A Court has established, or “certified,” this case as a class action lawsuit. If you are a Class Member, you have legal rights and options before the Court decides whether the claims being made on your behalf are correct. The Notice and this website explain all of these things.
Judge Michael R. Barrett, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (the “Court”), is currently overseeing this case. The case is known as Klopfenstein v. Fifth Third Bank, Case No. 1:12cv851. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. The company they are suing, Fifth Third Bank, is called the Defendant.
To view a copy of the Notice, click here.Back To Top
In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, William R. Klopfenstein and others) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are a “Class” or “Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Classes.
The Court decided that the claims in this lawsuit for damages, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief can proceed as a class action.
More information about why the Court is allowing these claims to proceed as a class action is in the Court’s Opinion & Order certifying the Classes.Back To Top
No. The Court has not decided whether Fifth Third did anything wrong, nor whether any Class Members are entitled to relief, so there is no money or benefits available to the Classes and no guarantee that there ever will be. If money or benefits become available, Class Members may have to take other steps, such as submitting a claim form, in order to get their shares. If so, you will be notified of any additional steps you must take. You can stay informed of the progress of this case by visiting this website or by calling 1-866-991-0887.Back To Top
In this lawsuit, the Plaintiffs claim that Fifth Third, misrepresented the annual percentage interest rate (“APR”) associated with Early Access loans and charged higher interest rates on those loans. The lawsuit claims that Fifth Third offered these short-term loans to its checking account customers under the name “Early Access” and that the bank stated the loans had a 120% APR (“annualized percentage rate”), but that APR is only correct when the loan is repaid in 30 days. The lawsuit alleges that most customers repaid the majority of Early Access loans prior to 30 days—resulting in APRs higher than 120%.Back To Top
The Plaintiffs are asking the Court for monetary damages, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief on behalf of the Classes. More information about the lawsuit is in the Consolidated Class Action Amended Complaint.Back To Top
Fifth Third denies the claims and allegations in the lawsuit. Fifth Third says that the correct payment terms for its Early Access loans were clear and unambiguous and easily understood by its customers, so no breach of contract occurred. More information about what Fifth Third says is in its Answer to the Amended Complaint.Back To Top
No. By establishing the Class and issuing the Notice, the Court is not suggesting that the Plaintiffs will win or lose this case. The Plaintiffs must prove their case at trial, which has not yet been scheduled.Back To Top
Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23, the Court certified the following classes:
Breach of Contract Class: All persons in the United States who enrolled in Fifth Third’s Early Access Loan Program prior to May 1, 2013, and took out at least one Early Access Loan.
TILA Class: All persons in the United States who were enrolled in Fifth Third’s Early Access Loan Program from August 3, 2011, through April 30, 2013.
If you are a Class Member, you must decide whether to stay in the Classes or whether to exclude yourself before a possible trial. You have to decide this by September 30, 2021.Back To Top
If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Classes, you can call toll-free 1-866-991-0887, email, info@EarlyAccessLoanLitigation.com, or write to Klopfenstein v. Fifth Third, P.O. Box 5468, Portland, OR 97228-5468, for more information.Back To Top
If you do nothing, you will stay in the Classes. If you stay in, you will be legally bound by all of the decisions that the Court makes, and if the Plaintiffs obtain money or benefits you may be entitled to a share. Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, however, you will never be able to sue (or continue to sue) Fifth Third about the legal claims in this case.Back To Top
If you exclude yourself from the Classes, and the lawsuit obtains any money or benefits, you will not be eligible to claim any of that money or those benefits. You also will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments if you exclude yourself. You will be able to sue (or continue to sue) Fifth Third on your own about the legal claims that are involved in this case, now or in the future, assuming your claims are not time-barred (you should consult your own lawyer to make such a determination).Back To Top
To exclude yourself, you must send in a “Request to be Excluded from the Classes” in Klopfenstein v. Fifth Third Bank, Case No. 1:12cv851. Be sure to include your name, address, and signature. You must mail your Exclusion Request postmarked by September 30, 2021, to:
Klopfenstein v. Fifth Third Exclusions
P.O. Box 5468
Portland, OR 97228-5468
Yes. The Court appointed Hassan Zavareei of Tycko & Zavareei, Stuart E. Scott of Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, and Jason Whittemore of Wagner McLaughlin, P.A. as “Class Counsel” pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(g)(1). You do not have to pay Class Counsel out of your own pocket. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer and have that lawyer appear in court for you in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
If Class Counsel obtains money or benefits for the Classes, they may ask the Court for fees and expenses. You will not have to pay these fees and expenses out of your own pocket. If the Court grants Class Counsel’s request, the fees and expenses will either be deducted from any money obtained for the Classes or paid separately by Fifth Third.Back To Top
If you are in the Classes, you are not required to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. However, if you want your own lawyer, you can hire one at your own expense. For example, you can ask him or her to appear in court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.Back To Top
If the case is not dismissed or settled, the Plaintiffs will have to prove their claims at a trial. No date has been set for a trial. During the trial, the judge and/or jury will hear evidence in order to determine whether the Plaintiffs or Fifth Third are right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiffs will win any money or benefits for the Classes as a result of a trial.Back To Top
You will not need to attend the trial unless you choose to do so or you are asked to attend by the Court. You and/or your own lawyer are welcome to come, at your own expense.Back To Top
If the Plaintiffs obtain money or benefits as a result of the trial, you will be notified about how to submit a claim to participate (if necessary). Currently there is no trial date. It is unknown how long this will take. Information will be posted on this website as it becomes available. You can access the website whether you stay in the lawsuit or exclude yourself.Back To Top
This website and the Notice summarize the lawsuit. More details can be found in the Important Documents page where you will find the Opinion & Order certifying the Class, the Consolidated Class Action Amended Complaint that the Plaintiffs lodged, and Fifth Third Bank’s Answer to the Amended Complaint. You may also call toll-free at 1-866-991-0887, email info@EarlyAccessLoanLitigation.com or write to:
Klopfenstein v. Fifth Third
P.O. Box 5468
Portland, OR 97228-5468
Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information. They cannot answer any questions regarding the Lawsuit.Back To Top