Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Did I Receive a Settlement Notice Packet By Mail?
- What is the Settlement Notice?
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is there a Settlement?
- Who is a Settlement Class member?
- What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement Class?
- What are the terms of the Settlement?
- How do I receive a partial refund or credit?
- How do I know whether I am eligible for a partial refund versus a credit towards what I owe Chase?
- When will I receive my refund check or credit?
- What am I giving up to be part of the Settlement Class?
- What happens if I do nothing?
- Can I still get out of the Settlement?
- What if I did not opt out of the Settlement?
- If I excluded myself, can I receive money or a credit from this Settlement?
- How can I object to the Settlement?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will the Class Counsel lawyers be paid?
- When did the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
- Where can I get more details about the Settlement?
- What was the outcome of the Fairness Hearing?
A Settlement Notice Packet was sent to you because the records of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (collectively, “Chase”), Assurant, Inc., American Security Insurance Company (“ASIC”), Standard Guaranty Insurance Company (“SGIC”), and Voyager Indemnity Insurance Company (“VIIC”) indicate that your hazard residential insurance policy lapsed, that a hazard lender-placed insurance policy (“LPI policy”) was issued for your residential property, and that you were charged by Chase, as your mortgage servicer, for this hazard LPI policy between January 1, 2008 and October 4, 2013.
The Court ordered that Notice to be sent to eligible Class Members because they have the right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit, which concerns hazard LPI issued by ASIC, SGIC, or VIIC or other insurers and for which you were charged by Chase, and about your options.
The Court granted Final Approval of the Saccoccio Settlement on February 28, 2014. If you satisfy the claim criteria and submitted a timely, valid, and properly completed Claim Form by February 10, 2015, you will receive either: (a) a partial refund from the Settlement Administrator, if you paid all or a portion of the premium for your hazard LPI policy; or (b) a credit towards what you currently owe Chase, if you have not paid the premium for your hazard LPI policy.
The Settlement Notice is part of a Settlement Notice Packet sent to all potential Settlement Class Members. The package includes the Settlement Notice, the Instructions for the Class Action Claim Form, and the Class Action Claim Form. The package explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, Class Member legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for these benefits, and how to get them.
The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the case is known as Saccoccio v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 13-cv-21107-FAM (Southern District of Florida).
The person who sued on behalf of you and all Settlement Class Members, Salvatore Saccoccio, is called the “Plaintiff.” The companies he sued, Defendants JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (on behalf of itself and as successor by merger to Chase Home Finance, LLC) (“Chase Bank”), Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (“CIA”), Assurant, Inc. (“Assurant”), American Security Insurance Company (“ASIC”), Standard Guaranty Insurance Company (“SGIC”), and Voyager Indemnity Insurance Company (“VIIC”) are called the “Defendants.”
This lawsuit involves hazard lender-placed insurance (“LPI”), which is hazard insurance that is placed on a homeowner’s property to protect the borrower and mortgage lender when the homeowner’s insurance policy lapses, or when the homeowner does not maintain a homeowner’s insurance policy that is acceptable to the mortgage lender. When a hazard LPI policy is placed pursuant to the homeowner’s mortgage contract, Chase pays premiums to the LPI insurer who writes the policy, such as ASIC, VIIC, and SGIC, and then Chase charges the homeowners for those premiums.
The Plaintiff brought claims on behalf of all persons in the Settlement Class (as defined in Question #5). Plaintiff alleges that when a borrower was required to have hazard insurance for his or her property pursuant to a residential mortgage or home equity loan or line of credit, and evidence of acceptable coverage was not provided (for example when the hazard insurance policy did not exist or had lapsed), Chase Bank and CIA (“Chase” or “Chase Defendants”) would place hazard insurance in a manner where Chase Defendants allegedly received an unauthorized benefit. Plaintiff alleges further that Chase Defendants did so primarily to receive “kickbacks” in the form of commissions from and reinsurance arrangements with Assurant, ASIC, SGIC and VIIC (“Assurant Defendants”). Plaintiff also alleges that the way in which LPI policies were obtained and placed caused the rates and the amount of coverage to be excessive.
All Defendants expressly deny Plaintiff’s allegations and assert their actions are fully authorized under the mortgage instruments and by law. They also expressly deny that they did anything wrong. There has been no court decision on the merits of this case and no finding that Defendants committed any wrongdoing.
Both sides agreed to a Settlement to avoid the cost and risk of a trial, and so that borrowers can get benefits in exchange for releasing Defendants from liability.
To see if you will be affected by this class action, you first have to determine if you are a member of the Settlement Class.
The Settlement Class consists of all borrowers in the United States who, between January 1, 2008 and October 4, 2013 (the “Class Period”), were charged by Chase Defendants as insureds or additional insureds under a hazard LPI policy for residential property and who, during the Class Period, either: (i) paid to the Chase Defendants the charged premium (net of refunds) for that hazard LPI Policy; or (ii) did not pay to and still owe the Chase Defendants the charged premium (net of refunds) for that hazard LPI Policy.
Excluded from the Settlement Class are: (i) individuals who are or were during the Class Period officers or directors of the Defendants or any of their respective affiliates; (ii) any justice, judge or magistrate judge of the United States or any State, their spouses, and persons within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouses of such persons; (iii) borrowers whose hazard LPI policy was cancelled in its entirety such that any premiums charged and/or collected were fully refunded to the borrower’s escrow account; and (iv) all borrowers who filed a timely and proper request to be excluded from the Settlement Class.
If you are not sure whether you are included in the Settlement Class, or you have questions about the case, you may call the toll-free number, 1-877-308-3773.
Defendants agreed to provide a partial refund or credit in the amount of 12.5% of the net premium for each Settlement Class Member’s hazard LPI policy, provided each Settlement Class Member submitted a valid and properly completed Claim Form by February 10, 2015, including for some claimants, providing a form of verification of their identity. As described in further detail in response to Question #9, whether a Settlement Class Member is eligible to receive a partial refund or credit (towards what the Settlement Class Member owes Chase Defendants) depends on whether he or she paid the premiums charged by Chase Defendants for the hazard LPI policy or whether he or she did not pay and still owes those premiums to Chase Defendants. Each Settlement Class Member must have submitted a timely, valid, and properly completed Claim Form by February 10, 2015, to be eligible to receive these benefits. The total cash benefit available to Settlement Class Members exceeds $300 million. Defendants also have agreed to additional injunctive relief from which you may benefit. The Settlement benefits are described in further detail in the Settlement Agreement, which is available on this website.
This Settlement will not affect any rights or claims that you may have under the National Mortgage Settlement or any other settlement between Chase Defendants and any governmental or private entity. This Settlement also will not affect any claim for benefits on your hazard LPI policy that you have made or may make in the future. However, as described below (see Question #11), this Settlement will impact any claims that you may have relating to, concerning, or pertaining to, among other things, Defendants’ conduct, policies, or practices concerning hazard LPI Policies issued by ASIC, SGIC, or VIIC or another insurer and placed or charged by Chase during the Class Period.
To receive a partial refund or credit towards what you currently owe, you must be a Settlement Class Member and must have submitted a properly completed and accurate Class Action Claim Form by February 10, 2015.
The Class Action Claim Form Instructions and Claim Form explain the different relief available to Settlement Class Members, depending upon whether they paid their hazard LPI premium.
As explained on the Claim Form, Settlement Class Members are eligible for a partial refund if they made at least one full monthly mortgage payment to the Chase Defendants between January 1, 2008 and October 4, 2013 after either: (a) their existing escrow account was adjusted to charge the increased premium for the hazard LPI policy; or (b) an escrow account was created to charge the increased premium for the hazard LPI policy.
All other Settlement Class Members who, between January 1, 2008 and October 4, 2013, were charged by Chase Defendants for their hazard LPI policy, and who have not paid and still owe the charged net premium for that policy, are eligible for a reduction of what they currently owe Chase Defendants in the amount of 12.5% of the net premium of the hazard LPI policy. The net premium is the amount of the hazard LPI premium minus any refunds.
The Saccoccio Settlement received Final Approval from the Court on February 28, 2014. The Settlement is now effective. Per the terms of the Settlement, refunds or credits for eligible claimants who filed timely and valid Claim Form(s) will issue by June 8, 2015.
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you remain in the Settlement Class unless you submitted a timely and valid exclusion request. That means you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants about the issues that were or could have been raised in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders concerning the Settlement Class apply to you and legally bind you, including the Release described in detail in Section 10 of the Settlement Agreement. The Court granted Final Approval of the Saccoccio Settlement on February 28, 2014. Section 10 of the Settlement Agreement describes the legal claims that Class Members gave up if a Class Member did not submit a timely and valid exclusion request.
If you do nothing as a Settlement Class Member, you’ll receive no money or credit from this Settlement. Unless you submitted a timely and valid request for exclusion from the Settlement, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit or continue with a lawsuit against Defendants about the legal issues that were or could have been raised in this case.
The deadline to exclude yourself from the Saccoccio Settlement was January 15, 2014. If you fall within the definition of the Settlement Class (see Question #5), you are automatically a member of the Settlement unless you submitted a timely and valid exclusion request. If you submitted a timely and valid exclusion request, you will receive no payment or credit as part of this Settlement, nor any of the additional Settlement benefits.
Any member of the Settlement Class who did not submit a timely and valid exclusion request in the manner and by the deadlines described above is part of the Settlement Class, is bound by all Orders and proceedings in this action, and gave up the right to sue any of the Defendants for the claims that this Settlement resolves. The deadline to exclude yourself from the Saccoccio Settlement was January 15, 2014.
No. If you submitted a timely and valid exclusion request you cannot submit a Claim Form to ask for any money or a credit but you may sue or continue to sue Defendants individually or you may be part of a different lawsuit against Defendants.
The deadline to object to or comment on all or part of the Saccoccio Settlement was January 15, 2014.
The Court appointed the following lawyers to represent you and all other Settlement Class Members. Together, these lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged any money to pay for these lawyers.
Adam M. Moskowitz
Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A.
2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd., 9th Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Aaron S. Podhurst
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.
City National Bank Building
25 West Flagler Street, Suite 800
Miami, FL 33130
Lance A. Harke
Howard M. Bushman, Esq.
Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP
9699 NE Second Ave.
Miami Shores, FL 33138
The Court awarded Class Counsel attorneys’ fees and expenses of $20,000,000 and a case contribution award of $5,000 to the Plaintiff and Class Representative, Salvatore Saccoccio. Defendants will separately pay these fees and expenses and the case contribution award. These amounts will not reduce the amount of refund checks or credits to Settlement Class Members.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida held a Fairness Hearing on February 14, 2014 and granted Final Approval of the Settlement on February 28, 2014.
In addition, you may call 1-877-308-3773 toll-free to find answers to common questions about the Settlement.
The Saccoccio Settlement received final approval by the Court on February 28, 2014. The Settlement is now effective.