Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of this Notice?
  2. What does it mean if I received an e-mail or postcard about this settlement?
  3. What are these class action lawsuits about?
  4. Why is there a settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am a part of the Settlement Class?
  6. Do I have lawyers in this case?
  7. How will Class Counsel and Class Representatives be paid?
  8. What does the settlement provide?
  9. How much will my payment be?
  10. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?
  11. How can I get a payment?
  12. When would I receive a settlement payment?
  13. How do I get out of the settlement?
  14. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue HSBC for the same thing later?
  15. If I exclude myself, can I get a benefit from this settlement?
  16. How do I tell the Court that I do not think the settlement is fair?
  17. What is the difference between objecting and excluding yourself?
  18. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
  20. Do I have to come to the hearing?
  21. May I speak at the hearing?
  22. How do I get more information?

1. What is the purpose of this Notice?

The purpose of the Notice is to inform you that a proposed settlement has been reached in the putative class action lawsuits entitled Medeiros, et al., v. HSBC Card Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-09093-JVS-AFM (C.D. Cal.) ("Medeiros"); Fanning et al. v. HSBC Card Services, Inc. and HSBC Technology & Services (USA), Inc., Case No. 12-cv 00885-JVS-RNBx (C.D. Cal.) ("Fanning"); and Lindgren v. HSBC Card Services, Inc. and HSBC Technology & Services (USA), Inc., Case No. 14-cv-05615-JVS-RNBx (C.D. Cal.) ("Lindgren"). Because your rights will be affected by this settlement, it is extremely important that you read the Notice carefully. The Notice summarizes the settlement and your rights under it.

2. What does it mean if I received an e-mail or postcard about this settlement?

If you received an e-mail or postcard describing this settlement, that is because HSBC's records indicate that you may be a member of the Settlement Class. You are a member of the Settlement Class if you are a California resident who received a telephone call between March 23, 2009 and May 1, 2012 from or on behalf of HSBC Card Services Inc. and that call was recorded or monitored by or on behalf of HSBC. If you received an e-mail or postcard notice, please read it carefully as it will indicate whether you must submit a Claim Form to receive a settlement payment.

3. What are these class action lawsuits about?

In a class action, one or more persons called a Class Representative (Plaintiffs) sues on behalf of people who have similar alleged claims. This group is called a "class" and the persons included are called "class members." One court resolves the issues for all of the class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class. Here, Plaintiffs claim that HSBC violated CIPA by placing telephone calls to each of them between March 23, 2009 and May 1, 2012 and recording or monitoring those calls without consent. HSBC denies these allegations and denies any claim of wrongdoing. The Court has conditionally certified a class action for settlement purposes only. The Honorable James V. Selna is presiding over these lawsuits.

4. Why is there a settlement?

The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or HSBC. Instead, the parties agreed to this settlement. That way, they avoid the risk and cost of a trial, and the Settlement Class members are eligible to receive compensation. Plaintiffs and Class Counsel think the settlement is best for all persons in the Settlement Class.

5. How do I know if I am a part of the Settlement Class?

The Court has certified a class action for settlement purposes only. The Settlement Class is defined as:

All persons in California who received a telephone call between March 23, 2009 and May 1, 2012 from or on behalf of HSBC Card Services Inc. and whose call was recorded or monitored by or on behalf of HSBC.

"Settlement Class Member" is defined as any person in the Settlement Class who is not validly excluded from the Settlement Class. If you are still not sure whether you are included, you may visit other sections of the Settlement Website, you may write to the Settlement Administrator at:

HSBC California Call Recording Lawsuits Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 43438
Providence, RI 02940-3438

Or you may call the Toll-Free Settlement Hotline, 1-855-306 9610, for more information.

6. Do I have lawyers in this case?

The Court has appointed the law firms of Hyde & Swigart, Kazerouni Law Group, APC, Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C., Altshuler Berzon LLP, The Mehdi Firm PC, Arleo Law Firm PLC, and Bailey and Galyen as Class Counsel to represent you and the other persons in the Settlement Class. You will not be personally charged by these lawyers.

7. How will Class Counsel and Class Representatives be paid?

Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of thirty-three percent (33 and 1/3%) of the Settlement Fund ($4,333,333.33) to them for attorneys' fees, plus $340,120 for their costs and expenses. Class Counsel also will ask the Court to approve payment of $1,500 to five of the named Plaintiffs, and Plaintiffs Terry J. Fanning and Stefan O. Lindgren will ask the Court to approve payment of $5,000, for their services as Class Representatives. The Court may award less than these amounts.

8. What does the settlement provide?

Settlement Fund. HSBC will pay $13,000,000 into the Settlement Fund, which will cover all costs of settlement including:

  1. Cash payments to Settlement Class Members;
  2. An award of attorneys' fees to Class Counsel, in an amount not to exceed thirty-three percent (33 and 1/3%) of the Settlement Fund, plus litigation costs and expenses of $340,120, as approved by the Court;
  3. Service awards to the named plaintiffs, in an amount not to exceed $1,500 except that Terry J. Fanning and Stefan O. Lindgren will seek up to $5,000, as approved by the Court;
  4. The costs of notice and administration of the settlement; and
  5. Under certain circumstances as described below, a charitable contribution.

Cash Payments. All Settlement Class Members are eligible to receive a settlement payment, also called a settlement award. Settlement Class Member compensation will vary. Certain Settlement Class Members whose telephone recordings have been identified from HSBC's records will receive compensation based upon the number of recorded telephone conversations (the "Direct Payment Group"). Other Settlement Class Members whose calls have been identified as potentially being recorded will be required to timely submit a valid Claim Form to receive compensation based upon the number of possibly recorded calls. Finally, persons who are not identified within HSBC's records must submit a Claim Form to receive a single cash award amount regardless of the number of possibly recorded telephone conversations. For more information, refer to the procedures described under FAQ 11.

No Portion of the Settlement Fund Will Return to HSBC. Any money remaining in the Settlement Fund after paying all settlement payments to Settlement Class Members, attorneys' fees, costs and expenses to Class Counsel, any service awards to Plaintiffs and the costs of notice and administration of the settlement will be paid either: (1) in a second distribution to Settlement Class Members whose initial settlement checks were cashed; or (2) if there are not enough funds to justify a second distribution, to a charitable organization proposed by the parties and approved by the Court. There will only be a second distribution if there are enough funds to pay each Settlement Class Member $10.00 or more through a second distribution while taking into account additional administrative and mailing costs. No portion of the Settlement Fund will return to HSBC.

9. How much will my payment be?

Settlement Class Member compensation will vary, as discussed in FAQ 8. The settlement award received by members of the Direct Payment Group will be the "Base Award" amount multiplied by three times the number of telephone calls received by the Settlement Class Member during the Class Period that were or could have been recorded, as determined by the Third Party Data Analyst.

As discussed under FAQ 8, persons whose name appears in HSBC's records but who are not within the Direct Payment Group must timely submit a valid Claim Form to receive a settlement award. The amount of the settlement award received by these persons will be the Base Award amount multiplied by the number of telephone calls received by the Settlement Class Member during the Class Period that were or could have been recorded, as reflected in HSBC's records and using the methodology employed by the Third Party Data Analyst. Finally, persons whose names do not appear in HSBC's records who want to receive a settlement payment must also timely submit a valid Claim Form to receive a settlement award. These Settlement Class Members may submit only one Claim Form, regardless of the number of times the Settlement Class Member received a telephone call from HSBC that was recorded, the number of HSBC credit card accounts held or obligations owed at any time, or how many telephone numbers HSBC used to call that person during the Class Period. The amount of the payment received by these persons will be a single Base Award.

The Base Award amount will be calculated by, first, determining a Net Settlement Fund by subtracting from the total Settlement Fund of $13 million the amount of Court approved attorneys' fees, litigation expenses, service awards to Plaintiffs, costs of claims administration, and costs of the Third Party Data Analyst, and then, by dividing the Net Settlement Amount by the sum of (claims submitted by individuals not appearing in HSBC records who are entitled to a single Base Award) plus (total number of telephone calls to Settlement Class Members who submit valid Claim Form) plus (three times the total number of telephone calls to members of the Direct Payment Group).

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

Unless you exclude yourself from the settlement, you will be part of the Settlement Class and will be bound by the release of claims in the settlement. This means that if the settlement is approved, you cannot pursue or continue to pursue, on your own or as part of any other action, HSBC and/or any other Released Parties for any Released Claims, as explained in the settlement agreement. In other words, you cannot sue HSBC about alleged recording or monitoring of telephone calls to you. It also means that all of the Court's orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

The actual language of the release is as follows:

Plaintiffs and each and all Settlement Class Members, on behalf of themselves and their respective spouses, heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, agents, attorneys, partners, successors, predecessors-in-interest, assigns, any authorized users of their accounts and other persons claiming through them, fully release and forever discharge HSBC Card Services Inc., HSBC Technology & Services (USA) Inc. and Capital One Financial Corporation, and each and all of its and their present, former and future direct and indirect parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, agents, successors, vendors, independent contractors, predecessors in interest, and all of the respective officers, directors, employees, attorneys, shareholders, agents, representatives, and assigns of the aforementioned (together, the "Released Parties"), from any and all rights, duties, obligations, claims, actions, causes of action or liabilities, whether arising under local, state or federal law, whether by Constitution, statute (including but not limited to California's Invasion of Privacy Act, Cal. Penal Code Sections 630 through 638, and other federal or state unfair and deceptive practices statutes or debt collection statutes), common law or equity, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, asserted or unasserted, foreseen or unforeseen, actual or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, punitive or compensatory, as of the date of entry of the Final Approval Order that arise out of or are related in any way to the recording or monitoring of telephone calls placed by or on behalf of HSBC Card Services Inc. and HSBC Technology & Services (USA) Inc. to the Settlement Class Members and the Releasing Parties from March 23, 2009 through May 1, 2012, whether the claims are brought directly by or on behalf of any Settlement Class Member in an individual or class action, representative action or in any other capacity, with respect to any form of relief, including, without limitation, damages, restitution, disgorgement, penalties and injunctive or declaratory relief (the "Released Claims").

Without limiting the foregoing, the Released Claims specifically extend to claims that Settlement Class Members do not know or suspect to exist in their favor at the time that the Settlement, and the Releases contained therein, become effective. This Section constitutes a waiver of, without limitation as to any other applicable law, Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which provides:

A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.

Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class Members understand and acknowledge the significance of these waivers of California Civil Code Section 1542 and any other applicable federal or state statute, case law, rule or regulation relating to limitations on releases. In connection with such waivers and relinquishment, Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class Members acknowledge that they are aware that they may hereafter discover facts in addition to, or different from, those facts that they now know or believe to be true with respect to the subject matter of the Settlement, but that it is their intention to release fully, finally and forever all Released Claims with respect to the Released Parties, and in furtherance of such intention, the releases of the Released Claims will be and remain in effect notwithstanding the discovery or existence of any such additional or different facts. If you have any questions about the Release or what it means, you can speak to Class Counsel, listed under FAQ 6, for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer. The Release does not apply to persons in the Settlement Class who timely exclude themselves.

11. How can I get a payment?

If you received an e-mail or postcard, please read it carefully. Unless you received an e-mail or postcard advising you that you do not need to submit a Claim Form, you must submit a Claim Form to receive a cash settlement award. You may get a Claim Form here, or by calling the Toll-Free Settlement Hotline, 1-855-306-9610. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form completely and accurately, sign it and submit it. To be valid, the Claim Form must be completed fully and accurately, signed and submitted timely. A Claim Form may be submitted by U.S. mail to the Settlement Administrator at:

HSBC California Call Recording Lawsuits Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 43438
Providence, RI 02940-3438

Or via the Settlement Website by clicking here.

If you are submitting your Claim Form via the Settlement Website, it must be submitted no later than August 28, 2017. If you are mailing your Claim Form to the Settlement Administrator, it must be postmarked by that date.

12. When would I receive a settlement payment?

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on October 16, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, after that, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Everyone entitled to a settlement award will be informed of the progress of the settlement through information posted on the Settlement Website. Please be patient.

13. How do I get out of the settlement?

If you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue HSBC or a Released Party, as defined in the settlement agreement, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement Class. This is called excluding yourself from, or opting-out of, the Settlement Class.

To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must send an exclusion request to the Settlement Administrator. To be valid, an exclusion request must:

  1. Be signed by the person in the Settlement Class who is requesting exclusion;
  2. Include the full name, address, telephone number(s), and any HSBC credit card account number(s) of the person in the Settlement Class requesting exclusion (except that persons in the Settlement Class who do not have and have not had a credit card relationship with HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A. shall not be required to include an account number); and
  3. Include the following statement: "I/we request to be excluded from the settlement in the HSBC California Call Recording Lawsuits." No request for exclusion will be valid unless all of the information described above is included. For any person in the Settlement Class who has more than one account, the exclusion request shall include all accounts.

No person in the Settlement Class, or any person acting on behalf of or in concert or participation with that person in the Settlement Class, may exclude any other person in the Settlement Class from the Settlement Class. To be valid, you must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than August 28, 2017 to:

HSBC California Call Recording Lawsuits Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 43438
Providence, RI 02940-3438

14. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue HSBC for the same thing later?

No. If you do not exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue (or continue to sue) HSBC or any Released Parties for the Release Claims that this settlement resolves.

15. If I exclude myself, can I get a benefit from this settlement?

No. If you ask to be excluded, you will not receive a settlement payment and you cannot object to the settlement.

16. How do I tell the Court that I do not think the settlement is fair?

If you are in the Settlement Class, you can object to the settlement or any part of the settlement that you think the Court should reject, and the Court will consider your views. If you do not provide a written objection in the manner described below, you are deemed to have waived any objection and shall forever be foreclosed from making any objection to the fairness, reasonableness or adequacy of the settlement, including as to the award of any attorneys' fees and costs to Class Counsel and/or service award to Plaintiffs. To object, you must make your objection in writing, stating that you object to the settlement in the HSBC California Call Recording Lawsuits. To be valid, the objection must:

  1. Attach documents establishing, or provide information sufficient to allow the Parties to confirm, that the objector is a Settlement Class Member,including but not limited to providing your full name, address, and the telephone number(s) called by or on behalf of HSBC within the Class Period;
  2. Include a statement of such Settlement Class Member's specific objections;
  3. State the grounds for objection, as well as identify any documents which the objector desires the Court to consider;
  4. State whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing on your own behalf or through counsel; and
  5. Disclose every prior objection to any class action settlement made by the objector including the case name, case number, and disposition of the prior objection(s).

To be considered, you must file your objections with the Court and mail your objections to the addresses below no later than August 28, 2017.

For Plaintiffs For HSBC
KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP, APC
Abbas Kazerounian
ak@kazlg.com
245 Fischer Avenue, Unit D1
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

ALTSHULER BERZON LLP
Michael Rubin
mrubin@altber.com
177 Post Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94108
STROOCK & STROOCK & LAVAN LLP
Julia B. Strickland, Esq.
jstrickland@stroock.com
2029 Century Park East
Los Angeles, CA 90067-3086

Even if you timely and properly object, to obtain a benefit from this settlement, you must submit a Claim Form (unless you received an e-mail or postcard advising you that you do not need to submit a Claim Form). If you object but fail to submit a Claim Form, you will not receive a settlement payment.

17. What is the difference between objecting and excluding yourself?

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

18. What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you do nothing, you will not receive a settlement payment (unless you received an e-mail or postcard notice advising you that you do not need to submit a Claim Form to receive a settlement award) and you will give up your rights to sue HSBC and/or any other Released Parties on the Released Claims. If you received an e-mail or postcard notice advising you that you do not need to submit a Claim Form to receive a settlement award, and you do nothing, you will receive a settlement award and you will give up your rights to sue HSBC and/or any other Released Parties on the Released Claims. For information relating to what rights you are giving up, see FAQ 10.

19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on October 16, 2017 at the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 411 West Fourth Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4516, in Courtroom 10C. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are valid objections that comply with the requirements in FAQ 16, the Court also will consider them and will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay to Class Counsel and Plaintiffs. The Final Approval Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the Settlement Website for updates.

20. Do I have to come to the hearing?

No. Class Counsel will appear on behalf of the Settlement Class. But, you are welcome to come, or have your own lawyer appear, at your own expense.

21. May I speak at the hearing?

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, but only in connection with an objection that you have timely submitted to the Court according to the procedure set forth in FAQ 16. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the settlement.

22. How do I get more information?

The Notice is only a summary of the proposed settlement. You can get a copy of the settlement agreement here, or you can write to the address below or call the Toll-Free Settlement Hotline, 1-855-306-9610.

DO NOT CALL OR WRITE TO THE COURT, THE CLERK OF THE COURT, HSBC OR HSBC'S COUNSEL ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT. TELEPHONE REPRESENTATIVES WHO ANSWERCALLS MADE TO THE TOLL-FREE NUMBER ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT OR THIS NOTICE.

HSBC California Call Recording Lawsuits Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 43438
Providence, RI 02940-3438