Consumer Class Action Lawsuits

Class action lawsuits present the specter of substantial, sometimes enormous, potential worst-case exposure. In the consumer law context, class actions are often based on technical theories of liability and can be brought on behalf of individuals who have suffered little significant actual harm. Troutman Sanders’ Financial Services Litigation practice is the trusted partner your organization needs to defend these types of lawsuits.

Our attorneys have the experience and tenacity to successfully defend a consumer class action. We have successfully represented clients facing billions of dollars in exposure in both federal and state courts. When a consumer class action is filed, our attorneys have an established record of early dismissal, enforcement of arbitration agreements, favorable settlements, success on dispositive motions, defeating class certification, and prevailing on appeal. We have the knowledge and determination to ensure our clients are defended as efficiently and effectively as possible. Our attorneys provide ongoing analysis and commentary on developments in the consumer financial services industry on the Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor located at www.cfslawmonitor.com.

Our team recognizes that successfully defending a class action is only half of the battle. We often work closely with our clients to evaluate their business practices to avoid a class action lawsuit in the first instance. When litigation is unavoidable, we frequently work with our clients on a dual track – revising their compliance procedures to reduce the risk of another class action while aggressively defending the litigation at hand.

Although every lawsuit is unique, Troutman Sanders has litigated scores of high-exposure class action lawsuits, including matters involving the following statutes:

Our representative experience includes the following:

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) - Generally

  • We served as counsel for one of the nation’s largest data aggregators in a nationwide class action alleging the sale of consumer information without a permissible purpose under the FCRA. We obtained a favorable class settlement with minimal out-of-pocket costs for our client.
  • We successfully defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment in a nationwide class action lawsuit under the FCRA pertaining to notice requirements triggered by the use of a credit score.
  • We defended a nationwide consumer reporting agency against a class action claim that it did not make proper disclosures or maintain proper procedures pertaining to adverse public record information. We obtained a favorable individual settlement.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) - Background Screening

  • We successfully defeated a motion for voluntary dismissal in a nationwide FCRA class action related to employment background checks and adverse action. As a result, we obtained a very favorable individual settlement on behalf of our client.
  • Our team served as counsel for a government contractor specializing in background investigations in a class action lawsuit under § 1681k(a)(1) of the FCRA. We successfully obtained dismissal of claims after discovery, with no settlement.
  • We obtained a favorable class action settlement for a Fortune 100 company in a lawsuit alleging that the company improperly disclosed to potential employees that it would procure a background check and failed to comply with the FCRA when taking adverse action.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

  • We represented a multinational financial services company in a class action alleging violations of the FDCPA for overshadowing and contradictory statements in a dunning letter. We secured dismissal of the FDCPA class action claims.
  • Our team defeated class claims on a motion to dismiss on behalf of a national loan provider in Maryland state court in a lawsuit alleging a failure to provide a “mini-Miranda warning” under the FDCPA.
  • We served as counsel for one of the country’s largest debt collectors in a putative class action. We defeated the motion for class certification, had opposing counsel disqualified from the case, and then resolved the matter on an individual basis for a minimal sum.
  • We served as counsel for a nationwide debt collector against a nationwide FDCPA claim challenging representations made in its millions of form letters. We obtained the dismissal of the case with prejudice at the pleadings stage.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

  • We represent one of the nation’s largest banks in three putative class actions under the TCPA which were all filed nearly simultaneously in the same Federal court.
  • We obtained dismissal of all class claims on behalf of a national pizza chain in a TCPA putative class action.
  • We prevailed at the pleadings stage on behalf of Microsoft in a California class action involving TCPA claims arising from the alleged improper use of predictive dialers.

Mortgage Lending & Servicing

  • We obtained summary judgment prior to class certification in a lawsuit alleging that a national mortgage loan servicing company violated state consumer protection law.
  • Our team served as counsel to a title pawn company and its officers in a class action case involving claims under RICO and for usury. Our clients’ motion to dismiss was granted and affirmed on appeal.
  • We represented a loan servicer against class claims alleging that the servicer improperly foreclosed without following Federal Housing Administration guidelines. We obtained an individual settlement prior to any class certification decision.

Truth In Lending Act (TILA)

  • We defended a retailer in California against claims alleging unfair and deceptive selling practices, illegal contract terms, false “savings” and “free” claims, bait and switch advertising, and TILA violations.
  • We obtained summary judgment prior to class certification in favor of a large national mortgage loan servicer in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that the servicer failed to provide a § 1641g notice to borrowers under TILA.

Auto Finance

  • Served as counsel for national financial institutions in multiple putative class actions under the California Auto Sales Finance Act, the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law.
  • Represented a national banking association with respect to class action claims against an automobile dealership and the banking institution for state law fraud and consumer protection claims.

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

  • Successfully defeated class certification on behalf of a national pharmaceutical company in a nationwide class action asserting RICO and various state law claims allegedly arising from the marketing and promotion of a prescription drug.
  • Defeated class certification in three class actions alleging RICO and fraud claims against a telecommunications carrier in connection with its marketing practices in the sale of telecommunications services.
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