NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

If you received a letter from Patenaude & Felix, APC ("Defendant") relating to your Target credit card account from May 22, 2018 and May 22, 2019, you could be entitled to benefits under a class action settlement.

United States District Court, Southern District of California
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

READ THIS NOTICE AND INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY

This notice is to inform you about a proposed settlement that would resolve the claims against Defendant in the class action lawsuit, Amanda Acosta v. Patenaude & Felix, A Professional Corporation, case number 3:19-cv-00954-CAB-BGS, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California (the "Lawsuit"). The Lawsuit alleges that Defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") by sending a certain form of collection letter relating to consumers' Target credit card accounts. Defendant denies all liability in the case. The settlement, which must be approved by the Court, would resolve the claims against Defendant in the Lawsuit.

1. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION?

A class action is a lawsuit in which a class representative is empowered to bring claims on behalf of a group of similarly situated “Class Members.” In a class action, the final outcome of the lawsuit (whether positive or negative) will apply equally to all individuals who fall within the class definition, unless they exclude themselves from the class by the Court-established deadline.

2. WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT CLASSES IN THIS CASE?

Solely for purposes of effectuating this settlement, U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo has certified the following Settlement Class (the “Class”) including:

All consumers in the United States who were sent a letter that is identical to or is substantially the same form as the Letter, which seeks to collect an alleged consumer debt, within one year prior to the filing of this action and which was not returned as undeliverable.

3. WHO REPRESENTS THE CLASSES?

The Court has approved Amanda Acosta to serve as the class representative of the Settlement Class and appointed the following attorneys as Counsel for the Class: G. Thomas Martin, III and Nicholas J. Bontrager of the law firm Martin & Bontrager, APC in Los Angeles, California.

4. WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?

The proposed settlement provides the following monetary relief:

Defendant will establish a $15,750.00 Settlement Fund. Settlement Class members who timely submit a claim form will receive a pro rata payment from the Settlement Fund. The amount paid on each claim will depend on the total number of claims received.

Subject to the Court’s approval, in addition to the Settlement Fund, the settlement provides for a payment of $750.00 to the named Plaintiff Amanda Acosta as a Class Representative incentive fee.

Plaintiff’s attorneys have requested payment for their fees and costs in bringing the lawsuit. The fees would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, negotiating the settlement, and monitoring compliance. The costs of administering the settlement, including the costs of any third-party Settlement Administrator, also shall be paid by Defendant separately

If any funds remain in the Settlement Fund from uncashed or undeliverable checks 60 days after all timely claims have been paid, these residual funds will be redistributed pro rata to Settlement Class members who cashed their first settlement checks after first offsetting the additional administration costs for the second distribution. Provided, however, that if the redistribution would not provide at least $5.00 to each such Settlement Class member, no redistribution will occur and the residual funds will instead be disbursed to the California Western School of Law Community Law Project as a cy pres recipient.

5. WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?

If the Court approves the Settlement, the Court will enter a Final Judgment dismissing the claims against Defendant in the Lawsuit "with prejudice." This means that any claims that were or could have been asserted against Defendant in the Lawsuit will be permanently dismissed — i.e., the effect of such a Final Judgment will be to release and discharge Defendant from all consumer-related claims under any federal, state or other law that were or could have been asserted based on the facts and circumstances alleged in the Lawsuit. When claims are “released,” that means that a person covered by the release cannot later sue or recover from Defendant or the other released parties (such as its parents, owners, subsidiaries, affiliates and employees) for any of the claims that are covered by the Release.

6. WHAT OPTIONS DO I HAVE WITH RESPECT TO THE CASE AND THE SETTLEMENT?

a. Option to Remain in Class Action:

If you are a member of the Settlement Class and wish to receive payment under the Settlement, you must submit a claim form to the Settlement Administrator by August 3, 2020. Claim forms may be obtained on the left side of this website or by contacting Class Counsel. Settlement Class members may submit an electronically verified claim form through the Settlement Website, or may download a Claim Form to be filled out, signed, and submitted physically by mail to the Settlement Administrator.

Unless you specifically ask to be excluded from the Class, you will automatically be included as a member of the Class. As a member of the Class, you will be bound by all terms of the Settlement if it is approved by the Court even if you do not submit a claim form.

If you remain in the Class, you will be represented by Class Counsel and the Class Representative. You also may hire an attorney of your own choosing to represent you in the case, but at your own expense.

If the Court grants final approval of the Settlement, you will receive any payments due you under the Settlement approximately 60 days after the date that the Court’s approval becomes final and not subject to any appeal.

b. Option to Request Exclusion from the Class:

If you do not want to be included in the Class or participate in the proposed Settlement, you must submit a request to be excluded from the Class on the form provided on the left side of this website. If you want to be excluded you must mail the form to the Settlement Administrator at the following address, and include your name, current address, telephone number, and email address, and mark the box indicating your request to be excluded. Your request for exclusion must be postmarked no later than August 3, 2020:

First Class, Inc. / J14380-Acosta
5410 W. Roosevelt Rd, Suite 222
Chicago, IL 60644-1490

If you submit a valid and timely request for exclusion from the Class, you will not be entitled to receive any benefits under the proposed Settlement, nor will you be bound by its terms or any other rulings made in the case by the Court. You may pursue any claims you may have against the Defendant by filing your own lawsuit, subject to all applicable defenses.

c. To Object to the Settlement:

If you wish to remain in the Class but object to any aspect of the Settlement, you must file a written objection with the Court by August 3, 2020. You also must serve copies of your written objection upon Class Counsel and Defendant’s counsel at the addresses listed below and postmarked no later than August 3, 2020:

G. Thomas Martin, III, Esq.
Nicholas J. Bontrager, Esq.
MARTIN & BONTRAGER, APC
6464 West Sunset Blvd, Suite 960
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Christopher D. Holt, Esq.
KLINEDINST PC
2 Park Plaza, Suite 1250
Irvine, CA 92614

Any written objection to the Settlement must contain your name, current address, telephone number, and email address, as well as the substance of your objection(s). You may also appear in person at the final hearing to be held as stated below in order to explain your objection(s). You may hire an attorney at your own expense to represent you at this hearing and to make objections to the Settlement.

Only Class Members who object to the proposed Settlement in accordance with these procedures will be permitted to appeal or otherwise seek review of any decision by the Court approving the proposed Settlement. Class Members who fail to present objections to the proposed Settlement Agreement in the manner provided above shall be deemed to have waived any such objections and shall be forever foreclosed from making any objections (by appeal or otherwise) to the proposed Settlement.

7. WHEN WILL THE COURT DECIDE WHETHER TO APPROVE THE SETTLEMENT?

On September 10, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., at the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Courtroom 4C, 221 West Broadway, San Diego, California, Toll-Free Number: (888) 398-2342; Paid/International Toll: (215) 861-0674; Access Code: 1749358), the Court will conduct a Final Settlement Approval Hearing to determine whether the proposed Settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable, and should be granted final approval. The date and time of the Final Settlement Approval Hearing is subject to change without further notice.

8. HOW CAN I OBTAIN FURTHER INFORMATION?

This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. You may seek the advice and guidance of your own private attorney, at your own expense, if you desire. For the precise terms and conditions of the settlement, please see the settlement agreement available on the left side of this website, or contact Class Counsel using the information below. You also may examine and copy pleadings and other records in this litigation at any time during regular office hours at the Office of the Clerk, United States District Court, Southern District of California, 333 West Broadway, Suite 420, San Diego, California 92101.

9. CONTACT INFORMATION

Please do not contact the Court, the Court Clerk’s office, or Defendant’s Counsel with questions about this settlement. Any questions must be directed to the Settlement Administrator:

First Class, Inc. / J14302-Chan
5410 W. Roosevelt Road, Suite 222
Chicago, IL 60644-1490
(844) 205-6410

or Class Counsel:

G. Thomas Martin, III, Esq.
Nicholas J. Bontrager, Esq.
MARTIN & BONTRAGER, APC
6464 West Sunset Blvd, Suite 960
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 940-1700