VASSALLE v MIDLAND FUNDING LLC, ENCORE | U.S. Sixth Circuit Appeals Court Voids Nationwide Robo-Signing Settlement,

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VASSALLE v MIDLAND FUNDING LLC, ENCORE | U.S. Sixth Circuit Appeals Court Voids Nationwide Robo-Signing Settlement,

VASSALLE v MIDLAND FUNDING LLC, ENCORE | U.S. Sixth Circuit Appeals Court Voids Nationwide Robo-Signing Settlement,

Remember that $5.2 Million dollar settlement against Midland Funding for “Robo-Signing”Affidavits? As it turns out, Midland employees had been signing between 200 and 400 computer-generated affidavits per day for use in debt-collection actions, without personal knowledge of the accounts. 

These judges thought this was an unfair settlement for consumers and get this, all class members would also release Midland from any future lawsuits related to affidavits.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT

MARTHA VASSALLE; JEROME JOHNSON; HOPE
FRANKLIN; ANDREA BRENT,
Plaintiffs-Appellees,

ROBERT CLAWSON, CHRISTOPHER GUEST,
and MANUELA RIVERA (11-3961); KELLI
GRAY (11-4016); LADON HERRING, GILBERT
JAMES, and ANN RUBIO (11-4019),
Objectors-Appellants,

ELAINE PELZER (11-3814 and 11-4021),
Intervenor-Appellant,

v.

MIDLAND FUNDING LLC;MIDLAND CREDIT
MANAGEMENT, INC.; ENCORE CAPITAL
GROUP, INC.,
Defendants-Appellees.

—————-

Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Ohio at Toledo.

No. 3:11-cv-00096—David A. Katz, District Judge.

Argued: October 2, 2012

Decided and Filed: February 26, 2013

Before: MOORE and COLE, Circuit Judges; and ROSE, District Judge.*

______________
COLE, Circuit Judge. Midland Funding LLC, Midland Credit Management, Inc.,
and Encore Capital Group, Inc., the defendants-appellees, along with four plaintiffsappellees,
Andrea Brent, Martha Vassalle, Jerome Johnson, and Hope Franklin, sought
approval in district court of a nationwide class settlement that settled three related
lawsuits. The district court certified the class and approved the settlement. Eight
objectors-appellants objected to the settlement, arguing that the settlement was unfair,
unreasonable, and inadequate, that the district court abused its discretion in certifying
the nationwide settlement class, and that the notice to prospective class members did not
satisfy due process. For the following reasons, we REVERSE the district court’s order
approving the settlement, VACATE the judgment certifying the nationwide settlement
class and the award of attorney fees, and REMAND for further proceedings consistent
with this opinion.

[…]

The settlement provided for both monetary and injunctive relief. Midland agreed
to pay $5.2 million into a common fund for the benefit of the class. From this fund, class
counsel would receive attorney fees of no more than $1.5 million, and the costs of
administration. From the remainder of the fund, eligible class members who timely
returned a claim form would receive payments of $10.00 each. In fact, however, the
response rate was such that each class member would receive $17.38. In addition, the
four named plaintiffs were to receive $8,000 collectively.

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