December 14, 2003

Schwartz v. Citibank late fee class action

I just received a notice in the mail informing me that, as a member of the class of Citibank and AT&T Universal Card customers, I was eligible for a refund under the terms of a settlement agreement reached in a class action lawsuit. A quick internet search revealed the following (PDF, see last page):

"The Cards business agreed to create a settlement fund of $18 million, most of which will be distributed automatically to cardholders and to make a cash payment of approximately $9 million for attorneys fees and costs."

My refund check is for $0.18. -- Paul Prichard, Moodus, CT

Similarly from other readers; and see Jeffrey A. Cross, I Fought the Law, Washington Legal Foundation (PDF), Half of an Empty Glass. One of the commenters on Cross's site observes: "I got 16 cents today. Funny, although the suit was about getting refunds for fraudulent late fees, I don't think I paid any 16-cent late fees." (more on class actions)

Posted by Walter Olson at December 14, 2003 11:12 AM

Just found a credit of 41 cents on a recent credit card bill.

I feel protected

Steve Schoeffel
Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch

Posted by: Steve Schoeffel at December 15, 2003 10:26 PM

Just curious. This looks like a scam to me. The reason I say this is because (keep in mind the long-hand version of the amount to be paid is the one that counts - not the numbers in the little box) and mine says "Zero dollars and .10 cents. That is one-tenth of a cent! Who would know this better than a bank?!? I think this scam wants to get you to deposit the check then they can get your bank account number as it is processed and stamped or written on the back of the checks. They can round down and never have to pay anyone. I have not heard anyone receiving one of these Schwartz v. Citibank checks for over .50 cents (one half of one cent) as they would be required to round up and actually owe you money.

Any thoughts on this?

Posted by: Matt at December 16, 2003 12:59 AM

Just spotted another thing. On the MICR numbers on the bottom of the checks, the number to the right I think is supposed to be the check number. Does this match the check number in the top right hand corner of the check? No, mine doesn't. Does it in your personal checkbook? Yes.

And why in the world would they encourage you to cash the check promptly? The money supposedly goes to charity anyway.

Posted by: Matt at December 16, 2003 01:09 AM

Paul, Steve and Matt should consider themselves fortunate. Our check is for only three cents! (or three hundredths by Matt's accounting). These things defy comprehension...

Posted by: Michael Durbin at December 16, 2003 04:54 AM

''hmmm...hmmm...thinking and scratching my head and wondering what am i gonna buy with **$0.26** and i have 9 month to figure out''

Posted by: danny at December 16, 2003 08:11 AM

Surprised to receive a $2.86 credit on my Citibank bill as "settlement of the Schwartz lawsuit"

Posted by: nancy at December 16, 2003 12:14 PM

We just got 100.00 plus .03 on our bill. Maybe you will all be lucky next month.

Posted by: r at December 16, 2003 03:42 PM

My wife got $.26.

Posted by: Former Philadelphia Lawyer at December 16, 2003 03:48 PM

Just looked up my bill....$0.24. Ridiculous. The way I look at it, that number is roughly 0.0000027% of the attorney's fees.

Posted by: Mike RIch at December 16, 2003 04:05 PM

Mine is for ****Zero dollars and .30 cents******* I looked up information on the Settlement because I had cancelled my card about a year ago. I had switched my credit card debt from 2 other cards into my Citibank account because they were offering lower fees. Six months later they raised my fees to something like 21 or 24%. I flipped. Luckily at the time I had the money to just pay it off. I definitely have a better understanding now of how people get themselves into so much credit card debt. What a vig! They're nothing but legal loan sharks.

Posted by: Annie at December 16, 2003 07:07 PM

CitiBank caught .... it's I cancelled those losers long ago and will be cashing my .96 owed to me!

Posted by: panty snatcher at December 16, 2003 10:01 PM

I got $3.60 and so did my wife. This was a credit on my Citibank card so I don't have to bother with cashing or depositing any checks.

Posted by: David at December 17, 2003 01:30 AM

I received 26 cents. Woo hoo! Party on!

Posted by: Dawn at December 17, 2003 11:55 AM

Just got my $0.11 (or0.011, depending on who's doing the math). I should have opted out of the class. Maybe I could have doubled my money!!

Posted by: Andy at December 17, 2003 04:02 PM

I just received check number 1651789860 for $0.10 which I will display on my wall.

Posted by: Matt at December 17, 2003 05:20 PM

I got 82 cents on my bill. Anyone know what this case was about, anyway?

Posted by: David at December 17, 2003 06:17 PM

I got a credit of 82 cents on my statement. Anyone know what this case was about, anyway?

Posted by: David at December 17, 2003 06:17 PM

I really object to even being made part of this scam. My check for 17 cents only compounds the barnicles this class action suit has attached to our banking system. I object to the higher costs and fees that i have to bear because my bank runs less efficiently and has to pay off a bunch of organized thieves whose bar membership has given them a license to steal. And I really get irritated that the judge who approved this was not smart enough or honest enough see through the scam. Have they no shame?

Posted by: larry at December 17, 2003 11:16 PM

I really object to even being made part of this scam. My check for 17 cents only compounds the barnicles this class action suit has attached to our banking system. I object to the higher costs and fees that i have to bear because my bank runs less efficiently and has to pay off a bunch of organized thieves whose bar membership has given them a license to steal. And I really get irritated that the judge who approved this was not smart enough or honest enough see through the scam. Have they no shame?

Posted by: larry at December 17, 2003 11:16 PM

I got a $1.33 credit on my Citibank MasterCard. Of course, the class action lawyers did much better.

Posted by: Steve at December 18, 2003 10:22 AM

I'm a newspaper reporter writing a story about class action lawsuits. Is anyone on the list from Reading, PA, Berks County or thereabouts. I'd like to get your reaction to the Citibank settlement. Two members of our staff received .03 cent checks, but we don't use staff in stories. Please email me or call 800-633-7222 or 610-371-5040. Thanks in advance. Dan ...

Posted by: Dan Kelly at December 18, 2003 01:14 PM

How much did the lawyers get?

Posted by: Jeffrey Pritchard at December 18, 2003 02:06 PM

i also was surprised to see a few cents' credit to my much did the lawyers get? Unbelievable...scam artists is right!

Posted by: niki at December 18, 2003 09:48 PM

Hello Everyone,

Here's what we should do:

1. Go to:

2. enter your info, go to the bottom where it says "comments" and LET IT RIP!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sick of these &^$^ers!

Posted by: Jeffrey Pritchard at December 18, 2003 10:59 PM

The court allowed the lawyers in the Citibank case up to $9 million and they were awarded $7.2 million.

Posted by: Dan Kelly at December 19, 2003 10:06 AM

94cents? what a waste of time.

Posted by: Terry at December 19, 2003 11:18 AM

I got $0.58 on an AT&T card, and $0.17 cents on a Citi card. I don't remember ever paying late fees on either of these cards, and even if I did, I'm sure it would have been more than 75 cents between the two.

What a waste of our court systems.


Posted by: Chris Spangler at December 20, 2003 02:49 PM

$0.12 for me; I have paid late fees before (probably close to $100 over the time I've had the card), and I remember getting the option to opt out of this suit.

Posted by: Tina at December 20, 2003 06:06 PM

not a waste of our court systems

this is a tool to prevent companies from corrupt
methods of making $$

years ago a settlement against at&t universal card
allowed the one time refund of $25-$30 late charge for everyone.

.52cent might not be much by itself but collectively it makes a statement.

Posted by: phuong at December 20, 2003 07:15 PM

0.32 for would have to cost more for the envelope,postage,printing and piece of paper.mine is going on the wall also.

Posted by: brent at December 21, 2003 11:27 AM

I got 46cents. This stops big companies from ripping off the public because slimy class action lawyers will try to rip them off in our name. Read "king of Torts" by Grisham and see how these 9 million dollar recipients rip us off through legalese they wrote into the legal system.

Posted by: doug at December 21, 2003 01:58 PM

My check zero dollars and 6 cents!There are some real idiots posting on this site. Attorney 9 million-citizen 6 cents. If you think that's a great way to go, you probably voted for Bill Clinton!
Class action suites like this will cost us all hundreds of dollars each in years to come.

For the idiots who are happy about this action, consider that all companies by insurance for protection against stupid cases like this one.

Currently, doctor's in Ohio are going out of practice because of insurance fees created by just what has happened here.

The only thoughts I have is to stop attorneys from using your name on a class action suite without your permission. No client, no suite?

It's got to stop. Trust me, well repay every dollar the bottom feeder lawyers won on this case.

Them $9,000,000 - ME 6 Cents and a lot more!!

Posted by: illeagle at December 21, 2003 07:54 PM

well, just be happy you got 6 cents. at least you didn't get 5 cents like i did.

Posted by: dude at December 22, 2003 09:36 AM

I haven't carried a balance on my card since 1/28/03 and now they decide to waste money sending me a bill/credit for my whopping $.18 - who's bright idea is this? And I received no notification that I can remember about being part of this class action suit. But you can bet I'll call Citibank Customer Service and make them send me my check. I got .000002% of what the lawyers got. Who says class action suits aren't a waste of time? Only in America, I guess.

Posted by: Katie at December 22, 2003 12:18 PM

I agree with the first comment from Posted by: Matt at December 16, 2003 12:59 AM. Something is sneaky about this. The account number is at the top and does not belong to me. I cashed my check for about .45 cents. I have no idea what this is for and they leave no number for me to call?

Posted by: Stephanie Abbo at December 22, 2003 05:12 PM

The moral of the story is... don't have any late fees. This will make my $0.32 feel good! It cost more for them to send me the bill than for what it's worth!

Posted by: BHABCY at December 22, 2003 05:45 PM

.70 here

Posted by: tc at December 22, 2003 10:34 PM

I have to agree Phuong's post about this not being a waste of the court systems time, even if my combined $0.43 doesn't do much for me. Like anyone who uses credit cards, your going to miss a payment, whether it was your fault or the mail really didn't make it to your house.

In my dealings with AT&T Universal Card over the years, they have done some pretty underhanded things to me, and I quote the last customer service rep I dealt with regarding a late payment fee of $29.00 "That is how we make our money!"

I vowed never to use that card again, but realized she just told me the truth and that is how all credit card companies make there money.

To me this class action lawsuit is a slap in the face to credit card companies for how they treat their customers.

They make money from the people we buy stuff from, they make money on our indebtedness and then they make money on our inability to manage our debt efficiently.

Posted by: Pete at December 23, 2003 03:33 PM

Yes what a joke!!! Only in America it can happen that real victim refunded cents and lawyer gets/funded millions through the court!!
Court means --- "By the judge, for the lawyer, from the court"

I was the victim for late payment and still I am the victim of Lawyer's scam!!! Who ask them to fight for me!!!

Posted by: Platinum select at December 23, 2003 03:46 PM

Just got 9 cents. No check, it was just credited to my account.

I didn't even know I was in a class action lawsuit =P

Posted by: David at December 23, 2003 06:13 PM

I just got 0.17 cents!!!! I'm so freaking RICH. Man this is major bull$hit. I can't believe it! We should opt for some type of charity. I can't believe these stupid @$$ lawsuits. Them lawyers are the ones that really made out.

Posted by: Al at December 23, 2003 06:26 PM

I think I'm going to invest my whopping $1.01 in application fees for law school. Someday it will pay off in real money.

Posted by: John at December 23, 2003 11:03 PM

I got 11 cents, and I didn't even know there was a lawsuit. ;)

Posted by: stacey at December 24, 2003 01:04 AM

I can't imagine the true cost to Citibank. Just think of the processing costs involved in mailing a check for less than a dollar. For you who are hanging this on your wall, cal Citibank and tell them you lost your check and would like a replacement.....sent overnight.

Posted by: m-thomas at December 24, 2003 02:46 AM

I had a credit of $.44 posted to my Citibank account. I did not know there was a class action law suit and I certainly don't remember opting in or out. These settlements are ridiculous. I wouldn't mind holding companies accountable for breaches of trust and bad practices, but there is no reason to make a group of lawyers rich over it. There should be a law!

Posted by: barb at December 24, 2003 05:55 AM

From Toronto, Ontario (Canada)..i cancelled my account over 2 years ago....glad i decided to try to research online what this was about. quite amusing. and that .06 cents will definitely help towards my wedding costs!

Posted by: Ruchi at December 24, 2003 10:04 AM

I was overwhelmed! A check for .12 cents! The fact is the card was cancelled about a year ago, and during the time it was active, I never did pay a late fee. Who was Schwartz?

Posted by: Ron at December 24, 2003 11:09 AM

I went looking for something about a "Schwartz settlement refund" because I had a credit of $.03 on my Citi card. In the immortal words of former NBA star Derrick Coleman, "Whoop-de-damn-do." Actually, I wonder how much it cost these credit card companies to process all these piddling refunds!

Posted by: Charlie at December 24, 2003 02:56 PM

I feel very fortunate that Citibank has taken extraordinary means (and born considerable expense) to assure that all of its customers receive, no matter how small, their fair share of the Schwartz settlement. I'll enjoy spending the $2.12 that I received.

Posted by: Ray at December 25, 2003 07:25 AM

To all those who complain how little they've received in comparison to the "slimy lawyers": true, the lawyers may be slimy, but what have you done to deserve even the little that you got? While the laywers likely combed through thousands of pages of regulations and case law, sat through many boring meetings and conference calls, with a good portion of this in late evenings or on weekends, chances are many of the recepients of this pocket change were sitting on the couch watching TV or hanging out with buddies over beer. If you've done no work on this case, shut up and be greatful for the little that you got. And if you feel slighted by the petty change, send it to me.

Posted by: Geiser at December 25, 2003 02:37 PM

I can't believe how upset some people are getting over this. I never heard of this settlement until I opened my bill.

I got .12. Seems hardly worth the ink printed on my bill. However, it's done, and my life is still going on.

To those that are still going to brood over this: watch out for a stroke!!!

Posted by: Melissa at December 25, 2003 07:39 PM

Got 15 cents. Come on people, we should really know better then expecting anything more out of the class action lawsuit. Money isn't the cause here. It doesn't matter how much we get. What matters is how much the companies paid out in the aggregate.

Posted by: gelena at December 26, 2003 01:53 PM

Wow!! I too just my Citi Bank statement and I had TWO! yes count them TWO credits for .24! Not bad for not knowing anything about this Schwartz person or even being involved in a class action suit.

Posted by: Ruth at December 26, 2003 02:44 PM

When I received my $0.50 as a credit in my AT&T account, I was initially disappointed because I had expected a larger settlement...from another suit related to foreign exchange conversion. (I now expect more largess coming) No doubt the lawyers did this to enrich themselves as first priority. However selfish their motivation, this kind of initiative does act as a check-and-balance against the banks, finance companies, and other capitalist organizations intent on maximizing profit. We should give the lawyers credit for successful risk-taking, even if it was with base intentions.

Posted by: reluctant capitalist at December 26, 2003 11:45 PM

In the past, I have been named as part of the class in a class action lawsuit. I received ample notice (two months before the trial). I was also told that I would be included in the class unless I opted out for purposes of representing myself. An attorney friend of mine stated that I would most likely be eligible for a great deal more money than the promised 1.33. She was right.

My point here is that it seems the vast majority of us did not even know there was a lawsuit being litigated on our behalf until we received the paltry settlement. Should we not have been notified?

As for me, I'm planning to leave my 33 cent credit on my universal card. I never use it, and 33 cents won't do me much good.

Posted by: Rory at December 27, 2003 09:50 AM

I tried to e-mail strange and carpenter. They must have been flooded with e-mail, they moved their mailbox. lol

Posted by: mom at December 27, 2003 09:23 PM

Alright! I got .19 whole cents -- now I can go drinking and whoring the whole night away!

Posted by: DigitalD at December 27, 2003 09:50 PM

I got mine today! Wow $.35 Better than some, not as good as others. Every little bit helps, though, looking on the bright side. Considering I had no idea that I was even a party to this Schwartz lawsuit, I can only look on it as a windfall that covers about 70% of the cost of my daily newspaper (though the "drinking and whoring" suggested by DigitalD sounds like a lot more fun, plus with $.35 I could have twice the goodtimes he has with his measly $.19, though it would actually be drinking and gigoloing for me. Or maybe if we all pooled our settlement checks/credits we could buy a nice card.

Anyway, if any of you finance/math wizards out there have the time or inclination to figure out, considering time involved, litigation costs and administrative expenses how much it cost the CitiPeople to credit $.35 to my account I would be curious to know.

What was Scwartz'z beef anyway, late fees? Yea, get over it, they're blood sucking robber barons. If I could manage my finances and my credit I wouldn't have to deal with them but you make your bed, you have to lie in it, as they say.

But, in the end, it's really not the money that matters. What matters is that the system worked and the CitiPersons will never, ever, ever, ever again, make huge amounts of money charging outrageous fees and penalties to their customers.

Posted by: Judy at December 27, 2003 11:06 PM

Reminds me of the Opti-Grab lawsuit...

Ten million dollars, 9,987,652 plaintiffs... Each check for "One dollar... and nine cents!"

Posted by: Richard at December 28, 2003 01:13 PM

I got 70ยข woo hoo.

Posted by: Lauren at December 28, 2003 01:56 PM

I too got my refund $3.38, So I went to google to search it out and found this website, I look at it as a post christmas gift. And to the lawyers, enjoy the $9 million and merry christmas.

Posted by: Riley at December 28, 2003 02:21 PM

The lawyers got $9,000,000.00!

I got $0.04. :(

Posted by: Walt at December 29, 2003 12:05 PM


Posted by: Heather at December 29, 2003 02:49 PM


Posted by: HEATHER at December 29, 2003 02:53 PM


Posted by: HEATHER at December 29, 2003 02:53 PM

My .27 cent "refund" had a contact# 800-558-5854 on it. Good luck Heather!

Posted by: RCS at December 29, 2003 03:33 PM

Heather -- I know some lawyers who will help you with this. Their fee is a modest $9,000,000.

Posted by: Gary at December 29, 2003 04:06 PM

Just think of all the millions of customers Citibank has, that is the reason for such low credits. THose of you that received a check, would most likely be because you no longer have an account with Citibank, but still rightly deserve the credit. I don't think Citibank needs your bank acct # to make a couple extra dollars, most people send payments with their same checking account #'s, no money missing from their accounts.

Posted by: Melissa at December 30, 2003 09:37 AM

I got $603.00

Posted by: TErry J at December 30, 2003 12:10 PM

35 cents here. Think I'll invest it in Citigroup stock. Or law school.

Posted by: Tom, T'96 at December 30, 2003 02:24 PM

holy cow!! someone really got $603??
does anyone have any idea how much income citibank supposedly got from these bad fees?? if it was more than 25.2 million dollars, then they are still making a profit... for example, if 1 million bad fees were charged at $30 a pop (which is easy because they have way more than 1 million accounts and this probably went on for a long time before it was discovered), then they made a 5 million dollar profit after paying off the lawyers and the people...

Posted by: djenkins at December 30, 2003 02:42 PM

wow! I get a SCHWARTZ SETTLEMENT REFUND too... from At&T! Por favor!! what the hell is that about! I got a whopping 0.17 credit. This just appeared on my statement so I did what any other internet user would do... I googled it! Sure enough, here you all are! Guess I'm in good company. It's like AT&T is mocking me... like a slap in the face considering how much interest they make. Oh well, I owe, I Owe, it's off to work I go..


Posted by: fahrenheit451 at December 30, 2003 08:56 PM


Posted by: GEORGE at December 31, 2003 07:38 AM

I also object to even being made part of this lawyer's scam. My check for .72 cents is an insult and serves to highlight the need for tort reform. This suit shows the arrogance of the lawyers and judges to siphon money from our banking system. I object to the higher costs and fees that I have to bear because my bank runs less efficiently and has to pay off a bunch of organized thieves whose bar membership has given them a license to steal. Also, I really get irritated that the judge who approved this was not honest enough see through the scam. Have they no shame??

Posted by: Jim at December 31, 2003 11:47 AM

I've never heard so many crybabies bemoaning the fact that they got some free money. I got $1.25 on my statement and didn't have to lift a finger to get it. It sounds like most of the posters here are not mad at Citibank for bilking them out of superfluous fees, but at the attorneys who retrieved it for them. How much would Citi stick you for if they knew they wouldn't get caught at it? Take the Christmas present and Happy New Year.

Posted by: Meathead at December 31, 2003 01:34 PM

Here's what I think is BS. The issue is about payments received after a specific cut off time. Per the PDF mentioned Citi has moved the cut off time from 10 am to 1 pm.

But lets think about this. If you mail your payment it goes to a PO Box. As far as I know post offices place mail in the PO Box once a day and usually guarantee that their PO Box customers have their mail by 9 am. They don't do another delivery between 10 am and 1 pm. Similarly the other delivery services usually have a commitment to have overnight deliveries to their customers by 9 or 10 am. So what we've really gotten is in the instance that your non-USPS carrier runs later than 10 you'll still be on-time. Phew! Lots of breathing room that gives us. How much did the lawyers get for covering the asses of the crappy delivery services?

That said, I'm not sure why more people don't use electronic payments of some type. My bank gives me electronic payments for free and the money comes out of the account on the day it gets paid to Citi (or anyone else) So yeah, I lose a day or two of float at most, big deal, I don't have to worry about it being late. Period. Oh yeah and if the payment is late Checkfree/my bank pay the late fee. Thats contractual.

Posted by: Nicholas Barnard at January 1, 2004 06:47 AM

We just got 8 lousy cents credited to us because of the lawsuit. I'll try not to spend it all in one place.

Posted by: Nate Irmen at January 1, 2004 04:46 PM


Posted by: A. MCKEE at January 1, 2004 07:33 PM

I got my 5 cents by check.
Nicholas Barnard says he uses electronic payments. I do also, but the credit card companies can and do change the due date and if you have a weekend intervening, then you too can get a $35 late charge and a rate increase. They changed the date from the 12th to the 10th on me, (all perfectly legal) and since it is paid automatically, I didn't notice. The payment was one day late. So, be careful that you add in enough float to make sure you don't get caught short.

Posted by: Ernie Gajdusek at January 2, 2004 12:24 PM

There's been a couple posts intimating that the lawyers were adequately compensated and that we, the members of the class, should be happy for what we received. Now, certainly attornies should be compensated for work completed, however I think the question of what is adequate compensation is the issue.

I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) the entire settlement was for $18M, out of which $9M was allocated to the attornies. Most civil trial attornies are awarded 30-35% of the award amount. In comparison, the Schwartz fees seem somewhat excessive.

The second issue I've seen in this stream of consciousness is the idea that, while we are limited in our award amounts, the fees paid by Citibank act as a deterrent for future actions of this nature. Some perspective might be needed here. Based on Citicorp's 2002 10-K, the company generated $10.7 billion in net income for the year. Of that, approximately $3.1 billion was earned from the Cards division. The settlement of $18M amounts to 0.05% of their 2002 card division net income. That's 5 one hundredth of a percent. Hardly seems as much of a deterrent.

So, if we haven't sufficiently penalized Citibank, nor made the plaintiff's whole, was the class action a success? Personally, I don't think so.

Keep in mind also that it was in all liklihood the attornies that did the research and instigated this litigation in the first place. Knowing that they would get paid quicker through a settlement, my concern is that the 'class' was not adequately represented. At the very least one would have hoped to be recompensed the amount of one late fee ($35 by my latest observation). AT that dollar amount, combined with the number of members of the class, I feel this would have acted as a greater motivator for Citibank and other credit card issuers to not charge erroneous late fees going forward.

Just my 2 cents (on top of the 11 I received from Citi)

Posted by: Andy at January 2, 2004 04:21 PM

Got my whopping .25 cents back...whew..I was fretting over that. Heh. But...I bet Citibank will not do it ever again, other banks will be much more cautious about this sort of thing, and 10.8 million went back to US consumers(if the lawyers got 7.2 mil)

Posted by: Jbower at January 2, 2004 09:10 PM

I don't understand how the money was divided up. I've been charged late fees 2 or 3 times, and only received 5 cents. While others, never having paid, have received 10 or 20 times that ammount. Anyone understand the reasoning behind their division of money? Why didn't we all receive the same amount or a higher amount if we were affected more by the problam covered in the lawsuit? Honestly, it's not the amount that I care about because 10 cents here or there- well you all know what I mean, but it seems that they have done a new injustice by their division of the funds!

Posted by: Tracy at January 3, 2004 02:46 AM

Oh, and, by the way, the settlement was for 36 million dollars. Check out their website:

Posted by: Tracy at January 3, 2004 02:50 AM

Ernie Gajdusek commented about electronic payments.
All I have to add is keep track of everything, this is your responsibility using the card. If you don't want to use it cash is still accepted, and where it isn't you can use a debit card.

In addition, due dates on credit cards are always floating around slightly. You can probably call your issuer and ask what the "window" can be. Usually the issuer will place you into a category of where your due date falls on 3-5 days during the month. Citi can change the window for you if you ask, but it isn't an exact date. If you're worried set your autopay up on the beginning of the due date window, not the end.

I do agree that Citi wasn't really penalized by this and to some extent class action suits suck, because the lawyers sometimes have an incentive to go for the quick settlement. If it was a real and fair settlement they would refund fully any late fee that was charged when a payment was received within the next day. That would've rectified the problem, then give everyone their $0.03 or whatever as a penalty to Citi.

Finally, In the interests of full disclosure I will note that I have recently applied for but not yet received an offer for a position at Citi within the Citicards division. Despite this, I speak only for myself, not Citi

Posted by: Nicholas Barnard at January 3, 2004 03:14 AM

Some refund! I just got my final bill for what they say is interest charges pre-lawsuit from Schwartz. They added this refund to the money I owe!

Posted by: Victoria M. Kim at January 3, 2004 03:35 PM

The news story []
(thanks Phazar) says VISA overcollected $817M and MC $195.5M and that they "face refunds" of $740 and $60M. There is no explanation of the decrepancy between the former figures and the latter. There is also no mention of how much the lawyers will rake in. A third of the settlement would be $400M.
The proposed settlement, undated but evidently sometime in 2000, [] (Thanks Russell) was for $18 Million plus $9.25 for the lawyers. It then mentions that the total "benefit" would be $36 Million.

It would seem from other sources that the final settlement was indeed for $36M plus the $9M for the lawyers. This is a little more than 20%.

You can get written info by calling 1800-558-5854.

Posted by: RIM at January 3, 2004 05:22 PM

I got a 0.11 refund credited to my account which already had a 0.00 balance. LOL

Posted by: Tracy at January 4, 2004 03:17 PM

This case is microcosm of the class action suite business by the lawyers. The suite provides for reimbursment of pennies on the dollar to the "clients" whilst the law firms rake in millions. This is not even remotely satisfactory to the individual client. The 36 million dollar overall settlement is just "chump-change" to Citi-bank, but the 9 million to the lawyers will surely help out on the 3rd vacation house or the new Jag or Hummer! As for the individual client, the 30 cent check will be tossed in the trash as it is not worth 30 cents for the time to travel to the bank and cash or deposit the check.
The only realistic solution to this problem is a massive reorganisation of the American Bar system.
With the lawyers regulating themselves through the bar, the american citizen is effectively disenfrachised from civil justice system. And guess what? we now have a million of the blood sucking leeches of society to deal with! This country is now producing more lawyers than doctors. Lawyers used to be the cornerstone of the community, now they are generally regarded as worse than scum. Lawyers claim to be an honorable profession, but they cannot provide simple accounting of time for billing. Is this considered honorable or profesional by any other professional orginisation? In contrast, prostitutes provide more accurate billing for time than lawyers! The class action suite racket is bleeding America with little to show except for the enrichment of the American lawyer. Do you really think that 36 million dollars is going to deter Citi-bank in the future? Citi-bank was caught and fined, and they still made money on the deal. The only ones to profit from the suite is the lawyers. Citi-bank will be careful in its billing practices in the future, undoubtedly supervised by their own lawyers. This is not to imply that the billing practices will be fair, only legal. This is the basic problem with the American civil justice system. Justice is not an issue, only legality and money.....

Posted by: KBC at January 12, 2004 06:54 PM

Yes, Citibank was found guilty of fraud by our judicial system. However, it was the mass torte lawyer firm that benefit by righting this wrong. The way I calculate it, had I been awarded my full share of the settlement I would have been cut a check for about one dollar. As is it, I'm not about to cash in my 47 cent check. Let's be realistic people! Citibank's penalty should have been donated to a charity in the first place. Those charlatains masquerading as our advocates shouldn't be allowed to fly around in their new Gulfstream 5's at our expense.

Posted by: SGM at January 13, 2004 09:10 AM

Crime doesn't pay - shamelessness does! Heck, if I were CitiCorp, I'd be looking to perpetrate the next scam, since this last one paid off handsomely.

Whoever says the Lawyers are the only ones who made out on this deal are dead wrong. I am also surprised no one mentioned the INTREST-BEARING principles of stealing our money have. This case is what, two years or so old? Figre a year prior until they were caught, CitiCorp had all our improperly-acquired fees for several years - multiply that by the millions of customers, over the years, and that's a nice investment slush-fund. Even if they have to give 100% of it back, they'll have made whatever intrest/dividends off of investments made with that money (or loans through their other subsidiaries). Give me $700 million for three years and I bet I can double it!

Judicial problems aside, look at the Banking/Finance/Insurance fiasco. Too much "service work" and not enough real work out there, methinks.

Posted by: myrkat at January 20, 2004 01:57 PM

I just check out my statement for Jan and Citibank charges me .95 for Dec check processing of the settlement deposit of - you guest it - .95
Don't tell me this isn't another scam by citibank to escape payment. There should be something illegal here....

Posted by: marsupi at January 26, 2004 12:28 AM

Same here. I received a credit of .63 on my December 2003 bill but received a charge of .63 to "process" the December bill. Net settlement for me = 0.00. I called AT&T and they credited my account 63 cents real quick.

Posted by: cmeo at February 6, 2004 07:24 PM

The real deal here is why the lawyers walked away with 7.2 million $'s!!!!

This is white collar crime!!! We need to stop them!!!

Posted by: Faker at February 26, 2004 10:53 PM

I was credited 1.57 in Dec. 2003 for "Schwartz Settlement" and quite honestly I don't think it registered amongst all the holiday charges, but on my Jan. 2004 statement that amount was billed back to my card, which had a zero balance. Me confused called and was given some half baked explanation and was assured I'd be credited back the amount. Well I just received my Feb. 2004 statement and not only wasn't the 1.57 not credited, but I was charge a .50 cent finance charge and a 29.00 late fee, so I called AGAIN, and I was told that since they were having problems getting this settlement to people who's accounts were closed etc.. it was decided to send checks to the last known address. My account was credited for the finance and late fee, but the 1.57 stands. I have to say I am shocked as I'd never received anything in the mail or with my statements alerting me to this settlement, and it blows my mind how a bank can take such liberties with ones account. I happened to notice these late fees, can you imagine all those people who were assured of a credit, not told a check was forthcoming and proceeded to pay off their next statment... this bank is making money crazy mad. I just hope another settlement is not forthcoming, don't think I can afford to be in the winning circle again.


Well I was fraudulently charged $29 for a late charge on my Master Card and I received a refund for $.69. That's justice? I never could get the card company to reverse it so I cancelled the card. I'm sure the lawyers got a major chunk of this settlement money, but the consumers got screwed again as usual.

Posted by: John Wood at March 29, 2004 07:01 PM

What a bunch of crock... just got my check dated January 1, 2004. PLease note todays date o 3/29/2003. MAN snail mail has taken on a whole new meaning

Thinkit went via slow baot to China and Afica and all around the world?!?!?

In the apparent amount (as others have mentioned) of 13 one hundredths of a cent... With no explanation as to why the funds do exist and no evidence to me that this is a legitmate check, naturally I feard depositing it into ANY account.

Guess I can cash it no fears, but spending it in one place is gonna be tough to do!

Posted by: brother what a scam at March 29, 2004 07:50 PM

I got 22 cents.
Since I never paid late fees, I felt that I didn't deserve the money but that it should benefit the organization that made all this possible:
I endorsed the check and sent it as a contribution to the democratic party.

Posted by: usarulez at March 29, 2004 08:36 PM

omg, I believe I mailed the check but forgot to put postage on the envelope and no return address.
But since I put "CONTRIBUTION" in big letters on the envelope, I am sure they will fork over the 37 cents for postage.

Posted by: usarulez at March 29, 2004 08:44 PM

got .27 cents .dont know weather to cash it or not .agree the numbers on the top and bottom dont match either.sure sounds funny to me .

Posted by: joe gabrick at March 30, 2004 07:16 PM


Posted by: connie at March 30, 2004 10:06 PM


Posted by: JAY at March 30, 2004 10:16 PM


Posted by: Bruce at March 31, 2004 08:52 AM

I received my check for 46 cents (or .46 cents) yesterday. I haven't used the card for at least a couple of years and doubt if I ever had a late charge. I normally get these credited back to my account when I threaten to cancel the account. It would be nice if I had a racket like the lawyers. I'd suggest that we never elect another lawyer to any office in government. They only protect theirselves by preventing changes in the laws to limit settlements such as this. Lawyers should be limited to 5% or less of any settlement. For settlements where the award to any individual is less than $10, they ought to have a drawing of names to determine the "winners" of the settlement money, with the minimum for these people to be $1000 or more.

Posted by: Glenn at March 31, 2004 11:46 AM

I received my check yesterday for 3 cents. Our system has been ripped by the attorneys once again.

Posted by: Rod at April 1, 2004 10:25 AM

I received my check yesterday for 3 cents. Our system has been ripped by the attorneys once again.

Posted by: Rod at April 1, 2004 10:25 AM

Some of you are such partisan tools that it makes my head hurt. You'd blame the opposite political party for the weather if you could. Do you know how stupid you sound? Grow up.

I got my $.93 yesterday. I'm going to invest it and use the proceeds to go see a movie in 2024.

Posted by: Tim B at April 1, 2004 10:54 AM

I got a check for 4 cents. I think I'll just keep it as a family memento. It might screw up Citibank's books for 6 months, but they'll just cancel it after that. Of course, I could always file a class-action suit against them for non-payment and win, if I do it in California. It might take many years, but in the end I might end up with 5 cents. My nickel will cost them millions, of course. But, hey! If they won't abide by their own rules, why should I worry if they get caught up in their own machinery? My 4 cents, along with millions of others, translated into quite a profit for Citibank. They get to keep the profits; they only have to pay back the actual money gained.

Banks and loan institutions won't change their ways, no matter what. If they don't get sued, they make billions. If they do get sued, they only make millions.

And we get checks for 4 cents.

Of course, our lawyers make millions, too, regardless.

Everyone profits. Is this a great country, or what?


Posted by: docfarquar at April 1, 2004 08:09 PM

Mine was for .36. I used to work for somebody with this last name and figured he finally got his, but no such luck! Have not a CLUE who Schwartz is but either he deserved it or poor guy, whichever! Can't believe Citibank actually issuing so many checks (see all comments, above) for so little. What a waste of postage, not to mention time and the math figuring out who gets how many cents!

Posted by: Frances at April 27, 2004 11:10 PM

I called Citibank to determine the origin of the check. I spoke with someone in India who had no idea. I then received a letter from Citibank asking for a copy of the check. Finally, they responded with a letter identifying the source of the 47 cents. I figure it cost them about $15 in labor and postage to get me my 47 cents. They would be better off donating a lump sum to charity in all our names.

Posted by: Steve at May 4, 2004 05:35 PM

i got $2.05 and unlike everyone else i'm appreciative.the lawyer got a large portion because he did all the work.we got verry little because there are so many of us.most of us didn't even know what the check was for,including myself,until i got to this site.if there was one of us and millions of lawyers on the case the outcome would be different.

Posted by: henry at May 8, 2004 08:44 PM

I have both Citi and A.T.& T. cards.Never heard
of the suit till I found this site.I still send
checks snail mail each month.I mail them at least
a week before the due date.If you are going to be
late with something try utility bills.You may get
a late fee but it's a lot less than the credit card companies.I wait 3 buisness days then call
the customer service line to verify they got my
payment.Citi Bank is okay by me.

Posted by: Clay at June 10, 2004 11:19 PM

I had a $.34 credit on my bill. I never used it so they sent me a check. If 8 billion people don't cash their $.25 checks, then Citibank/AT&T get to keep the $20 billion or whatever it is. Cash the check.

Posted by: Ms.Maynard at June 18, 2004 10:41 AM