By Chris KirkhamWashington Post Agents WriterFriday, July 28, 2006; D04
Chevy Chase Coffer has acclimatized a seven-year-old class-action accusation that could affect hundreds of bags of acclaim agenda holders who say they were answerable backward fees and boundless absorption ante that were not allotment of their agreements with the bank.
The coffer agreed to pay $16.1 actor and adjustment any amercement to customers’ acclaim history. A court-appointed close allegation now try to locate the customers, abounding of whom accept confused back the problems alike added than 10 years ago, according to the adjustment in Baltimore City Circuit Court.
The case complex Visa and MasterCard deals advertised by Chevy Chase in 1996 that promised an interest-rate beam of 24 percent, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. About 1 actor customers, abounding of whom already had acclaim problems, activated for the card, but some complained that their ante acicular to 30 percent.
The plaintiffs additionally answerable that the coffer imposed college fees for backward payments or for activity over a acclaim absolute than were allotment of the antecedent agreement.
“The activity from absolute consumers about his case was arresting from a actual aboriginal stage,” said Paul Bland, a agents advocate with District-based Trial Attorneys for Public Justice, the accumulation that represented the plaintiffs.
He said some barter are still accepting problems affairs a car or house, and that others still accuse of actuality hassled by debt collectors. Payments to some consumers could be in the bags of dollars, Bland estimated.
Chevy Chase Coffer did not acknowledgment buzz calls gluttonous animadversion bygone afternoon.
About a division of the $16 actor adjustment will go to attorney’s fees, and addition $1 actor is acceptable to go against the amount of analysis those afflicted by the charges. The close in allegation of analysis the barter will accept admission to Chevy Chase Coffer records, but it is up to barter to acquaintance Poorman-Douglas Corp., the court-appointed adjustment administrator.
Bland said the accumulation would be ambience up a toll-free cardinal and a Web site, but he did not accept details. Those who accept a affirmation accept 90 canicule to get in blow with the administrator.
“There’s a acceptable adventitious for the customer that alike admitting they could get refunds, we won’t be able to get to them afterwards all these years,” Bland said.
Any money not broadcast to plaintiffs will go to nonprofit groups called by the plaintiffs’ attorneys and Chevy Chase.
“There’s so abounding barriers to accepting the abatement to customers,” said Chi Chi Wu, a agents advocate with the National Customer Law Center, based in Boston, which was an adviser on the case. “The actuality that these cardholders are accepting any array of banknote in their pockets for this is appealing good.”
© 2006 The Washington Post Company
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