Van Ru Credit Corp. has agreed to pay $2.3 million, or $1,600 per class member, to settle allegations that it placed prerecorded calls to Plaintiffs’ phones without consent. This has been called one of the largest per-member Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class settlements ever. Arizona federal judge Stephen M. McNamee approved the settlement under which Van Ru agreed to pay class members $1,600 each to settle the suit. Lead Plaintiff Nivea Ritchie filed suit in January 2013, alleging Van Ru placed unsolicited calls on behalf of debt collectors Palisades Collection LLC and Asta Funding Inc.
The suit was filed in Arizona federal court alleging Van Ru placed prerecorded calls to the wrong consumers’ cellphones by using an inaccurate skip trace vendor, in violation of the TCPA. Class members receiving payments under the settlement include all people in the U.S. whose cellphones Van Ru called using an automatic dialing service from Jan. 1, 2012, to May 31, 2012. Ms. Richie will receive $12,000 from the settlement fund for her role as class representative. Class members received, on average, 3.3 calls from Van Ru and are receiving the maximum settlement permitted under the TCPA. There are about 9,042 potential class members, but only those who submit claims will receive payment.