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Proper ATM fee disclosures can avoid lawsuits
LAS VEGAS (7/13/09)--Lawsuits charging improper ATM fee disclosures against financial institutions--including credit unions--and others operating ATMs continue to be filed in Pennsylvania. The most recent lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania Wednesday, is against Global Cash Access Holdings Inc., a Las Vegas-based company that provides credit and ATM services to casinos around the country (Las Vegas Sun July 10). Recently four lawsuits against credit unions were filed claiming there were no fee disclosures on their ATMs. At least 10 lawsuits against financial institutions are making those same claims. The suits have prompted credit unions to check their disclosure notice requirements, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) (Life is a Highway July 10). Its compliance department has received several calls about ATM fee disclosures. Credit unions operating an ATM and charging consumer fees for balance inquiries or an electronic funds transfer such as a cash withdrawal or transfer should be sure that all ATMs, including those in the lobby, comply with the fee disclosure regulations in Regulation E, said PCUA. CUNA Mutual Group provided these tips, said PCUA:
* Post a sign on or near every credit union ATM stating that fees will or may apply. If the credit union chooses to state the fee's amount on its signage, procedures should be in place to ensure the accurate charge amount is always reflected on the signs. * Rely on the ATM screen to state the actual amount of the fee. Once notified, consumers must be able to cancel the transaction and avoid the fee if they want. * Disclose the fee on the receipt. * Adopt procedures to inspect the ATMs to ensure the required signage or notices are present, current and have not been altered.


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