William T. Chapman, et al. v. Butler & Hosch, P.A., et al.
With April Charney of Jacksonville Legal Aid, we represented consumers who objected to the settlement in this Florida-wid e class action against Butler & Hosch, a “foreclosure mill” law firm. The underlying case alleged that the firm charged consumers excessive fees and costs as a condition of reinstating their home mortgages. Under the terms of settlement, most of the class members were not given notice at all, meaning that they would have have valuable claims and defenses released without any compensation or opportunity to opt-out. Even those who received notice were not told that class counsel would seek nearly half of the settlement fund in fees or given any clue what their share of the fund would be. Substantively, we argued that the scope of the releases, the meager relief, the large size of the fee request, and other aspects of the settlement, all rendered the settlement unfair.
In response to our objections, the court agreed to require the settling parties to provide notice to all members of the class. However, the court rejected our substantive objections and approved the settlement.