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Taylor v. Merchants Credit Adjustors, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

November 21, 2017

JANNETTE TAYLOR, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated; Plaintiff,
v.
MERCHANTS CREDIT ADJUSTORS, INC., and PANSING, HOGAN, ERNST & BACHMAN, L.L.P., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

          SUSAN M. BAZIS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement and Notice to Class. (Filing No. 65.) Plaintiff seeks an order certifying a settlement class, preliminarily approving the terms of the parties' settlement agreement, and approving the form and method for providing class-wide notice. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will recommend that the motion be granted.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed a class action complaint against Defendants under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq., and the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act (“NCPA”), Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 59-1601, et seq. The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the FDCPA and NCPA by (1) filing county court complaints against Nebraska consumers that represent that a demand has been sent more than 90 days prior to filing suit when such a demand has not been sent and (2) sending requests for admissions that misrepresent the consumers' rights in responding to the requests. (Filing No. 1.)

         Following negotiations, the parties reached a settlement of all claims asserted in this case. The parties' Class Action Settlement Agreement (“Settlement Agreement”) (Filing No. 67-1) defines the following proposed settlement classes (collectively referred to herein as “Settlement Class”):[1]

FDCPA Class No. 1
This action is brought as a class action on behalf of a class defined as: (i) all persons with addresses in Nebraska (ii) against whom Defendants filed a county court collection complaint in the form of Exhibit A attached to Plaintiff's Complaint (iii) in an attempt to collect an alleged debt (iv) which was for personal, family, or household purposes (v) during the period one year prior to the date of filing this action.
FDCPA Class No. 2
This action is brought as a class action on behalf of a class defined as: (i) all persons with addresses in Nebraska (ii) to whom Defendants sent, or caused to be sent Requests for Admissions in the form of Exhibit C attached to Plaintiff's Complaint (iii) in an attempt to collect an alleged debt (iv) which was for personal, family, or household purposes (v) during the period one year prior to the date of filing this action.
NCPA Class No. 1
This action is brought as a class action on behalf of a class defined as: (i) all persons with addresses in Nebraska (ii) against whom Defendants filed a county court collection complaint in the form of Exhibit A attached to Plaintiff's Complaint (iii) in an attempt to collect an alleged debt (iv) which was for personal, family, or household purposes (v) during the period four years prior to the date of filing this action.
NCPA Class No. 2
This action is brought as a class action on behalf of a class defined as: (i) all persons with addresses in Nebraska (ii) to whom Defendants sent, or caused to be sent Requests for Admissions in the form of Exhibit C attached to Plaintiff's Complaint (iii) in an attempt to collect an alleged debt (iv) which was for personal, family, or ...

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