Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a notice?
  2. What is this litigation about?
  3. What is an Account Review Inquiry?
  4. Why is this a class action?
  5. Why is there a Settlement?
  6. Who is included in the Settlement?
  7. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?
  8. What does the Settlement provide?
  9. How much will my payment be?
  10. When will I receive my payment?
  11. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?
  12. How can I receive a payment?
  13. How will my claim be decided?
  14. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
  15. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Bank of America for the same thing later?
  16. If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment?
  17. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
  18. How will the lawyers be paid?
  19. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?
  20. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
  21. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  22. Do I have to attend the hearing?
  23. May I speak at the hearing?
  24. How do I get more information?

1. Why is there a notice?

A Court authorized the notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

Judge Vince Chhabria of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is overseeing this case. This litigation is known as Pastor v. Bank of America, N.A., N.D. CA. Case No. 3:15-cv-03831-VC.

2. What is this litigation about?

The lawsuit is about whether Bank of America impermissibly accessed consumer credit reports to conduct Account Review Inquiries of Bank of America customers after their account relationships with Bank of America allegedly had ended (see Question 6).

The complaint in the lawsuit is posted on this website and contains all of the allegations and claims asserted against Bank of America. Bank of America denies any liability or wrongdoing.

3. What is an Account Review Inquiry?

An Account Review Inquiry means a request by Bank of America for an individual’s credit bureau information, where such inquiry is visible to the individual, but not to other users of the individual’s credit report. This is known as a “soft inquiry” because only the individual sees the inquiry – other creditors do not see the soft inquiry and it does not affect the individual’s credit score in any way. The class definition excludes prescreening inquiries made by Bank of America for credit bureau information pursuant to the “firm offer of credit or insurance” provision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 168l b(c)(1)(B) and inquiries made by Bank of America for collection of a debt due and owing to Bank of America, and that has not been discharged in bankruptcy.

4. Why is this a class action?

In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, one former Bank of America customer) sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. Together, all the people with similar claims (except those who exclude themselves) are members of a “Settlement Class.”

5. Why is there a Settlement?

The Court has not decided whether Bank of America has broken any law or done anything wrong. Instead, the Class Representatives and Bank of America have agreed to a Settlement before any decision about the legality of Bank of America's conduct was made by the Court. By agreeing to the Settlement, both sides avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Settlement Class Members receive the benefits described in this notice. Bank of America denies all claims in this case. The Class Representatives and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

6. Who is included in the Settlement?

You are a member of the Settlement Class if you:

  • Were a borrower on a Bank of America account or Bank of America-serviced account and
  • Your consumer credit information was accessed by Bank of America through an Account Review Inquiry during the period August 21, 2010 through July 7, 2017, and at a time when the account met any one of the following criteria:
    1. the account was closed with a zero balance;
    2. the account had been sold or transferred to a third party; or
    3. the debt on the account had been discharged in bankruptcy.

7. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, call the toll-free number, 1-844-200-9297. You may also send questions to the Settlement Administrator at Info@PastorBANAFCRASettlement.com or write to Bank of America FCRA Settlement, P.O. Box 404023, Louisville, KY 40233-4023

If you did not receive a postcard in the mail but believe you are a Settlement Class Member, you can file a claim but will need either your Bank of America account number OR Date the account was closed with a zero balance OR date the account was sold or transferred to a third party OR date the debt on the account was discharged in bankruptcy.

8. What does the Settlement provide?

If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to Settlement Class Members. Bank of America will pay $1,645,000 to a Settlement Fund to make payments to eligible Settlement Class Members, as well as to pay for the Class Counsel’s fees, costs and expenses incurred by Class Counsel; the costs of notice and to administer the settlement; and a service payment to the Class Representatives who initiated the lawsuit. If there are any funds remaining in the Settlement Fund after payments are made to Settlement Class Members, any remaining funds will be distributed to a nonprofit organization or organizations agreed upon by Class Counsel and Bank of America and approved by the Court.

9. How much will my payment be?

The Settlement Fund – less those amounts paid to Class Counsel and the Class Representatives, and the costs of notice and administering the Settlement – will be distributed in equal amounts to each Settlement Class Member who files a valid claim.

10. When will I receive my payment?

Settlement award checks were mailed on October 15, 2018. The settlement check is for $4.07, and has been calculated pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement that was approved by the court.

11. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

Unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you will be a Settlement Class Member and be bound by the Settlement. This means that you can’t sue Bank of America in court, or bring a claim against Bank of America through the arbitration process, or be part of any other lawsuit or arbitration against Bank of America if those claims are based on the same factual basis as the issues in this case. (Arbitration is a process between consumers and businesses that uses a neutral person to resolve a dispute.) If you do not exclude yourself, the Settlement Agreement and all decisions by the Court will bind you. The Settlement Agreement is available on this website and describes the claims that you give up if you remain in the Settlement.

12. How can I receive a payment?

The Filing Deadline of June 19, 2018 has now passed.

13. How will my claim be decided?

After you submit your claim, the Settlement Administrator will confirm whether you are a Settlement Class Member and therefore entitled to a payment. If your application is incomplete or does not establish that you are entitled to a payment, the Settlement Administrator will notify you to correct any problems with your claim. If you do not correct the problems, your claim will be denied.

The Settlement Agreement provides more detail on how claims will be decided.

14. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

The Opt Out deadline to exclude yourself was June 19, 2018 and has now passed.

15. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Bank of America for the same thing later?

No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up the right to sue Bank of America for any claim based on the same factual basis as those raised in this lawsuit. You must have excluded yourself from the Settlement Class in order to maintain your own lawsuit.

16. If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment?

No. You will not get a payment if you excluded yourself from the Settlement.

17. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

The Court has appointed the following lawyers as Class Counsel to represent all Settlement Class Members. They are:

Joshua B. Swigart, Esq.
David J. McGlothlin, Esq.
HYDE & SWIGART
2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 101
San Diego, CA 92108-3551
Tel. (619) 233-7770
Abbas Kazerounian, Esq.
Ryan L. McBride, Esq.
KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP
245 Fischer Avenue, Suite D1
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel. (800) 400-6808

You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

18. How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel intend to request up to 30% of the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees and expenses of prosecuting the class action. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. The Court will decide the amount of fees to award. Class Counsel will also request that a service payment of up to $5,000 be paid from the Settlement Fund to each of the Class Representatives for his or her service as representatives of the whole Settlement Class.

19. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you can object to any part of the Settlement, the Settlement as a whole, Class Counsel’s requests for fees and expenses, and/or the service payment to the Class Representatives. To object, you must submit a letter that includes the following:

  • The name of the litigation;
  • Your name, address, and telephone number and, if you did not receive the mailed notice, documents to demonstrate that you are a Class Member;
  • An explanation of the basis upon which you claim to be a Settlement Class Member;
  • The reasons you object to the Settlement, along with any supporting materials;
  • The identity of all counsel who represent you and which, if any, will appear at the Final Approval Hearing on your behalf;
  • A statement regarding whether you will appear and/or testify at the Final Approval Hearing (and any other person who will be called to testify regarding your objection); and
  • Your signature (an attorney’s signature is not sufficient).
  • A list of all other objections to other class settlements and consideration paid to resolve them.

Although you are required to submit a written objection prior to appearing at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement, this requirement may be excused for good cause. Otherwise, the requirements to object to the Settlement are described in detail in the Settlement Agreement in paragraph 52. You must have electronically filed with the Court or mailed your objection to each of the following three addresses, and your objection must have been postmarked by June 19, 2018:

Clerk of the Court
U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
Joshua B. Swigart, Esq.
David J. McGlothlin, Esq.
HYDE & SWIGART
2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 101
San Diego, CA 92108-3551
Tel. (619) 233-7770
Abbas Kazerounian, Esq.
Ryan L. McBride, Esq.
KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP
245 Fischer Avenue, Suite D1
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel. (800) 400-6808

20. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

21. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing on August 16, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Courthouse, located at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, Courtroom 4-17th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check www.pastorBANAFCRAsettlement.com for updates. At this hearing the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will also consider a request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. The Court can only approve or deny the Settlement; it cannot change the terms of the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

22. Do I have to attend the hearing?

No. Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have. But you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time, to the proper addresses, and it complies with the other requirements described in the Settlement Agreement, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.

23. May I speak at the hearing?

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must comply with the requirements in Question 19. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

24. How do I get more information?

This notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Settlement Agreement on this website. You may also write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at Bank of America FCRA Settlement, P.O. Box 404023, Louisville KY 40233-4023 or call the toll-free number, 1-844- 200-9297.

Instructions on how to access the case docket via PACER or in person at any of the Court’s locations:

The Complaint, Settlement Agreement, and the Notice may be viewed at United States District Court Northern District of California, located at 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, or the documents may be accessed online through the Court’s electronic filing system via PACER (www.pacer.gov).

The Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system is the Federal Judiciary’s comprehensive case management system for all bankruptcy, district and appellate courts. CM/ECF allows courts to accept filings and provide access to filed documents over the Internet. The system also offers instantly updated dockets and immediate online access to new filings, which can be downloaded and printed directly from the court system. For more information, please go to http://cand.uscourts.gov/cm-ecf.

For in-person review, in order to view or retrieve documents in any format, you may access the PACER system on one of the terminals in the Records Section of any Clerk’s Office location, where you may search party names to obtain a case number. Most case files are now available entirely in electronic format through ECF. A physical file is created for each case but only manually filed documents are placed in the file; electronically filed documents (the vast majority of filings in our court) are only available electronically. Manually filed documents are scanned and are accessible via the electronic docket.

Physical case files and dockets may be obtained on a same day basis, unless they are being reviewed by someone at the time of the request or are in the Federal Records Center, where paper files in closed cases are housed after one year or more. Clerk’s Office staff can tell you whether the file is in the courthouse or at the Federal Records Center.

A valid government-issued picture identification card is needed to view a paper case file or docket. Acceptable identification cards include a state driver’s license, a California identification card, a United States passport, or a federal, state, county or city employee card. Credit cards, car keys, or student identification cards will not be accepted.