Martinez v. Avantus, LLC

Case No. 3:20-cv-01772

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why was this notice issued?

You have a right to know about a proposed settlement of this class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, and after objections and appeals are resolved, an administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlement allows.

The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. This class action is captioned as Martinez v. Avantus, LLC. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the companies he sued are called the Defendants.

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2. What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit claimed that Defendants failed to comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act by reporting records from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control or “OFAC” list on credit reports of consumers who had applied for mortgage financing. Defendants deny that they did anything wrong. The Class Action Complaint and other pertinent documents are available on the Important Documents page.

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3. Why is this a class action?

In a class action, one or more people called the Class Representative (in this case Marvel Martinez), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members. The Honorable U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall is in charge of this class action.

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4. Why is there a proposed Settlement?

The Court entered an Order certifying a Class, but did not decide in favor of the Plaintiff or the Defendants.

There was no trial. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement after vigorous pre-trial litigation, including a mediation session with an experienced mediator, Rodney Max. By reaching a settlement agreement (available on the Important Documents page), the parties avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Class Representative and the attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Class Members.

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5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

Everyone who meets this description is a Class Member:

All persons residing in the United States and its Territories about whom Defendants sold a consumer report to a third party that included any OFAC record where there is not a match between the date of birth, address, or social security number of the subject of the report and the corresponding person on the SDN list, using its proprietary UltraAMPS OFAC product, during the period beginning July 6, 2020 and ending February 28, 2023.

“SDN” means a “Specially Designated National,” an individual who is included on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control or “OFAC” sanctions list.

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6. What benefits does the Settlement provide?

The Settlement Agreement provides that Defendants will pay the sum of $6,760,000 into a settlement fund.

The settlement fund will be used to make automatic payments of $100 to each Class Member without the need to file a claim. In addition, part of the settlement fund will be used to pay higher payments for each Class Member who completes and submits a Claim Form.

Subject to the approval of the Court, the settlement fund shall also be used to pay a service award to the Class Representative in the amount of $15,000, and Class Counsel’s fees and expenses not to exceed one-third of the settlement fund. The settlement fund shall also be used to pay the costs of notice and settlement administration.

No portion of the settlement fund shall revert to Defendants. The Settlement provides that uncashed checks shall be paid to a non-profit organization to be approved by the Court. More details on all of the settlement benefits are set forth in the Settlement Agreement which is available on the Important Documents page.

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7. When would I get a payment?

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on February 27, 2024 in the United States District Court, Courtroom 1, 141 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510 at 11:00 a.m. to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If Judge Hall approves the Settlement, after that, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain what the outcome of any appeals will be, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.

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8. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The law firm of Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, represents you and other Class Members. The contact information for the law firm is:

Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C.
1600 Market Street, Suite 2510
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: (215) 735-8600 or (877) 735-8600


These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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9. How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment to them of up to one-third of the settlement fund for attorneys’ fees and expenses. The attorneys’ fees would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the Settlement. The Court may award less than this amount. Defendants have agreed not to oppose the request for fees and expenses, up to one-third of the settlement fund. The costs of sending notice and administering the Settlement will also be paid from the settlement fund.

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10. How do I ask to be excluded from the Settlement?

You may exclude yourself from the lawsuit and the Settlement by contacting the Settlement Administrator at:

Martinez v. Avantus, LLC
c/o Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 16
West Point, PA 19486

All exclusion requests must be postmarked no later than February 10, 2024. Any Request for Exclusion must contain your original handwritten signature, current postal address, and a specific statement that you wish to be excluded from the Class. If you timely request exclusion from the Settlement, you will be excluded from the Settlement, you will not be bound by any judgment in the lawsuit, and you will not be precluded from prosecuting any timely claim you may have against Defendants based on the conduct complained of in the lawsuit. You will not receive any payments from the settlement fund.

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11. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

As a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the Settlement in Martinez v. Avantus. Be sure to include your full name, address and telephone number; the reasons you object to the Settlement; whether you plan to come to the Fairness Hearing and whether you (or anyone else) want to speak; if you have a lawyer (who is not one of the lawyers for the Class), the name of the lawyer(s) representing you; and if they exist, any agreements or documents relating to your objection or the process of objecting.

Mail the objection to the three different places shown here, postmarked no later than February 10, 2024:

Clerk of the Court
District of Connecticut
U.S. Courthouse
141 Church Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Class Counsel
Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C.
1600 Market Street, Suite 2510
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Attention: James A. Francis, Esq.
Defendants’ Counsel
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
222 Central Park Avenue, Suite 2000
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Attention: David M. Gettings, Esq.

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12. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you don’t have to.

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 11:00 a.m. on February 27, 2024, in the United States District Court, Courtroom 1, 141 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510.

At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and whether the requested payments to Class Counsel and Class Representative are proper. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Hall will also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

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13. Do I have to come to the hearing?

No. Class Counsel will answer questions Judge Hall may have. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.

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14. May I speak at the hearing?

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. If you plan to speak at the hearing because you don’t like the Settlement, you must send a letter as described in Question 11 above. You must also file a notice of intent to appear at the hearing with the Court Clerk’s office no later than February 12, 2024. You must send copies of the notice to both Class Counsel and Defendants’ counsel at the addresses provided in Question 11 above.

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15. What happens if I do nothing at all?

Class members who do nothing will still receive the $100.00 automatic payment if the Court approves the settlement.

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16. How do I get more information?

The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are available in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the entire Settlement Agreement by visiting the Important Documents page.

You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at Martinez v. Avantus, LLC, c/o Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 16, West Point, PA 19486, or by emailing,, or call the toll-free number, (833) 609-0397.

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