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"When will my Visa/Mastercard settlement award arrive?"
Written By: Dennis O'Toole
December 28, 2023

So you got a bit of good news in the mail: a claim form for a huge settlement fund.




All you've got to do to get your money is fill it out, send it in, and.......wait.


“Wait? Nooooo!”


Yes, as Elephant told Piggie, “Waiting is not easy.” (Any parents out there get this Mo Willems reference? Good.)


What's behind the expected long wait? 

The truth is, class action claims processing takes a lot of time, sometimes as long as it takes to litigate a case. Now, the Visa/Mastercard settlement was first filed in 2005. It is safe to say it will NOT take another 18 years for the fund to distribute. But it could take a few. Or three. Or even five.


Complex litigations like Visa/Mastercard offer recovery opportunities to millions of people who share a similar experience — hence they are grouped as a class. However, when it comes time to fill out those claim forms, people’s experiences can diverge in countless ways. For example, a Visa/Mastercard claimant may:


·     Have multiple entities requiring multiple claim forms

·     Have enough trade data to file an amended claim

·     Have enough trade data to file an amended claim for only part of the class period

·     Have closed down several years before the class period ended

·     Have closed some locations and opened others during the class period

·     Have different data sets of different quality for different entities

·     Have, alas, died, and their financial information may be in the hands of heirs

·     Have a dispute with others over who actually owns the claim, and therefore who deserves to file

·     Et cetera, ad infinitum


It is the claims administrator’s duty to sort this out, and all that sorting — a job that requires CPAs and MBAs and JDs and probably not a few PsyDs — takes time.


Settlement processes: from quick to anything but quick

Settlement processes vary depending on the case. Let’s say a class consists of all people who owned Acme Refrigerators. (The fridges did a poor job of keeping things cold and had a nasty habit of exploding.) Every claimant must prove that they bought an Acme refrigerator. One model is eligible, one receipt is required to make a claim — with any luck such a case can take less than a year before the checks arrive in the mail.


Now, let’s imagine something far more complicated. Let’s say you—I don’t know—entered into an FX instrument with a large, famous bank between 2003 and 2015.


“Hang on, what the heck is an FX instrument and how can you ‘enter’ one.”


Bear with me. I am getting to that. I should add that FX exchange-traded instruments also qualify.


“That does not help.”


Now, these “instruments” are financial investment vehicles fixed to what is known as the foreign exchange rate and cover everything from spot transactions, forwards, and swaps, to futures, options, and, well, lots other even more obscure FX instruments. This litigation is not a hypothetical one but, in fact, the Foreign Exchange Rate Antitrust Litigation, which settled for $2.31 billion in 2015. Claim forms were due in 2018 and here is the kicker…


The settlement fund has not been fully distributed yet. And yes, your calendar is not lying to you: it is nearly 2024.


The bottom line: expect delays

The Visa/Mastercard settlement is complicated, more akin to the FX Antitrust Settlement than to the Acme Refrigerator Settlement. For starters, credit cards did not explode. Big difference there. And also:

·      The size of the settlement is more than 2X the FX settlement, with $5.54 billion in the fund

·      The class is vast, with as many as 18 million eligible claimants

·      Final awards won’t be calculated until the many challenges from claimants and/or among claimants are resolved, such as disputes over who owns the claims among different business interests (franchisors/franchisees, past and current owners, etc.), as well as disputes over the administrator’s recorded interchange fee data


You can imagine all the complexities facing all the CPAs, MBAs, JDs, and DDSs tasked with processing up to 18 million claims. (Sure, they may require a dentist or two. It’s that complex.) In many instances, a court-appointed “Special Master” will judge these thornier disputes, potentially adding months or years of potential delays


But a shout-out to claims administrators: they are indeed experts. They are good at what they do and work very hard to ensure that all class members get what they deserve. It is possible that the administrators could process Visa Mastercard claims as quickly as the simple Acme Exploding and Possessed Fridge Litigation, 15-MD-666. (I forgot to mention that: the fridges all contained at least one daemon.) But it is probable that a wait — and a lengthy one — is what claimants will face.


And that is where Certificate Clearing Corporation comes in.

We will wait for you. We are purchasing claims from companies across the country now, no matter the size of their claims. If, like Tom Petty (RIP) you agree that “The waiting is the hardest part,” then let’s talk.



Claim forms are being delivered and are available online beginning December 1, 2023. Class members need not sign up for a third-party service in order to participate in any monetary relief. No-cost assistance is available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel during the claims-filing period. See more information at the Court-approved



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