PHILADELPHIA – A motion to amend preliminary approval of a $320,000 class action settlement with Trumark Financial Credit Union was approved by a Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas judge last week.
Judge Jaqueline F. Allen granted the motion allowing 85 members in a class action lawsuit against Trumark Financial Credit Union an extra 40 days to be noticed of their rights and possible participation in the April 2012 suit filed by Cody Cubler, of Folcroft.
Cubler’s suit alleges two counts of Trumark having violated Pennsylvania’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) in not providing adequate notice of repossession or resale of vehicles under its auspices.
In October 2008, Cubler purchased a 2006 Chevy Cobalt from Enterprise, a transaction financed by Trumark. In early August 2009, Trumark declared default on the car and repossessed it soon afterwards.
On Aug. 14, 2009, Trumark sent Cubler’s father, George Cubler, a letter explaining the car had been repossessed and would be resold at auction – but allegedly, without providing the Cublers with written notice of an opportunity to pay off the remaining balance on the car, or where and when the auction would be taking place.
According to court records, the vehicle fetched $4,805.00 at auction, with a remaining balance of $6,969.40 levied against Cubler.
Cubler filed suit in April 2012, citing Article IX of the UCC as requiring “reasonable authenticated notification of disposition” as to noticing debtors on matters of collateral possessions.
The lawsuit named Cubler and all others who had conducted business with Trumark and found themselves in similar circumstances.
A settlement was reached between the parties in January, with the following terms: -Trumark paid $320,000 into a fund at PNC Bank within 14 days of the date of preliminary approval. These funds would compensate class members, class counsel, fees and costs, plus administrative expenses;
-Consumer reporting agencies would be required to delete any tradeline from affected class members’ credit reports;
-Trumark may waive and eliminate deficiencies on auto loans, if the class member so chooses; and
-The awarding of an additional $4,000 to Cubler for acting as chief representative of the affected class members.
Initially, the deadline for class members to indicate their participation in the suit was March 11 of this year, though 85 class members did not receive their notices until April 3, more than three weeks after the deadline had elapsed. This was later determined to be due to the mailings not being directed to correct addresses of the recipients.
Cubler and his counsel filed a motion to re-notice class members whose addresses had changed by April and reset the date for those class members to act for some time in July 2015, to which the defendant and their counsel had no objection.
Allen scheduled a final approval hearing in this matter for July 10 in court chambers at City Hall.
The plaintiff is represented by Cary L. Flitter, Esq., Theodore E. Lorenz, Esq. and Andrew M. Milz, Esq., of Flitter Lorenz P.C. of Narberth.
The defendant is represented by Christine Debevec, Esq. and Michelle C. Orloski, Esq. both of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, of Philadelphia, and Sandra A. Girifalco, Esq. of Philadelphia.