Mary Alexander & Associates filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco on behalf of thousands of Californians against Bank of America alleging the nation’s second largest bank failed in its duty to properly protect their unemployment benefits.

Bank of America (BofA) has an exclusive contract with the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to administer EDD benefits through the use of BofA issued debit cards. According to the complaint, BofA was required to provide secure accounts for unemployment payments. The complaint alleges BofA failed to provide even the most basic cyber-security measures. As a result, these Californians lost their EDD income due to fraudulent transactions and hacked accounts.

According to the complaint, BofA failed to respond and assist many of the defrauded cardholders, even though it has a “Zero Liability” policy.  BofA’s poor response to the fraud included:

  • Freezing cardholder accounts without warning or explanation;
  • Failing to provide proper telephonic response on its customer service line for EDD cardholders;
  • Immediately closing claims that were opened (without proper investigation); and
  • Not extending provisional credit to these EDD cardholders.

The lawsuit claims BofA violated the California Consumer Privacy Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and Regulation E of the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act; breached its contract with EDD cardholders; failed to warn EDD cardholders about the risks associated with its EDD debit cards; and negligently performed its contract with EDD, among other violations of law.

“The events of 2020 were hard enough without Bank of America making life even more difficult for California’s unemployed,” said attorney Mary Alexander. “These are hard-working people who were unable to pay rent, heat their homes or put food on the table due to Bank of America’s negligence.”

About Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C.
At the law firm of Mary Alexander & Associates, we are proud of our record and tradition of excellence. Preparing thoroughly for trial is the trademark of our firm, and we build innovative courtroom exhibits and technology to help juries understand even the most complex legal matters. Our innovations, creativity and preparation have allowed us to achieve an outstanding record of success. We are justifiably proud of the verdicts and settlements we have obtained for our deserving clients.

Joe Marchelewski

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