NOTICE: The final fairness hearing scheduled for December 5, 2018 was postponed because the court was closed, and a new hearing date has been set for December 17, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
The Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland authorized this notice.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
Why Am I Receiving This Notice?
If you received a postcard notice it is because you have been identified as a potential Plaintiff Class Member in a class action lawsuit. In this suit a Plaintiff Class Representative filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City against a finance company called Mariner Finance, LLC (“Mariner Finance”). The lawsuit is titled Hale v. Mariner Finance, LLC, Case No. 24C18000053 (the “Lawsuit”). Mariner Finance does not admit to any wrongdoing, but has agreed to resolve and settle the Lawsuit. A PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF THE LAWSUIT MAY AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
What Is The Lawsuit About?
The Lawsuit claims that in Class Member transactions, Mariner Finance charged refinancing charges and excluded those charges from the simple interest rate disclosed in the promissory notes, and that it retained a portion of insurance charges, and that such actions were in violation of Maryland law, and claims that a class action to address these issues can be maintained in court. Mariner Finance believes these claims are wrong and believes that it acted in accordance with Maryland law. Mariner Finance also believes that the Class Members agreed to pursue their claims individually in arbitration, so that a class action cannot be maintained in court. The Court has not decided any of these questions.
What Is the Proposed Settlement?
Mariner Finance has agreed to pay $1,500,000.00 into a common fund (the “Common Fund”). After payment of Court-approved attorneys’ fees and expenses, the Common Fund will be used to make payments to Class Members who file valid claims, of up to three times the amount of the refinance charges and insurance charges in the transactions that make them Class Members (the “Maximum Settlement Payment”). If there is not enough money in the Common Fund to pay the Maximum Settlement Payment to all Class Members who file valid claims, then each Class Member who files a valid claim will get a proportionate payment from the Common Fund.
How Do I Know if I am a Class Member?
You are a Class Member if you are a Maryland citizen who entered into a promissory note through June 29, 2018 with Mariner Finance which elects to be governed by Maryland’s Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Provisions, Md. Code Ann., Com. Law §§ 12-1001 et seq. (“CLEC”): (1) which includes a “refinance charge”; and/or (2) where Mariner Finance sold an insurance product and received compensation in connection therewith, and if you are not otherwise excluded. To learn about exclusions from the Class, please review the documents on the Important Documents page or call the Settlement Administrator at 1-866-274-4004.
Do I Have a Lawyer in This Case?
The Court has appointed Gordon, Wolf & Carney, Chtd. to represent Class Members as Class counsel. Class counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of 1/3 of the Common Fund for attorneys’ fees, plus expenses. Mariner Finance has agreed to separately pay the Class Representative an incentive payment so the incentive payment will not reduce benefits for Class Members.
What Do I Need to Do Now?
If you received a Class Notice addressed to you, and you wish to obtain benefits from this Settlement, you need to file a Claim Form. To file a Claim Form, you should visit the Online Claim Form page, or call the Settlement Administrator at 1-866-274-4004. IF YOU DO NOT FILE A VALID CLAIM FORM ON OR BEFORE NINETY (90) DAYS AFTER ENTRY OF THE COURT’S FINAL APPROVAL, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY MONEY FROM THIS SETTLEMENT. If you wish to opt out of this Settlement or object to this Settlement, you must opt out or object as described in the detailed Class Notice. (See Where Can I Get More Information? below). Unless you opt out, 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 Mariner Finance arising out of or relating to your transaction with Mariner Finance. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. The Settlement does not relieve you of your obligation to continue paying any outstanding promissory note to Mariner Finance.
Where Can I Get More Information?
You can obtain a detailed notice about the Lawsuit and other important court documents on the Important Documents page, or by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-866-274-4004; or emailing the Settlement Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to: Hale v. Mariner Finance, LLC Lawsuit, c/o Strategic Claims Services, P.O. Box 230, Media PA 19063.