LaRocque v. TRS Recovery Services, Inc.
www.TRSclassaction.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Hint: Using the general subject of your question may provide the best search results. For example, enter the word "hearing" in the search box to find information about the Settlement's Fairness Hearing.



1 What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit claimed that TRS Recovery Services sent a letter, known as a “RECR3” letter, that misled people by (1) saying that TRS would create paper “drafts” and submit them to consumer’s banks, when it was not allowed to do so; and (2) referring to “any applicable state tax” without describing the amount of that tax. The lawsuit also claimed that TRS or TeleCheck unlawfully collected money within 30 days of having sent the collection letter. And, the lawsuit claimed that TRS or TeleCheck collected from Maine consumers without providing notice required by Maine state law. TRS and TeleCheck deny that they did anything wrong. The Complaint and Answer to the Complaint are available on this website on the Court Documents Tab.

If you received a collection letter from TRS Recovery Services in the United States or its Territories, or if you paid a returned check fee in Maine to TRS or TeleCheck, you could have received a payment from a class action settlement. The notice package and this website explain the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the District of Maine, and the cases included in this class action are LaRocque v. TRS Recovery Services, Inc., No. 2:11-cv-91-DBH and In Re: TRS Recovery Services, Inc. and TeleCheck Services, Inc., Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Litigation, No. 2:13-md-2426-DBH. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs, and the companies they sued, TRS Recovery Services and TeleCheck Services, are called the Defendants.

(collapse all)

2 Why is this a class action?

In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case Jean LaRocque and Melissa Allen), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby is in charge of this class action.

(collapse all)

3 Why is there a settlement?

The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or the Defendants. There was no trial. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement after years of pre-trial litigation, including mediation sessions in front of the Honorable Margaret Hinkle in Boston, MA. By reaching a settlement agreement (which is available on the Court Documents Tab), the parties avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Class Representatives and the attorneys think the settlement is best for all Class Members.

(collapse all)

4 How do I know if I am part of the settlement?

Judge Hornby decided that everyone who fits one of these three descriptions is a Class Member:

Settlement Class 1:
All natural persons with an address in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands to whom the defendant TRS sent its RECR3 letter between March 11, 2010 and July 30, 2015.

Settlement Class 1 Subclass:
All natural persons with an address in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands to whom the defendant TRS sent its RECR3 letter between March 11, 2010 and July 30, 2015, and from whom one or both defendants collected in whole or in part, within 30 days of the RECR3 letter, the debt or returned check fee referenced in that RECR3 letter.

Settlement Class 2:
All natural persons who have paid a returned check fee of $25.00 to at least one of the defendants by way of a TRS demand draft in connection with an underlying check transaction that occurred in the State of Maine between March 11, 2005 and July 30, 2015.

(collapse all)

5 How do I know if I received a RECR3 letter?

If you received a Postcard Notice of the class action by mail, records show that you probably received a RECR3 collection letter from TRS. You can also tell if you received such a letter if “RECR3” appears on the front page of the collection letter you received. You do not need to have kept a copy of the RECR3 letter to be included in the settlement. It is enough that you received the RECR3 letter between March 11, 2010 and July 30, 2015. If you are a member of Settlement Class 2, however, you do not need to have received a RECR3 letter to be included in the settlement.

(collapse all)

6 Are there exceptions to being included?

You are not a Class Member if you are a current or former employee, officer, director, legal representative, or agent of TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services.

(collapse all)

7 I’m still not sure if I am included.

If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can ask for free help. You can call 1-844-322-8244 or review this website for more information. The deadline to submit a valid claim form was December 22, 2015 and has passed.

(collapse all)

8 What does the settlement provide?

TRS Recovery Services has agreed to create a $3,430,000 fund to be divided among all Class Members who send in a valid timely claim form, the costs of administering the settlement, payments to the two Class Representatives for their services, and attorneys’ fees.

(collapse all)

9 How much will my payment be?

The total Settlement Fund is $3,430,000. From that amount, the lawyers have been awarded $1,050,000 for attorneys’ fees and expenses and a payment of $10,000 to the two Class Representatives was approved by the Court. The costs of administering the settlement will also be reduced from the total Settlement Fund.

Here’s how which classes you are a member of affects the size of the share you could have received from the Settlement Fund:

People who received a RECR3 letter from TRS Recovery Services received payment equally from 40% of the earmarked Settlement Fund.

People who paid money to TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services received payment equally from 60% of the earmarked Settlement Fund.

If you both paid money to TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services and received a RECR3 letter from TRS, you are eligible to receive payment twice. So those who paid money to TRS Recovery Services and received a collection letter will get more money. All of the $3,430,000 will be distributed.

Class Members who submitted timely claims were mailed a check on May 12, 2016. Eligible members of Settlement Class 1 received $20.37. Eligible members of Settlement Class 2 received $39.32. Eligible claimants who were members of both Settlement Class 1 and Settlement Class 2 and/or Settlement Class 1 Subclass received $59.69.

(collapse all)

10 How can I get a payment?

To qualify for payment, you must have sent in a claim form via mail or file a claim online. If you received a Postcard Notice by mail, a claim form was attached. You may have also got a claim form through the Claim Form tab on this website. The claim form must have been completed and submitted or postmarked by December 22, 2015. You could have filed a claim online by December 22, 2015.

(collapse all)

11 When would I get my payment?

The Court held a hearing on January 21, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., to decide whether to approve the settlement. Judge Hornby has approved the settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate.

Class Members who submitted a timely claim form were mailed a check on May 12, 2016.

(collapse all)

12 What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?

Unless you excluded yourself, you are staying in the class, and that means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services about the legal issues in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

(collapse all)

13 How do I get out of the settlement?

If you don’t want a payment from this settlement, but you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services, on your own, about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out. This is called excluding yourself–or is sometimes referred to as opting out of the Settlement Class.

To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must have sent a letter by mail stating that you wanted to be excluded from LaRocque v. TRS Recovery Services. Your exclusion request should have included your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. Your exclusion request must have been postmarked no later than December 22, 2015 to:

LaRocque v. TRS Recovery Services, Inc.
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 10123
Dublin, OH 43017-3123

If you asked to be excluded, you will not get any settlement payment, and you cannot object to the settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services in the future.

(collapse all)

14 If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services for the same thing later?

No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up any right to sue TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services for the claims that this settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must have excluded yourself from this Class to continue your own lawsuit. Remember, the exclusion deadline was December 22, 2015.

(collapse all)

15 If I exclude myself, can I get money from this settlement?

No. If you excluded yourself, do not send in a claim form to ask for any money. But, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services.

(collapse all)

16 Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The law firms of Francis & Mailman, P.C. in Philadelphia, PA, and Lewis, Saul & Associates, P.C. in Portland, ME represent you and other Class Members. The contact information for these law firms is:

FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C. LEWIS SAUL & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
100 S. Broad Street, 19th Fl.
Philadelphia, PA 19110
(215) 735-8600 or 1-877-735-8600
183 Middle Street, Suite 200
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 874-7407

These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

(collapse all)

17 How will the lawyers be paid?

The Court has awarded attorneys' fees and cost in the total amount fo $1,050,000, to be paid from the Settlement Fund. The attorneys’ fees are to pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement. The amount that the Court awards reduces the $3,430,000 available for Class Members. The costs of administering the settlement will also partially come out of the $3,430,000 Settlement Fund.

(collapse all)

18 How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the settlement?

If you’re a Class Member, you could have objected to the settlement if you didn’t like any part of it. To object, you must have sent a letter saying that you object to LaRocque v. TRS Recovery Services. The submitted objection should have included your name; the city and state in which you live; the reasons you object to the settlement; whether you plan to come to the Final Hearing and you (or anyone else) want to speak; if you have a lawyer (who is not one of the lawyers for the class), the name of the lawyer(s) representing you; and if they exist, any agreements relating to your objection or the process of objecting. The submitted objection should have been mailed to these three different places postmarked no later than December 22, 2015:

COURT CLASS COUNSEL DEFENSE COUNSEL
Clerk of the Court
District of Maine
156 Federal Street
Portland, ME 04101
Francis & Mailman, P.C.
100 S. Broad Street, 19th Fl.
Philadelphia, PA 19110
Donald R. Frederico
Pierce Atwood, LLP
100 Summer Street, Suite 2250
Boston, MA 02110

(collapse all)

19 What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself 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.

(collapse all)

20 When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement (Fairness Hearing)?

The Court held a Fairness Hearing on January 21, 2016, at the United States District Court for the District of Maine, 156 Federal Street, Portland, ME 04101, in Courtroom Two. At this hearing the Court was asked to consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and whether the requested payments to Class Counsel and Class Representatives were proper. The Court, in its February 10, 2016 Order, has approved the settlement and requested payments to Class Counsel and Class Representatives.

(collapse all)

21 Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?

The Fairness Hearing was held on January 21, 2016.

(collapse all)

22 May I speak at the hearing?

The Fairness Hearing was held on January 21, 2016.

(collapse all)

23 What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you did nothing, you’ll get no money from this settlement. But, unless you excluded yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against TRS Recovery Services or TeleCheck Services about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

(collapse all)

24 How do I get more information?

This website summarizes the settlement. More details–including the Settlement Agreement, the Complaint and Answer, answers to common questions, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you were eligible for payment—are available at www.TRSclassaction.com. You can also request this information by calling 1-844-322-8244 toll free or writing to the Settlement Administrator at LaRocque v. TRS Recovery Services, Inc., c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10123, Dublin, OH 43017-3123. You may also speak to one of the attorneys working on this class action by calling: 1-877-735-8600 or emailing the attorneys at the following address: info@consumerlawfirm.com.

(collapse all)