NOI Redemption Settlement | Class Action Notice


PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY AS IT AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.

If your vehicle was repossessed or voluntarily surrendered between November 25, 2010 and April 25, 2015 and you were assessed a deficiency balance at any time after you received a “Notice of Intention to Dispose of Motor Vehicle” (“Notice”) from American Honda Finance Corporation (which also does business as Honda Financial Services) (“AHFC”) that denied the right to reinstate and did not give a reason for that denial, you may receive benefits from this class action settlement.
  • The settlement resolves a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs alleged that AHFC violated California law relating to “Notices of Intention to Dispose of Motor Vehicle” (“Notice”) sent to consumers.
  • AHFC has identified approximately 1,950 accounts that are covered by this settlement (as defined under “Who is a Class Member?” below) with respect to which AHFC issued a Notice that only gave the consumer the right to redeem the Motor Vehicle and not the right to reinstate and did not provide a statement for the reasons denying the right to reinstate.
  • Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, AHFC has agreed to provide relief to Settlement Class members who do not opt out of the settlement from any outstanding post-repossession deficiency balances and to submit requests to credit reporting agencies to delete AHFC’s tradeline.
  • The settlement will also provide a refund of 50% of the amount paid by Settlement Class members on their post-repossession deficiency balances.
  • This notice is provided to individuals whom AHFC has identified as being part of the Settlement Class.
  • This notice is being sent to you pursuant to Court order because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about your choices, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement.
  • Your legal rights are affected whether you act or you do not act. Please read this notice carefully.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS LAWSUIT
Do Nothing You will get credit repair, any outstanding deficiency balance will be waived, and you will give up the right to be part of any other lawsuit against AHFC about the legal claims in this case. If you paid any part of a post-repossession deficiency balance, you will receive a refund of 50% of the amount you paid.
Exclude Yourself You get no credit repair, debt relief or monetary refund. This is the only option that allows you to be part of any other lawsuit against AHFC about the legal claims in this case. To exclude yourself from the Class, you must send a written request to Class Counsel no later than February 11, 2016.
Object You may tell the Court about why you don’t like this settlement. However, you will remain in the Class and give up the right to be part of any other lawsuit against AHFC about the legal claims in this case. To object to the settlement, you must file a written objection with the Court and mail a copy to the Class Administrator no later than February 11, 2016.
  • These rights and options, and the deadlines to exercise them, are more fully explained in this notice.
  • The Court in charge of the case is the California Superior Court – County of San Mateo, and the case is entitled Rossana Cordero and Shanell Gates v. American Honda Finance Corp. dba Honda Financial Services, Case No. CIV531470.
  • The Court still has to decide whether to approve the settlement. The benefits, including debt relief, credit repair, and monetary refund will occur after the Court approves the settlement and any appeals are resolved. Please be patient.



WHAT THIS NOTICE CONTAINS

  1. What Is this Lawsuit About?
  2. Who Is A Class Member?
  3. Why Is There a Settlement?
  4. What Are the Benefits of the Settlement?
  5. What Do I Have to Do to Obtain the Benefits as a Settlement Class Member?
  6. What are the Tax Consequences of the Settlement?
  7. Will I Give Anything Up to Receive the Settlement Benefits?
  8. How Do I Exclude Myself from the Class?
  9. Can I Object to the Settlement?
  10. What Happens If I Do Nothing?
  11. Do I Have a Lawyer in this Lawsuit?
  12. When Will the Court Decide Whether to Approve the Settlement?
  13. How Do I Get More Information?
1. What Is this Lawsuit About?
This lawsuit alleges that AHFC violated California laws regarding the sending of post-vehicle repossession notices to consumers. The people who sued are Rossana Cordero and Shanell Gates. They are called the “Plaintiffs.” The company that Plaintiffs sued is AHFC; it is called the “Defendant.” Plaintiffs claim that Defendant sent consumers post-vehicle repossession notices that did not disclose all the information required by California law. As a result, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant is not entitled to collect any post-repossession deficiency balances from consumers who received the defective notices.

2. Who Is A Class Member?
In a class action, one or more people (in this case Plaintiffs Rossana Cordero and Shanell Gates) sue and seek relief on behalf of a larger group of people who they believe have similar claims. Together, all these people form a Class and are called Class Members, and the Plaintiffs act as Class Representatives. One court will resolve the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

The Class Members are defined as, all persons who:

  1. financed the purchase of a motor vehicle through Honda Financial Services; and
  2. who had their Motor Vehicle repossessed or voluntarily surrendered their motor vehicle between November 25, 2010 and April 25, 2015; and
  3. who were issued a written notice of intent to dispose of the repossessed or surrendered Motor Vehicle within the meaning of Civil Code § 2983.2 (“NOI” or “Notice”) by Honda Financial Services that:
    1. only gave the individual the right to redeem the Motor Vehicle and not the right to reinstate; and
    2. did not provide a statement of reasons denying the right to reinstate; and
  4. against whose account a Deficiency Balance was assessed.
If you received a copy of Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement in the mail, Defendant’s records show that you are a member of the Settlement Class because you were issued a Notice by AHFC that only gave you the right to redeem the motor vehicle and not the right to reinstate and did not provide a statement of reasons denying the right to reinstate. If you have further questions about whether you are included in the Settlement Class, you may contact Class Counsel at the address and telephone number stated at the bottom of this notice.

3. Why Is There a Settlement?
The Court has not decided who is right or wrong in this lawsuit. There has been no trial. Nevertheless, the parties are willing to enter into a settlement to end the lawsuit. This way, the parties can avoid the cost of a trial, and the Class Members can obtain relief. The settlement must be approved by the Court in order for Class Members to receive the benefits described in this notice. If the settlement is not approved by the Court, the lawsuit will proceed.

4. What Are the Benefits of the Settlement?
AHFC agrees not to collect any more money from Settlement Class Members on their post-repossession deficiency balances. This means that if there was a balance remaining on your auto loan account following the repossession or voluntary surrender, AHFC will not try to collect this amount.

In addition, AHFC agrees to delete its tradelines from Settlement Class Members’ credit reports. This means that your credit report will no longer show that you have or had a credit account with AHFC, regardless of the status of the account or whether you made any payments.

AHFC also agrees to refund 50% of the amounts that Settlement Class Members paid on their post-repossession deficiency balances. If you are a Settlement Class Member who paid all or some of a deficiency balance after repossession, you will receive the non-monetary benefits described above, and in addition, you will receive a 50% refund of the amount you actually paid toward your deficiency balance.

AHFC has identified approximately 1,950 accounts that are covered by this settlement and mailed a Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement to these account holders. The total outstanding deficiency balance for the Settlement Class is approximately $8,305,210.28. AHFC further determined approximately $1,619,352.33 was collected in deficiency balances from Settlement Class Members.

5. What Do I Have to Do to Obtain the Benefits as a Settlement Class Member?
If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you do not have to do anything to receive the benefits described in this notice.

6. What are the Tax Consequences of the Settlement?
Any benefits you receive may or may not be the subject of state or federal taxation, depending on your circumstances. Counsel for the parties in this lawsuit are not tax attorneys and you are advised to seek separate legal advice on matters of taxation. If you have concerns about taxation of benefits of the case you may want to exclude yourself and receive no benefits (see your rights on how to exclude yourself from the class).

7. Will I Give Anything Up to Receive the Settlement Benefits?
In exchange for the benefits described in this notice, you must give up the right to sue or be part of any other lawsuit against AHFC about the claims based on your NOI or Notice or the facts alleged in this lawsuit. In addition, you will be bound by all orders of the Court and any judgment in this case. The settlement agreement includes a section entitled “Release of Claims” which describes exactly what you will give up to receive the settlement benefits.

If you wish to keep the right to sue AHFC about the legal issues in this case, you must exclude yourself from the Class.

8. How Do I Exclude Myself from the Class?
If you do not want to be a part of this lawsuit, you can exclude yourself from this settlement. If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to receive any benefits of this settlement. You will not be bound by any judgment or release in this lawsuit and you will keep your right to sue AHFC on your own if you want. If you request to be excluded from the Class, you may not object to the proposed settlement.

To exclude yourself from the Class, you must send a written request for exclusion to Class Counsel, by First Class Mail at the following address:

Bryan Kemnitzer, Esq.
Kristin Kemnitzer, Esq.
Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg
445 Bush Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: (800) 273-4566

Your request must be postmarked no later than February 11, 2016. Be sure to include all of the following information in your request: (1) The name of the lawsuit, Rossana Cordero et al. v. American Honda Finance Corp. dba Honda Financial Services, San Mateo County Superior Court, Case No. CIV531470, (2) Your full name and current address, (3) A statement of your intent to exclude yourself, (4) Your signature and the date you signed it.

9. Can I Object to the Settlement?
If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you may object to the settlement if you disagree with any part of it. To object to the settlement, you must send a written objection to the Class Administrator AND to the Court by First Class Mail to the following addresses:

Settlement Administrator
Cordero Class Action Settlement
P.O. Box 2718
Torrance, CA 90509
Superior Court of San Mateo
400 County Center
Department 2, Courtroom 2E
Redwood City, CA 94063

Your written objection must be postmarked no later than February 11, 2016. Be sure to include all of the following information in your written objection: (1) The name of the lawsuit, Rossana Cordero et al. v. American Honda Finance Corp. dba Honda Financial Services, San Mateo County Superior Court, Case No. CIV531470, (2) Your full name and current address, (3) the reasons you object to the settlement, (4) any supporting evidence and briefing you wish to have considered in support of the objection, (5) your signature and the date of your signature. In addition, you must provide a list of all other objections submitted by you, or your counsel, to any class action settlements in any court in any court in the United States in the previous five years. If you object, you are not required to attend the Final Approval Hearing, but you may do so if they choose. Please state in your written objection if you intend to attend the Final Approval Hearing.

10. What Happens If I Do Nothing?
If you do nothing, and the settlement is approved by the Court, you will automatically have your credit report cleared, AHFC will waive further collection on your deficiency balance, and if you paid any amount toward satisfying a post-repossession deficiency balance, you will receive a refund of 50% of the amount you paid if the settlement is approved by the Court. You will also be bound by the Release of Claims described in the Settlement Agreement and Release.

11. Do I Have a Lawyer in this Lawsuit?
The Court has approved of the law firms of Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg, LLP and Chavez & Gertler, LLP to act as class counsel. These lawyers are referred to as Class Counsel. You do not have to pay Class Counsel anything at all. AHFC has agreed to pay Class Counsel the amount of $200,000.00 to compensate them for their attorney’s fees and expenses in this case. Class Counsel may also request up to an additional $50,000.00 to be paid out of any residue from uncashed checks in the settlement. The exact amount that AHFC will pay will be determined by the Court at the Final Approval Hearing described below and may be less than this amount. Attorneys’ fees and costs will be paid by AHFC and will not diminish your benefits under the settlement. If you wish to hire your own separate attorney, you have the right to do so at your own expense.

12. When Will the Court Decide Whether to Approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing to decide whether to approve of the proposed settlement. The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled on April 14, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. (subject to change by the Court without further notice), in Department 2, Courtroom 2E, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063. At this hearing, the Court will determine whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court will also decide the amount of attorneys’ fees to be paid to Class Counsel and the amount of any service award to the Class Representatives. AHFC has agreed to pay the Class Representatives $2,000 each for their service to the Class. The Court may award less than this amount.

If the Court approves the Settlement and signs the Final Order and Judgment, by operation of state law, AHFC will be enjoined and restrained from collecting on class member deficiencies.

This settlement will not take effect unless the Court approves it at the Final Approval Hearing. If the Court does not approve the settlement, Class Members will not receive the benefits described in this notice, and the rights of the parties will be determined at trial. It will be as if no settlement had been reached.

13. How Do I Get More Information?
This notice is only a summary of the proposed settlement. You may obtain information regarding the Court hearing dates from the website maintained by the Class Administrator at
www.noiredemptionsettlement.com. If you have additional questions concerning this lawsuit or the settlement, you may contact Class Counsel listed below.

The Settlement Agreement, along with records and other papers regarding this lawsuit, are on file with the Court and may be accessed online for a small fee on the Court’s website, at www.sanmateocourt.org/midx/. After arriving at the website, you will need to enter the case number 531470 to retrieve the case documents. Images of every document filed in this case may be viewed for a small charge through this website. You may also view images of every document filed in the case free of charge by using one of the computer terminal kiosks available at each court location that has a facility for civil filings. Please do not contact the Judge.

You may also call the Class Administrator directly for updates regarding the Court hearing dates at (844) 455-8054. If you have additional questions concerning this Action, Notice, or Settlement, you may contact Class Counsel.
Class Administrator:
Settlement Administrator
Cordero Class Action Settlement
P.O. Box 2718
Torrance, CA 90509
Class Counsel:
KEMNITZER, BARRON & KRIEG LLP
Bryan Kemnitzer
Kristin Kemnitzer
445 Bush Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
Telephone: (800) 273-4566

CHAVEZ & GERTLER LLP
Mark Chavez
42 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94942
Telephone: (415) 381-5599