On September 14, 2017, a Federal District Court Judge in Portland approved a $2.3 million settlement of a class action brought against a debt collection firm alleged to have collected more money from debtors than it was legally entitled to collect.
Stoll Berne Shareholders Josh Ross and Keil Mueller, along with co-counsel Kelly D. Jones, were previously named class counsel by the Court. The case was brought by plaintiff Jesus Villanueva on behalf of over 18,000 former debtors of U.S. Bank. Liberty Acquisitions acquired the debts after U.S. Bank sold them off. Liberty then filed lawsuits seeking to collect the principal amount of the debts plus “contractual interest” at rates as high as 21.9%. In the lawsuit, plaintiff noted that Liberty was not entitled to seek interest because the agreement between the debtors and U.S. Bank did not provide for recovery of any interest. As part of the settlement, over 18,000 class members will receive a settlement payment by mail.