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Federal Court Confirms Case Challenging Bank of America’s Fraudulent COVID Relief Program Can Proceed

Date Published
Apr 04, 2024

Court Upholds Consumers’ Claims in BofA COVID-19 Relief Case, Denies Motion to Dismiss

April 3, 2024. In a significant step forward for consumer protection, the Northern District of California confirmed that claims that Bank of America’s (“BofA”) misled its customers with false promises to provide overdraft fee relief during the COVID-19 pandemic could proceed.

The litigation centers on allegations that BofA widely advertised a COVID-19 bank fee relief program to garner publicity and goodwill but, instead of honoring its promises, the Bank abruptly and quietly ended any relief just a few months into the raging pandemic. Instead of announcing the shutdown, BofA kept promoting the program when none existed. Plaintiffs and other Americans across the country, who were suffering significant financial hardship as a result of the pandemic, trusted the bank’s marketing, and incurred significant fees that the bank refused to waive.

“We are pleased that the Court rejected Bank of America’s third attempt to dismiss this important case and look forward to vindicating the economic rights of our clients and consumers nationwide,” said Andrea Gold, plaintiffs’ counsel and partner at Tycko & Zavareei LLP.

Plaintiffs Anthony Ramirez, Mynor Villatoro Aldana, and Janet Hobson have lodged claims on behalf of a putative nationwide class and state subclasses. The Court’s denial of BofA’s motion to dismiss supports plaintiffs’ allegations that the bank’s continued advertisement of the defunct relief program was deceptive and unlawful, depriving consumers across the country of millions of dollars in promised fee refunds.

This decision bolsters consumer protection rights and reinforces the judiciary’s role in ensuring that big banks like BofA make good on their promises to financially struggling customers.

The case is Ramirez, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., Case No.: 4:22-cv-00859-YGR in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

A copy of the order is available here.

Attorneys Hassan Zavareei, Wes Griffith, Glenn Chappell, Leora Friedman, and Cort Carlson of Tycko & Zavareei are also counsel of record for plaintiffs, supported by paralegal Emma Bass.

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