UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA ELLIOT SCHWARTZ, NICOLE C. ) GIAMPAULO, WILLIE JO ) JIMMERSON, DANIEL RYAN, and ) MARY ANN WILLIAMS, individually ) ) and on behalf of all others similarly situated, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) Case No. 00-00075 LGB (JWJX) ) CITIBANK (SOUTH DAKOTA), N.A., ) UNIVERSAL BANK, N.A., ) UNIVERSAL FINANCIAL CORP., and ) DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, ) ) Defendants. ) ____________________________________) If you have or had a Citibank brand or AT&T Universal Card brand Visa or MasterCard: You may have a claim under a new class action settlement. A proposed nationwide settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit captioned above, which alleges that Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., Universal Bank, N.A., and Universal Financial Corp. (“Defendants”) failed to credit properly the payments of some credit card holders on the day their payments were received. Defendants deny any wrongdoing and will vigorously defend the lawsuit if the settlement is not approved; they have agreed, nevertheless, to settle this lawsuit to avoid the risk and uncertainty inherent in any litigation. If you are a consumer who has, or at any time has had, one or more Visa or MasterCard credit card accounts marketed under the “Citibank” brand or the “AT&T Universal Card” brand, you are a Class Member in this lawsuit. The proposed settlement will provide the following benefits to consumers holding “Citibank” and “AT&T Universal Card” brand credit cards: 1. Defendants will change the cut-off time for crediting consumer credit card payments received on a business day from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and will expand their disclosure of payment information. 2. Defendants will refrain from imposing certain late charges and other charges for any consumer credit card payment that is received before 12:00 midnight on the payment due date. 3. Defendants will create a Settlement Fund of $18 million, to be used for these purposes: (i) Up to $5 million in reimbursements to certain cardholders who submit Claims for Reimbursement. (ii) At least $11.5 million in Finance Charge Refunds to certain cardholders. (iii) $1.5 million in statutory damages under TILA. These damages will be distributed to cardholders receiving Finance Charge Refunds and/or payments on Claims for Reimbursements. Attorneys’ Fees The parties agree that reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs shall be paid separately by the Defendants (not from the Settlement Fund) in an amount to be awarded by the Court. Defendants have agreed not to oppose an award of attorneys’ fees of up to $9.00 million and an award of costs of up to $250,000. The parties believe that the total benefit to the Class of the Settlement Agreement is at least $36 million (excluding attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses). Releases to be granted to Defendants: Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Defendants, and other persons and entities related to them, will be granted a broad release of any liability in connection with the receipt, processing, and crediting of payments. Additional details regarding the release, the full terms of the settlement, and information about how to exclude yourself from the settlement (and thereby exclude from the release any personal claims you may have) can be obtained as indicated below. How to obtain a refund or reimbursement: If you have paid a finance charge, a late fee, and/or certain other charges on your “Citibank”-brand or “AT&T Universal Card”-brand credit card, you may be entitled to a refund and/or reimbursement of such charges. Some Class Members will automatically receive certain Finance Charge Refunds by credit to their credit card accounts. Other Class Members must complete a Claim Form (and provide documentary evidence) to receive such refunds. Plaintiffs and Defendants estimate that the average cash recovery per Class Member for Finance Charge Refunds will be less than $1; some individuals will receive less, and some will receive more. All Class Members who wish to receive (and can prove that they are entitled to receive) reimbursements for certain late fees, “penalty rate” interest, and/or other charges must complete a Claim Form. Further information: To receive a detailed Notice containing further information about refunds and/or reimbursements under the proposed settlement, and other important information about the settlement, as well as a Claim Form, call toll free 1-800-XXX-XXXX or write to___________. Your rights as a Class Member: You have the right to enter an individual appearance in this case, and to obtain your own counsel (at your expense), although you are not required to do so. If you wish to object to the terms of the settlement agreement, you must file written objections with the Clerk of the Court by ______, 2000 [14 days prior to the Final Approval Hearing]. The detailed Notice describes how to enter an appearance and/or submit objections. You also have the right to attend a Final Fairness Hearing, where the Court will consider whether to approve the proposed settlement. That hearing will be held on ____, 2000. Excluding yourself from the settlement: If you do not wish to participate in or be bound by the proposed settlement, you must exclude yourself from the Class, as described in the detailed Notice, no later than ____, 2000 [14 days prior to Final Approval Hearing]. If you do not exclude yourself, you will be bound by the settlement and release, and you will be barred from prosecuting any legal action against Citibank or Universal (and others) concerning claims that are released. If you want more information about the claims that will be released, and about how to exclude yourself from the class, you should obtain the detailed Notice referred to above. If you exclude yourself from the Class, you will NOT be eligible to receive any refunds or reimbursements as provided in the proposed settlement. This publication notice is intended only as a brief summary of this lawsuit and the proposed settlement. It is not a complete statement of the lawsuit or the proposed settlement, or the release of claims that will be granted to Defendants (and others) if the settlement is approved. For further information, call the toll free number listed above or write to the address listed above to obtain a detailed Notice and Claim Form. DO NOT CONTACT CITIBANK, UNIVERSAL, OR THE COURT.
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