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BofA Settles Overdraft Claims for $410 Million

(CN) - Bank of America will pay $410 million to settle a nationwide class action that accused it of rearranging debits and credits on bank accounts to maximize overdraft fees.

U.S. District Judge James Lawrence approved the settlement Tuesday.

"The parties reached the settlement through arms'-length negotiations with the assistance of Professor Eric Green, an experienced and well-respected mediator," he wrote.

Attorneys' fees, service awards and settlement-administration costs are to be allocated from the $410 million fund.

The class was defined as "all holders of BofA account who, from January 1, 2001 through preliminary approval, incurred one or more overdraft fees as a result of debit re-sequencing" and includes "well over 1 million individuals spread across the country," according to the 18-page order.

Judge Lawrence appointed 32 class representatives and 18 class counsels.

He also approved a notice program made up of a website, toll-free number, mailed notice and advertisements of the settlement in People magazine, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, Facebook and Yahoo, to name a few, all which will be paid for out of the settlement fund.

The final approval hearing is set for Nov. 7, 2011.

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