No. 3:14-cv-1539-HES-PDB (M.D. Fla.)
A Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and after any objections or appeals are resolved, a settlement administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlement allows. Because your rights will be affected by this Settlement, it is extremely important that you read the Notice carefully.
If you received a postcard Notice, it is because the Defendants’ records indicate that they placed a call or text message to your current cellular telephone number between February 1, 2013 and April 21, 2016.
The Court in charge of the case is the United District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and the case is known as Richard Swift v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., Case No. 3:14-cv-1539-HES-PDB (M.D. Fla.). The proposed Settlement would resolve all the claims in this case. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the companies he sued, Bank of America Corporation, NB Holdings Corporation, and FIA Card Services, N.A., are called the Defendants and are collectively referred to herein as “Defendants.”Back To Top
A class action is a lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. A representative plaintiff, also known as the “Class Representative,” asserts claims on behalf of the entire class.
The Class Representative filed this case against Defendants alleging that they violated the TCPA by using an automatic telephone dialing system and/or pre-recorded call to contact cell phones without the prior express consent of the recipients.
Defendants deny that they did anything wrong, or that this case is appropriate for treatment as a class action.Back To Top
The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiff or the Defendants. Both sides agreed to a settlement instead of going to trial. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Class Representative and Class Counsel think the Settlement is best for all Class Members.Back To Top
The Settlement provides relief for all Class Members, who are described as individuals who were contacted by Bank of America through auto-dialed and/or pre-recorded calls or text messages to their cell phones regarding a Bank of America account other than their own without prior express consent to receive such calls or text messages between February 1, 2013 and April 21, 2016.
Excluded from the Class are Defendants, Defendants’ parent companies, affiliates or subsidiaries, or any employees thereof, and any entities in which any of such companies has a controlling interest, the judge to whom the case is assigned; and any member of the judge’s staff and immediate family.
If you have questions about being a Class Member, you can call 1-844-804-4369.Back To Top
The Defendants have agreed to pay a total settlement amount of $1,000,000.00, which will be used to create a Settlement Fund to pay attorney’s fees, costs and expenses to Class Counsel, a service award to Plaintiff, and the administrative costs of the Settlement. Each Class Member will receive a check for an equal share of the Settlement Fund, after the Settlement Fund is reduced by up to 25% to be paid towards the attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation of this case, and an additional amount towards the incurred costs and expenses. The check received by each Class Member will not be less than $15 and not more than $25.
Any residual amount remaining after all the payments included in the Settlement will be donated to The Florida Bar Foundation or to another legal aid organization of the Court’s selection.Back To Top
Class Members do not need to file a claim to receive a payment. Each Class Member will receive a check for an equal share of the Settlement Fund, which will not be less than $15 and not more than $25 without doing anything, on the condition that the Court approves the Settlement.
The Court will hold a Final Settlement Approval Hearing on July 13, 2016 at 1:30 p.m., to decide whether to approve the Settlement (see FAQ 11). If the Settlement is approved, appeals may still follow. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.Back To Top
If you are a Class Member, that means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Bank of America Corporation, NB Holdings Corporation, and/or FIA Card Services, N.A. regarding the legal issues in this case and all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.
You will be unable to file your own lawsuit involving all of the claims described and identified below, and you will release Bank of America Corporation, NB Holdings Corporation, and FIA Card Services, N.A. from any liability for them.
You, as well as your respective assigns, heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and agents, will release, resolve, relinquish, and discharge Bank of America Corporation, NB Holdings Corporation, and FIA Card Services, N.A. (and all related entities) 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 the Final Judgment, that arise out of or relate in any way to the Released Parties’ use of an “automatic telephone dialing system” to contact or attempt to contact Class Members via auto-dialed and/or pre-recorded calls or text messages to cell phones to the fullest extent that term is used, defined, or interpreted by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq., relevant regulatory or administrative promulgations and case law, from February 1, 2013 to April 21, 2016.
You may not institute any action or cause of action (in law, in equity, or administratively), suits, debts, liens, or claims, known or unknown, fixed or contingent, which they may have or claim to have, in state or federal court, in arbitration, or with any state, federal, or local government agency or with any administrative or advisory body, arising from or reasonably related to the Released Claims.
The Settlement Agreement (available here) 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 speak to the law firm representing the Class listed in FAQ 8 for free or you can, at your own expense, consult your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Parties or the Released Claims or what they mean.Back To Top
If you do not want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep any right you might have to sue the Defendants about the issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself or “opting out” of the Settlement Class.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter or other written document by mail to:
Swift v. Bank of America Settlement Administrator
PO Box 3266
Portland, OR 97208-3266
Your request to be excluded from the Settlement must be personally signed by you and contain a statement that indicates your desire to be “excluded from the Settlement Class” and that you are “otherwise a member of the Settlement Class.”
Your exclusion request must be postmarked no later than May 30, 2016. You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or on this website.Back To Top
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right you might have to sue the Defendants for legal claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit. If you start your own lawsuit, you will have to hire your own lawyer, and you will have to prove your claims.Back To Top
No. You will not get a payment from the Settlement Fund if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Back To Top
The Court appointed the following law firm to represent you and other Class Members:
These lawyers are called “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged for the services provided by these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
Class Counsel will ask the Court to distribute an award of up to 25% of the Settlement Fund to be paid towards the attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses incurred in the litigation of this case, and to distribute a service award to the Class Representative.
Any objection to Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, or the service award to the Class Representative may be filed, and must be postmarked, no later than May 30, 2016.Back To Top
You can tell the Court that you don’t agree with the Settlement or some part of it. If you are a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not think the Settlement is fair. You must state reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. If you want to object to the terms of the Settlement, you must submit a letter to the Court and the Settlement Administrator, at the addresses listed below, a written statement of objection, as well as the specific reasons, if any, for each objection. Be sure to include your full name, address, telephone number, and the case name (Richard Swift v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., Case No. 3:14-cv-1539-HES-PDB (M.D. Fla.)). You must also state whether you intend to appear at the Final Settlement Approval Hearing on your own behalf or through counsel. Your objection to the Settlement must be postmarked no later than May 30, 2016.
The objection must be mailed to:
|COURT||SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR||CLASS COUNSEL||DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL|
|Clerk of Court
United States Courthouse
300 North Hogan Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
|Swift v. Bank of America
P.O. Box 3266
Portland, OR 97208-3266
|Morgan & Morgan
Complex Lit. Group
c/o Jonathan Cohen
201 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, FL 33602
|Morrison & Foerster LLP
c/o David Fioccola
250 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. This Final Settlement Approval Hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016, at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 300 North Hogan Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202 in Courtroom 10C. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the case website for updates. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether to award attorney’s fees, expenses, and service awards as described above, and in what amounts. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long it will take the Court to issue its decision. It is not necessary for you to appear at this hearing, but you may attend at your own expense.Back To Top
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Settlement Approval Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter saying that you intend to appear at the Final Settlement Approval Hearing in Richard Swift v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., Case No. 3:14-cv-1539-HES-PDB (M.D. Fla.). Be sure to include your full name, address, and telephone number. Your letter stating your notice of intention to appear must be postmarked no later than May 30, 2016 and be sent to the Clerk of the Court, at the address listed in FAQ 13.Back To Top
If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you will receive a check for an equal share of the Settlement Fund, after the Settlement Fund is reduced by up to 25% to be paid towards the attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation of this case, and an additional amount towards the incurred costs and expenses. The check received by each Class Member will not be less than $15 and not more than $25.Back To Top
More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which is located here.Back To Top