Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I get this notice?
  2. What is this Action about?
  3. Why is this a class action?
  4. Who is in the Settlement Class?
  5. What does the settlement provide?
  6. How do I get a settlement payment?
  7. When will I get my check?
  8. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Settlement class?
  9. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from the Settlement?
  10. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue later?
  11. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  12. How do I object to the settlement class?
  13. What’s the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
  14. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
  15. What was the outcome of the hearing?
  16. May I speak at the hearing?
  17. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  18. How do I get more information?
  1. Why did I get this notice?

    The notice was sent to you because records show that Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (“PRA”) and/or Malen & Associates obtained default judgements against you in the State of New York related to the collection of consumer debt from October 14, 2012 through October 14, 2015, and you are entitled to compensation as a result of this class action settlement.

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  2. What is this Action about?

    Mary Ellen Toohey filed this lawsuit against the debt collectors PRA and Malen (“Defendants”), alleging that Defendants violated the law by obtaining default judgments against consumers in debt-collection lawsuits by filing misleading affidavits that stated that the affiant had personal knowledge of certain account-level documentation that affiant lacked. The lawsuit alleged that these acts violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15. U.S.C. § 1692, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), New York’s General Business Law (“GBL”), and the common law doctrine of unjust enrichment. Defendants deny the allegations and deny that they violated any laws or acts. The Court did not decide who is right and who is wrong.

    The parties have agreed to a settlement.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called the “Plaintiff” sues on behalf of people who have similar alleged claims. All of these people are a “class” or “class members.” The Court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.

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  4. Who is in the Settlement Class?

    All persons against whom PRA and/or Malen obtained default judgments in the State of New York related to the collection of consumer debt from October 14, 2012 through October 14, 2015.  Excluded from the Class are the officers and directors of any Defendant at all relevant times, members of their immediate families and their legal representatives, heirs, successors or assigns, and any entity in which any Defendant has or had a controlling interest; decedents; and any person with a pending action before any U.S. Bankruptcy Court as of the date of preliminary settlement approval.  Also excluded from the Settlement Class are those who timely and validly request exclusion pursuant to the Settlement Agreement.

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  5. What does the settlement provide?

    Defendants will establish a settlement fund of $1,495,000. Out of the settlement fund will be paid: (1) settlement compensation to participating class members; (2) an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses not to exceed $995,000, subject to the Court’s approval; (3) costs of notice and administration, and (4) incentive awards to the named Plaintiffs not to exceed $10,000 each, subject to the Court’s approval. The maximum recovery for the class allowed by law is $500,000.  It is estimated that each participating class member will receive approximately $25. In addition to monetary payments, the settlement provides that class members will receive non-monetary relief whereby PRA ceases reporting to consumer reporting agencies tradelines for the accounts that are responsible for individuals’ membership of the class.

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  6. How do I get a settlement payment?

    To avoid unnecessary administration fees and promote ease of participation, the disbursement of moneys will follow a “checks sent” model—i.e., Class members need not fill out and submit cumbersome claim forms in order to receive their checks.  Rather, those who take no action in response to the notice of this Settlement will automatically be included as Class members and receive the benefits of this Settlement.

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  7. When will I get my check?

    The case must receive final approval and other administrative processes must be completed before checks can be sent.

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  8. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Settlement class?

    If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement (“opt out”), you must complete and send a timely Request for Exclusion in writing. A Request for Exclusion must be signed, dated and mailed by First Class U.S. Mail, or the equivalent, postmarked no later than June 16, 2020 to:

     

      Toohey, et al. v. Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC, et al.

    FDCPA Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 43502

    Providence, RI 02940-3502

     

    Requests for Exclusion that do not include all required information and/or that are not timely submitted will be deemed null, void, and ineffective. Settlement Class Members who fail to submit a valid and timely Request for Exclusion on or before the above-specified deadline shall be bound by all terms of the Settlement and any final judgment entered in the Action if the Settlement is approved by the Court.

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  9. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from the Settlement?

    No. If you exclude yourself now, you will not get anything from the Settlement. If you ask to be excluded, you will keep your right to sue the Defendants for any claim released by the Settlement Agreement.

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  10. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself or the Court otherwise excludes you, you give up the right to sue Defendants for the claims in this lawsuit. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class to start or continue your own lawsuit.

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  11. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    Yes.  The Court appointed Frank LLP, located at 370 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1706, New York, NY 10017.  They are known as Class Counsel and they represent you and the other Settlement Class Members.

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  12. How do I object to the settlement class?

    Any Settlement Class Member may object to the proposed Settlement, or any portion thereof, by mailing a written objection, and supporting papers, to the Settlement Administrator at the following address by regular U.S. Mail postmarked no later than June 16, 2020, or as modified subject to re-mailing:

     

    Toohey, et al. v. Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC, et al.

    FDCPA Settlement Administrator

    P.O. Box 43502

    Providence, RI 02940-3502

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  13. What’s the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court you do not like something about the Settlement. If you object, you are still a part of the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If you have filed an objection on time, you may attend, and you may ask to speak, but you don’t have to.

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  14. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

    A hearing (the "Fairness Hearing") before the Honorable George B. Daniels will be held on July 16, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 11A of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York 10007. The purpose of this hearing will be for the Court to determine whether the Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be approved by the Court. The Court will take into account any objections filed in accordance with the procedures described above.

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  15. What was the outcome of the hearing?

    Final approval is scheduled for July 16, 2020. We will have an update no sooner than that date. Please note that if an appeal is filed it can take several months or more before an update is available.

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  16. May I speak at the hearing?

    If a Settlement Class Member wishes to appear at the Final Approval Hearing and orally present his or her objection to the Court, the objector’s written statement should include the objector’s statement of intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing. Notwithstanding, at the discretion of the Court, any Class Member, or person purporting to object on behalf of any Class Member, may be received or considered by the Court at the Final Approval Hearing, regardless of whether a written notice of objection is filed or delivered to the Parties.

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  17. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    You will automatically receive a share of the settlement fund and give up your right to start, continue with, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendants related to the claims made in this lawsuit and released by the Settlement Agreement. 

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  18. How do I get more information?

    The notice summarizes the Settlement. You may write KCC at the address listed on the notice or call 888-625-8657 . Do not contact the Court regarding the notice or the Settlement.

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