Class Action Lawsuit Database

Don’t be alarmed, but The Wealthy Accountant is involved in a class action lawsuit. Mrs. Accountant and I were also dragged into the mess and we couldn’t be happier.

Class action lawsuits are everywhere as major corporations find increasingly clever ways to strip hard-earned money from your hide. Enterprising shysters, ah, I mean attorneys are  equally as enterprising in exposing this malfeasance to line their own pockets while throwing a few crumbs to the proletariat to give the whole process an air of credibility.

Except the crumbs can be mighty large at times. This last week Google deposited $485 into my business checking account as settlement from a class action lawsuit. Mrs. Accountant received unwanted telemarketing calls that ended up in a class action lawsuit and she is eligible for up to $300 per unwanted call with a max of 3 calls. Yes, my lovely bride will bring a whopping 900 bucks into the family budget for being a victim. Keep a stiff upper lip, honey. It’s for the kids.

For several years I’ve worked the class action lawsuit network with reasonable success. Even in a low spending household, the amount of money owed us ends up over $1,000 every year. Some years we break $5,000. When that happens I break down and splurge by buying a pack of gum. Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Who Qualifies?

Whenever I broach this topic, people want to know if they qualify. (Why is it always about them? I’m the victim! Honest.)

Almost everyone is the victim of some scam. Even in the low spending Accountant household we find we are victims a lot. We just don’t play the role well. We need to practice our sad faces more.

Many class action lawsuits revolve around the purchase of a product or service. Other times you qualify for a reward, ah, compensation for damages caused you and your family for things like unwanted telemarketing calls.

You may be familiar with class action lawsuits as law firms send letters letting you know you are a part of a class action suit. If you take the time to respond, acknowledging you qualify for compensation, you get a check in the mail about a year later. But you have to respond and it can be a pain in the tail.

Then there are the myriad class action suits you have to discover yourself or forever hold your peace (or is that piece—I always forget which).




Finding Class Action Lawsuits

Now we need to find all the class action lawsuits we are entitled to compensation from. Thank God, it’s a simple process.

There are multiple websites listing all the many current class actions taking place. Top Class Actions is the best in my opinion and is the site Mrs. Accountant and I use.

Virtually all class action claims can be handled with a simple online form. A few require you to print out a claim form, fill it out and mail it in. The process takes less than a minute in most cases.

Many class action lawsuits are small in size, only a few million dollars. For a few seconds of time (if you qualify) you can get a check for a few dollars six months to a year from now. As long as you are scanning the list of suits you may as well submit a claim for all you qualify for.

Problems with Claims

The worst problem with filing a claim is proof. You probably don’t have a record of every nuisance call to determine if you should be compensated for an illegal telemarketing call. You probably don’t have a receipt, or any kind of proof, you bought xxxx between June 1, 2002 and September 24, 2012.

Some class actions require proof. Many provide a lower level of compensation with only a sworn statement you bought said product in question. When it comes to the list of telemarketing calls you can be compensated for, you enter your phone number and they’ll let you know if you’re a victim. (Ah, the new world order! Where the internet helps us determine if we should feel like a victim. Yes, we should, it seems.)

Review of Current Actions

The process is pretty simple, but this post is too short to stop here so I’ll use some current examples to spur you into action. You can send my commission check to . . .

Note: This is not an affiliate program and neither I, nor The Wealthy Accountant, receive any compensation if you use Top Class Actions and/or submit a claim to an action. However, if you see me at a conference you owe me a beer.

Find me a victim or You’ll be the victim!

I will not link to any of the current class actions I found interesting as the links will break after the suit is finalized and I’m too lazy (or stupid) to remember to come back and update this post multiple times as class actions expire.

The first one we will review is of interest to travel hackers lurking about. The Citibank American Airlines Miles Promotion Class Action Settlement is worth up to $245. It seems Citibank reported erroneous information to the IRS causing people in their program undue stress. (The IRS wanted more money than they deserved and Citibank helped the IRS get it.) So Citibank owes you the losses due the faulty IRS document they filed and refused to correct. Since it is out of statuette, tax returns can’t be amended so Citibank is paying your taxes. Gawd! I love this country!

Did you get an unwanted text from Hooters? Then you might get 50 bucks! Doesn’t really make up for the tongue lashing the missus gave you three years ago, does it. But it is enough to enjoy a night at Hooters! (What’s a hooter? The boy from the backwoods wants to know.)

Do you shop at Costco? Yup, you might want to check out the claim form.

Did Citgo send you an unwanted text? Don’t remember? Fill out the claim form. They ask for your phone number and tell you within seconds if you qualify. (Dang! I wasn’t a victim. I hate it when I’m not a victim.) The settlement amount is still undetermined.

Did you buy a computer in the last ten years? Then you’re a victim! Congratulations! But you better hurry. Claims must be submitted by October 31st. I’m a victim here both personally and my tax practice. Verification of purchase is not required, but may be asked for later. I have most of my records (I hope).

This last one brings up a good point. Should I submit a claim when I don’t have proof? It depends. The instructions tell you which documents are required. I wouldn’t lie; it’s a good way to get into trouble. But, if you purchased a product—or at least think you did—then I would submit a claim.  In most cases it’s not a big deal. I yell across the room, “Mrs. Accountant, do we buy xxxx?” If she says yes, I submit a claim.

Terminix had some trouble with the law due to their robocalls. I had no idea if we received any such calls. Good thing they had a record on file. All I did was enter our cell phone numbers (it only applies to cell phones) to see if we were victims. Sadly, I was not victimized. Thank Jesus and all the powers that be Mrs. Accountant was! We can expect 60 smackeroos in about a year.

I could go on, but you get the point.

I check the list of class actions every couple months and apply for those that I qualify for. It seems we qualify for a lot of them. Insane!

This might be more fun than coupons, polls or tradelines without all the hassle. The only drawback is it takes forever to get paid.

One final class action settlement you might qualify for if you were a part of the Ashley Madison data breach. It’s worth a humongous $3,500! I thought it was safe when I used my brother’s name. Now I can’t collect. Dang it!

 

 

Reminder: The forum is a great place to get tax questions answered and find a tax professional in your area. The more people the forum the more vibrant it will become.



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Keith Schroeder

12 Comments

  1. WCRN on October 16, 2017 at 7:49 am

    It brightens my day to stick it to corporate shysters with the aid of other shysters.
    Keith, you’re doin’ good work.

    • Keith Schroeder on October 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

      It’s kind of a short post, WCRN, so I reviewed a few suits with a bit of humor. Hope no one minds.

  2. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance on October 16, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Thanks Keith. Planning to check this out right away. I like this “side hustle” a little better than the last one. I guess I prefer to be the victim than to risk being unethical. Will certenly buy you a few rounds if one of these pays off.

    • Keith Schroeder on October 16, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Jason, I’ve been working up a powerful thirst as of late so make it two.

  3. Mark Porter on October 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I dunno, it seems to me that this makes you part of the problem, no? Yes, I realize the money is sitting on the table, but really, where does this all end?

    • Keith Schroeder on October 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      My job is to inform, Mark, not pass ethical judgement. In the Google case I mention I spent real $ promoting my company 10 years ago. Google allowed illegal clicks to waste my money. Now I get compensated. In this case I wasn’t the problem; Google was. My attitude is if a company takes action harmful to me I want compensation. Not for the money, but to discourage further bad behavior. Without consequences, consumers will get screwed worse. It’s not about money; it’s about ethical behavior on the corporations part.

  4. Perry on October 16, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing. One that I get in mail, always want proof and that’s too much work. But after reading your article, I will check out a few more.
    I dont drink but will take you for a vegan dinner or at least a coffee when we meet, whether I collect or not.
    Like friends like you who share their knowledge. (I am tired of fake news at most places)

  5. Jim on October 16, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    What at way to stick it to the little guy…. Sue the large corporations so they can settle, and in turn raise their prices on goods/services to pay for the settlement of the lawsuit. Sure a few people such as yourself win, but the vast majority of use lose. This ideology is what is destroying our country and why your healthcare is so expensive. Don’t believe me? Ask your physician how much their malpractice insurance is? Better yet, ask your surgeon how much theirs is, then realize they have to make money and offset their liability by charging you more! I work in healthcare, I see it everyday. The whole reason I started following you and MMM is because a man came to my town in his early 40s claiming to be “retired.” He bought a nice home, multiple boats, and a brand new pickup truck so I started thinking “man I want to be like this guy when I’m in my early 40s.” Well come to find out, this person wasn’t “retired” but instead had sued his former employer over 3 separate lawsuits over a 15 year period. Eventually the employer settled (defense lawyers are expensive) and this man gets paid more than I make every month to go fishing, hunting, boating, camping, hiking, riding ATVs or whatever he wants to do as long as he “never works” again. Who pays for his monthly payment and his lump sum settlement? His former employer, and the employees working there currently and a nationally recognized life insurance company I will not mention. How do you think the employer and life insurance company pay for these handouts? They raise the cost of services on their other customers to offset these payments. I left the last facility I worked in because of the “slip and fall” workers compensation claims we had. The fraudulent employees learned if they pulled a slip and fall job and demanded less than 100K (the company would fight settlements over 100K) then the company would settle because it literally cost the company MORE to go to court and WIN than it did to just settle for anything under 100K. Meanwhile, I didn’t get a raise for 4 years because “we can’t afford it,” and finally I quit and moved. What happened to that company? They are in the process of going bankrupt! This type of thinking is unethical, and immoral. I will continue to push forward with my march towards financial independence, but not off the back of others in this manner.

  6. Michael on October 16, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    I note that I’d be eligible for a couple but the up to $900 is in reality < $15 currently because of the number of claims. I don't think that is worth my time. It would be nice if you could easily turn in the robocall companies on your own and get paid $300 a pop for doing so. I'm surprised how many I get still (been on DNC list for years) so it must be a real pain to make a case stick.

  7. Full Time Finance on October 16, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I didn’t realize this was a thing. I’ve done a few class actions over the year but I don’t think I’ve ever seen more then about 5 dollars from one. I didn’t even realize you could get money from a robocall. Interesting, I won’t weigh on the ethicality, but still interesting

    • Keith Schroeder on October 16, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      FTF, several have asked about the ethics and I have to comment on this.

      The first issue involves lawsuits and consumer prices. With these class action lawsuits the money WILL be paid out. The questions is will you get any. If you qualify for compensation it is up to you if you submit a claim for compensation. The cost to the company remains the same regardless which path you choose.

      The next issue involves the ethics of taking compensation when you’ve been wronged. Think of it this way. A drunk driver hits your car causing $5,000 in damage. Do you file a claim with your insurance company? The higher claims are, the more likely the insurance company is to increase premiums. So maybe you should take a pass. Well, then why have insurance in the first place? Do you sue the drunk driver for the damages? Again, some readers think this is unethical. BUT, if you cause damage, is it not ethical to make things right?

      You see, I don’t get the unethical part. We have laws protecting us from non-stop robocalls and other unethical behavior by corporations. Yet, some consider it unethical to hold said corporations accountable for THEIR unethical behavior! Really? Remember the last election cycle? The political and polling calls were incessant! Yet, without laws limiting these activities, our phones would be useless as corporations would get faster and faster computers to consume your entire phone useage. Too bad politicians are exempt. And it’s unethical for me to say, “Stop!” No, class action lawsuits are a problem sometimes. But bad actors work hard to destroy the wealth of honest people. It might be a few dollars or even hundreds, but it is the only thing discouraging the problems from getting worse.

      It is not unethical to demand compensation for damages. With the latest Apple phone running $1,000, I think unwanted sales calls are a serious cost to the recipient. My phone, my rules. If you want to break the rules, you will pay dearly for it. And still it goes on with severe sanctions in place. It could be much, much worse.

      Just one crazy accountant’s opinion.

      • Jim on October 19, 2017 at 12:59 pm

        There is a huge difference in being hit by a drunk driver and sustaining damage to your car, and possibly your body, and getting a robo call. Yes the call is annoying, but did it cause any real damage? I guess the term “damage” is subjective here. My point is this: Sure it would be nice if there was actually a way to hold these companies and individuals accountable, but currently that system is broken. Yes class action lawsuits exist, but when settled are paid for by individual consumers, not the actual company. The company literally writes them off by offsetting the cost on consumers of their products. That’s it. End of story. So who really wins here and who suffers? It’s not the company. If the company actually lost every time, then we wouldn’t need class action lawsuits because they would do the right thing. But they continue to do these things over and over again because they can afford it. Thinking that class action lawsuits do anything other than offset the poor choices of companies onto consumers is a fairy tale. Sure we need a solution, but class action lawsuits are not the answer.

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