A Larimer County resident is leading the charge in a class-action lawsuit filed last week alleging Boulder-based finance giant Elevations Credit Union used a shady overdraft fee policy to bilk customers $31 at a time.
In the 19-page suit filed in Boulder District Court on July 3, Kendall Carson, a Larimer County customer of the financial institution, claims overdraft fees have been assessed on purchases that didn’t actually draw accounts into a negative balance.
“As with any litigation matter, it would be inappropriate to provide specific comment on the details or subject matter of the asserted claim before the matter is fully investigated and while the matter is pending,” Elevations spokesperson Debbie Fitzgerald said. “We do however want to assure our membership that we will fully investigate and respond to the claim, in the manner required by applicable law.”
The suit claims when Elevations authorizes a debit card transaction from an account holding enough balance to cover the full purchase, the credit union immediately reduces accounts for the amount of the purchase, sets aside funds in a checking account to cover the transaction and the customer’s available balance reflects the subtracted amount.
“As a result, customers’ accounts will always have sufficient available funds to cover these transactions because Elevations has already sequestered these funds for payment,” the suit states. “However, Elevations still assesses crippling $31 overdraft fees on many of these transactions and misrepresents its practices in its account documents.”
But when a later purchase is made and draws the account into negative territory due to the unavailability of the previously sequestered funds for the earlier purchase, Elevations charges overdraft fees even on the initial transaction, according to the suit.
Denver-based law firm Franklin D. Azar and Associates is representing Carson and “all others similarly situated” with Elevations.
The credit union’s website boasts it manages more than $2 billion in assets and has more than 130,000 members across Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Adams, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld counties.