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Class Certification Granted in Class Action against Payday America

On Wednesday, April 26, Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel H. Mabley issued an order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel represents a class of Minnesota consumers who took out payday loans from Payday America, Inc. between October 2, 2013 and December 31, 2016. The named plaintiff and class representative, Randy Holte, filed this lawsuit in 2015 challenging several of Payday America’s practices: (1) charging fees on payday loans in excess of the maximum rates allowed for closed-end loans, (2) failing to properly disclose the annual percentage rate, and (3) engaging in prohibited debt collection practices.

The Court’s order granting class certification is available here.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel attorneys, Vildan Teske and Marisa Katz, have been appointed Class Counsel in this litigation. Marisa Katz, who briefed and argued the motion, noted, “Today’s certification order is a critical next step in our ongoing effort to stop the predatory business practice in which this defendant lends money to Minnesota’s most cash-strapped and vulnerable consumers.”

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel looks forward to its continued role in advocating for consumer lender compliance under the law and marketplace fairness.

If you have questions about the Holte v. Payday America, Inc. litigation, or believe that your consumer rights have been violated, contact us today for a confidential consultation.

Vildan Teske Presents in Program with Senator Franken in Washington D.C. on the Problems of Forced Arbitration for Servicemembers, Employees, and Consumers

On June 7, 2016, Vildan Teske presented on a panel discussing the growing and problematic use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer and employment agreements. The event, “Reforming the Ripoff Clause: Why Access to Justice Matters for Accountability and the Economy,” was hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP). It included remarks by Senator Al Franken and Congressman Don Beyer on the issue of forced arbitration, followed by a panel discussion by a group of nationally-recognized consumer advocates.  The panel included Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler who argued on behalf of consumers before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark AT&T v. Concepcion case; Julie Murray, an attorney at Public Citizen; David Halperin, attorney and public policy advocate; and Vildan Teske. The event was streamed live and is available in its entirety here.

Over the past decade, and especially in recent years, the scope and impact of these consumer and worker “ripoff clauses” have grown immensely, undermining the private attorney general system that has long protected consumers and workers from poor-quality, fraudulent, or even dangerous products, services, and work conditions. Ms. Teske spoke on a variety of access to justice issues related to forced arbitration in consumer and employment agreements, including, in particular, debunking the myth that “opt out” clauses provide a legitimate opportunity for aggrieved consumers or workers to seek justice through the public court system.  

Ms. Teske is a nationally-recognized expert on the topic of forced arbitration, and testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the topic. If you have questions about forced arbitration or other clauses that take away consumer and employee access to the public court system, contact Teske Micko today.  

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Appointed as Co-Lead Counsel Representing Class of Auto Loan Borrowers

On August 26, 2015, the Hon. Gary Oxenhandler, state court judge  in Columbia, Missouri, granted a motion to certify a class of Missouri borrowers with consumer claims against Cavalry Investments, LLC, and appointed Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel as Class Counsel.  Partners Vildan Teske and Marisa Katz are litigating this class action lawsuit along with the Missouri law firm of Angle Wilson Law LLC.

The class action lawsuit involves the sale of service contracts by certain auto dealers to consumers that require the consumers to use fluid additives before the protections of the contracts kick in.  The plaintiff class alleges that these contracts are insurance products that are being sold illegally, and that, as a result, the debt buyers that purchased these faulty loans are collecting on the loans illegally and taking advantage of consumers in violation of the law. 

Service Members to Receive Over $123 Million for Unlawful Foreclosures Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The Justice Department today announced a major victory for servicemembers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The Justice Department reached a settlement with a group of mortgage servicers for improperly foreclosing on servicemembers’ homes. The five mortgage servicers are JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. (JP Morgan Chase); Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wells Fargo & Co. (Wells Fargo); Citi Residential Lending Inc., Citibank, NA and CitiMortgage Inc. (Citi); GMAC Mortgage, LLC, Ally Financial Inc. and Residential Capital LLC (GMAC Mortgage); and BAC Home Loans Servicing LP formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP (Bank of America).

The DOJ press release is available here.

Class Action Settlement Checks Mailed to Class Members in Repossession Case

Settlement checks were mailed out today in a class action litigated on behalf of consumers in Minnesota and Missouri who were sent unlawful notices following the repossession of their vehicles. Class members will receive checks ranging from nearly $600 to more than $5,000, as well as nonmonetary benefits including the deletion of credit report trade lines regarding the subject vehicle loans and elimination of deficiency balances on those loans. Marisa Katz was the court-appointed lead counsel in the litigation.

Vildan Teske Introduces Senator Al Franken at National Consumer Rights Conference

This morning, Vildan Teske gave the introduction to Senator Al Franken, D-MN, at the plenary session of the National Consumer Rights Litigation Conference in Washington, D.C. Senator Franken addressed an audience of over 800 consumer attorneys and advocates from around the country.

Vildan Teske Asked to Testify at U.S. Senate Hearing on Forced Arbitration

Vildan Teske has been asked to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing that will explore the impact of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the ability of consumers, servicemembers, and employees to access justice through our civil court system. Vildan is a nationally-recognized expert in representing consumers and in class actions and will bring that expertise before the U.S. Senate in an attempt to further the rights of individuals against large corporations that are trying to keep legitimate claims from being filed in the civil court system.

Vildan Teske Authors National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Class Actions Manual

Vildan Teske is a contributing author of the National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Consumer Class Actions (8th Ed.) 

The eighth edition of Consumer Class Actions published by the National Consumer Law Center is now in publication.  Vildan Teske is one of the national class action lawyers who served as a contributing author for this book. Herb Newberg, author of Newberg on Class Actions has praised Consumer Class Actions stating it “[c]omprehensively guides lawyers through the entire spectrum of class action litigation. … Invaluable, succinct resource for new and experienced class action practitioners.”