Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a notice?

    A Court authorized a 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. This website explains the lawsuit, the Settlement and your legal rights.

    The case is known as Sylvia Hawkins v. First Tennessee Bank National Association, Shelby County Circuit Court Docket No.: CT-004085-11, Division VII (the “Action”). The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” The Defendant is First Tennessee Bank National Association.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that First Tennessee posted Debit Card Transactions in the order of highest to lowest dollar amount, which Plaintiffs argue results in an increased number of Overdraft Fees assessed to customers. First Tennessee maintains that there was nothing wrong with either the posting process it used or the disclosures it made, and that it complied, at all times, with applicable laws and regulations and the terms of the account agreements with its customers.

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  3. What do “Account,” “Overdraft Fee,” “Debit Card,” and “Debit Card Transaction” mean?

    Account” means any consumer checking, demand deposit or savings account maintained by First Tennessee in the United States linked to and/or accessible by a Debit Card during the Class Period and on which an Overdraft Fee could be applied.

    Overdraft Fee” means any fee or fees assessed to an Account resulting from item(s) paid because the Account had insufficient funds to cover the item(s). Fees charged to transfer funds from other accounts are excluded.

    Debit Card” means a card or similar device issued or provided by First Tennessee, including a debit card, check card, or automated teller machine (“ATM”) card that can or could be used to debit funds from an Account by Point of Sale and/or ATM transactions.

    Debit Card Transaction” means any debit transaction effectuated with a Debit Card, including Point of Sale transactions (whether by PIN or signature/PIN-less) and ATM transactions. For avoidance of doubt, Debit Card Transaction does not include a debit transaction effectuated by paper or electronic check, by preauthorized transaction, by wire transfer or Automated Clearing House ("ACH") transaction, or a transfer to another account such as a credit card account or line of credit.

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  4. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case, Plaintiffs Sylvia Hawkins, William Hawkins, Peter Teselsky and Mark Zurales) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. The people included in the class action are called the Settlement Class or Settlement Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who timely exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

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  5. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of either the Plaintiffs or First Tennessee. 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 in this notice. The Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe the Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

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  6. Who is included in the Settlement?

    You are included in the Settlement Class if you were a First Tennessee customer who had one or more consumer (non-business) Accounts and incurred an Overdraft Fee(s) during the Class Period as a result of First Tennessee’s practice of sequencing Debit Card and ATM transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount. The Class Period is September 6, 2005 to February 20, 2013.

    In order to have incurred an Overdraft Fee as a result of First Tennessee’s practice of posting Debit Card Transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount, you must have had two or more Overdraft Fees assessed on one or more days during the Class Period. If this happened to you, you may be in the Settlement Class. If it did not happen to you, you are not a member of the Settlement Class. You may contact the Settlement Administrator if you have any questions as to whether you are in the Settlement Class.

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  7. What does the Settlement provide?

    First Tennessee has agreed to establish a Settlement Fund of $16.75 million from which Settlement Class Members will receive payments or Account credits. The Settlement Fund will also pay all fees and expenses of Class Notice and Settlement Administration, attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses awarded to Class Counsel, and any Service Awards to the Class Representatives. The exact amount of Settlement Class Members’ payments or Account credits cannot be determined at this time. The exact amount cannot be determined until the notice process is complete and the Court makes a final decision on the amount of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses awarded to Class Counsel and any Service Award to the Class Representative.

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  8. How do I receive a payment or Account credit?

    If you are in the Settlement Class and entitled to receive a cash benefit, you do not need to do anything to receive a payment or Account credit. If the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final and effective, you will automatically receive a payment by check or Account credit for your pro rata portion of eligible Overdraft Fees you paid during the time period covered by the Settlement.

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  9. How do I split the payment between myself and the additional account holder(s) on record?

    Please provide written request for a split check reissue at:

    First Tennessee Overdraft Settlement
    P.O. Box 3170
    Portland, OR 97208-3170

    Please find the split reissue request form here, complete and mail it to the Settlement Administrator at the address above. The combined award will be divided between each award recipient named on the original check and mailed separately.

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  10. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

    Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against First Tennessee about the legal issues in this Action. It also means that all of the decisions by the Court will bind you. The “Release” 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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  11. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the settlement was March 16, 2017. It is no longer possible to file a request for exclusion.

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  12. If I did not exclude myself, am I able to sue First Tennessee for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up the right to sue First Tennessee for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must have excluded yourself from this Settlement Class in order to be able to pursue your own lawsuit

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  13. If I excluded myself from the Settlement, will I still receive a payment?

    No. You will not receive a payment or Account credit if you excluded yourself from the Settlement.

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  14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

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

    Jeff Ostrow
    Jonathan M. Streisfeld
    David L. Ferguson
    Kopelowitz Ostrow P.A.
    One West Las Olas Blvd
    Suite 500
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
    Hassan Zavareei
    Jeffrey Kaliel
    Tycko & Zavareei LLP
    1828 L Street, NW
    Suite 1000
    Washington, DC 20036

    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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  15. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel intends to request up to 35% of the money in the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of their expenses incurred in connection with prosecuting this Action. 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 $7,500 be paid to each Class Representative (Class Representatives Peter Teselsky and Mark Zurales each paid $7,500; Sylvia Hawkins and William Hawkins each paid $3,750) from the Settlement Fund for their service to the entire Settlement Class.

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  16. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

    The deadline to object to the settlement was March 16, 2017. The Court approved the Settlement on April 20, 2017 and it is no longer possible to object to the Settlement. If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to any part of the Settlement, the Settlement as a whole, Class Counsel’s requests for fees and expenses and/or Class Counsel’s request for a Service Award for the Class Representatives.

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  17. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?

    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 don’t 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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  18. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court held a Final Approval Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on April 20, 2017, at the Shelby County Courthouse, located at 140 Adams Avenue, Room 215, Memphis, TN 38103.

    The Court approved the Settlement on April 20, 2017.

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  19. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    The Final Approval Hearing occurred on April 20, 2017.

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  20. May I speak at the hearing?

    The Final Approval Hearing occurred on April 20, 2017.

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  21. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will still receive the benefits to which you are entitled under the Settlement Agreement. Unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against First Tennessee relating to the issues in this Action.

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  22. How do I get more information?

    The Detailed 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 the Settlement Administrator at First Tennessee Overdraft Settlement, P.O. Box 3170, Portland, OR 97208-3170, or call the toll-free number, 1-888-283-6563.

    Do not contact First Tennessee or the Court for information.

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Important Dates

  • March 16, 2017
    Deadline to opt-out of the Settlement
  • March 16, 2017
    Deadline to object to the Settlement
  • April 20, 2017
    Final Approval Granted
  • TBD (estimated)
    Distribution of Settlement Awards