Prepaid Credit Cards Class Action - Sotos Class Actions
OVERVIEW

Prepaid Credit Cards

This case alleges that the defendants breached Ontario’s consumer protection laws by extracting unauthorized and illegal fees from the prepaid credit cards they sold.

The defendants are financial service providers that issue pre-paid payment cards. The defendants imposed a series of fees that the plaintiff alleges are illegal and unenforceable.  In addition, the defendants imposed expiry dates, after which balances are seized.  The plaintiff alleges that these practices are also illegal.

The case has been certified by the Court as a class action, and the Court has approved a settlement between the plaintiff and defendants.

You are automatically included in the class if you had a prepaid card from the defendants between 2012 and 2014.

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Updates
  • December 3, 2020: The claims process has now begun. If you purchased a Peoples Trust prepaid card during the class period, please submit your claim at prepaidclassaction.ca for your share of the settlement.
  • September 25, 2020: The Court has approved the parties’ settlement. The Court’s decision is available here.
    The settlement provides for an all-inclusive payment of $17,000,000. It represents a compromise on the part of both sides. The parties have agreed that their respective appeals will be dismissed, with the exception that they have agreed that the Court of Appeal may overturn the finding on punitive damages. The settlement will provide further benefit to the Class by allowing for claims by both SLP and GPR cardholders and by removing the delay of the appeal and any leave application that would follow.
    For updates on the settlement and information on how to submit a claim, please visit: prepaidclassaction.ca.
  • July 24, 2020: The parties have entered into a settlement agreement dated July 15, 2020. A copy of the agreement can be found here.
    The settlement, which is subject to Court approval, provides for an all-inclusive payment of $17,000,000. It represents a compromise on the part of both sides. The parties have agreed that their respective appeals will be dismissed, with the exception that they have agreed that the Court of Appeal may overturn the finding on punitive damages. If approved, the settlement will provide further benefit to the Class by allowing for claims by both SLP and GPR cardholders and by removing the delay of the appeal and any leave application that would follow.
    A motion to approve the plan for giving notice to the Class of the settlement approval hearing will be heard in writing during the week of July 27, 2020. A copy of the motion record for that hearing can be found here.
    The settlement approval hearing will be held by video conference on September 25, 2020. Further information and materials will be posted as they become available.
  • May 5, 2020: In light of the COVID-19 emergency, the Court of Appeal will hear this matter remotely on June 9-10, 2020. The parties’ appeal materials are available here.
  • December 13, 2019: The hearing of the defendant’s appeal and the plaintiff’s cross-appeal has been adjourned to June 9, 2020.
  • September 25, 2019: The Court of Appeal for Ontario has scheduled the defendant’s appeal and plaintiff’s cross-appeal to be heard on February 5, 2020.
  • August 7, 2019: Justice Perell awarded the plaintiffs $1.23 million in prejudgment interest, and postjudgment interest at 3% per annum from May 13, 2019.
  • June 19, 2019: On June 12, the defendant delivered a notice of appeal. On June 19, the plaintiff delivered a notice of cross-appeal. The defendant’s appeal concerns its liability for fees charged and balances seized on Single Load Prepaid cards. The cross-appeal relates to fees charged by the defendant on its reloadable cards.
  • May 14, 2019: On May 13, 2019, Justice Perell granted judgment to the plaintiff in respect of illegal fees charged and unused balances seized by the defendants on Single Load Prepaid (SLP) cards. Justice Perell ordered the defendants to repay $15,330,000, and to pay $1.5 million in punitive damages.
  • April 10, 2019: Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice heard the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion on April 4-5, 2019. A further update will follow once His Honour’s reasons for decision are released.
  • March 12, 2019: The plaintiff’s summary judgment motion will be heard on April 4-5, 2019.
  • January 31, 2017: Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a class action against Peoples Trust Company and Peoples Card Services LLP. The case, brought on behalf of thousands of Ontario consumers alleges that prepaid “credit” cards issued by the Peoples Trust Company violate the Ontario Consumer Protection Act by charging illegal fees and seizing “expired” balances. The case will now proceed to a hearing on the merits. Click here to read a copy of the certification decision.
  • November 29, 2013: Sotos LLP and Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, co-counsel for the proposed class, filed a Statement of Claim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Contacts

Louis Sokolov

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Karen Whibley

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