Mager v. First National Bank of Marin

Case No. CV-S-00-1524-PMP (PAL) (Dist. of Nevada)

A national class action brought on behalf of First National Bank of Marin (“FNBM”) credit card customers who were solicited for “partially secured” credit cards, then sent cards with credit limits set so low that there was no meaningful amount of credit available after the deduction of initial charges already owing on the account at the time the card was issued (such as enrollment, annual, mailing and processing fees and a charge for a savings deposit to secure the account). The lawsuit further alleged that FNBM used deceptive means to market these cards and solicit customers for them. Read more…

On May 30, 2002, the settlement of this case became final with the Court’s approval. After this lawsuit had progressed substantially against FNBM, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency of the United States (“OCC”) brought proceedings against FNBM, asserting claims similar to those in this lawsuit, and FNBM agreed to the government’s issuance of a consent order against them dated December 3, 2001. Under the Consent Order, the bank was required to establish a reserve, make an initial deposit of $4 million, and to handle restitution payments to class members. The class under the OCC settlement includes both the OCC Subclass and the Never-Used Card Subclass.

Related Documents From the United States of America Department of the Treasury Office of the Comptroller of the Currency: 

Consent Order
Fact Sheet

Who Is In The OCC Subclass:

You are in this OCC Subclass if you applied for a credit card from FNBM between January 1, 1998 and June 1, 2001, and:

(a) received a credit card with $50 or less in available credit at account opening and, within sixty (60) days after the credit card was mailed, cancelled the credit card account; or

(b) did not obtain a credit card and, during the application process, (i) received a communication from FNBM disclosing that you had been approved for a credit card and either that you would have $50 or less in available credit at account opening, or that you would have little or no available credit at account opening; and (ii) after receiving such a communication either cancelled the application, or failed to complete the application process necessary to receive a credit card.

If you received the Notice of Settlement in the mail, addressed to you, FNBM has identified you as a member of the OCC Subclass defined above.

What Benefits Will Class Members Receive Under The OCC Subclass:

As a member of the OCC Subclass, you will receive the following benefits pursuant to the OCC Consent Order:

Restitution – FNBM will send you a check for the total of the following items (minus any amounts already refunded for these items, and minus any amounts charged off and uncollected by FNBM):

(a) any application, enrollment, annual, mailing, processing, or comparable fees that were paid by you before receiving the card; plus

(b) any application, enrollment, annual, mailing, processing or comparable fees that were charged to your account during the first two billing cycles, and were paid by you at any time; plus

(c) any fees that were charged to your account because you exceeded the credit limit on the account during the first two billing cycles, and were paid by you at any time; plus

(d) any fees or finance charges that were charged to your account because you failed to make the required minimum payment by the due date during either or both of the first two billing cycles, and were paid by you at any time; plus

(e) interest, from each date a payment described above was received by FNBM, and continuing through February 1, 2002, at a rate of 8% per annum; and

(f) for purposes of calculating the amounts paid by you under subparagraphs (b) through (d) above, payments made on your account will be treated as if those payments had been allocated by FNBM first to pay fees and finance charges within subparagraphs (b) through (d).

 

Debt Forgiveness – In addition, with respect to fees or charges described in paragraphs 1(b) through 1(d) above that were not paid by you, and were charged off by FNBM or are currently outstanding, FNBM will:

(a) reduce the amount charged off or currently outstanding, as the case may be, by subtracting such fees and finance charges, and any additional finance charges related to such fees and finance charges;

(b) notify you of such reduction; and

(c) make the appropriate report to the appropriate credit reporting agencies.

Reversal Of Adverse Credit Report – FNBM will also reverse any adverse credit report that was made in relation to any charge within paragraphs 1(b) through 1(d) above, regardless of whether the amount was paid by you or charged off.

The OCC Consent Order will not, however, provide you with any refunds, debt forgiveness, or changes to credit reports for any amounts you charged on your FNBM credit card for purchases, or cash advances.

When Will Benefit Checks Be Mailed To OCC Subclass Members?

50% of the benefit checks will be mailed on October 18, 2002, and the other 50% will be mailed on October 25, 2002.

Who Is In The Never-Used Subclass:

All people who applied for a credit card from FNBM between January 1, 1998 and June 1, 2001 and who received a credit card with $50 or less in available credit at account opening, did not cancel the credit card account, never used the credit card to make a purchase or obtain a cash advance (other than for a deposit to secure the account) and did not file for bankruptcy after January 1, 2001.

If you have received this notice in the mail, addressed to you, FNBM has identified you as a member of the Never-Used-Card Subclass defined above.

What Benefits Will Class Members Receive Under The Never-Used Subclass:

If you completed and submitted the Claim Form by July 18, 2002, you will receive the following benefits:

Restitution FNBM will send you a check for the total of the following items:

(a) any application or enrollment fees that were paid by you before receiving the card;

(b) any application or enrollment fees that were charged to your account during the first two billing cycles, and were paid by you at any time; and

(c) interest, from each date a payment described above was received by FNBM, and continuing through February 1, 2002, at a rate of 8% per annum.

Debt Forgiveness FNBM will also reduce the amount charged off or currently outstanding on your account to zero, make the appropriate report to all applicable credit reporting agencies, and notify you of the reduction and report.

When Will Benefit Checks Be Mailed To Never-Used Subclass Members?

Checks were mailed on September 16th to class members who submitted their Claim Forms by July 18, 2002.