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Jones v. Moss, Codilis, et al.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
|THERESA JONES, Plaintiff, vs. MOSS, CODILIS, STAWIARSKI; MORRIS, SCHNEIDER & PRIOR, LLP; GERALD R. MOSS; CODILIS & STAWIARSKI, PC.; ERNEST J. CODILIS; LEO C. STAWIARSKI, JR.; MORRIS, SCHNEIDER & PRIOR, LLC; ARTHUR J. MORRIS; THOMAS E. PRIOR; RANDOLPH SCHNEIDER; FEIN, SUCH, KAHN & SHEPARD, P.C.; ALAN F. SUCH; WELTMAN, WEINBERG & REIS CO., LPA; LARRY R. ROTHENBERG; BOLES, BOLES & RYAN, P.L.C.; and WILLIAM R. BOLES, JR. Defendants.||
No. 00 C 7743
Magistrate Judge Keys
NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
TO: (a) All persons who were mailed a form collection letter from Moss, Codilis in the form represented by Exhibit A; (b) on or after December 11, 1999; (c) in connection with attempts to collect a residential mortgage loan on property located at the same address to which the letter is sent, and (d) which letters were not returned by the Postal Service.
PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY
THIS IS NOT A NOTICE OF A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU.
YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM READING THIS NOTICE.
I. WHY ARE YOU RECEIVING THIS NOTICE?
This Notice informs you, pursuant to Rule 23(c)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that there is a settlement in a class action lawsuit pending, entitled Jones v. Moss, Codilis et at., 00 C 7743 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. You have been identified as a member of this class.
II. WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?
Plaintiff, Theresa Jones, filed this class action lawsuit against Moss, Codilis, Stawiarski, Morris, Schneider & Prior, L.L.P.; Gerald R. Moss; Codilis & Stawiarski, P.C.; Ernest J. Codilis; Leo C. Stawiarski, Jr.; Morris, Schneider & Prior, LLC; Arthur J. Morris; Thomas B. Prior; and Randolph Schneider; Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, P.C.; Alan F. Such; Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A.; Larry R. Rothenberg; Boles, Boles & Ryan, P.L.C.; and William Boles, Jr. (“Defendants”) alleging that Defendants violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692 et al. (“FDCPA”), by sending letters to collect on residential mortgage loans, which letters fail to properly state the amount of the debt owed.
Defendants deny that the letters violated the FDCPA and therefore maintain that they are not liable to the plaintiff or any class member.
III. WHO IS IN THE CLASS?
(a) All persons who were mailed a form collection letter from Defendants in the form represented by Exhibit A; (b) on or after December 11, 1999; (c) in connection with attempts to collect a residential mortgage loan on property located at the same address to which the letter is sent, and (d) which letters were not returned by the Postal Service.
You have received this notice because you have been identified as a class member. Defendants presently estimate that there are 1382 persons in the class, and consent to the certification of the above class strictly for settlement purposes.
IV. WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS?
On December 28, 2001, the Court preliminarily approved a settlement in this action. According to the terms of the settlement, plaintiff Theresa Jones receives $1000 for her services as class representative and plaintiff’s counsel, Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC receive $18,000 in fees. In addition, $11,000 in benefits will be distributed pro rata among class members who send in a claim form, but no class member shall receive more than $1,000 under any circumstance. If payment of $1,000 to each class member returning a claim form does not exhaust the $11,000, the remainder will be distributed to a charity of plaintiff’s counsel’s choice, to be determined later, on a cy pres basis. Plaintiff’s counsel estimates that each class member’s pro rata share of the settlement will be no more than $8.00.
Each class member who has not timely and properly opted out as well as their heirs, assigns, successors and personal representatives, shall be deemed fully to release and forever discharge Defendants and each of its past and present parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, predecessors, and assigns, and its present and former directors, officers, attorneys, insurers, accountants, employees and agents (“Released Parties”), with respect to all claims, controversies, causes of action, demands, torts, damages, costs, attorneys’ fees and liabilities of any kind whatsoever in law or equity, related to or arising out of the receipt of any collection letters from Defendants up to the date of settlement. However, claims related to Moss Codilis’ processing of funds actually paid to Moss Codilis and the application of those funds to the proper account with Moss Codilis are not being released or settled.
V. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Participate in the class settlement. If you wish to receive a portion of the settlement proceeds, you must return the form at the end of this notice indicating that you wish to participate in the settlement on or before April 30, 2002. You will be represented by the attorneys for plaintiffs without charge. Or if you prefer, you may enter your own appearance or ask the Court to allow you to participate through your own attorney. If you wish to participate through your own attorney, an appearance must be filed with the Court by April 30, 2002.
2. Opt out. You have the right to exclude yourself (“opt out”) from both the class action and the settlement by filing a request for exclusion with the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, and serving copies of the request on the persons listed under “Who Represents the Class?” below and also on: (1) David J. Chizewer and Tracy E. Katz, GOLDBERG, KOHN, BELL, BLACK, ROSENBLOOM & MORITZ, LTD., 55 East Monroe Street, Suite 3700, Chicago, IL 60603 and (2) David M. Schultz and John M. Foley, HINSHAW & CULBERTSON, 222 N. LaSalle, Suite 300, Chicago, Illinois 60601 (attorneys for Defendants). The request for exclusion must be received by the Clerk of the Court within 30 days of the date of this notice or by April 30, 2002, whichever is earlier, and must refer to the name and number of the case. Unless you plan to bring an individual claim, you will not benefit from excluding yourself. A person who elects to opt out of the action and bring an individual action might recover statutory and other damages, or might recover nothing.
3. Object. If you do object to the settlement, but do not wish to simply exclude yourself from the class action, you must submit your objection in writing to the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The objection must be received by the Clerk of the Court within 30 days of the date of this notice or by April 30, 2002, whichever is earlier. By the same date, you must also serve copies on the attorneys listed under “Who Represents the Class?,” below and on: (1) David J. Chizewer and Tracy E. Katz, GOLDBERG, KOHN, BELL, BLACK, ROSENBLOOM & MORITZ, LTD., 55 East Monroe Street, Suite 3700, Chicago, IL 60603 and (2) David M. Schultz and John M. Foley, HINSHAW & CULBERTSON, 222 N. LaSalle, Suite 300, Chicago, Illinois 60601 (attorneys for Defendants). Any objection must include the name and number of the case and a statement of the reasons why you believe that the Court should find that the proposed settlement is not in the best interests of the class. If you do file an objection and wish to be heard, you may also appear at the Fairness Hearing before Magistrate Judge Keys on May 31, 2002, at 10:00 a.m. Please note that it is not sufficient to simply state that you object. You must state reasons why the settlement should not be approved.
IMPORTANT: THE COURT REQUIRES THAT ANY REQUESTS FOR EXCLUSION OR OBJECTIONS BE RECEIVED BY THE CLERK WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE OR BY APRIL 30, 2002. IF YOU MAIL A REQUEST FOR EXCLUSION OR OBJECTION, YOU BEAR THE RISK OF ANY PROBLEM WITH THE MAILS.
If the settlement is not approved, the case will proceed as if no settlement has been attempted. Defendants retain their rights to contest whether this case should be maintained as a class action on the merits. There can be no assurance that if the settlement is not approved the class will recover more than is provided in this settlement, if indeed anything.
This description of the case is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings thus far. In order to see the complete file, you should visit the office of the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The Clerk will make the files relating to this lawsuit available to you for inspection and copying at your own expense.
This notice is only a summary of the terms of the proposed settlement. If there are any conflicts between this notice and the settlement agreement, the settlement agreement terms will prevail.
IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A DISCHARGE OF YOUR DEBT IN CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY, this notice does not affect your discharge. IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY A DEBTOR IN CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY, send a copy of this notice to your bankruptcy attorney.
VI. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW
IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THE BENEFITS TO WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED UNDER THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OUTLINED ABOVE. YOU NEED TO FILL OUT AND RETURN THE PROOF OF CLAIM FORM ATTACHED AT THE END OF THIS NOTICE. THIS PROOF OF CLAIM FORM MUST BE RECEIVED BY APRIL 30, 2002. You may also consult with and attorney (at your expense), exclude yourself from the case, or file objections, as described above. You also have the right to file an appearance in the case if you wish.
VII. WHO REPRESENTS THE CLASS?
The Court has appointed the following attorneys as Class Counsel:
Daniel A. Edelman
Francis R. Greene
EDELMAN, COMBS, LATTURNER, & GOODWIN, LLC
120 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 419-0379 (FAX)
Class Counsel represents your interests in this lawsuit. You will not be charged for their services. You may, however, hire your own attorneys at your own cost to advise you in this matter.
VIII. WHAT IS THE OPINION OF CLASS COUNSEL CONCERNING THE VALUE OF THE SETTLEMENT?
The attorneys for the class believe that this settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best Interests of all members of the class.
Class counsel believe that the payment/adjustment provided for by this settlement is fair and reasonable and that the class members should accept this settlement. While a class member who opts out might recover more in an individual case if it is brought and is successful, few such individual suits are brought under the FDCPA because it is not economical. In addition, Defendants deny any liability and the Court has not ruled on the merits of the suit. A person who elects to opt out of the action and bring an individual action might recover nothing but may get up to $1,000.
IX. IS YOUR ADDRESS CORRECT?
If this Notice was sent to you at your correct address, you do not have to do anything further to receive the payment or benefit to which you may be entitled. If it was forwarded by the Postal Service, or if it was otherwise sent to you at an address that is not current, you should immediately send a letter to the persons listed below stating your past and current addresses.
If any of the persons whose names appear on the Notice have died, or by any reason divorce or separation payments have been made by some of the persons whose names appear on the account, you should send a letter to the persons listed under Section VI “Who Represents the Class?” above explaining who is responsible for payments on the account and include any supporting documentation (such as a divorce decree).
X. WHO CAN HELP WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?
Any further questions that you or your attorney may have concerning this Notice should be directed to Class Counsel (phone number and address given above).
DO NOT ADDRESS ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CASE TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR TO THE JUDGE.
XI. FAIRNESS HEARING
You do NOT have to attend this hearing in order to receive the benefit of this settlement. At 10:00 a.m. on May 31, 2002, a hearing will be held on the fairness of the proposed settlement. At the hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed settlement. The hearing will take place before Magistrate Judge Keys in Room 2568 of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Again, attending the fairness hearing is not a precondition to receiving class benefits.
THE COURT EXPRESSES NO VIEW AS TO THE MERITS OF ANY CLAIMS OR DEFENSES ASSERTED BY ANY PARTY TO THE COMPLAINT. NEITHER THE CERTIFICATION OF THE CLASS NOR THE SENDING OF THIS NOTICE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS AN INDICATION OF THE COURT’S VIEW AS TO THE MERITS OF THIS LITIGATION. THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS NOTICE IS TO INFORM YOU OF THE PENDENCY OF THE LITIGATION SO THAT YOU MAY MAKE APPROPRIATE DECISIONS AS TO STEPS YOU MAY WISH TO TAKE, IF ANY, IN RELATION TO THIS LAWSUIT.
Date: February 6, 2002 Clerk of the Court
PROOF OF CLAIM
RE: JONES V. MOSS, CODILIS, ET AL.
Civil File No. 00 C 7743
IMPORTANT: THIS CLAIM FORM MUST BE RECEIVED ON OR BEFORE APRIL 30, 2002, AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:
Edelman, Combs & Latturner LLC
120 South LaSalle St., Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60603
Please legibly print the following information:
LAST NAME: __________________
FIRST NAME: __________________
ZIP CODE: ___________________