The Honorable Roberto Lange
United States District Judge
United States Post Office & Courthouse
25 South Pierre Street
Pierre, SD 57501
Re: Heldt et al. v. Payday Financial et. Al Case No. 3:13-cv-3023-RAL
November 17, 2015
Dear Judge Lange:
It has come to the attention of the undersigned consumer, civil rights and community organizations that a proposed nationwide class action settlement has been filed in this Court and is set for a hearing on preliminary approval before Your Honor on November 20, 2015. We understand that the settlement purports to release consumer-protection claims nationwide arising out of CashCall and Western Sky’s internet payday lending activities, including claims represented in actions pending in other states and even claims that have already been settled in other cases.
Our organizations have worked for years to address the significant consumer harm resulting from internet payday lending activities, including the actions of CashCall and Western Sky. We are deeply concerned that the proposed settlement may directly and adversely and improperly implicate pending enforcement actions and private cases throughout country. Also of concern is the impact of the Settlement on existing agreements and orders from cases that have resolved.
Accordingly, we respectfully request that Your Honor continue the hearing on preliminary approval by at least 60 days to permit our organizations, as well as federal and state regulatory and enforcement authorities, to adequately review the proposed settlement and determine what response is appropriate. By simply postponing the preliminary approval of this Settlement, the Court would eliminate the substantial risk of confusion to impacted consumers receiving notice of this Settlement where this and so many other stakeholders anticipate important fairness concerns.
- Edward Boltz, President, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
- Lisa Donner, Executive Director Americans for Financial Reform
- H. C. “Hank” Klein, Founder Arkansans Against Abusive Payday Lending
- Kelly Griffith, Executive Director Center for Economic Integrity
- Diane Standaert, Director of State Policy Center for Responsible Lending
- Ruth Susswein Deputy Director, National Priorities Consumer Action
- Tom Feltner, Director of Financial Services Consumer Federation of America
- Alice Vickers, Director, Florida Alliance
- Gary Peller, Professor of Law Georgetown University Law Center
- Liz Coyle, Executive Director Georgia Watch
- Lynn Drysdale Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.
- Christine Hines, Legislative Director National Association of Consumer Advocates
- Lauren Saunders, Associate Director National Consumer Law Center
- Alfred Ripley, Director of Consumer and Housing Affairs North Carolina Justice Center
- Judith Fox, Economic Justice Project Notre Dame Law School
- Andy Spears, Executive Director Tennessee Citizen Action 50
- Ann Baddour Director, Fair Financial Services Program Texas Appleseed
- Ed Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director U.S. PIRG & U.S. PIRG Education Fund
- Dory Rand, President Woodstock Institute
- James W. Speer, Executive Director Virginia Poverty Law Center