Rajagopalan v. Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland
www.MeracordSuretySettlement.com

Overview

If you were a customer of Meracord, LLC (formerly NoteWorld, LLC) who signed up for Meracord’s payment processing services as part of a debt relief program, you could receive payment from a class-action settlement.

Important Note: The Court approved the Settlement on October 10, 2017 in its Order Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement. Assuming there are no appeals, payments should be mailed to Settlement Class Members by the end of the year (2017).

The information located on this website is in relation to the settlement reached between Plaintiffs and Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland. This settlement does NOT involve Platte River Insurance Company.

Final payments were made to Class Members in the Platte River Settlement on May 4, 2017. For more information on the Platte River Settlement, please see the brief summary below, as well as the Platte River Settlement Agreement and Notice.

The Underlying Lawsuits Against Meracord

Starting in 2011, Meracord was sued by former customers (“Plaintiffs”) who alleged that Meracord, along with a number of debt-relief companies, engaged in a fraudulent scheme to charge excessive and illegal fees. The Plaintiffs alleged that Meracord’s actions violated the Washington Debt Adjusting Act, the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and other laws.

On May 14, 2015, the District Court for the Western District of Washington (“the Court”) issued a “default judgment” against Meracord, certifying a class of former Meracord customers, finding the company liable for the alleged wrongdoing, and awarding damages based on the fees customers paid (“Judgment”). However, Meracord is out of business and has no money to pay the Judgment.

The Surety Bond Lawsuits

Meracord was licensed in many states as a “money transmitter.” In order to get those licenses, many states required that Meracord post surety bonds (“the Bonds”). The Bonds served as protection for states and/or customer claimants against certain wrongful conduct by Meracord. The Bonds were issued by two different surety companies: Platte River Insurance Company and Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland (together, “Sureties”). The total amount of all Bonds was approximately $17 million, but the amount of each Bond varies from state to state.

After the Court issued the Judgment against Meracord, Plaintiffs filed another class action lawsuit against the Sureties, seeking to recover the total amount of the Bonds on behalf of Meracord customers in each state where Bonds were issued, and who made payments during the effective periods of the Bonds. The lawsuits also brought other claims against the Sureties based on their alleged bad faith failure to settle class member claims. Both Sureties have denied the claims and have asserted various defenses to the claims.

The Previous Settlement with Platte River

In March 2016, Plaintiffs reached a settlement agreement with one of the Sureties, Platte River Insurance Company (“Platte River”). That settlement covered certain Meracord customers in states where Platte River had issued Bonds, and was finally approved by the Court on August 30, 2016. Payment checks under that settlement were issued in November 2016. If you received a check from the Platte River Settlement, you may also be a part of the current Settlement Class. See Question 5 for more details.

The Fidelity & Deposit Company Settlement

As of April 18, 2017, a proposed settlement of $9,875,000 has been reached between Plaintiffs and the remaining Surety, Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland (“F&D”). The settlement does NOT involve Platte River, since claims against Platte River were previously settled. See Question 5 for more details on who is included in the Class.


SUMMARY OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THE SETTLEMENT
NO CLAIM FORM REQUIRED
  • This settlement does not require class members to make a claim in order to recover a payment under the settlement.
  • Payments will be based on fees paid as reflected in Meracord’s customer account records. See Frequently Asked Question 8 for more detail about how payments will be calculated, and how to review your Meracord account records.
  • Payments will be automatically sent to customer addresses found in Meracord’s account records. If you have moved since you were a Meracord customer, See Frequently Asked Question 11 for more information about updating your address with the Settlement Administrator.
EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
  • Excluding yourself means you get no payment.
  • This is the only way you can ever be a part of any other case against F&D about the claims being resolved by these settlements.
  • See Frequently Asked Question 13.
OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT
  • Write to the Court about why you don't like the settlement.
  • You cannot object in order to ask the Court for a higher payment for yourself personally, although you can object to the payment terms (or any other terms) that apply generally to the Settlement Class.
  • See Frequently Asked Questions 16-17.
GO TO THE HEARING