In 2015, Plaintiff Saber Ahmed filed a class action against HSBC Bank USA, N.A. for violations of the TCPA. In 2017, another Plaintiff, John Monteleone, joined and a First Amended Complaint was filed alleging that HSBC and PHH Mortgage Corporation negligently and willfully violated the TCPA. After discovery, motions, and a mediation, the parties reach a settlement in 2018. The Court preliminarily approved a settlement in June 2019, and on December 30, 2019, the court granted final approval to the parties settlement agreement. This included the class definition, articulated as:
“[a]ll persons within the United States to whom (a) Defendant HSBC or Defendant PHH Mortgage, (b) placed a call (c) to a cellular telephone (d) regarding a mortgage loan owned and/or serviced by, on behalf of and/or in the name of HSBC (e) through the use of any dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice (f) between October 6, 2011 and [January 18, 2019].”
The court noted that while the estimated individual recovery was $60 at the time of preliminary approval, based on the numbers of claims submitted, it appears each class member that submitted a claim form will receive at least $92. Also, there were no objections from any class members to the settlement agreement, and only eight requests for exclusion. Both named Plaintiffs were awarded $5,000 each.
The settlement fund available to the class is $2,400,000. Class counsel was awarded 25% of the gross settlement amount, $600,000, for attorney’s fees, and $51,071.92, in litigation costs.