Posted On: September 11, 2013 by Nancy Barron

Court Orders Preliminary Approval of Ally Financial Class Action

The Santa Clara Superior Court issued preliminary approval of a class action settlement in Ally Financial Inc. v Lazrovich, Case No. 111CV195659 on June 6, 2013. The case arose when the lender sued Ms. Lazrovich, as well as Pamela and Bobby Jackson, for the deficiency following repossession of their cars. Ms. Lazrovich and the Jacksons contacted the law firm Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg, which filed a cross-complaint class action against Ally Financial, formerly GMAC, alleging that post-repossession notices did not comply with California law. After years of litigation, the case settled in March 2013.

signing-docs.jpgThe “Settlement Class” is defined as all persons (excluding judgment debtors and bankruptcies):
(a) who purchased a Motor Vehicle in California under a Conditional Sale Contract and whose contract was assigned to Ally,
(b) whose Motor Vehicle was repossessed or voluntarily surrendered to Ally,
(c) who were issued an NOI by Ally between March 4, 2007 and August 2, 2011; and
(d) against whose account a Deficiency Balance was assessed.

The settlement provides significant and substantial benefits to the class. In addition to injunctive relief against Ally Financial's further collection of the deficiencies which remain unpaid - about $148,301,578.63 - Ally Financial has agreed to pay restitution of 80% of the amount borrowers paid toward any part of their deficiency balance. To get restitution or reimbursement for the amount they paid, the borrowers must return a claim form. Ally Financial's records indicate that it has collected about $6,530,953.71 and this is the amount subject to restitution.

Notice to the entire class of about 16,000 California consumers was duly served. Class members who are entitled to restitution should have received a claim form in the mail in July, and a reminder postcard or phone call in August.

The deadline to return in the claim form by mail is September 25, 2013.

Borrowers do not have to prove how much they paid; the amount is stated on the claim form and the class members only need to return the form. However, if any class member has paid more than the amount shown on the claim form, including anyone who has been subjected to further collection efforts on the account since March 2013, he or she should contact class counsel at Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg (415) 632-1900 before September 25, 2013.

Futher information can be found here.