Sample Letter For Objecting To Lame BoA Settlement

If you’re disgusted by the pitiful compensation proposed in the Bank of America privacy violation settlement, check out Hayden’s sample letter for inspiration for registering your objection.

[Insert address]

Re: Consumer Privacy Cases, J.C.C.P. No. 4211

As a Class Member, I object to the settlement in Consumer Privacy Cases, J.C.C.P. No. 4211.

I find the proposed settlements as I understand them:

• Two-hundred dollars ($200) off my next home mortgage,
• Fees waived on returned deposited items,
• Fees returned for calling customer service,
• Twelve (12) months free subscription to a credit card protection service ($30 value),
• or Ninety (90) days of “Privacy Assist Identity Theft Protection Service” ($17.85 value);
• and a $3.25 million donation to “privacy-related projects”,

to be inadequate given Bank of America’s gross extended breach of privacy and breach of the public trust.

I feel that Bank of America will ultimately benefit and profit from every single settlement voucher redeemed. I also feel that this settlement will indemnify Bank of America against future legal actions regarding this massive, extended breach of privacy.

In January 2006, ChoicePoint, Inc. agreed to pay $15-million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the data warehouser’s security and record-handling procedures violated consumers’ privacy rights , affecting over 163,000 customers at an average of $92 per security breach.

In October 2003, Victoria’s Secret, a division of Limited Brands, paid a $50,000 settlement to the State of New York for a breach of privacy on their website between August and November 2002, revealing the name, addresses, and orders of 560 customers at an average of $90 per security breach.

Not only should Bank of America not profit from their actions, which they will with this settlement, but given the ChoicePoint, Inc. and Victoria’s Secret precedents, they should issue a refund of $90 per account to present and former account holders during the period of 1995 through 2007, in addition to complimentary identity theft protection for up to twelve months and a $3.25 million donation to privacy-related projects.

Sincerely,

Thanks for the great letter, Hayden. If you want to send a letter like the one above, mail it to the three addresses below in time for it to arrive by August 15th, 2007:

COURT
Clerk of the Court
San Francisco Superior Court
400 McAllister St
San Francisco, CA 94102

CLASS COUNSEL
Bonny Sweeney
Lerach Coughlin, LLP
655 W. Broadway
Suite 1900
San Diego, CA 92101

DEFENSE COUNSEL
Arne Wagner
Calvo & Clark, LLP
1 Lombard Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

PREVIOUSLY: Proposed Settlement For BoA Selling Your Private Information: $200 Off Your Next Mortgage!
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. AlexDitto says:

    Heck yes! I know what I’M doing tomorrow night.

    I thought I was the only one outraged about the terms of this agreement, so I thought there was nothing I could do. Thanks, Consumerist. The San Francisco Clerk of Court is going to get a very nice, possibly embellished with personal touches form letter with a piece of my mind attached.

  2. queen_elvis says:

    I don’t FEEL that this would indemnify BofA; it’s a verifiable FACT that this would indemnify them. I’m not sure that it’s a verifiable fact that BofA would profit, though. (Lerach Coughlin, on the other hand…)

    Would I have seen information about this if I ever bothered opening my bank statements? I visit BofA’s site several times a week to make sure my budget spreadsheet matches their debits (which is why I don’t open the statements), and they sure didn’t bother putting a note on that. Surely they must have a legal obligation to tell me they sold my information.

  3. famoushair says:

    What a joke! They sold my information, and this is what they propose to remedy it? I’m closing my accounts with this bunch of grubbing jokers.

    Although a written letter is always more effective, many may not have the time to put pen to paper. Here are some online addresses/sites I’ve dug up for these folks, so you can share the love electronically.

    Bonny Sweeney (Class Counsel) – bonnys@lerachlaw.com
    Arne Wagner (Defense Counsel) – awagner@calvoclark.com
    Website for the SF Superior Court – [www.sfgov.org]

  4. melvinwang says:

    The instructions also say “You also must file a Proof of Service with the Court stating that you mailed or delivered copies of these papers to class and defense counsel.” (It’s right after all the addresses in the paper copy of the legal notice.)

    Does anyone know how to do this? I just don’t want our letters to get thrown away unread because we forgot to file some inane form.

  5. superlayne says:

    @AlexDitto: ….Is your avatar that kid from Bleach?


    Irregardless, I’m going to send this to anyone I know with a BoA account.

  6. du2vye says:

    I agree that BofA is profiting from their so-called punishment.

    How long do you think it’ll take for others, such as Citi corp or Wells Fargo to include profiting the same way in their plans?

    That’s something the court should reconsider.

  7. llcooljabe says:

    Will a bunch of identical letters arriving help or hurt? Or are they simply looking at how many objections there will be?

  8. alteredcarbon says:

    In California you can use the judicial council form POS040 [www.courtinfo.ca.gov]

    or type your own using the following template:
    [72.14.253.104]

    No one uses the form. Use the template instead. It’s easiest. Just be sure to fill in all appropriate information and sign/date it. Otherwise your letter will be tossed out.

  9. AlexDitto says:

    @superlayne: Yes. Yes it is.

    @queen_elvis: They sent a tiny, tiny pamphlet in my last snail mail statement. Did I mention how tiny and packed with text it was? It made what was going on about as clear as murky pond water.

    Proof of service by mail? They really don’t make this easy, do they?

  10. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    The form was so hard to read. And I did get a letter from class counsel acknowledging their receipt of my objection. And it seems like they aren’t going after this at all. They should have pushed this to trial, discovery process, and if BoA refuses to provide the records, then sue them for tampering with evidence.

  11. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I find the fact that the judge approved this settlement disgusting. He should be fired and disbarred. This settlement should have been laughed out of the courtroom and rejected in a heartbeat. I would have imposed some massive fine that would have sent BOA shares spiraling downwards. “You can never count on people to care about other people’s problems, but they will heavily invest in their own.”

    I won’t claim out of protest. It’s time I ended my relations with BoA forever….including closing my checking account and credit card…(eventually).