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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

District Court grants preliminary approval to national bank's auto lending settlement

Courts Auto Finance Force-placed Insurance

Courts

On August 5, the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California granted preliminary approval and class certification to a settlement of at least $393.5 million to resolve multidistrict allegations that a national bank added force-placed auto insurance to auto loans that may have been unnecessary and without borrowers’ consent. Under the terms of the settlement, the auto insurance underwriter will pay an additional $7.5 million. The allegations stem from a 2017 lawsuit in which borrowers claimed the bank charged them for unnecessary collateral protection insurance. The settlement also requires the bank and the underwriter to pay up to $36 million in attorneys’ fees for the borrower class and up to $500,000 in litigation expenses. However, the court scheduled a settlement fairness hearing for October to examine the fees before granting final approval of the settlement. This settlement follows a 2018 settlement reached between the bank and the CFPB and the OCC concerning a similar set of allegations over the purported billing of force-placed insurance premiums that may not have been required. (See previous InfoBytes coverage here.)

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