Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I get a Notice?

    A Bankruptcy Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit known as Michael Echevarria, et al. v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., Case No. 17-CV-8026, and about all of your options, before the District Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

    The Courts in charge of this case are the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs,” and Bank of America Corporation, FIA Card Services, N.A. (the “Bank”), and Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) are the “Defendants.”

    The essential terms of the Settlement are described further on this page. The Settlement Agreement sets forth in greater detail the rights and obligations of the Parties. The terms of the Settlement Agreement govern should there be any dispute regarding the details of the Settlement.

    If you did not receive a copy of the Notice, you may review a copy here.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    This lawsuit alleges that Defendants failed to update credit reporting information for Credit Card Accounts sold to third parties where the account holders’ debts were discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy after they were sold. As a result, the tradelines continued to reflect that the debts were sold, charged off, and had $0 balance, and did not indicate that the debts were included in bankruptcy.

    Based on these allegations, Plaintiffs claim that Defendants’ tradeline reporting practices have harmed consumers by adversely affecting their credit scores and ability to get credit. Plaintiffs also allege that Defendants’ tradeline reporting practices have pressured some consumers into paying those discharged debts because they feared that not doing so would negatively impact the perception of their creditworthiness to prospective creditors and employers.

    Defendants deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing and do not admit or concede any actual or potential fault, wrongdoing, or liability in connection with any facts or claims that have been or could have been alleged in this lawsuit or in any similar action. Defendants deny that they attempted to collect discharged debts or otherwise violated bankruptcy discharge injunctions.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people, called “named plaintiffs” or “class representatives,” sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people constitute the “class” or are “class members.” One court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class or are otherwise not part of the class.

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  4. Why is there a settlement?

    Plaintiffs have agreed to a settlement of this Action after considering, among other things (1) the substantial benefits to Plaintiffs and the proposed Class under the terms of the Settlement Agreement; (2) the risks, costs, and uncertainty of protracted litigation, especially in complex actions such as these, as well as the difficulties and delays inherent in such litigation; and (3) the desirability of consummating the Settlement Agreement promptly in order to provide effective relief to Plaintiffs and the proposed Class.

    The District Court has not decided whether Plaintiffs’ claims or Defendants’ defenses have any merit, and it will not do so if the proposed Settlement is approved. The proposed Settlement does not suggest that Defendants have or have not done anything wrong, or that the Plaintiffs and the proposed Class would or would not win their case if it were to go to trial.

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    With some limited exceptions, described below, the Settlement Class includes all individual borrowers who (i) maintained a Credit Card Account with BANA that was charged off by BANA and sold to a third-party Debt Buyer on or after January 1, 2008; and (ii) were discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy after such debt was sold to a third-party Debt Buyer but before October 1, 2015.

    The Settlement Class does not include persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Class or are employees of any Defendant.

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  6. What does the Settlement provide?

    The Settlement Agreement provides that BANA will pay the following to resolve the case:

    1. Payments to Participating Claimants for timely, valid, and approved claims and to Class Representatives for Incentive Awards as ordered by the District Court in an amount not to exceed $5,500,000;
    2. Claims administration costs, including, but not limited to, notice costs and escrow and banking fees and costs; and
    3. Payments to Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs as ordered by the District Court in an amount not to exceed $1,000,000, though Class Counsel may seek an award of additional fees and costs up to $500,000, to be paid solely and only from the Settlement Fund (see FAQ 16 for further information).
    4. BANA has also asked the three primary Credit Reporting Agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) to delete or suppress the tradelines associated with the Class Members’ Credit Card Accounts at issue.

    If a Class Member identifies that BANA’s tradeline for the Credit Card Account at issue continues to appear on his or her credit report, and provides notice to BANA’s counsel that the tradeline has not yet been deleted, BANA will request again that the Credit Reporting Agencies delete the tradeline. If a Class Member requests reinstatement of the tradeline associated with the Credit Card Account at issue, BANA will request that the Credit Reporting Agencies reinstate it. Such requests must be made in writing, signed, mailed to BANA’s counsel, and postmarked by January 1, 2018.

    In return for the benefits in this Settlement, and if the Settlement is implemented, all Settlement Class Members will release Defendants from the claims discussed in the Agreement, and this Action will be dismissed with prejudice, among other terms.

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  7. How much will my payment be?

    If you made a payment on your account after you received a bankruptcy discharge, you may be entitled to a full refund of that amount (subject to pro rata reduction in the unlikely event that such Claims exceed the Settlement Fund). In addition, all Class Members, whether or not they paid on a discharged account, may be entitled to receive a pro rata portion of the remaining Settlement Fund.

    Three types of payments will be made under the Settlement. It is possible for you to receive all three types of payments to the extent you qualify for each type of payment.

    • Automatic Payments to BANA Post-Discharge Payors: If you made a payment(s) to the Bank or BANA on your Credit Card Account after it was sold to a Debt Buyer and after you received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge (a “post-discharge payment”), you will receive an automatic payment in the amount of the last payment you made. You do not need to do anything to claim this payment. A check will be sent to you automatically, made payable jointly to you and all co-borrowers (if any) on your account. If you made more than one post-discharge payment to the Bank or BANA, you may submit a Reimbursement Claim, described below, to receive those other payments.

      Whether or not you paid on a discharged debt, you may also submit a Claim to receive one or both of the following types of payments.

    • Reimbursement Claim: If you made a payment(s) on your Credit Card Account after you received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge (a “post-discharge payment”), then you may receive a cash payment up to the full amount of your post-discharge payment(s) (subject to pro rata reduction in the unlikely event that such Claims exceed the Settlement Fund). To receive this payment, you must fully complete the Reimbursement Claim Form.

      You must also submit documentation supporting the Claim in the form of cancelled checks, account statements, or similar proof and swear that the documentation you provide is original or a true and correct copy. If you do not complete and submit the Reimbursement Claim Form with accompanying documentation, you will not receive a Reimbursement Claim payment under the Settlement (though you may still receive an automatic payment as described above).

    • Distribution Claim: To receive a Distribution Claim payment, you must submit a Claim affirming that you fit the definition of a Class Member, that you have read the representations in the Claim Form, including the reasons the credit reporting may have harmed the Class, and that you believe you are entitled to monetary compensation. You must fully complete, sign, and mail the Distribution Claim Form. The amount that you may ultimately receive will depend, among other things, on payments made to other claimants. Eligible claimants for a Distribution Claim payment will receive a pro rata share of the remaining funds in the payment fund after payment of other claimants.

      If you do not complete and submit the Distribution Claim Form, you will not receive a Distribution Claim payment under the Settlement. You do not need to submit any supporting documentation in order to be eligible for a Distribution Claim payment.


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  8. How can I get a payment?

    To receive a payment under the Settlement, you must submit in a Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator. Claim Forms may be submitted online here. You may also obtain a Claim Form here, or by calling toll-free 1-844-319 9617. Please read the instructions and certification carefully, fill out the forms completely and accurately, and submit the forms and any documents, as applicable. Claim Forms must be submitted online or postmarked no later than January 30, 2018 to:

    Echevarria v. Bank of America, N.A. Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 3145
    Portland, OR 97208-3145

    You must complete the entire Claim Form and submit any required documentation when first submitting the Claim Form. Failure to do so may result in the denial of your Claim, which means that you will receive no cash payment from this Settlement.

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  9. When would I get my payment?

    Payments are subject to the signing and approval of the Settlement Agreement. On March 2, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. the District Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement after that, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain when these appeals will be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. This Settlement website will be updated for any new developments. Please be patient.

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  10. How does the Settlement affect my rights?

    FIRST: you must decide now whether you wish to remain in the Settlement Class or to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class. If you want to be excluded from the Settlement Class, you must notify the Settlement Administrator no later than January 30, 2018. If you exclude yourself:

    • You will not be eligible for payment under the Settlement.
    • You will not be able to object to the proposed Settlement or appear at the Final Approval Hearing.
    • You will not be bound by any orders or judgments entered in this case, if the proposed Settlement is approved.

    SECOND: if you remain in the Settlement Class, you may object to any part of the proposed Settlement by filing a written objection with the District Court. You must file your objection with the District Court on or before January 30, 2018.

    Additionally, if you file an objection, you may also decide to appear and speak at the District Court’s Final Approval Hearing regarding the Settlement of this lawsuit. If you wish to appear and speak at the District Court’s Final Approval Hearing, you must have first submitted an objection and, in addition, file and serve a Notice of Intention to Appear at the Final Approval Hearing that is postmarked by January 30, 2018.

    THIRD: if you remain a Settlement Class Member, you are eligible for certain automatic payments, and you also can complete and submit a Claim Form postmarked or submitted online no later than January 30, 2018.

    The Parties make no representations about the tax implications of any payments made in connection with the Settlement. It is recommended that you seek your own tax advice before taking action regarding this Settlement.

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  11. What am I giving up in connection with the Settlement?

    Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendants about the issues in this case, including any existing litigation, arbitration, or proceeding. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions, orders, and judgments by the Bankruptcy Court and the District Court will bind you. If you file a Claim Form for benefits or do nothing at all, you will be releasing the Defendants and the Released Parties from all of the claims described and identified in Section 10 of the Settlement Agreement.

    The Settlement Agreement is available here and provides more detail regarding the Release and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions.

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  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The law firms of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and Charles Juntikka & Associates have been appointed by the Court to represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called the Plaintiff’s Counsel. You will not be charged any out-of-pocket money for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

    You have the right to retain your own lawyer to represent you in this case, but you are not obligated to do so. If you do hire your own lawyer, you will have to pay his or her fees and expenses. You also have the right to represent yourself before the District Court without a lawyer.

    BOIES SCHILLER FLEXNER LLP
    George Carpinello
    30 South Pearl St.
    Albany, NY 12207
    Telephone: 518-434-0600
    CHARLES JUNTIKKA & ASSOCIATES
    Charles Juntikka
    30 Vesey St.
    Suite 100
    New York, NY 10007
    Telephone: 212-315-3755

    You have the right to retain your own lawyer to represent you in this case, but you are not obligated to do so. If you do hire your own lawyer, you will have to pay his or her fees and expenses. You also have the right to represent yourself before the District Court without a lawyer.

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  13. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel have prosecuted this case on a contingent-fee basis and have not been paid anything to date for their services. Class Counsel will make an application to the District Court for an award of attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of litigation costs, which shall be the sole aggregate compensation from Defendants for all attorneys representing Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class.

    Defendants have agreed to make a payment to Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs as ordered by the District Court in an amount not to exceed $1,000,000. Class Counsel may ask for and the District Court, in its discretion, may award additional fees and costs to Class Counsel, to be paid solely and only from the Settlement Fund, in an amount no greater than $500,000. Any fees awarded to Class Counsel to be paid from the Settlement Fund shall be paid first and prior to determining distribution to the Settlement Class Members.

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  14. How do I get out of or exclude myself from the Settlement?

    If you want to be excluded from the Class, you must notify the Settlement Administrator. To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must complete and send to the Settlement Administrator a written request that includes the case name (Echevarria, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al.), your name and address, and a statement that indicates a desire to be excluded from the Settlement Class, such as “I hereby request that I be excluded from the proposed Settlement Class in the Action.” The request also must be personally signed by you (the person requesting exclusion). Your exclusion request must be postmarked no later than January 30, 2018. Send your exclusion request to the following address:

    Echevarria v. Bank of America, N.A. Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 3145
    Portland, OR 97208-3145

    If you do not want to mail your exclusion request, you may also upload and submit your letter to the Settlement Administrator here. It must be a copy of the letter that contains all the information and requirements as described above. Incomplete requests may not be accepted.

    You cannot exclude yourself via telephone.

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  15. What happens if I exclude myself from the class?

    If you request exclusion from the Class, then:

    • You will not be eligible for payment under the Settlement.
    • You will not be able to object to the proposed Settlement or appear at the Final Approval Hearing.
    • You will not be bound by any orders or judgments entered in this case, if the proposed Settlement is approved.

    However, if your request for exclusion is late or deficient, you will still be considered a part of the Settlement Class, you will be bound by the Settlement and by all other orders and judgments in this lawsuit, and you will not be able to participate in any other lawsuits based on the claims in this case.

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  16. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue Defendants later?

    No. If the District Court approves the proposed Settlement and you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you release (give up) all claims released in the Claim Form.

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  17. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

    If you choose to remain a Settlement Class Member, you have a right to object to any parts of the proposed Settlement. The District Court will consider your views.

    Your written objection must include the following:

    1. The case name, Echevarria, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., Case No. 17-CV-8026;
    2. Your name;
    3. Your address;
    4. Your telephone number;
    5. If you are represented by counsel, the name, address, and telephone number of your counsel;
    6. A written statement of the basis for your objection(s); and
    7. A statement of whether you intend to appear and argue at the Final Approval Hearing, with or without counsel.

    Your written objections must be filed with the District Court and mailed to Class Counsel no later than January 30, 2018 to the following addresses.

    The Court Class Counsel Defendants’ Counsel

    United States District Court
    for the Southern District of New York
    Federal Building and United States Courthouse
    300 Quarropas St.
    Courtroom 620
    White Plains, NY 10601-4150
    George Carpinello
    Adam Shaw
    BOIES SCHILLER FLEXNER LLP
    30 South Pearl St.
    Albany, NY 12207

    Charles Juntikka
    CHARLES JUNTIKKA & ASSOCIATES
    30 Vesey St.
    Suite 100
    New York, NY 10007
    Mary J. Hackett
    Jarrod D. Shaw
    MCGUIREWOODS LLP
    Tower Two-Sixty
    260 Forbes Ave.
    Suite 1800
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222

    If you file objections, but the District Court approves the Settlement as proposed, you can still complete a Claim Form to be eligible for payment under the Settlement, subject to the terms and conditions discussed in this Notice and in the Settlement Agreement.

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  18. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    On March 2, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. the District Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, before the Honorable Vincent L. Briccetti, in Courtroom 620, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601-4150.

    At the hearing, the Court will consider whether to grant final certification to the Settlement Class for settlement purposes, whether to approve the proposed Settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate, whether to award attorneys’ fees and costs, whether to award the Class Representatives an award for their help, and consider related settlement issues. We do not know how long the hearing will take or whether the Court will make its decision on the day of the hearing or sometime later.

    The Final Approval Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates.

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  19. Do I have to come to the Settlement Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer questions the District Court may have at the Final Approval Hearing. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. Please note that the District Court has the right to change the date and/or time of the Final Approval Hearing without further notice. If you are planning to attend the hearing, you should confirm the date and time before going to the Court.

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  20. May I speak at the Final Approval Hearing?

    Yes, if you have filed an objection, you may ask the District Court for permission to speak at the hearing. To do so, you must submit an objection and also file a document called a “Notice of Intention to Appear” as described in response to FAQ 21, below.

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  21. What do I have to do to speak at the Final Approval Hearing?

    If you are a member of the Settlement Class, and you (or your attorney) want to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you (or your attorney) must have submitted an objection and must file a Notice of Intention to Appear at the Final Approval Hearing.

    Your Notice of Intention to Appear at the Final Approval Hearing, along with any papers, exhibits, or other evidence you intend to present, must be filed with the District Court and served to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel (at their addresses specified in FAQ 17) no later than January 30, 2018.

    If you file objections and appear at the Final Approval Hearing, but the District Court approves the Settlement as proposed, you can still complete a Claim Form to be eligible for payment under the Settlement, subject to the terms and conditions discussed in this Notice and in the Settlement Agreement.

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  22. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will not get benefits from the Settlement, unless you are a BANA Post-Discharge Payor. Whether you complete a Claim Form or not, if you are a Settlement Class Member, you will be bound by the Settlement’s release. You must complete and submit a Claim Form on or before the deadline, which is January 30, 2018, in order to be considered for payment under the Settlement.

    Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, if the Settlement is approved, all of the Bankruptcy Court and District Court’s orders will apply to you, and you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against any Defendant in regard to the claims in this lawsuit, ever again, regardless of whether you submit a Claim Form.

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  23. How do I get more information?

    This website is a summary of the Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. The full Settlement Agreement, the Complaint, and the other papers and Court orders are on file with the Clerk of the Court and may be inspected during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Copies of these documents are also located here.

    If you still have questions or would like to request a Claim Form, you can do so by calling toll-free 1-844-319-9617. You may also direct your questions about the Settlement to Class Counsel (see FAQ 12).

    PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE THE COURT OR BANK OF AMERICA ABOUT YOUR QUESTIONS.

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Important Dates

  • January 8, 2008 – October 1, 2015
    Class Period
  • January 30, 2018
    Deadline to Exclude Yourself from the Settlement
  • January 30, 2018
    Deadline to Object to the Settlement
  • January 30, 2018
    Postmarked Deadline for Claim Filing
  • January 30, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PST
    Online Claim Filing Deadline
  • March 2, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. EST
    Final Approval Hearing