Frequently Asked Questions

  1. WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?
  2. WHY DID I GET THIS NOTICE?
  3. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION AND WHO IS INVOLVED?
  4. WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT INCLUDE?
  5. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
  6. WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO SEE A SETTLEMENT CHECK?
  7. WHAT AM I GIVING UP IF I STAY IN THE SETTLEMENT CLASS?
  8. IF I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT FUND, CAN I SUE BANK OF AMERICA?
  9. IF I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT FUND, WILL I RECEIVE ANY PAYMENT?
  10. HOW DO I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT?
  11. IF I DO NOT EXCLUDE MYSELF, CAN I STILL SUE THE DEFENDANT FOR THE SAME CLAIM LATER?
  12. DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THIS CASE?
  13. HOW WILL THE LAWYERS BE PAID?
  14. ARE THE CLASS REPRESENTATIVES ENTILED TO ADDITONAL PAYMENTS?
  15. HOW DO I TELL THE COURT I DO NOT LIKE THE SETTLEMENT?
  16. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OBJECTING AND EXCLUDING?
  17. WHEN IS THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING?
  18. HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
  1. WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?

    Plaintiffs Ruhi Reimer and Nooshin Reimer had Bank of America credit cards, which they allege were in good standing in May of 2015. They each received written notices from Bank of America that stated their accounts were terminated “in accordance with your Credit Card Agreement which permits either you or us to terminate the account at any time.” The Plaintiffs alleged that the reason provided by Bank of America was not the specific and primary reason for terminating the accounts, and therefore claimed that the notices violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s (ECOA) adverse action notice provision.

    Bank of America denies all claims in the Lawsuit and contends that it acted lawfully and in compliance with the ECOA at all times. Even though Bank of America believes its notices fully complied with the law, it has decided to settle the Lawsuit solely to avoid the burden, expense, risk, and uncertainty of continuing the litigation. The parties have reached a settlement agreement after arm’s-length negotiations facilitated by a United States Magistrate Judge and which was preliminarily approved by a federal court.

     

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  2. WHY DID I GET THIS NOTICE?

    You received the notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement. This notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights. Judge Robert E. Payne, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, is overseeing this class action. Bank of America, N.A.’s records show that you (a) had a Bank of America credit card account, (b) that was terminated after May 19, 2015; (c) Bank of America, N.A. sent you an adverse action notice, that contained the reason that account was terminated “in accordance with your Credit Card Agreement which permits either you or us to terminate the account at any time”; (e) when you resided in Virginia. This means that you are a member of the class and a beneficiary of the Settlement reached between the class representatives, Ruhi Reimer and Nooshin Reimer, and Bank of America. If this class action is approved by the court and you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will receive $1,300. The court authorized this notice because this class Settlement will affect your rights. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the court holds a hearing for final approval of the class Settlement, at which time all class members will be bound by the result unless they exclude themselves.

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  3. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION AND WHO IS INVOLVED?

    In a class action lawsuit, a person who is called a “Class Representative” (in this case it is both Ruhi Reimer and Nooshin Reimer) sues on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” and each individual is a “Class Member.” The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” The company that they sued, (in this case it is Bank of America, N.A.) is called the “Defendant.” One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class, except for the people who exclude themselves from the class. In this case, the court is the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. When a person excludes themselves from a Class, it is also known as an “opt-out.” The Class has been defined as: All natural persons residing within the Commonwealth of Virginia who received a letter the same as the letter attached hereto as Exhibit A from Bank of America within the five years preceding the filing of the Complaint.

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  4. WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT INCLUDE?

    The Settlement establishes a $250,900 Settlement Fund to pay each of the Settlement Class Members not less than $1,300. There are 194 Virginia consumers in the Settlement Class. The Defendant is separately paying for the administrative costs for the settlement, and if approved by the court, service awards to the Class Representatives, and attorneys’ fees and costs. This case is only about whether the adverse action notice sent to you by Bank of America complies with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It is not about whether Bank of America was entitled to close your accounts.

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  5. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

    You don’t need to do anything to receive money from the Settlement. If you are received a notice, you are a member of the Settlement Class. You do not need to do anything in order to receive a payment from the Settlement Fund. If you take no action, and the court issues final approval of the Settlement, you will receive payment pursuant to the Settlement and you will be deemed to have released Bank of America and the other Releasees. All of the court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. By doing nothing, you will get a check and you will be giving up your right to file a separate lawsuit against the Defendant.

     

    You can object to the Settlement. You can remain in the Settlement Class but file written objections to the terms of the Settlement if you do not think they are fair, reasonable and adequate. If you want your objection to be considered by the court, you must send a letter that contains: (1) the name of the Lawsuit, Reimer, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A.; (2) your full name, current address, and telephone number; (3) a statement that you object to the Settlement, in whole or in part; (4) a statement of the legal and/or factual basis for your objection; (5) copies of any documents that you want to submit in support of your position; and (6) signed verification of membership in the Settlement Class. You do not need to appear in court to object or comment, but if you wish to appear, please say so in your objection. You must personally sign your written objections, and mail them to the court, to Class Counsel and to Defendant’s Counsel at the addresses appearing in this notice. Your written objections must be postmarked not later than April 16, 2021. Class members who do not timely make their objections in this manner will be deemed to have waived all objections and shall not be entitled to be heard at the Fairness Hearing. If the court overrules your objection and approves the Settlement, you will still be bound by the terms of the Settlement, and you may still participate in the Settlement. 

     

    You can exclude yourself from the Settlement. If you would not like to be part of the Settlement Class, you can opt out of the Settlement Class altogether and receive no money. To exclude yourself from the Settlement and the Class, you must clearly state your intent to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in writing. You must mail your written exclusion to the court, to Class Counsel, and to Defendant’s Counsel at the addresses appearing in this notice. Your exclusion request must include: (1) your full name, address, and telephone number; (2) your signature, or the signature of someone legally authorized to sign on your behalf; and (3) a statement that you want to be excluded from the Class and waive all rights to any benefits under the Settlement. Class Members who do not opt out will be bound by the Settlement and judgment, including the release of claims described below. Class Members who opt out will not be bound by the Settlement, including the release of claims described below, and will not be entitled to any of the benefits of the Settlement. You will not have any right to object, but you will not be bound by the terms of the Settlement.

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  6. WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO SEE A SETTLEMENT CHECK?

    The Settlement Administrator will begin issuing checks from the Settlement Fund after the court gives final approval to the Settlement. First, all Settlement Class Members must be given notice and an opportunity to exclude themselves or to object to the Settlement. The court will hold a final approval hearing on May 25, 2021, to decide whether to approve the Settlement (“Fairness Hearing”). You are not required to attend the hearing in order to participate in the Settlement. If the court approves the Settlement, there may then be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year after court approval. 

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  7. WHAT AM I GIVING UP IF I STAY IN THE SETTLEMENT CLASS?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Settlement Class, which means that you cannot be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant about the legal claims in this case and legal claims that could have been brought in this case. It also means that all of the court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will agree to a “Release of Claims,” stated below, which describes exactly the legal claims that you give up if you get settlement benefits. Basically, you are releasing your right to individually sue for any violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s adverse action notice provisions related to your terminated credit card account. The “Release” contained in the Settlement Agreement provides that Representative Plaintiffs and each Settlement Class Member (the Releasing Persons), including the persons who did not successfully opt out of the Settlement, and each of their respective spouses, children, executors, representatives, guardians, wards, heirs, estates, successors, bankruptcy estates, bankruptcy trustees, predecessors, next friends, joint tenants, tenants in common, tenants by the entirety, co-borrowers, co-obligors, co-debtors, legal representatives, attorneys, agents and assigns, and all those acting or purporting to act on their behalf shall be completely, finally, and forever barred from asserting the Released Claims against the Released Parties. Subject to the court’s approval, this Settlement Agreement shall bind all Settlement Class Members and they shall be prohibited from asserting the Released, Claims against the Released Parties. This Release shall be included as part of any judgment, so that all released claims and rights shall be barred by principles of res judicata, collateral estoppel, and claim and issue preclusion.

     

    The “Released Persons” are Defendant and its affiliates, and each and every one of their past, present, and future parents (including without limitation Bank of America Corporation), predecessors, successors, partners, assigns, subsidiaries, affiliates, divisions, owners, shareholders, officers, directors, employees, attorneys, insurers, and agents (alleged or actual) (collectively and individually, the “Released Persons”).

     

    The “Releasing Persons” shall mean Plaintiffs and each Class Member who is not a successful opt-out, and each of their respective spouses, children, executors, representatives, guardians, wards, heirs, estates, successors, bankruptcy estates, bankruptcy trustees, predecessors, next friends, joint tenants, tenants in common, tenants by the entirety, co-borrowers, co-obligors, co-debtors, legal representatives, attorneys, agents and assigns, and all those who claim through them or who assert claims (or could assert claims) on their behalf, and each of them (collectively and individually, the “Releasing Persons” ) 

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  8. IF I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT FUND, CAN I SUE BANK OF AMERICA?

    Yes. You may sue the Defendant under the ECOA 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d) for any actual damages you allege you incurred. Your claim may be pursued solely on an individual basis. You likely need to retain your own attorney to file a complaint in the appropriate court within the time provided by applicable statutes of limitations, and make the applicable evidentiary showing subject to the governing burdens of proof, before receiving any recovery with respect to your claim. The Defendant has not agreed to pay you any money if you pursue this route, and will be able to assert defenses to your claims. A judge or jury will decide whether you are in fact entitled to any actual damages.

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  9. IF I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT FUND, WILL I RECEIVE ANY PAYMENT?

    No. If you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class and participate in any way in this Settlement, but you want to maintain your right to sue or continue to sue the Defendant on your own about the legal issues in this case, you must take the specific steps described in this notice to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class. This is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement Class. Opting out gives you the right to bring your own lawsuit but does not guarantee that your own lawsuit will be successful.

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  10. HOW DO I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT?

    You may “opt out” or exclude yourself from the Settlement as explained below.

    REQUESTS FOR EXCLUSION THAT ARE NOT POSTMARKED ON OR BEFORE

    APRIL 16, 2021 WILL NOT BE HONORED. You cannot exclude yourself by telephone or by e-mail. You also cannot exclude yourself by mailing a request to any location other than the addresses specified below or by mailing a request after the deadline. You also cannot exclude yourself as part of a group, aggregate, or class involving more than one consumer. If you exclude yourself, you should promptly consult your own attorney about your rights, as the time to file an individual lawsuit is limited. To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send an unequivocal written statement such as “I am opting out of the Settlement.” You must also include: (1) the name of the Lawsuit, Reimer, et al, v. Bank of America, N.A., 3:20CV360-REP; (2) your full name, current address, telephone number; (3) a statement that you intend to exclude yourself from the Settlement, and wish to receive no benefits under the Settlement; and (4) your signature, or the signature of someone legally authorized to sign on your behalf. You must mail your Exclusion Request no later than April 16, 2021, to:

    The Court:
    Hon. Fernando Galindo
    Clerk of Court
    United States District Court for
    the Eastern District of Virginia
    Spottswood W. Robinson III and
    Robert R. Merhige, Jr.


    Federal Courthouse
    701 East Broad Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Class Counsel:
    Susan M. Rotkis


    Price Law Group, APC
    8245 N. 85th Way
    Scottsdale, AZ 85258

    Defendant’s Counsel:
    Brian Pumphrey


    McGuireWoods LLP
    Gateway Plaza
    800 E. Canal Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

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  11. IF I DO NOT EXCLUDE MYSELF, CAN I STILL SUE THE DEFENDANT FOR THE SAME CLAIM LATER?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue the Defendant and the Released Parties for the claims that this Settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. You may need to exclude yourself from this class action to continue your own lawsuit. Remember, your Exclusion Request must be postmarked by April 16, 2021.

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  12. DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THIS CASE?

    Yes. The Plaintiffs retained Susan M. Rotkis, of Price Law Group, APC, and the court has appointed her as Class Counsel to represent you and the Settlement Class. In connection with the preliminary approval of the Settlement, the court appointed Ms. Rotkis to represent you and other members of the Settlement Class. Attorneys that represent the Class are called “Class Counsel.” Ms. Rotkis and Price Law Group, APC, will not separately charge you for their work on the case. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  13. HOW WILL THE LAWYERS BE PAID?

    Class Counsel will ask the court for an award of attorneys’ fees, which the Defendant has agreed to pay separate and apart from the Settlement Fund. Subject to court approval, Class Counsel and Defendant have agreed to not more than $50,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs. However, the court may ultimately award less than this amount. The Defendant has paid for the costs of this notice to you and the costs of administering the Settlement separate and apart from the Settlement Fund. This means that the payments to the Class Members in this case will not be reduced by the cost of attorneys’ fees and administration.

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  14. ARE THE CLASS REPRESENTATIVES ENTILED TO ADDITONAL PAYMENTS?

    Class Representatives are entitled to receive the same relief as the rest of the class. However, courts have recognized the valuable service provided by Class Representatives by bringing class action lawsuits and participating in the litigation. In addition to the Settlement amounts that each Class Member will receive as described above, Class Counsel will ask the court to approve a payment to the Class Representatives of $5,000 each as service award for their effort and time expended in prosecuting the Lawsuit, including participation in discovery and mediation. However, the court may ultimately award less than this amount. Any payment will be made by Defendant separate and apart from the Settlement Fund.

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  15. HOW DO I TELL THE COURT I DO NOT LIKE THE SETTLEMENT?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not think any part of the Settlement is fair, reasonable, or adequate. You can and should explain the detailed reasons why you think that the court should not approve the Settlement, if this is the case. The court and Class Counsel will consider your views carefully. To object, you must send a letter stating the reasons that you object to the Settlement. You must include: (1) the name of the Lawsuit, Reimer, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A.; (2) your full name, current address, and telephone number; (3) a statement that you object to the Settlement, in whole or in part; (4) a statement of the legal and/or factual basis for your objection; (5) copies of any documents that you want to submit in support of your position; and (6) signed verification of membership in the Settlement Class. Mail the foregoing to these three different places no later than April 16, 2021.

    The Court:
    Hon. Fernando Galindo
    Clerk of Court
    United States District Court for
    the Eastern District of Virginia
    Spottswood W. Robinson III and
    Robert R. Merhige, Jr.


    Federal Courthouse
    701 East Broad Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Class Counsel:
    Susan M. Rotkis


    Price Law Group, APC
    8245 N. 85th Way
    Scottsdale, AZ 85258

    Defendant’s Counsel:
    Brian Pumphrey


    McGuireWoods LLP
    Gateway Plaza
    800 E. Canal Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

    You must also file a statement with the court that tells the court the date that you mailed or delivered copies of these papers to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel. This is also called a certificate of service.

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  16. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OBJECTING AND EXCLUDING?

    Objecting is simply telling the court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you remain in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to this Settlement because the case no longer affects you.

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  17. WHEN IS THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING?

    The court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to.

    The court will hold a Fairness Hearing on May 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 7400 of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 701 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219. At this hearing, the court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the court will consider them. The court will listen to people who have submitted timely requests to speak at the hearing. The court may also decide the amount that Class Counsel and the Plaintiff will be paid. After the hearing, the court will decide whether to finally approve the Settlement. Class Counsel will answer any questions the court may have. You may attend at your own expense if you so desire. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

    You may ask the court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must send a written Notice of Intent to Appear at the Fairness Hearing. Be sure to include the case name, your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. Your Notice of Intent to Appear must be sent to the Clerk of Court, Class Counsel, and Defense Counsel, at the three addresses previously provided and must be postmarked by April 16, 2021. You cannot speak at the hearing if you have excluded yourself.

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  18. HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?

    If you still have questions, you can visit the website at www.bankofamericareimersettlement.com. If you still have questions about the case write to: Reimer, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A. Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 43434, Providence, RI 02940-3434.

     

    PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT, THE CLERK,

    OR THE DEFENDANT REGARDING THIS SETTLEMENT.

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