Case No. 2:18-cv-09490-SVW-PJWx (C.D. Cal.)
A Court authorized a notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and all of your options, before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Judge Stephen V. Wilson, of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, is presiding over this case, called Galavis et al. v. Bank of America, N.A. et al., Case No. 2:18-cv-09490-SVW-PJWx (C.D. Cal.). The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” The Defendants are Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) and Visa Inc. (“VISA”).
To view a copy of the Notice, click here.Back To Top
The lawsuit claims that cash advance fees and cash advance interest charges assessed by Bank of America, N.A. in connection with cryptocurrency transactions using Bank of America, N.A. credit cards violated the Truth in Lending Act and breached the cardholder agreements, and that Visa interfered with the contractual relationships of Bank of America, N.A. and some of its cardholders. Defendants deny all liability and deny that they engaged in any wrongdoing. The Court has not decided which side is right.
To view a copy of the Complaint, click here.Back To Top
The Court has not decided in favor of either the Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to the Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Settlement Class members receive the benefits described in the Notice. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for everyone who may have been affected.Back To Top
The Settlement Class (“Settlement Class”) includes:
All persons and entities in the United States who, upon acquiring a Cryptocurrency from June 1, 2016, through September 26, 2019, incurred Cash Advance Fees and/or Cash Advance Interest charges on credit cards issued by Bank of America, N.A.
If this did not happen to you, you are not a member of the Settlement Class. You may contact the Settlement Administrator if you have any questions as to whether you are in the Settlement Class.
You may contact the Settlement Administrator by calling 1-877-241-6579 if you have any questions as to whether you are in the Settlement Class.Back To Top
The Settlement states that Defendants will provide four hundred and fifteen thousand dollars ($415,000) to be divided among the entire Settlement Class in order to settle the class action (the “Settlement Amount”). After paying court-approved service awards to the Class Representatives of up to $5,000 each for their participation in the lawsuit, the remaining cash relief will be distributed among Settlement Class members who were assessed cash advance fees and/or cash advance interest charges for cryptocurrency transactions using their Bank of America, N.A. credit card from June 1, 2016, through September 26, 2019 (“Net Cash Settlement Amount”).
Settlement Class members’ cash award will be distributed via check. Each Settlement Class member’s cash award will depend upon how much they were assessed in cash advance fees in connection with a covered cryptocurrency transaction. Specifically, cash awards will be calculated using a proportional payment structure, whereby each Class member will receive a percentage of the total Cash Advance Fees that the Class member incurred on Cryptocurrency transactions that were not reversed in full. The percentage used to calculate Class member awards will be determined by dividing the Net Cash Settlement Amount by the total amount of cash advance fees, excluding cryptocurrency transactions reversed in full, that Bank of America, N.A. assessed from June 1, 2016, through September 26, 2019, on credit card accounts held by persons in the Settlement Class.
While the specific amount that each Class member will receive may vary significantly, depending on the amount of cash advance fees he or she was assessed during the Class Period, the average award to Settlement Class members based on the Net Cash Settlement Amount divided by the number of Settlement Class members is estimated to be approximately $19.46.Back To Top
If you are in the Settlement Class and entitled to receive a payment, you do not need to do anything to receive the relief to which you are entitled under the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final and effective, you will automatically receive a payment.Back To Top
If the Settlement receives Final Approval, each Settlement Class Member who has not excluded himself or herself from the Settlement Class pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Settlement Agreement (Section 2.5[a]) releases, waives, and forever discharges Defendants and each of their present, former, and future parents, subsidiaries, predecessors, successors, assigns, assignees, affiliates, conservators, divisions, departments, subdivisions, owners, partners, principals, trustees, creditors, shareholders, joint ventures, co-venturers, officers, and directors (whether acting in such capacity or individually), attorneys, vendors, accountants, nominees, agents (alleged, apparent, or actual), representatives, employees, managers, administrators, and each person or entity acting or purporting to act for them or on their behalf, including, but not limited to, Bank of America, N.A. and Visa U.S.A. Inc. and all of their subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively, “Releasees”) with respect to any claim or issue relating to or arising out of any of the claims that were asserted in this Action, and any allegations, acts, transactions, facts, events, matters, occurrences, representations, statements, or omissions that were or could have been set forth, alleged, referred to, or asserted in this Action, and whether assertable in the form of a cause of action or as a private motion, petition for relief or claim for contempt, or otherwise, and in any court, tribunal, arbitration panel, commission, agency, or before any governmental and/or administrative body, or any other adjudicatory body, and whether based on TILA, Regulation Z, or any other federal, state (including, without limitation, breach of contract, tortious interference with contractual relations, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and the California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200, et seq.), local, statutory or common law or any other law, rule, regulation, ordinance, code, contract, common law, or any other source, including the law of any jurisdiction outside the United States (including both direct and derivative claims), including any and all claims for damages, injunctive relief, interest, attorney fees, and litigation expenses (“Released Claims”). Each Settlement Class member who does not exclude himself or herself from the Settlement Class will also be bound by all of the decisions by the Court.
Section 2.3 (Releases) of the Settlement Agreement describes the precise legal claims that you give up if you remain in the Settlement.Back To Top
If you do not want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Defendants on your own about the Released Claims, then you must take steps to opt out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself – or it is sometimes referred to as “opting-out” of the Settlement Class.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must fill out the Opt-Out form and submit the following information:
You must mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than March 1, 2020, to:
P.O. Box 5110
Portland, OR 97208-5110
To view a copy of the Opt-Out Form, click here.Back To Top
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Defendants for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class in order to try to pursue your own lawsuit.Back To Top
No. You will not receive a payment if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Back To Top
The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and others in the Settlement Class as “Class Counsel,” including:
|Jeffrey R. Krinsk||David J. Harris, Jr.|
Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP
550 West C Street
San Diego, California 92101
Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP
550 West C Street
San Diego, California 92101
Class Counsel will represent you and others in the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for 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 intends to request up to $285,000 for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of their expenses incurred in connection with this case. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid separately from the Cash Settlement Amount (as defined in the Settlement Agreement). The Court will ultimately determine the amount of fees and expenses to award. Any amount of fees and expenses that the Court awards in an amount less than $285,000 will be added to the Cash Settlement Amount and be distributed to the Settlement Class, subject to Court approval. Class Counsel will also request service awards of up to $5,000 for each Class Representative to be paid from the Cash Settlement Amount for their service to the entire Settlement Class.Back To Top
You can tell the Court that you do not agree with the Settlement or some part of it. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you can object to any part of the Settlement, the Settlement as a whole, Class Counsel’s requests for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and/or Class Counsel’s request for service awards for the Class Representatives. To object, you must submit a letter that includes the following:
You must submit your objection to the following addresses, so that it is postmarked on or before March 1, 2020:
|Clerk of the Court||Settlement Administrator|
Clerk of the Court
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Judge Stephen V. Wilson
First Street Courthouse
350 W. 1st Street, Courtroom 10A, 10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
P.O. Box 5110
Portland, OR 97208-5110
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement. Excluding yourself from the Settlement is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.Back To Top
The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement and the request for attorneys’ fees and service awards for Class Representatives. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you don’t have to do so.
The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing on April 6, 2020, at 1:30 pm, PST, at the United States District Court for Central District of California, located at the First Street Courthouse, 350 W. 1st Street, Courtroom 10A, 10th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90012. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates.
At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider any request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for service awards for Class Representatives. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at this time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.Back To Top
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have, but you may come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time, to the proper addresses, and it complies with the requirements set forth above, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.Back To Top
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must submit an objection that complies with FAQ 13 and send a letter saying that you intend to appear and wish to be heard. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must include the following:
You must submit your Notice of Intention to Appear, so that it is received no later than March 1, 2020, to the addresses in FAQ 13.Back To Top
If you do nothing, you will still receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants relating to the legal issues in this case or the conduct alleged in the Complaint.Back To Top
You may view a copy of the Settlement Agreement, click here
You may write with questions to Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 5110, Portland, OR 97208-5110, or call the toll-free number, 1-877-241-6579.
Do not contact Defendants or the Court for information.Back To Top