Class action against FCB claims bank jacked up interest

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 11, 2005, 1:06am

FCB Bank, 800 Beltline Road in Collinsville

The first class action lawsuit filed in St. Clair County since President Bush signed the Class Action Fairness Act into law last month was filed by Kenneth Kitson against First Collinsville Bank (FCB) claiming the banked jacked up interest on loans.

Alleging the bank did not use a 12-month calendar year to compute interest on promissory notes, the suit claims FCB instead "surreptitiously charged interest at the rate of 101.4 percent of the per annum...thereby charging 1.4 percent more than contracted for cost of credit."

According to the complaint, any Illinoisan who borrowed money believing it was based on a per annum interest rate thought the bank used a year less than 12 calendar months to compute interest, may join the class.

Kitson, represented by Pat Ducey of St. Louis, claims that FCB "in utter disregard of the rights of the class willfully and wantonly engaged in an ongoing pattern and common practice of deception and unfairness throughout loan transactions that included common misrepresentations, half truths and omissions in order to conceal the true rate of interest and costs of credit surreptitiously increasing their profits at the expense of the borrower."

Plaintiffs allege FCB:

  • Enticed borrowers shopping for the lowest interest rates out of the market and into loan negotiations;

  • Misrepresented a higher per non-calendar year of 360 days as a lower year interest rate;

  • Concealed the true interest rate the bank would charge;

  • Overstatied payoff balances on existing loans and new principal balances on loan renewals; and

  • Failed to provide the class timely clear up-front information about the coat of their credit without forcing them to hunt through boilerplate documents contained in the loan contracts to determine the true interest cost of their credit.

    Kitson asks the court to find that the bank violated the Consumer Fraud Act, and provide the class award of monetary damages, punitive damages, and any other relief the court deems just and proper.

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