank; Case No. 2011-1037. The person who sued is called the “Plaintiff.” The defendant is NBT Bank.

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    12. What is this Litigation about?

      The lawsuit claims that NBT Bank posts Debit Card Transactions during overnight processing in the order of highest-to-lowest dollar amount, which Plaintiff alleges results in an increased number of Overdraft Fees assessed to customers. The complaint in this action is posted on this website, and contains the allegations and claims asserted against NBT Bank. NBT Bank maintains that the sequence of its posting of Debit Card Transactions is entirely proper and permitted by law.

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    13. What is an overdraft fee?

      An Overdraft Fee may be assessed when a customer’s withdrawals from a bank account exceed the available balance.

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    14. Why is this a class action?

      In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives (in this case, one NBT Bank customer who was assessed Overdraft Fees), sues on behalf of people who have similar claims.

      All of the people who have claims similar to the class representative are members of the Settlement Class, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

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    15. Why is there a Settlement?

      Both sides agreed to the Settlement, in order to avoid the costs and uncertainty of litigation, including possible trial and appeal. The Settlement accomplishes this and allows Settlement Class Members to receive the benefits described in this Notice. The class representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

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    16. Who is included in the Settlement?

      If you received notice of the Settlement from a postcard addressed to you, then you are in the Settlement Class. But even if you did not receive a postcard with Settlement notice, you may still be in the Settlement Class, as described below.

      You are a member of the Settlement Class if you:

      • Have or had an NBT Bank consumer checking Account that you could access with a Debit Card at any time from September 12, 2005 through September 11, 2011;
        AND
      • Were assessed two or more Overdraft Fees on one or more calendar days during that period, provided that at least one EFT Transaction occurred in such Account on the same day or days.

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    17. What does the Settlement provide?

      NBT Bank has agreed to establish a Settlement Fund of $625,000 from which Settlement Class Members may receive payments, as well as to pay attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses and administration and notice costs and expenses. However, the amount will be a pro rata share of the Settlement Fund based on the number of Settlement Class Members and the amount of the Settlement Fund available for distribution.

      Details on all of the Settlement benefits are available in the Settlement Agreement.

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    18. What am I giving up to remain a member of the Settlement Class?

      Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not be able to sue, continue to sue or be part of any other lawsuit against NBT Bank concerning the legal issues in this case. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The “Release of Claims” included in the Settlement Agreement describes the precise legal claims that you give up if you remain in the Settlement. The Settlement Agreement is available here.

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    19. How do I get out of the Settlement?

      The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was May 28, 2014. The Court approved the Settlement on June 27, 2014.

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    20. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue NBT Bank for the same thing later?

      No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue NBT Bank for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class in order to try to pursue your own lawsuit.

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    21. If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment?

      No. You will not get a payment if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

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    22. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

      The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and others in the Settlement Class as “Class Counsel.” including:


      Jeffrey M. Ostrow
      Kopelowitz Ostrow P.A.
      200 SW 1st Avenue
      12th Floor
      Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
      Darren T. Kaplan
      Chitwood Harley
      Harnes LLP
      1350 Broadway
      Suite 908
      New York, NY 10018

      Class Counsel will represent you and others in the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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    23. How will the lawyers be paid?

      Class Counsel intends to request up to 25% of the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of their expenses incurred in connection with prosecuting this case. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. The Court will determine the amount of fees and expenses to award. Class Counsel will also request that up to $5,000 for the Plaintiff be paid from the Settlement Fund for service to the entire Settlement Class.

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    24. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

      The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was May 28, 2014. The Court approved the Settlement on June 27, 2014.

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    25. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

      Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement. Excluding yourself from the Settlement is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

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    26. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

      The Court held the Final Approval Hearing on June 27, 2014, at the Delaware County Courthouse, 3 Court Street, Delhi, NY 13753.

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    27. How do I get more information?

      The notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details can be found in the Settlement Agreement. You can obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. You may also write with questions to NBT Bank Overdraft Litigation, PO Box 2995, Portland, OR 97208-2995, or call the toll-free number, 1-888-299-1145. Do not contact NBT Bank or the Court for information.

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