In 2005, a group of merchants filed a class-action lawsuit against Visa, MasterCard, and card-issuing banks. This lawsuit claimed that the interchange fees and rules governing payment card acceptance constituted illegal price-fixing. The case was first settled in 2012, but this was vacated by the courts due to the withdrawal of many major merchants. In December of 2019, a new settlement was reached. Although this has been appealed, experts still believe this will be the final settlement in the case.
Here is some of the basic information you should know about this lawsuit:
Who Is Eligible?
If your business processed Visa-branded and/or MasterCard-branded cards any time from January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019, you are considered a class member. This means you may be entitled to compensation. Even if your business no longer exists, you can still pursue a claim. The exception to this is if you are a dismissed plaintiff, which applies if you previously settled or dismissed a separate lawsuit against Visa/MasterCard. A full list of dismissed plaintiffs can be found here.
How Much Money Are You Owed?
The amount of money you are owed through this settlement will depend on the interchange fees your business paid for the relevant time period. If you do not have this data, we can help you determine the estimated amount. In addition, many of the biggest retailers have opted out of the Visa MasterCard settlement, thereby leaving more of the $5.54 billion settlement available to those who did not opt out. Your business could recover a larger pro-rata share as a result.
How Long Will It Take to Get Paid?
There is currently no established claim period and no claim form for filing a claim in this settlement. Consequently, there is no set timeline for when payments will go out. Due to the complicated process for this type of case, it may take several more years before the settlement is paid. This is one reason why it can be helpful to work with an experienced claims recovery specialist who can track developments in the settlement.
Can You File a Claim On Your Own?
You do not need to use a third-party service in order to file a claim for the Visa MasterCard Settlement. You can contact the Claims Administrator for no-cost assistance. However, these cases can be very complicated to navigate and there are several benefits to working with a professional. We can file all required paperwork on your behalf and help you get the money you are owed. It requires only minimal effort on your part, and we don’t get paid until you do, so there’s no need to worry about any upfront fees.
Get Help Filing a Claim
If you believe you are a class member, one of our Account Executives at J.E. Lawrence & Co (JEL) can help you get started. We work as a liaison between your firm and the Claims Administrator and bring a combination of expertise, commitment, and transparency.
To learn more about your eligibility for the Visa MasterCard settlement, contact us today.
*No claim forms are available at this time, and no claim-filing deadline exists. If the court grants final approval and any appeals are resolved, the court will approve a claim form and set a claim deadline. No-cost assistance will be available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel during any claims-filing period. No one is required to sign up with any third-party service in order to participate in any monetary relief. For additional information regarding the status of the litigation, interested persons may visit www.paymentcardsettlement.com, the court-approved website for this case.