Gehrich TCPA Settlement
www.GehrichTCPASettlement.com

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this website is to inform you that a proposed Settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit entitled Gehrich v. Chase USA and JPMC Bank, Case No. 1:12-CV-5510 (N.D. Ill.). Because your rights may be affected by this Settlement, it is extremely important that Class Members read the Notice carefully. The Notice summarizes the Settlement and Class Member rights under it.

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If you receive an email or postcard describing this Settlement, it is because you may have received, on or after July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2013, Collection Calls or Automatic Alerts.

If you saw something in a magazine about the Settlement, you still may be part of the Settlement Class. See Question 5 below for more information.

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A class action is a lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. Representative Plaintiffs, also known as “Class Representatives,” assert claims on behalf of the entire class.

Here, the Class Representatives claim that, on or after July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2013, Chase violated the TCPA by using an automatic telephone dialing system (and/or an artificial or prerecorded voice) to make calls or send texts without “prior express consent,” within the meaning of the TCPA, from the recipients, including recipients who were not Chase customers and/or not the persons to whom Chase intended to direct the communications.

The Court has certified the lawsuit as a class action for settlement purposes only (the “Settlement Class”). Chase denies that it did anything wrong, and denies that this case would be certified as a class action in litigation.

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The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Chase. Both sides agreed to a Settlement to avoid the expense and distraction of litigation. The Class Representatives and the lawyers representing the Settlement Class (“Class Counsel”) think the Settlement is fair and recommend it for all persons in the Settlement Class.

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You are in the Settlement Class if, on or after July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2013, you received:

  1. Collection Calls relating to a Chase credit card or bank account;
  2. Automatic Alerts relating to a Chase credit card or bank account, and you were the intended recipient of the communication; or
  3. Automatic Alerts relating to a Chase credit card or bank account, and you were not the intended recipient of the communication.

The Settlement Class does not include any person who who submitted a timely Settlement exclusion request. A person who did not exclude himself or herself from the Settlement is a “Settlement Class Member.” Some Class Members were provided notice of this Settlement between October 2014 and February 2015 through publications in magazines and by emails and postcards. Other Class Members are receiving notice by emails and postcards at this time.

If you have additional questions about whether you are part of the Settlement Class, you may call 1-877-899-2893 for more information.

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Settlement Fund. Chase will pay the amount of $34,000,000 into a fund (the “Settlement Fund”), which will cover: (1) cash payments to eligible persons in the Settlement Class who submitted valid Claim Forms; (2) a payment of $50,000 to the Consumer Federation of America on behalf of persons in the Settlement Class who received Automatic Alerts relating to their own Chase bank or credit card accounts; (3) an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to Class Counsel, in an amount of $7,257,914.10, as approved by the Court; (4) service awards to the Class Representatives, in an amount of $1,500 each, as approved by the Court; and (5) the costs of administering the Settlement. Any funds that remain unpaid 365 days following the Settlement’s Effective Date (as defined in the Settlement) will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Cash Payments. The following persons in the Settlement Class were eligible to submit a Claim Form and receive a cash payment: (1) persons who received Collection Calls relating to a Chase credit card or bank account; and (2) persons who received Automatic Alerts and were not the intended recipient of the communications. The deadline to submit claims passed on September 10, 2015. Settlement Award payments were mailed on November 23, 2016 to eligible Class Members who submitted valid claims.

Dedicated Cy Pres Distribution. Persons in the Settlement Class who received Automatic Alerts relating to their own Chase accounts are not eligible for a cash payment and, thus, may not submit a Claim Form. For the benefit of those persons, Chase will pay $50,000 to the Consumer Federation of America, as approved by the Court.

Stopping Automatic Alerts. Persons who receive(d) Automatic Alerts relating to their own Chase accounts may request to stop Automatic Alerts by logging on to their Chase.com account and visiting the Customer Center or Account Alerts section to manage their current account alerts. Additionally, they may respond with “STOP” to Automatic Alerts sent by Chase to stop future Automatic Alerts. All such properly submitted changes will be processed in accordance with Chase’s normal business practice. Chase customers who do not have a Chase.com account may visit a local bank branch and request that a Chase bank representative make any changes to their Automatic Alerts.

No Portion of the Settlement Fund Will Return to Chase. Any amount remaining in the Settlement Fund after paying all valid and timely Claims to Settlement Class Members, attorneys’ fees and costs to Class Counsel, service awards to the Class Representatives, the costs of administering the Settlement and the dedicated Cy Pres distribution will be paid either: (1) in a second distribution to Settlement Class Members who submitted valid and timely Claim Forms and whose initial payments were cashed; or (2) if there are not enough funds to justify a second distribution, the remaining funds will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. There will only be a second distribution if there are enough funds to pay each Settlement Class Member $3.00 or more through a second distribution. No portion of the Settlement Fund will return to Chase.

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The amount of an eligible Class Member's cash payment depends on: (1) the type of communication you received from Chase (Collection Call or Wrong-Party Automatic Alert); (2) whether you are a Chase bank account customer or credit card holder; and (3) the total number of valid and timely Claim Forms submitted. The amount of each payment will be determined as follows:

First: The Garden City Group (the “Settlement Administrator”) will determine the portion of the Settlement Fund to be distributed to eligible Settlement Class Members after subtracting the dedicated cy pres distribution, the Court-approved award of attorneys’ fees and costs to Class Counsel, the Court-approved service awards for the Class Representatives and the costs of administering the Settlement (the “Net Settlement Fund”).

Second: The Settlement Administrator will calculate the amount that each eligible Settlement Class Member will receive from the Net Settlement Fund. Settlement Class Members must have submitted a Claim Form requesting payment for more than one category of relief, if they fit the descriptions of the different categories of relief offered by the Settlement. The Settlement Administrator will allocate a certain number of “Award Units” to each Claim that a Settlement Class Member submitted, as follows:

  1. Chase bank account customers who (1) are not also Chase credit card account holders, (2) received a Collection Call or a Wrong-Party Automatic Alert and (3) submitted a valid and timely Claim Form, will receive one (1) Award Unit.
  2. Chase credit card account holders who (1) are not also Chase bank account customers, (2) received a Collection Call or a Wrong-Party Automatic Alert and (3) submitted a valid and timely Claim Form, will receive three (3) Award Units. Chase credit card holders get triple credit for Collection Calls or Wrong-Party Automatic Alerts because, unlike Chase bank account customers, their claims are not subject to certain unique legal defenses.
  3. Persons in the Settlement Class who (1) are neither Chase credit card account holders nor Chase bank account customers, (2) received a Collection Call or Wrong-Party Automatic Alert and (3) submitted a valid and timely Claim Form, receive three (3) Award Units.
  4. Persons in the Settlement Class who (1) are both Chase credit card account holders and bank account customers, (2) received a Collection Call or Wrong-Party Automatic Alert and (3) submitted a valid and timely Claim Form, may receive no more than four (4) Award Units.

Third: The Settlement Administrator will add the total number of Award Units allocated to all the Settlement Class Members who submitted valid and timely Claims and then divide this number into the Net Settlement Fund. The result will be the cash value of each Award Unit.

Fourth: The Settlement Administrator will determine each eligible claimant’s award by multiplying the claimant’s total Award Units by the value of each Award Unit.

Plaintiffs estimate that each eligible Settlement Class Member will receive a cash award of $20‑$40 per Claim. This is an estimate only. The final cash payment amount will depend on the total number of valid and timely Claims submitted by eligible Settlement Class Members.

Settlement award payments were mailed on November 23, 2016 to eligible Class Members who filed valid claims.

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To receive a payment, you must be a Settlement Class member and must have submitted a valid Claim Form by September 10, 2015.

Settlement award payments were mailed on November 23, 2016 to eligible Class Members who filed valid claims.

The Settlement award amounts were calculated per the terms of the Settlement. These award payments were sent as a postcard check and can be deposited or cashed like a normal check. Per the terms of the Settlement, the check is valid for 120 days. If you need to request that the check be reissued, please submit a written request that includes the claim number provided on the check stub and a phone number in case we need to contact you regarding your request to:

Gehrich TCPA Settlement
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 35112
Seattle, WA 98124

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The TCPA permits consumers who receive automated calls or texts to their cell phones without their “prior express consent” to recover actual damages or $500 in statutory damages per call or text. If the consumer proves that calls were placed or texts were sent “willfully,” the consumer can recover up to $1,500 in statutory damages per call or text.

The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement has already passed. Unless you properly excluded yourself, you are a Settlement Class Member. This means you cannot sue, continue to sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Chase on the TCPA claims, and other related claims, that are subject to the Settlement. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

The Settlement Agreement specifically describes the claims you are releasing (“Released Claims” or “Release”) in detail, so read it carefully. In summary, the Release includes, without limitation, all claims that arise out of the use by Chase or Chase affiliates, acting for or on their behalf, of an “automatic telephone dialing system” and/or an “artificial or prerecorded voice” to make “calls” to a cellular telephone (to the fullest extent that those terms are used, defined or interpreted by the TCPA, relevant regulatory or administrative promulgations and case law, and which the parties agree includes voice and text messages) attempts to contact Settlement Class Members by or on behalf of the Released Parties (as defined in the Settlement) including, but not limited to, claims under or for violations of the TCPA and any other statutory or common law claim arising from the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and/or an artificial or prerecorded voice, including any claim (to the extent that such claims may exist) under or for violation of federal or state unfair and deceptive practices statutes and violations of any federal or state debt collection practices acts (including, but not limited to, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq.).

If you have any questions about the Release or what it means, you can also talk to Class Counsel, listed under Question 11, for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer.

The Release does not apply to persons in the Settlement Class who timely exclude themselves from the Settlement.

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The deadline to exclude yourself from the Gehrich TCPA Settlement has passed. If you submitted a valid and timely exclusion, you will not get any payment, and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Chase in the future.

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The Court appointed the following law firms to represent the Settlement Class as Class Counsel:

  • Burke Law Offices, LLC;
  • Terrell Marshall Daudt & Willie PLLC;
  • Ankcorn Law Firm, PC;
  • Saeed & Little LLP;
  • Hyde & Swigart;
  • Kazerouni Law Group, APC;
  • Law Offices of Todd Friedman, P.C.; and
  • Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP.

Class Members will not be charged for these lawyers’ services. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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The Court awarded attorney fees and costs in the amount of $7,257,914.10. This payment will compensate Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case and concluding the Settlement. The Court also approved service awards of $1,500 each for the five Representative Plaintiffs to compensate them for their time and effort ($7,500 total).

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The deadline to object or comment on all or part of the Gehrich TCPA Settlement was September 10, 2015.

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The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on October 22, 2015 to decide whether to approve the Settlement, including whether and in what amounts to award Class Counsel attorneys' fees and costs and Class Representative service awards. The deadline for Class Counsel to file a supplemental brief regarding attorneys' fees was November 5, 2015. The deadline for any objector to file a supplemental brief regarding attorneys' fees was November 17, 2015. A further Status Hearing was held December 15, 2015. The Court issued its Final Approval Order on March 2, 2016, approving the Settlement.

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The Final Approval Hearing was held on October 22, 2015.

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If you are a Settlement Class Member and do nothing, you will not receive a cash payment after the Court approves the Settlement and any appeals are resolved. In order to receive a payment, you must have submitted a valid and timely Claim Form by September 10, 2015. Unless you submit a timely and valid request for exclusion as set out under Question 10, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Chase about the legal issues in this case, and all the decisions and judgments by the Court in this case will bind you, as will the Releases.

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This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You may review the Settlement Agreement on the Court Documents page, where you will also find answers to common questions about the Settlement, plus other information to help you determine whether you are part of the Settlement Class and whether you are eligible for a payment. You may request a mailed copy of the Settlement Agreement by calling the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-877-899-2893 or writing to: Gehrich TCPA Settlement, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 35112, Seattle, WA 98124-5112.

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