There have been far too many instances lately where powerful banks abused their customers’ trust. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Times just reported that the following banks appear to be engaging in an unfair business practice: HSBC Bank, TD Bank, PNC Bank, Branch Banking & Trust Co. and America First Credit Union. These banks appear to have inserted a “fee-shifting” provision in their account agreements that would make customers responsible for all fees in bank disputes – even if the customer is correct!
Fee-shifting provisions are not uncommon and they can sometimes be lawful; but courts have consistently held that one-sided fee-shifting provisions are unlawful. The fee-shifting provisions used by these banks are extremely one-sided. Under these fee-shifting provisions, if a bank makes a mistake and you dispute that mistake, you would have to pay the bank for its efforts to avoid responsibility for the mistake.
If you successfully disputed a bank’s error or unfair practice and were forced to pay the bank’s fees for your dispute, or if you chose not to dispute an issue with a bank because of an unfair fee-shifting policy, please contact us to discuss your legal options.