How to Administer a Complex Government Enforcement Action

In 2013, Ally Financial Inc. and Ally Bank (Ally) entered into Consent Orders with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and with the United States through the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In its complaint, the United States alleged that Ally engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). The allegation was based on the interest rate “dealer markup” paid by African-American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander borrowers who received automobile loans funded by the bank. Ally asserted in the Consent Orders that it treated all customers fairly and without regard to race or national origin, rather Ally entered into the settlement for the purpose of avoiding contested litigation and instead devoting its resources toward serving its customers.

Ally agreed to pay $80 million in total customer monetary and other damages caused by the alleged practices described in the DOJ complaint.

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Heffler’s Role

Heffler worked within three defined categories of class members when crafting notice and administration services. The notice program, settlement website, documentation, and contact center offered information in seven languages to accommodate Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Spanish, and English.

Our team staffed and maintained an in-house contact center with live phone operators, an interactive voice response (IVR) system, and TTY Relay Services for the deaf or hard of hearing. From the contact center, close to half a million outbound calls were made and over 75,000 customer calls were answered.

These efforts, plus the experience and innovation Heffler provided, resulted in the distribution of over 95% of Ally’s $80 million settlement with its customers.

This case study explores the tools and innovation the Heffler team used to administer this complex government enforcement.

Mark Rapazzini
Mark Rapazzini consults with clients in the consumer, food and beverage, labor and employment, finance and mass tort practice areas. He has over 25 years of legal experience in cases ranging from individual personal injury litigation to class actions and complex mass torts. Mark also has over fourteen years of experience managing complex claims administration matters and has managed and supervised the administration of employment, securities, consumer, property, and various other types of class action settlements.

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