United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin, Green Bay Division
JACQUELYN A. VANDEHEY on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
ALLIANCEONE RECEIVABLES MANAGEMENT, INC. and, JOHN AND JANE DOES No. 1 THROUGH 10, Defendants.
FINAL APPROVAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH CHIEF JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
consideration of the Parties' request for final approval
of the Class Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”)
between Plaintiff, Jacquelyn A. Vandehey, individually and as
representative of the class of persons defined below
(“Settlement Class”), and Defendant, AllianceOne
Receivables Management, Inc. (“AllianceOne”), the
Court orders and finds as follows:
Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this
lawsuit, Plaintiff, the Class Members, and AllianceOne.
following Settlement Class is certified pursuant to
All persons to whom AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc.
mailed an initial written to an address in the State of
Wisconsin, between March 27, 2017 and April 17, 2018, which
sought to collect a defaulted debt whose balance had been
charged-off, and which: (i) listed “Interest” and
or “Non-Interest Charges/Fees” as $0.00; (ii)
conveyed an “offer” for a reduced amount if paid
“within 40 days of receiving [the letter];” and
(iii) stated AllianceOne “will notify our client that
you have paid your account.”
Based on the Parties' stipulations: (A) the Settlement
Class as defined is sufficiently numerous such that joinder
is impracticable; (B) common questions of law and fact
predominate over any questions affecting only individual
Class members, and included whether or not AllianceOne
allegedly violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.§ 1692, et seq. by mailing
consumers collection letters that: (i) falsely imply the debt
may increase due to interest, late charges, and other
charges, and (ii) make false representations that the
settlement “offer” being made is a
one-time-take-it-or-leave-it offer; (C) Plaintiff's claim
is typical of the Class Members' claims; (D) Plaintiff is
an appropriate and adequate representative for the Class and
her attorneys, Stern• Thomasson LLP, are hereby
appointed Class Counsel; and (E) a class action is the
superior method for the fair and efficient adjudication of
the claims of the Settlement Class.
Court approved a form of notice for mailing to the Settlement
Class. The Court is informed that actual notice was sent by
first class mail to 755 Class Members by
Class-Settlement.com, the third-party settlement
administrator (“Settlement Administrator”). A
total of 68 envelopes were returned by the United States
Postal Service, 13 of which were returned with forwarding
addresses and successfully re-mailed. None of the Class
Members requested exclusion from, or objected to, the
May 15, 2019, the Court held a fairness hearing to which
Class Members, including any with objections, were invited,
but none appeared to voice any objection.
Court finds that provisions for notice to the class satisfy
the requirements due process pursuant to the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, including Rule 23, the United States
Constitution and any other applicable law.
Court finds that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and
adequate and hereby finally approves the Parties'
Agreement, including the Release and payments by AllianceOne.
the Effective Date, as that term is defined in the Agreement,
(a) Create a class settlement fund of $23, 070.00, which
Class Counsel through the Settlement Administrator will
distribute pro rata to each Class Member whose Class
Notice was not returned as undeliverable and who did not
him/herself from the Settlement. Class Members will receive
their share of the Class Recovery by check, which shall
become void sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. Any
checks that have not been cashed by the void date, along with
any unclaimed funds remaining in the Class Recovery will be
disbursed in the following order: (i) to pay the costs
associated with providing notice to Class Members and
administering the Class Recovery; and (ii) any remainder
donated as a cy pres award to Legal Action of
(b) Pay Plaintiff $1, 500.00.
(c) Pay Class Counsel $30, 000.00 for their attorneys'
fees and costs incurred in the action based on their
submitted hourly rates and time expended. Class Counsel shall
not request additional fees ...