Nearly 800,000 California and Pennsylvania residents may be eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit settlement involving two debt-collection companies that allegedly forced consumers into paying for “Financial Accountability” classes as part of a Bad Check Restitution Program. If approved, Class Members will receive $75 cash from the $3 million class action settlement.
Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit accuse American Corrective Counseling Services (ACCS) and National Corrective Group (NCG), which operates as Corrective Solutions, of violating various laws by making false and misleading statements and seeking and collecting fees unauthorized by law when carrying out bad check diversion programs in the names of district attorneys.
According to the Corrective Solutions class action lawsuit, ACCS and NCG would mail notices, printed on local DA’s letterhead stationery, ordering consumers who wrote checks with insufficient funds to pay hundreds of dollars to attend a “Financial Accountability” class. Consumers who didn’t pay the fee and attend the class were threatened with criminal prosecution.
American Corrective Counseling Services and National Corrective Group deny the allegations but have agreed to a $3 million class action lawsuit settlement to resolve the litigation.
Class Members of the ACCS, NCG class action lawsuit settlement include anyone who received a District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program Notice in California between January 4, 2006 and August 31, 2011 or in Pennsylvania between January 25, 2004 and August 31, 2011, which was printed on letterhead stationary from one of the District Attorneys listed on the Settlement Website: www.SmithSettlement.com.
Class Members that submit a valid Claim Form no later than February 14, 2013 will receive $75 cash from the class action lawsuit settlement. This amount may be higher or lower, depending on how many people file valid Claims.
Claim Forms and more information on your rights in the Corrective Solutions District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program Class Action Settlement can be found at www.SmithSettlement.com.
The case is Smith v. National Corrective Group, Inc., Case No. 10-cv-0010 JSW, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.
UPDATE 12/24/13: The class action settlement was rejected in December 2012 for being “problematic.” The Settlement website has been taken down, so no updates are available.
UPDATE 6/20/14:An amended class action settlement agreement was entered in August 2013, was granted final approval on May 5, 2014, and became effective May 6, 2014. Payments are expected to be mailed to Class Members in late July 2014, according to the Settlement Administrator. Settlement Class Members who received notice of the DA Bad Check Restitution Program Class Action Settlement will automatically receive payment. Those who did not receive a notice had to submit a claim by April 1, 2014 to participate. If you receive a check, let us know!
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