If you are a Settlement Class Member, unless you excluded yourself, you will be bound by the release of claims in the Settlement. This means that, if the Settlement is approved, you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants or anyone else having to do with TCPA violations arising out of Automatic Calls or Prerecorded Calls made by Defendants between October 6, 2011 and January 18, 2019, and all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.
For non-emergency calls to a cell phone number made using an automatic telephone dialing system without the prior express consent of the called party, the TCPA provides for damages of $500 per violation, or up to $1,500 for willful violations, plus an injunction limiting future conduct. However, Defendants have denied that they made any illegal calls to anyone, and in any future lawsuit will have a full range of potential defenses, including that they had prior express consent to make the calls. In addition, the TCPA does not provide for attorneys’ fees to prevailing individual plaintiffs. This Settlement permits class members the opportunity to obtain a smaller amount of money, risk-free.
If you filed a Claim Form for benefits or do nothing at all, you will be unable to file your own lawsuit regarding the claims described in the Notice, and you will release Defendants from any liability for the Released Claims defined below and in the Settlement.
Remaining in the Settlement Class means that you, as well as anyone claiming through you such as heirs, administrators, successors, and assigns, relinquish and discharge each and all of the Released Persons from each of the Released Claims (as defined below).
Released Claims: Upon Final Approval, each member of the Settlement Class, including the Plaintiffs, shall, by operation of the Judgment, be deemed to have fully, conclusively, irrevocably, forever and finally released, relinquished, and discharged the Released Persons from any and all claims, causes of action, suits, obligations, debts, demands, agreements, promises, liabilities, damages, losses, controversies, costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees of any nature whatsoever, whether based on any federal law, state law, common law, territorial law, foreign law, contract, rule, regulation, any regulatory promulgation (including, but not limited to, any opinion or declaratory ruling), common law or equity, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, asserted or unasserted, foreseen or unforeseen, actual or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, punitive or compensatory, as of the date of Final Approval, that relate to or arise out of the Released Parties' use of equipment or methods to contact or attempt to contact Settlement Class Members by telephone for mortgage servicing or debt collection purposes during the Settlement Class Period, including but not limited to claims that relate to or arise out of the Released Parties' use of an “automatic telephone dialing system” or “artificial or prerecorded voice” as defined in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq. and any other statutory or common law claim arising from the use of a telephone dialing system or artificial or prerecorded calls to cellular telephones. For the avoidance of doubt, “Released Claims” include claims relating to or arising out of the equipment or method used to contact or attempt to contact Settlement Class Members by telephone, but do not include claims based on other aspects of calls, such as the substance of the calls or the time/date of any such calls.
The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the release and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Class listed in Question 9 for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Parties or the Released Claims or what they mean.
The release does not apply to Settlement Class Members who timely opted out of the Settlement.