Individuals and companies entitled to receive money from a $5.6 billion Visa and Mastercard class action lawsuit settlement have options when it comes to submitting a claim.
The settlement benefits merchants that accepted Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 25, 2019. The claims process is now open, and the settlement administrator began mailing claim forms Dec. 1.
Class members should know their options for filing a claim and that assistance is available.
As with any settlement, class members can file their own claims directly with the settlement administrator.
They can navigate to the settlement administrator’s website, click the “Submit Claim” button and provide the required information.
There is no cost associated with this process; however, potential claimants should be aware they have to wait to receive their mailed claim form, which contains their claimant ID and control number needed to begin the claim.
This settlement may be complex to navigate. There could be changing instructions, deadlines and updates that could complicate the process.
Representation by a law firm
The good news is there is help for those who want or need it.
Class members may benefit from hiring a law firm to represent them for the duration of the settlement claims process.
With a law firm applying for the settlement on the class member’s behalf, they can rest assured that their legal bases are covered. The firm will handle any logistical issues that may arise, such as changes to the filing process. The attorneys keep track of everything so class members can sit back and wait for their benefits.
Delays due to the class member waiting on their mailed claim form are also less of a concern when a law firm is involved. They are able to submit paperwork directly to the administrator so waiting for the claim form should not be a concern.
The law firm will take a percentage of the payout in exchange for these services.
However, with the experience of a law firm supporting the class member, they will be more likely to receive a higher payout than if they go it alone.
Upfront payment for settlement
A class member can often receive an upfront payment rather than waiting for the claims process to run its course.
Certain companies offer services related to the Visa and Mastercard settlement that are similar to the services of payday loan or structured settlement companies.
These companies offer class members a small amount of cash up front, essentially purchasing class members’ rights to the settlement. They file the claims on behalf of the class member.
While this may seem like a convenient way to get cash in hand sooner rather than later, there are a few downsides.
These loan operators collect a considerable percentage of the claimant’s actual settlement payout — up to 80% to 90%, as opposed to the 40% an attorney might charge.
The companies focus on paying the class members immediately but may not be suitable for continued representation.
The choice is ultimately up to each class member. However, all potential claimants should be aware of the pros and cons of each available option.
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