Are you entitled to receive money from a class action settlement?

Today at 4pm, we told you about a Class Action Lawsuit against Stein Mart that has resulted in Stein Mart agreeing to print coupons for shoppers in local newspapers all across the country.

It reminded me of a website where you can scour through hundreds (maybe thousands- I haven’t counted) of Class Action Lawsuits and Settlements across the country to find out if you have any of that settlement cash or some other offer coming to you.  You don’t want to miss out!

The website is Lawyers and Settlements.  A fellow consumer reporter who works in Salt lake City used the website for a story.  He took the list of suits and parameters for being part of the “class” and set up a table at a local shopping mall.  People could walk up and find out if they were owed money. You’d be surprised how many people realized they had money just waiting to be collected.

Disclaimer: I am not a litigious person. I know a lot of people argue that the only people who benefit from Class Action suits are the.. well…. the suits, the lawyers.   While they make rake in some dough, it’s also true that when thousands of consumers are taken for a small amount of money here or there, making businesses pay with a fat monetary penalty is sometimes the only way to punish the business’ bad behavior.  So cash in!

 

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One Response

  1. Consumers have become as bad as lawyers with their “ambulance-chaser” mentality trying to make a quick, easy, huge bucks off retailers, threating to or bringing suit against them because of credit card truncation. Ninety-nine percent of those that threaten or bring suit have no clue what the law states or even where to find it. It is a mob mentality and they think they can get away with it but, it really just shows their ignorance. Those ninety-nine percent probably have no damages nor stolen identity. They are simply in it for the attempt at receiving some money.

    Check the Fair Credit Reporting Act document at this link or do your own search, http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf. Section 605(g), part 1, Truncation of Credit Card and Debit Card numbers states retailers can not show more than the last 5 numbers of the card or the expiration date on the receipt provided to the customer. Part 3 states the retailer has up to three years to bring their system to compliancy if it was put in service before January 1, 2005 or one year if in service after January1, 2005.

    H.R. 4008, http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-4008&tab=summary, Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act of 2007 – Amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to declare that any person who printed an expiration date on any receipt provided to a consumer cardholder at a point of sale (POS) or transaction between December 4, 2004, and the enactment of this Act, but otherwise complied with FCRA requirements for such receipt, shall not be in willful noncompliance by reason of printing such expiration date on it. In plain english copied from http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2008/06/president-signs.html, The amendment does not affect suits in which sellers printed the entire credit card number on a receipt, nor will it affect suits in which consumers have suffered actual damages because a seller printed an expiration date on the receipt (which might happen, for example, if the date was printed on the receipt and someone used the receipt to make an unauthorized credit card purchase and the consumer was damaged thereby), in violation of § 1681c(g) of the FCRA. It will, however, prevent consumers who have not been injured by the inclusion of the expiration date from obtaining statutory damages under § 1681n if the receipt also printed no more than the last five digits of the credit card number.

    Retailers that offer coupons in lieu of settlements end up with more of the plaintiffs money if that plaintiff chooses to patronize the retailer. The plaintiff thinks they are getting ahead but they really aren’t. Life is tough, it’s tougher if you’re stupid!

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