Class Action Settlement has been reached. Please read this notice.
CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS WERE FILED
Between 2004 and 2015, 8 class action lawsuits were filed in connection with loans offered by The Cash Store, Instaloans and LoansAlberta Inc. across Canada. These lawsuits were filed against The Cash Store Financial Services Inc., and its subsidiaries (“CSF”), and a group of companies owned by or associated with DirectCash Payments Inc. (collectively “DirectCash”) which provided a series of products and services in connection with the loans.
On September 29, 2015, Mr. Justice Hanssen of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench approved a single class action that included all of the class members in all 8 actions (the “Class Action”). On October 14, 2015, Mr. Justice Hanssen added DirectCash as Defendants in the Class Action.
The Class Action claims that the defendants’ loans had an unlawful structure and that members of the class were charged too much money for interest on their loans and for other fees on credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, and for other items. Among other things, the Class Action asks the Court to order the improper fees and interest be returned to class members.
WHO IS INCLUDED
This settlement includes:
(a) all residents of Manitoba who, on or before December 2, 2008, borrowed a “payday” loan from Instaloans, or a “signature” or “title” loan from The Cash Store or Instaloans, where such loan has been repaid together with the standard “broker fee” charged by The Cash Store and Instaloans within 141 days of the loan advance, but excluding any loans that were the subject of a claim under the settlement reached in McCutcheon v. The Cash Store Inc. et al., Ontario Superior Court of Justice File No. 06-CV-319400CP00; and
(b) all persons who have borrowed a “payday loan”, “signature loan”, “title loan” or any other from of short-term loan from The Cash Store or Instaloans, in Alberta, at any time prior to March 1, 2010, and in any other province, other than British Columbia, after December 2, 2008, where that loan has been repaid together with the standard “broker fee” charged by The Cash Store and Instaloans within 141 days of the loan advance, but excluding “payday loans” or “signature loans” or any other form of short-term loan not secured by an interest in property borrowed:
a. in Nova Scotia on or after August 1, 2009;
b. in Ontario on or after December 15, 2009;
c. in Manitoba on or after October 18, 2010;
d. in Saskatchewan on or after January 1, 2012
(c) All persons who borrowed a “Payday Loan”, or other form of short-term loan not secured by an interest in property, from The Cash Store or Instaloans or over the internet through Loansalberta Inc.:
a. in British Columbia on or after November 1, 2009;
b. in Alberta on or after March 1, 2010;
c. Saskatchewan on or after January 1, 2012; or
d. in Manitoba on or after October 18, 2010
Payday Loans borrowed in Ontario after September 1, 2011 are included in another settlement, details of which can be found at www.ontariocashstoresettlement.com.
CSF OBTAINS CCAA PROTECTION
On April 14, 2014, CSF became insolvent and obtained protection from its creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) by order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “Ontario CCAA Court.”) The CCAA protection extends to the directors and officers of CSF. CSF no longer operates and all of its assets were sold while it was under CCAA protection. Claims against it are now being managed by the Ontario CCAA Court under Canadian insolvency law.
SETTLEMENTS HAVE BEEN REACHED
Lawyers for class members (“Class Counsel”) in the Class Action have created settlements with CSF, and its directors and officers, and DirectCash within the CCAA Proceedings. (collectively, “the Settling Defendants.”)
The Settling Defendants together have agreed to pay over $5.8 million, plus a share of any future litigation recoveries by the Estate of CSF, to settle the Class Actions. In exchange, the litigation against them will end and they will be provided with a full release for all legal claims made against them (the “Settlements.”)
The Settlements will be presented to the creditors of CSF in the CCAA proceedings at a creditors’ meeting. If the creditors approve the Settlements, it will be built into a CCAA Plan of Compromise to be put before the Ontario CCAA Court for approval on November 19, 2015. At that same time in a joint hearing, the Settlements will be put before the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench for approval of the Class Action.
If you wish to object to the approval of the Settlements, please send your written objection to Class Counsel at the contact particulars below by November 16, 2015. Class Counsel will make your objection known at the settlement approval motion. If you do not wish to object, you do not need to attend or take any other action at this time. Please do not contact the Courts with an objection —they cannot process it.
IF THE COURT APPROVALS ARE GRANTED
If the settlement is approved, a second hearing will be held before the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench to approve a plan to distribute the Settlement monies to class members (the “Settlement Distribution Plan”) and Class Counsel’s legal fees. Notice of that hearing and of the proposed Settlement Distribution Plan will be posted on Class Counsel’s website at www.cashstorerefund.com at least 14 days prior to that hearing.
If you have an objection or have any questions, contact Class Counsel or visit the settlement website:
Bennett Mounteer LLP
1400 – 128 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1R8
Tel: 1.604.639.3691/ Fax: 1.604.639.3681