National Cash Advance/Advance America Payday Loan Settlement

FAQs


BASIC INFORMATION
Answer

A Court authorized this Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about your options before the Court decides whether to finally approve the Settlement. If the Court finally approves the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved, a Court-appointed administrator will distribute the benefits that the Settlement allows. Because your rights will be affected by this Settlement, it is extremely important that you read the Notice carefully.

Answer

In 2001, a class action lawsuit was filed by Plaintiff Wendy Betts in Florida state court on the issue of whether payday loans violated state laws and named as defendants McKenzie Check Advance of Florida, LLC d/b/a National Cash Advance and multiple individuals (collectively “NCA Defendants”). After 15 years of litigation and appeals, the trial court certified the matter as a class action in 2016, naming Wendy Betts as the Class Representative. The class claims are for violation of the: Florida Lending Practices Act; Florida Consumer Finance Act; Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act; and Civil Remedies for Criminal Practices Act.

In 2004, a class action lawsuit was also filed by Plaintiff Gerald Betts in Florida state court naming as defendants Advance America and several individuals (collectively “AA Defendants”). The class claims were the same as those made against the NCA Defendants. The Court in charge of the cases is the Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County, Florida.

Answer

The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or 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 Plaintiffs and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members. The Court in charge of this lawsuit has granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and ordered this Notice be distributed to explain it.

WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT
Answer

The Settlement Class consists of all persons (“customers”) who, at any time before March 12, 1999, received cash for their personal check from National Cash Advance and/or Advance America under an agreement that the check would be held for a short period of time (generally two weeks) in exchange for a fee, and whose agreement did not contain an arbitration provision.

Answer

Yes. The class excludes the NCA and AA Defendants and persons related to or affiliated with them, and any customers who signed an agreement with an arbitration provision.

SETTLEMENT BENEFITS – WHAT YOU GET
Answer

You may receive a portion of the Settlement Fund in proportion to the amount of fees you were charged by National Cash Advance and/or Advance America as determined by Class Counsel from the NCA and AA Defendants’ records.

Answer

No, not necessarily. The amount of your payment may not be the same as the amount of fees listed on your Claim Form. The NCA and AA Defendants have agreed to create a Settlement Fund in the amount of $4,322,500.00. The Settlement Administrator will deduct the cost of administration, incentive awards to Class Representatives, and attorney’s fees and litigation expenses for Class Counsel, all of which must be approved by the Court. The money remaining in the Settlement Fund after these deductions will be distributed pro rata to Class Members who submit a valid claim.

Your share of the fund will depend on the number of valid claims that Class Members send in, and the amount of transactions you engaged in with the NCA and AA Defendants. Here’s how it works:

Your claim is based on the total amount of fees you paid for transactions before March 12, 1999, as calculated from the NCA and AA Defendants' records. The total of fees you were charged is listed on your Claim Form. Once all claims have been verified, Class Members who have submitted valid claims will receive a settlement benefit check in proportion to the amount of fees each claimant was charged by National Cash Advance and/or Advance America as determined by Class Counsel from the NCA and AA Defendants’ records. No Class Member will receive more than $10,000.00.

HOW YOU GET SETTLEMENT BENEFITS
Answer

Settlement Class Members must submit a valid and timely claim to receive a Settlement benefit. Claims may be submitted electronically at www.flpaydayloansettlement.com. Settlement Class Members also may also send the Claim Form by mail to:

BrownGreer PLC, Settlement Administrator
National Cash Advance/Advance America Payday Loan Settlement
P.O. Box 25386
Richmond, VA 23260

All claims must be filed online or postmarked by May 2, 2018.

You cannot submit your Claim Form by telephone. If you change your address after filing a claim, you should notify the Claims Administrator of your new address by sending written notice of your change of address to the Settlement Administrator at the address above. You may also update your new address online at www.flpaydayloansettlement.com.

The Settlement Administrator will issue payments by check after all valid Claim Forms have been reviewed and final payment determinations have been made.

EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
Answer

If you want to be excluded from the class, you must request to be excluded in a writing mailed to Betts v. National Cash Advance and Advance America, Settlement Administrator, Post Office Box 25386, Richmond, VA 23260 by mail, and postmarked no later than March 5, 2018. Your exclusion request must include your full name, address, telephone number, a statement that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement, and your signature.

By making an election to be excluded:

  1. you will not share in any recovery obtained for the class as a result of this Settlement; and
  2. you will not be bound by any terms of the Settlement and you may present any claims you have against the National Cash Advance and/or Advance America Defendants by filing your own lawsuit. Please be aware that time limitations may affect your rights to pursue a claim.

If you want to remain a member of the class, DO NOT mail an exclusion request.

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
Answer

The Court appointed the following law firms to represent you and other Settlement Class Members. If you decide to remain a member of the class and wish to communicate with Class Counsel as your attorney in these lawsuits, you may do so by contacting Julie Boyd, a paralegal for one of the attorneys, toll-free, at 1-866-479-7009, or by e-mail to richardfisher4@cs.com.

Sean Estes, Esq.
James Hoyer PA
2801 W. Busch Blvd. Ste 200
Tampa, FL 33618

Clay Yates, Esq.
E. Clayton Yates, P.A.
426 Avenue A
Ft. Pierce, FL 34950

Richard A. Fisher, Esq.
Richard Fisher Law Office
1008 Tasso Rd NE
Cleveland, TN 37323

Theodore Leopold, Esq.
Diana Martin, Esq.
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
2925 PGA Blvd., Ste 200
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

F. Paul Bland Jr.
Public Justice
1620 L Street, NW, Ste 630
Washington, DC 20036

You may, of course, seek the advice and guidance of your own attorney, if you desire, at your own cost.

Answer

The lawyers and class representatives are paid from the Settlement Fund pursuant to Section 2.2(a) of the Settlement Agreement.

OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT
Answer

The Settlement is not yet final. The Settlement will only become final if the Court first approves the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate.

The Circuit Court of the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County, Florida, will hold a Final Hearing to consider the proposed Settlement on June 1, 2018, at 8:45 a.m., 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. Before the Final Hearing and no later than March 5, 2018, members of the Settlement Class can let the Court know if they object to the Settlement. If you object to the Settlement, you must object in writing and it must include the following information:

  1. The name and number of the case as indicated at the beginning of the Notice;
  2. Your full name, address, and telephone number;
  3. Your objection and the reason for your objection; and
  4. Your signature.

Your objection must be postmarked on or before March 5, 2018. The Settlement Administrator will submit your objection to the Court and the parties.

You may also attend the Final Hearing and you may ask to speak, but you don’t have to. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will decide at the hearing whether to approve the Settlement, and how much should be deducted from the Settlement Fund for administration costs, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, incentive awards for the Class Representatives, and the appropriate distributions to Class Members.

THE COURT’S FINAL APPROVAL HEARING
Answer

There will be a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement on June 1, 2018, at 8:45 a.m., 205 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the website for updates.

IF YOU DO NOTHING
Answer

If you do nothing and are a Settlement Class Member, you will not receive a payment after the Court approves the Settlement and any appeals are resolved. In order to receive a payment, you must submit a valid and timely Claim Form. Unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the terms and conditions of the Settlement and you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

GETTING MORE INFORMATION
Answer

The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can review a copy of the Settlement Agreement online at www.flpaydayloansettlement.com, where you will find answers to common questions about the Settlement, a copy of the Claim Form, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Settlement Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment

You may contact the Settlement Administrator through any of these methods:

Email:

settlementadministrator@flpaydayloansettlement.com

Phone:

1-833-247-0902 (Toll-Free)

Mail:

BrownGreer PLC, Settlement Administrator
National Cash Advance/Advance America Payday Loan Settlement
P.O. Box 25386
Richmond, VA 23260

Please do not write or telephone the Court for information about the Settlement or this lawsuit.

You may also contact the lawyers representing you by calling Julie Boyd, paralegal to one of Class Counsel, by calling toll-free at 1-866-479-7009 or by email to richardfisher4@cs.com.