Garcia v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

Answers

1. What is this lawsuit about?

Answer:

This lawsuit claims that Nationstar violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Washington state Collection Agency Act by charging consumers paying their mortgage payments online or over the phone extra convenience fees when those charges were not authorized by their loan agreements. Nationstar denies it violated any law. The Court has not determined who is right. Rather, the Parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation.

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2. Why is there a Settlement?

Answer:

The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or the Defendant should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation sooner rather than, if at all, after the completion of a trial.

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3. How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?

Answer:

The Court decided that everyone who fits the following description are members of the Settlement Class:

The approximately 182,295 United States residents from November 17, 2014 to May 25, 2018 and/or 6,098 Washington State residents from November 11, 2011 to May 25, 2018 who were charged Convenience Fees for making over-the-phone or online payments to Nationstar for their residential mortgages, and when those debts were at least 30 days past due when Nationstar began servicing them.

The Settlement Class is limited to these dates because of something called a “statute of limitations,” which sets a deadline by which you must sue for violation of a law. Of the claims alleged in this lawsuit, under the Washington state Collection Agency Act the deadline is four years, and under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act it is one year. Therefore Settlement Class Members may sue for violations of the Washington state Collection Agency Act from November 11, 2011 to May 25, 2018 and violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act from November 17, 2014 to May 25, 2018.


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4. What does the Settlement provide?

Answer:

Monetary Relief: Defendants have created a Settlement Fund totaling $3,875,000. Class Member payments, as well as the cost to administer the Settlement, the cost to inform people about the Settlement, attorneys’ fees and an award to the Class Representative will also come out of this fund.

Ongoing Protections: In addition to this monetary relief, Nationstar has agreed to inform consumers of all fees it charges and represents that it has ceased charging Convenience Fees to make payments online.

A detailed description of the Settlement benefits can be found in the Settlement Agreement which can also be found on the Documents section of this website.

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5. How much will my payment be?

Answer:

If you are member of the Settlement Class you may submit a Claim Form to receive a portion of the Settlement Fund remaining after costs to administer the Settlement, attorneys’ fees and costs, and an award to the Plaintiff are paid. Each Class Member who files a valid claim will receive a proportionate share of the Settlement Fund remaining after these deductions based on the number of times they were charged a Convenience Fee when making mortgage payments. The amount of this payment will depend on how many of the Class Members file valid claims and how many times each Class Member was charged a Convenience Fee. Assuming 11–20% of the class submits a valid claim, Class Members are estimated to be paid $8.57 – $15.57 for each time that they were charged a Convenience Fee. For example, if you paid a Convenience Fee twice, you’re estimated to receive $17.14 – $31.14, if you paid a Convenience Fee three times, you’re estimated to receive $25.71 – $46.71.

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6. When will I get my payment?

Answer:

The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for October 17, 2018. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Class Members whose claims were approved by the Settlement Administrator will receive their payment within 90 days of the Final Approval Hearing in the form of a check, and all checks will expire and become void 90 days after they are issued.

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7. How do I get a payment?

Answer:

If you are a Class Member and you want to get a payment, you must complete and submit a Claim Form by October 3, 2018. If you were both a Washington and United States resident during the relevant time periods, you can only submit a single claim form for a pro rata payment. Claim Forms can be found and submitted online or you may have received a Claim Form in the mail as a postcard attached to a summary of the notice. To request a paper copy, go to the Documents section of this website or call toll free, 1-844-412-1947.

We encourage you to submit your claim online. Not only is it easier and more secure, but it is completely free and takes only minutes!


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8. What am I giving up if I stay in the Class?

Answer:

If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue Nationstar for the claims being resolved by this Settlement related to the Convenience Fees. The specific claims you are giving up against Nationstar are described in the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” Nationstar as described in Section 10 of the Settlement Agreement. Unless you exclude yourself, you are “releasing” the claims, regardless of whether you submit a claim or not. The Settlement Agreement is available on this website under the Documents section of this website.


The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the lawyers listed below in Question 10 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.


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9. What happens if I do nothing at all?

Answer:

If you do nothing, you won’t get any benefits from this Settlement. But, unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Nationstar for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.

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10. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

Answer:

The Court has appointed Rafey S. Balabanian of Edelson PC and D. Frank Davis of Davis & Norris, LLP to be the attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called “Class Counsel.” They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

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11. How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

Nationstar has agreed to pay Class Counsel attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount to be determined by the Court. The fee petition will seek no more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the Settlement Fund, plus reimbursement of their costs and expenses; the Court may award less than this amount. Under the Settlement Agreement, any amount awarded to Class Counsel will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

Class Counsel will file their motion for attorney’s fees no later than August 20, 2018, and a copy of the motion will be available on this website at a future date.

Subject to approval by the Court, Nationstar has agreed to pay the Class Representative a reasonable amount to be determined by the Court. This will be paid from the Settlement Fund for her services in helping to bring and settle this case.

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12. How do I get out of the Settlement?

Answer:

To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must mail or otherwise deliver a letter (or request for exclusion) stating that you want to be excluded from the settlement in Garcia v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, Case No. 2:15-cv-1808 TSZ. Your letter or request for exclusion must also include your name, your address, a statement that you were charged a Convenience Fee for paying your home mortgage to Nationstar over the phone or online, your signature, the name and number of this case, and a statement that you wish to be excluded. You must mail or deliver your exclusion request, postmarked no later than September 6, 2018 to:

Garcia v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC Settlement c/o Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 8387
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8387

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13. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue the Defendant for the same thing later?

Answer:

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Nationstar for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.

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14. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from the Settlement?

Answer:

No. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for benefits.

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15. How do I object to the Settlement?

Answer:

If you’re a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must file with the Court a letter or brief stating that you object to the Settlement in Garcia v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, Case No. 2:15-cv-01808 TSZ and identify all your reasons for your objections (including citations and supporting evidence) and attach any materials you rely on for your objections. If you have a lawyer, they must file an appearance and submit your objection through the court’s e-filing system. Your letter or brief must also include your name, your address, the basis upon which you claim to be a Class Member (including a statement that you were charged a convenience fee for paying your home mortgage payment to Nationstar over the phone or online), the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with your objection, and your signature. You must also mail or deliver a copy of your letter or brief to Class Counsel and Nationstar’s Counsel listed below.

If you want to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement, with or without a lawyer, you should say so in your letter or brief. File the objection with the Court and mail a copy to these two different places postmarked no later than September 6, 2018. However, even if you fail to object by the deadline, or fail to properly file your objection, you can still appear at the Final Approval Hearing and address the Court.

Court 

The Hon. Thomas S. Zilly
Suite 15206,
United States District Court,
700 Stewart Street,
Seattle, WA 98101 

Class Counsel

Rafey S. Balabanian
Edelson PC
123 Townsend Street Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94107

Defendants’ Counsel

Kalama M. Lui-Kwan
Severson & Werson, PC
One Embarcadero Center, Suite 2600
San Francisco, CA 94111

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16. What's the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?

Answer:

Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself from the Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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17. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing at 10:00 a.m. PT on October 17, 2018 in Courtroom 15206 at the United States District Court, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington. The purpose of the hearing will be for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; to consider the Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses; and to consider the request for a case contribution award to the Class Representative. At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.

The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time without notice, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates or call 1-844-412-1947. If, however, you timely objected to the Settlement and advised the Court that you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you will receive notice of any change in the date of such Final Approval Hearing.


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18. Do I have to come to the hearing? May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection or comment, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you filed and mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. Even if you fail to file your objection on time or fail to file the proper papers, you may still appear at the hearing and address the Court. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but it’s not required.

Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the final hearing to determine the Settlement’s fairness. To do so, you should include in your letter or brief objecting to the Settlement a statement saying that it is your “Notice of Intent to Appear in United States District Court, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington.” It should include your name, address, telephone number and signature as well as the name and address of your lawyer, if one is appearing for you. Your objection and notice of intent to appear must be filed with the Court and postmarked no later than August 27, 2018, and be sent to the addresses listed in Question 15 above. Even if you fail to file your objection on time or fail to file the proper papers, you may still appear at the hearing and address the Court.

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19. Where do I get more information?

Answer:

The Class Notice summarizes the Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement and on this site. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement on this website. You may also write with questions to Garcia v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC Settlement c/o Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 8387, Philadelphia, PA 19101-8387. You can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-844-412-1947 or Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015, if you have any questions. Before doing so, however, please read the full Class Notice carefully. You may also find additional information elsewhere on this website.

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This website is authorized by the Court, supervised by counsel and controlled by the Settlement Administrator approved by the Court. This is the only authorized website for this case.

For more information please call (844) 412-1947

Documents

Please read for a full explanation of the settlement and your options and all applicable timelines.

Contact

Contact us with any inquiries, comments, and/or requests.

Submit Claim

Click here to safely and securely submit a Claim Form.

Important Dates

  • Exclusion Deadline

    Thursday, September 6, 2018 You must complete and mail your request for exclusion form so that it is postmarked no later than September 6, 2018.
  • Objection Deadline

    Thursday, September 6, 2018 You must mail your objection(s) and/or notice of intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing so that it/they are postmarked no later than September 6, 2018.
  • Claim Form Deadline

    Wednesday, October 3, 2018 You must submit your Claim Form on-line no later than Wednesday October 3, 2018, or mail your completed paper Claim Form so that it is postmarked no later than October 3, 2018.
  • Final Approval Hearing Date.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2018 The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for October 17, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Please check this website for updates.

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