Frequently Asked Questions
  1. About these FAQs
  2. What is the status of my payment?
  3. Why did I receive a check or credit?
  4. Why didn’t I receive a check or credit?
  5. How was my payment calculated?
  6. Can I dispute my award or receive more money?
  7. How do I deposit my check that says “For Deposit Only”?
  8. How can I receive a new check if I lost mine?
  9. How can I have my check reissued under a new name (e.g. last name change)?
  10. When will my check be reissued?
  11. Can you update my address and re-mail my check?
  12. What do I do if the person on the check is deceased?
  13. What do I do if the person on the check is now under guardianship/gave me power of attorney?
  14. Can I request a check instead of an account credit?
  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. What is an overdraft fee?
  3. Why is this a class action?
  4. Why is there a Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
  6. What does the Settlement provide?
  7. How and when will I receive a payment or Account credit?
  8. What am I giving up to remain a member of the Settlement Class?
  9. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
  10. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
  11. How will the lawyers be paid?
  12. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
  13. The court’s final approval hearing.
  14. How do I get more information?
  1. About these FAQs

    These FAQs (answers to frequently asked questions) summarize the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who may be eligible for those benefits, and how to get them. For a more detailed and precise explanation of your legal rights and options, you can review the Settlement Agreement.

    Back To Top

  2. What is the status of my payment?

    Eligible Settlement Class Members who have open Accounts at Commerce Bank and are entitled to Settlement payments will receive them by account credit on January 9, 2014.

    Eligible Settlement Class Members who no longer have Accounts with Commerce Bank and are entitled to Settlement payments will receive them by check. Check mailing occurred on January 9, 2014. Please be patient in waiting for your check to arrive.

    Back To Top

  3. Why did I receive a check or credit?

    Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, Settlement Class Counsel and their experts determined that you were an eligible Settlement Class Member who previously incurred Overdraft Fees entitling you to a Settlement Class Member Payment (see Question 19).

    If your Commerce Bank Account is currently open, you received an account credit on January 9, 2014. If your Commerce Bank Account has been closed, a check was mailed to you. The account credit or check you received represents your portion of the Settlement.

    Back To Top

  4. Why didn’t I receive a check or credit?

    If you received postcard notice but did not receive a check, then you are not eligible for a payment under the Settlement because your Account was closed with a negative balance and the amount of the payment that would otherwise be provided for in the Settlement was insufficient to make the balance in that Account positive.

    If you have an open Commerce Bank Account, please make sure to double check your account statement and/or online banking for a credit that may have been applied by Commerce Bank on January 9, 2014.

    Back To Top

  5. How was my payment calculated?

    Award calculations were done separately for each individual Settlement Class Member using that class member’s own Account and Overdraft Fee history and applying the formula set forth in the Court-approved Settlement Agreement. Not every Overdraft Fee that was charged is eligible for payment under this Settlement; in general, only those Overdraft Fees that would not have been assessed but for the high to low posting order were eligible for compensation under the Settlement. Only a small percentage of all Overdraft Fees charged to Commerce Bank (see Question 19) customers were affected by high to low posting. And, of the Overdraft Fees that were eligible, only a portion or a percentage of those fees is payable to each Settlement Class Member as their pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund.

    The Settlement Agreement is available here and describes, in detail, the calculation and allocation of Settlement Funds.

    Back To Top

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

    No. The deadline to object to the Settlement was February 8, 2013. The Court approved the Settlement on August 2, 2013 (see Question 27).

    Back To Top

  7. How do I deposit my check that says “For Deposit Only”?

    If your Settlement check is for $100.00 or more, it has a “for deposit only” restriction as a fraud prevention measure. If you are unable to deposit the Settlement check into your bank account and/or unable to cash the check at another bank or check cashing agency, you may request that a replacement check be issued to you without the ‘For deposit only’ restriction.

    To request a replacement check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775, accompanied by a signed written request asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. Please include an instruction that the replacement check be issued to you without the ‘For deposit only’ restriction.

    The Settlement Agreement provides precise and more detailed explanations of the benefits to members of the Settlement Class.

    Back To Top

  8. 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 Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775, asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. The replacement check will be issued and mailed to you.

    Back To Top

  9. 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 Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775, 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.

    Back To Top

  10. When will my check be reissued?

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

    Back To Top

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

    Yes. Please send a letter requesting a reissuance of your check that includes your former and current mailing addresses to Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775.

    Back To Top

  12. 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 Settlement check is for $100.00 or greater and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator, along with a letter of instruction, proof of beneficiary/executor and proof of death of the person named on the check (i.e., copy of death certificate).

    If your Settlement check is for an amount less than $100.00 and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775, 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.

    Please send the original check, written reissue request and any supporting documentation to Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775.

    Back To Top

  13. 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 Settlement check is for $100.00 or greater and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775, along with a letter of instruction and proof of guardianship or power of attorney.

    If your check is for an amount less than $100.00 and your bank will not cash the check, please return the original check to the Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775, 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.

    Please send the original check, written reissue request and any supporting documentation to Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775.

    Back To Top

  14. Can I request a check instead of an account credit?

    No. The Settlement Agreement specifies what categories of Settlement Class Members received an account credit or a mailed check. In general, Settlement Class Members who no longer have an Account received a mailed check, and Settlement Class Members who currently have an Account received an account credit.

    Back To Top

  15. What is this lawsuit about?

    This case is captioned as In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 1:09-md-02036-JLK. Senior Judge James Lawrence King, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is overseeing this case. The person who sued is called the “Plaintiff.” The defendant is Commerce Bank.

    The lawsuit claims that Commerce 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 contains all of the allegations and claims asserted against Commerce Bank. Commerce Bank maintains that there was nothing wrong with its posting process and that it has not violated any laws.

    Back To Top

  16. What is an overdraft fee?

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

    Back To Top

  17. Why is this a class action?

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

    The Settlement Agreement defines who is included in the Settlement Class. Generally, Commerce Bank former and current customers with claims similar to the class representative are members of the Settlement Class, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

    Back To Top

  18. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of either Plaintiff or Commerce Bank. Instead, both sides agreed to the Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Settlement Class Members receive the benefits described on this website. The class representative and her attorneys think the Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

    Back To Top

  19. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    If you received notice of the Settlement in a postcard addressed to you, then you are a member of the Settlement Class. However, even if you did not receive a postcard with a 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 a Commerce Bank consumer checking Account that you could access with a Debit Card at any time between April 6, 2004, through and including August 16, 2012, except for those members of the Settlement Class with an Account that was opened in Illinois, in which case the period shall be April 6, 2000, through and including August 16, 2012; and
    • Incurred an Overdraft Fee as a result of Commerce Bank’s practice of posting Debit Card Transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount.

    If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or if you have any questions about the Settlement, contact the Settlement Administrator by email at info@CommerceBankOverdraftSettlement.com, or by mail at Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, PO Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775.

    Back To Top

  20. What does the Settlement provide?

    Commerce Bank established a Settlement Fund of $18.3 million from which members of the Settlement Class may receive payments by check or Account credits, as well as to pay attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. The amount of such payments or Account credits to Settlement Class Members cannot be determined at this time. However, it will be based on the number of Settlement Class Members and the amount of Additional Overdraft Fees each Settlement Class Member was assessed as a result of Commerce Bank’s posting order.

    There is not sufficient data to identify all members of the Settlement Class with Accounts opened in Illinois between April 6, 2000 and December 31, 2002. For those Unidentifiable Settlement Class Members, a Claims Process is included in the Settlement to allow such members of the Settlement Class to submit Claims for distributions from the Net Settlement Fund.

    Additionally, Commerce Bank has agreed to certain modifications to its Debit Card Transaction posting order. Specifically, Commerce Bank has agreed that for a period of at least 2 years from on or before March 29, 2013, it will modify its posting order of Debit Card Transactions such that those transactions shall be posted chronologically. Further, Commerce Bank will separately pay for fees and costs for Notice and settlement administration.

    The Settlement Agreement provides precise and more detailed explanations of the benefits to members of the Settlement Class.

    Back To Top

  21. How and when will I receive a payment or Account credit?

    Settlement Class Members who are entitled to automatic payments or who submit valid Claim Forms will receive their payments, either by check or Account credit, only after the Court grants Final Approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved. If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.

    Settlement Class Members receiving automatic payments do not need to do anything to receive their payments or Account Credits.

    Non-automatic payments will be given to eligible Settlement Class Members who had Accounts that were opened in Illinois between April 6, 2000 and December 31, 2002 and who submit valid Claim Forms. To be eligible to receive non-automatic payments, members of the Settlement Class must submit completed Claim Forms as described below. Provided the Claim Form is valid, those Settlement Class Members will also receive payments by check or Account credit.

    Back To Top

  22. 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 Commerce Bank about the legal issues in this case. It also means that 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 provides further details.

    Back To Top

  23. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    It is no longer possible to exclude yourself from the Settlement. All timely exclusion requests must have been submitted no later than February 8, 2013.

    Back To Top

  24. 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
    Suite 1200
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
    Robert C. Gilbert
    Grossman Roth, P.A.
    2525 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
    Suite 1150
    Miami, FL 33134
    Aaron S. Podhurst, Esq.
    Podhurst Orseck, P.A.
    25 West Flagler Street
    Suite 800
    Miami, FL 33130
    Bruce S. Rogow
    Bruce S. Rogow, P.A.
    Broward Financial Center
    5000 East Broward Boulevard
    Suite 1930
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394

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

    Back To Top

  25. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel intends to request up to 30% of the value of the Settlement 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 her service to the entire Settlement Class.

    Back To Top

  26. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the settlement?

    It is no longer possible to object to the Settlement. All timely objections must have been submitted no later than February 8, 2013.

    Back To Top

  27. The court’s final approval hearing

    The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on August 1, 2013 at the United States District Court for Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, located at James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building, 99 Northeast Fourth Street, Miami, FL 33132. At this hearing the Court considered whether the Settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court also considered the request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses. After the hearing, the Court approved the Settlement, awarded Class Counsel attorneys’ fees representing 30% of the Settlement Fund plus certain expenses, and awarded the Service Awards to the Class Representative.

    Back To Top

  28. How do I get more information?

    More details can be found in the Settlement Agreement. You also may write with questions to Commerce Bank Overdraft Settlement, P.O. Box 3775, Portland, OR 97208-3775, or send an e-mail to info@CommerceBankOverdraftSettlement.com.

    Do not contact Commerce Bank or the Court for information.

    Back To Top

NOTICE: This website provides a summary of the Settlement and is provided for informational purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy between the text of this website and the original text upon which it is based, the text of the original document shall prevail.

Questions? Contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-866-841-7649 or info@CommerceBankOverdraftSettlement.com