John J. Diel, et al v. Salal Credit Union
SCU Overdraft Settlement
19‐2‐10266‐7 KNT

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • Salal Credit Union's records show that between April 15, 2015 and November 18, 2019, you incurred one or more overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees for a transaction when the amount of the ledger balance in your account was equal to or greater than the amount of the transaction. The notice explains that the parties have reached an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit that may affect you. Judge Ketu Shah of the Superior Court of the State of Washington for King County is overseeing this class action. The lawsuit is known as Diel et al v. Salal Credit Union, Case No. 19-2-10266-7-KNT.

  • Plaintiffs and the Class allege that Salal Credit Union violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act and Washington common law by imposing overdraft and NSF fees at times when Salal’s members had a ledger balance—but not an available balance—in their accounts sufficient to cover the transaction. The ledger balance reflects only settled transactions that have been debited from or credited to an account. The available balance includes transactions by the member that were authorized but not yet settled, such as account holds for point-of-sale purchases. The available balance may be lower than the ledger balance. Plaintiffs also alleged that Salal violated Washington law by failing to provide real-time notice that a point-of-sale debit transaction or ATM transaction will trigger an overdraft fee. Salal contends that its overdraft and NSF fees were authorized by its Member Account Agreement, were in compliance with the law and denies the claims alleged by Plaintiffs.

  • In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called Plaintiffs and “Class Representatives” (in this lawsuit John Diel and Rebecca Cleveland) sue on behalf of other people who have similar alleged claims. The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” The party they sued (in this case Salal Credit Union) is called the Defendant. If the lawsuit proceeds as a class action, it resolves the issues for everyone in the Class—except for those people who chose to exclude themselves from the Class.

  • The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Salal. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. This way, they avoid the cost and risks associated with a trial, and the people affected will receive compensation. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for the Settlement Class Members.

  • You are in the Settlement Class if you resided in Washington, were a Salal Credit Union member, and at any point from April 15, 2015 through November 18, 2019 incurred an overdraft fee or an NSF fee for a transaction when the amount of the ledger balance shown in Salal’s record of your account was equal to or greater than the amount of the transaction.

     

  • To settle this lawsuit, Salal has agreed to pay $650,000 into a Settlement Fund which will provide individual payments to eligible Settlement Class Members, service award payments to the Class Representatives, and attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of out-of-pocket litigation costs. Salal has also agreed to pay reasonable costs related to settlement administration.

    Settlement Class Members will receive a cash payment equal to their proportional share of the allegedly wrongful overdraft and NSF fees Salal charged.

    Salal has also agreed to stop charging overdraft fees on any transaction involving an authorization hold for which there were sufficient available funds at the time of authorization but for which there were not sufficient available funds at the time of settlement of the transaction. Salal has and continues to deny engaging in this practice alleged in the lawsuit.

  • If you received a notice by mail, your estimated settlement payment is listed in Question 7 of the Notice.

    If you did not request to exclude yourself from the Settlement, the Class Administrator will direct a payment to you. You do not need to file a claim form. If you are a Salal member at the time the settlement payments are issued, you will receive the payment by direct deposit to your Salal checking account. If you are not a Salal member at the time the settlement payments are issued, you will receive a check by mail. If you have questions about how settlement payments will be made or need to update your mailing address before the settlement payment distribution, you should contact the Class Administrator at 1-888-670-1152.

     
  • The tax implications may vary based on your income, the amount you receive and other factors, so you should consult a tax professional to assess the specific tax implications of any payment you may receive. Class Counsel, Salal, and the Class Administrator cannot advise you with respect to your tax obligations.

  • If you received a Notice and you did not request to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will automatically receive the benefits of the Settlement and receive a payment. You do not need to submit a claim to receive the benefits of the Settlement or to get a payment—it’s automatic. If your mailing address changes before the Settlement Award distribution, please submit your address update to the Class Administrator by completing the form here. You may also submit your address update by mail to the following address: Diel v. Salal Credit Union, c/o JND Legal Administration, PO Box 91231, Seattle, WA 98111.

  • If no appeals are timely filed after the Court enters the Final Approval Order, then the Order will become final and the Settlement will be effective. You will receive your settlement payment approximately 45 days from the Settlement’s Effective Date (roughly 75 days after the Final Approval Hearing). If you are a Salal member when the Settlement becomes effective, Salal will directly deposit your Settlement Award amount into your Salal checking account. If you are not a Salal member when the Settlement becomes effective, the Class Administrator will mail you a Settlement Award check. The checks will only be valid for 90 days from the date of issuance, after which you will not be able to cash or deposit them. However, if an appeal is filed, Settlement Award payments will not be sent until after the appeal is finally resolved.

  • Unless you requested to exclude yourself, you are staying in the Settlement Class and you will be a Settlement Class Member. If the Court approves the Settlement, you and other Settlement Class Members can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Salal regarding Salal’s imposition of overdraft and NSF fees between April 15, 2015 and November 18, 2019.

    The Settlement Agreement describes the claims you are releasing (the “Released Claims”) and against whom you are releasing claims in detail, so read it carefully.

  • If you don’t want to receive the benefits of this Settlement or if you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Salal, then you needed to take steps to remove yourself from the Settlement Class. This is called excluding yourself – or is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement Class.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was June 12, 2020 and has passed.

  • If you already have, or want to bring, your own lawsuit against Salal Credit Union regarding the imposition of overdraft and NSF fees and want to continue with the lawsuit, you needed to ask to be excluded from the Class. The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was June 12, 2020 and has passed.

  • No. You will not receive the benefits of the Settlement, including a payment, if you excluded yourself.

  • The Court decided that the law firms of Smith & Dietrich Law Offices, PLLC of Olympia, WA, and Terrell Marshall Law Group, PLLC of Seattle, WA, are qualified to represent you and all Class Members. These law firms are referred to as “Class Counsel.” You will not receive a bill from these lawyers, who are being paid by receiving a percentage of the Settlement Fund. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. The names and addresses of Class Counsel are:

     

    Walter M. Smith
    Steve E. Dietrich
    SMITH & DIETRICH LAW OFFICES PLLC
    3905 Martin Way E., Suite F
    Olympia, Washington 98506

    Toby J. Marshall
    Beth E. Terrell
    Ari Y. Brown
    TERRELL MARSHALL LAW GROUP PLLC
    936 N 34th Street, Suite 300
    Seattle, Washington 98103

     
  • You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel are working on your behalf. But, if you want to hire your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. For example, you can ask a lawyer to appear in Court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.

  • Class Counsel asked the Court to approve payment of up to 25% of the $650,000 Settlement Fund to them for attorneys’ fees, plus their out-of-pocket expenses. This payment compensates Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the Settlement. Class Counsel will also request a service award of $1,250 for each of the Class Representatives, John Diel and Rebecca Cleveland, payable out of the Settlement Fund to compensate them for their time and effort during the litigation. You can read Class Counsel’s complete request for fees, costs, and the service awards to the named Plaintiffs, along with the Court's Order approving the motion, on the Important Documents page.

  • The deadline to object to the Settlement was June 12, 2020 and has passed.

  • Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself from the Settlement Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

  • The Court held the Final Approval Hearing on August 28, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (originally scheduled on August 21, 2020), before the Honorable Ketu Shah of the Superior Court of the State of Washington for King County, 401 4th Ave. N, Kent, WA 87032, Courtroom 2D. The purpose of the hearing was for the Court to determine whether the Settlement was fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest of the Class.The Court granted final approval of the Settlement on the same day. You may view the Court's Order here.

  • No. Class Counsel answered any questions the Court may have had. You were welcome to come to the hearing at your own expense. 

  • If you did not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you could have asked the Court for permission to speak at the hearing. However, the deadline to submit a “Notice of Intention to Appear” has passed. The Court held the Final Approval Hearing on August 28, 2020.

     

     

     

  • If you do nothing, you will be a member of the Settlement Class and you will receive the benefits of the Settlement. You will also be bound by the terms of the Settlement, including the Release described in Question 11 and the Settlement Agreement.

  • The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement, a copy of which is on the Important Documents page. You can also get a copy of the Settlement Agreement mailed to you by writing to the Class Administrator at Diel v. Salal Credit Union, c/o JND Legal Administration, PO Box 91231, Seattle, WA 98111.

  • You can call 1-888-670-1152 toll free; write to the Class Administrator at Diel v. Salal Credit Union, c/o JND Legal Administration, PO Box 91231, Seattle, WA 98111; or review this website where you will find answers to common questions about the Settlement, the Settlement Agreement, Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint, Class Counsel’s motion for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, and other information.

    Please do not contact the Court, the Judge, or Salal Credit Union with questions about the Settlement.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Diel v. Salal Credit Union
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91231
Seattle, WA 98111