SUMMARY OF PAYMENT CARD SETTLEMENT OPPORTUNITY
The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association has partnered with Class Action Capital, a market leader in class action settlement claim management. Class Action Capital is already successfully working with a very large number of hotels across the country helping to recover substantial refunds on their behalf from a recent class action settlement totaling approximately $6 billion. We are excited to now offer our value add services to IHLA members.
The settlement alleges that Visa and MasterCard violated the law by setting interchange fees (charged to businesses every time a customer pays with a Visa or MasterCard) and then made and enforced rules that prohibited merchants from steering customers to other payment methods, resulting in hotels paying excessive fees to accept payment from Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards.
Class Action Capital’s pricing model is simple in that we work on a commission basis whereby we receive a percentage of the client’s financial recovery and only receive our fee when our client recovers. Once you sign up for our claim management service, we will immediately get to work building and preparing a comprehensive claim.
Our claim management authorization is immediately below. Also contained below is detailed information on the settlement opportunity, as well as further information on Class Action Capital and our claim management services.
WHAT IS THIS SETTLEMENT ABOUT?
The proposed settlement resolves allegations over whether Visa, MasterCard, and their respective member banks violated the law by setting interchange fees (charged to businesses every time a customer pays with a Visa or MasterCard) and then made and enforced rules that prohibited merchants from steering customers to other payment methods, resulting in merchants paying excessive fees to accept for payment from customers Visa and MasterCard cards. On December 13, 2013 the Court overseeing this class action granted final approval to the settlement. Also on December 13, a number of merchants submitted notices to the Court that they plan to appeal. The settlement will not become final until all appeals have been resolved. Bottom line is companies that accepted Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards for payment from customers anytime since 2004 are likely eligible to recover a share of the settlement funds.
HOW MUCH SETTLEMENT MONEY IS AVAILABLE AND HOW EACH CLAIM CALCULATED?
Provided any appeals have been resolved and the settlement has become effective, valid claimants will be eligible to receive payments after all claims have been processed. Payments will be related to two different funds: a Cash Settlement Fund and an Interchange Fund. These funds will be used to pay valid claims filed, the costs of class administration and notice, money awards to Class plaintiffs, and attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court.
The first fund is a Cash Settlement Fund. The Cash Settlement Fund consists of $6.05 billion, reduced by 25% to account for merchants who excluded themselves from the Cash Settlement Class. The amount of money each eligible claimant will receive from the Cash Settlement Fund will depend on the total dollar value of all valid claims filed, the costs of class administration and notice, money awards to Class Plaintiffs, and attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court. It is anticipated that the amount paid to each valid claimant from the Cash Settlement Fund will be based on the claimant’s actual or estimated interchange fees attributable to the claimant’s Visa and MasterCard transactions from January 1, 2004 through November 28, 2012.
The second fund is an Interchange Settlement Fund which could total up to $1.2 billion. The amount of money each eligible claimant will receive from the Interchange Fund depends on the money available to pay all claims, the total dollar value of all valid claims filed, the cost of class administration and notice, and attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court. Each claimant’s payment will be paid in proportion to all claimants’ payments. For a merchant that submits a valid claim, the amount paid from the Interchange Fund will be based on one-tenth of 1% of the merchant’s Visa and MasterCard credit card transaction volume during the eight-month period from July 29, 2013 through March 29, 2014.
IS YOUR COMPANY ELIGIBLE FOR A PRO RATA SHARE OF THE SETTLEMENT FUND?
This case involves two Settlement Classes. Both Class definitions include individuals, businesses and other entities who accepted Visa-Branded Cards and/or MasterCard-Branded cards in the United States since January 1, 2004.
The Cash Settlement Class (or “Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class”) consists of all persons, businesses, or other entities that accepted Visa-Branded Cards and/or MasterCard-Branded Cards in the United States at any time from January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012.
WHAT DATA DOES YOUR COMPANY NEED TO PROVIDE TO CAC?
Required: Company Legal Name, DBA(s), EIN(s), Location Addresses, Monthly or yearly (actual/estimated) Visa/MasterCard volume
Helpful: Current and Past Payment Processing Vendor Names, Current and Past Merchant IDs with each vendor, Historical Monthly Processing Statements
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE SETTLEMENT (AS OF MAY 2015)?
The December 13, 2013 decision of the Court which approved the settlement is currently being appealed. Claim forms are not available at this time and will not be available until after all appeals are resolved. It is unknown how long the appeals process will take. The parties are currently waiting for the Second Circuit to issue a hearing date for the pending appeal.
WHO ARE THE DEFENDANTS?
- Visa U.S.A. Inc., Visa International Service Association, Visa Inc., etc.
- MasterCard International Incorporated, MasterCard Incorporated, etc
- Bank of America, N.A.; BA Merchant Services LLC (formerly known as National Processing, Inc.); Bank of America Corporation;
- MBNA America Bank, N.A., and FIA Card Services, N.A.
- Barclays Bank plc; Barclays Bank Delaware; and Barclays Financial Corp.
- Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.; Capital One F.S.B.; and Capital One Financial Corporation.
- Chase Bank USA, N.A.; Chase Manhattan Bank USA, N.A.; Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; JPMorgan
- Chase & Co.; Bank One Corporation; and Bank One Delaware, N.A.
- Citibank (South Dakota), N.A.; Citibank N.A.; Citigroup Inc.; and Citicorp.
- Fifth Third Bancorp.
- First National Bank of Omaha.
- HSBC Finance Corporation; HSBC Bank USA, N.A.; HSBC North America Holdings Inc.; HSBC Holdings plc; and HSBC Bank plc
- National City Corporation and National City Bank of Kentucky.
- SunTrust Banks, Inc. and SunTrust Bank.
- Texas Independent Bancshares, Inc.
- Wachovia Bank, N.A. and Wachovia Corporation.
- Washington Mutual, Inc.; Washington Mutual Bank; Providian National Bank (also known as Washington Mutual Card Services, Inc.); and Providian Financial Corporation.
- Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
WHO IS CLASS ACTION CAPITAL?
Class Action Capital is a provider of class action settlement claim management and monetization to the global corporate community. Launched in 2012, Class Action Capital has quickly gained traction amongst the corporate community to become the premiere provider of outsourced class action settlement claim management and monetization. From 30 clients in 2012 to over 4,000 corporate clients to date, Class Action Capital’s value proposition, reputation and expertise has been recognized by companies of all sizes and in diverse industries. Class Action Capital’s pricing model is simple in that we work on a commission basis whereby we receive a percentage of the client’s financial recovery and only receive our fee when our client recovers. More information on CAC and our services is below.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE WORK TO BEST POSITION EACH CLIENT’S RECOVERY FROM A SETTLEMENT WHILE MINIMIZING A CLIENT’S TIME, USE OF INTERNAL RESOURCES AND THE RISK OF MISTAKE IF THE CLIENT WERE TO TAKE ON CLAIMS MANAGEMENT ON ITS OWN.
Class Action Capital’s fee is a percentage of your financial recovery. Claim forms are not yet available from the Class Administrator. When claim forms do become available, class members are not required to sign up with any third-party service in order to participate in the monetary relief, but may instead file their claim directly with the Class Administrator. The claim form will inform most class members of their actual or estimated interchange fees on which it is proposed their claims will be paid. Claimants may accept or dispute this estimate with the opportunity to submit additional information. No-cost assistance will be available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel during the claims-filing period. For additional information, class members may visit www.paymentcardsettlement.com, the Court approved website for this case.