Chase Bank USA will pay $34 million to settle a class action alleging it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing calls to consumers’ cellphones without consent. U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman preliminarily approved the settlement, under which each class member will receive between $20 and $40, to end the litigation. It was alleged that Chase and JP Morgan Chase Bank NA placed calls and sent texts or voice alerts to consumers’ cellphones through automatic dialers. The court’s order finds that “The settlement agreement substantially fulfills the purposes and objectives of the class action, and provides substantial relief to the settlement class.” The settlement class is broken down into two subclasses:
- the alert call subclass consisting of Plaintiffs who received text messages or voice alerts and
- the collection call subclass consisting of Plaintiffs who received calls, according to the order.
The agreement comes after more than two years of “hard-fought” litigation in the case, which consists of three consolidated actions, according to the Plaintiffs’ motion for approval of the settlement. This is not the first time JP Morgan has settled TCPA litigation alleging it made automated calls without consent. In January 2012, it agreed to pay between $7 million and $9 million to settle two proposed class actions claiming it illegally made automated calls to residential loan holders’ cellphones without consent. Under the 2012 settlement, the company would set up a settlement fund that would be used to pay out between $25 and $500 to proposed class members, up to $3 million to proposed class counsel and $5,000 to the two proposed class representatives.