Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Why did I receive a settlement check?

    Settlement Checks were issued on May 6, 2019, pursuant to the terms of the class action Settlement in Al’s Pals Pet Care, LLC, et al. v. Woodforest National Bank, N.A., et al., Case No. 4:17-CV-3852. You either (a) submitted a claim for a settlement award, and the Settlement Administrator has determined it was timely and valid, or (b) were automatically entitled to an award Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The amount printed on the check is the full amount to which you are entitled based upon the terms of the Settlement.

    Please negotiate the check promptly. The check is only valid for 90 days from the issue date.

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  2. How was my Settlement award calculated?

    The Net Settlement Amount was allocated as follows:

    1. Thirty-five percent (35%) of the Net Settlement Amount will be equally allocated, on a per capita basis, to each Settlement Class Member;
    2. Forty percent (40%) of the Net Settlement Amount will be allocated to each Settlement Class Member, on a pro rata basis, based on the total number of calendar months during which such Settlement Class Member was a customer of Defendants during the Class Period, up to a maximum of 36 months per Settlement Class Member; and
    3. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the Net Settlement Amount will be allocated to each Settlement Class Member, on a pro rata basis, based on each such Settlement Class Member’s total dollar volume of transactions processed through Defendants during the Class Period.

    The cash payment that each Settlement Class Member is eligible to receive under the Settlement is equal to the total of the amount due to that Settlement Class Member as a result of the three separate calculations done as described above.

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  3. Why didn’t I receive a settlement check?

    If you received a notice but did not receive a Settlement Check, then you were not be eligible for a payment under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. Settlement Checks were issued on May 6, 2019 to eligible Settlement Class Members on a claims-made basis. To receive a settlement check, you must have submitted a timely and complete claim prior to the filing deadline.

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  4. Can I dispute the amount of my Settlement Payment and/or receive more money?

    You cannot dispute the amount of your Settlement Payment and the deadline to object to the Settlement was January 2, 2019.

    The amount of your Settlement Payment is final and represents the amount to which you were entitled under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The Court approved the Settlement, including the methodology used to compute the amount of Settlement Payments, at the Final Approval Hearing on January 30, 2019.

    Please negotiate the check promptly. The check is only valid for 90 days from the issue date.

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  5. I lost or damaged my settlement check. How can I receive a replacement check?

    To request a replacement check, please include a signed written request asking that a replacement check be reissued and mailed to you. Please mail your replacement check request the Settlement Administrator at:

    Merchant’s Choice Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 5110
    Portland, OR 97208-5110

    If you are unable to return the initial settlement check, for the protection of the Settlement Fund, a replacement check can only be issued to you after the initial settlement check passes its stale date. Your replacement check could be issued sooner if the initial check returns to the Settlement Administrator as undeliverable, or if you are able to locate and return the check to the Settlement Administrator.

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  6. How can I have my settlement check reissued under a new name (e.g. last name change)?

    First, please go to the financial institution at which you are a current account holder as they may negotiate the settlement check if the documentation regarding the status of your name change is presented.

    If the financial institution will not accept the check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at:

    Merchant’s Choice Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 5110
    Portland, OR 97208-5110

    Accompanied by a signed written request asking that a replacement check be issued and mailed to you. Please include instructions for the name that should be included on the replacement check and include a copy of a form of identification that contains the new name.

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  7. Can you update my address and re-mail my settlement check?

    To request a replacement check mailed to an updated address, please include a signed written request asking that a replacement check be reissued and mailed to you. Include in the request your current and former mailing addresses. Please mail your replacement check request to the Settlement Administrator at:

    Merchant’s Choice Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 5110
    Portland, OR 97208-5110

    If you are unable to return the initial settlement check, for the protection of the Settlement Fund, a replacement check can only be issued to you after the initial settlement check passes its stale date. Your replacement check could be issued sooner if the initial check returns to the Settlement Administrator as undeliverable, or if you are able to locate and return the check to the Settlement Administrator.

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  8. What do I do if the person on the settlement check is now deceased?

    First, please go to the financial institution at which you are a current account holder as they may negotiate the settlement check if documentation regarding the status of the claimant and your status as the beneficiary/executor is presented.

    If your financial institution will not accept the check, please provide a Death Certificate of the person on the settlement check, as well documentation of your legal authority to file on behalf of the Claimant(s), for example, Orders of Estate or Letters of Administration.

    Send all documents, along with the original check, to the Settlement Administrator at:

    Merchant’s Choice Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 5110
    Portland, OR 97208-5110

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  9. The check is made out to a company that is no longer in business or that I represent/own. How can I have the check reissued in my name?

    If you are the legal representative of a business which is part of the Settlement Class and received a check payment, first, please go to your financial institution in which you are a current account holder, as they may cash the check if the documentation regarding the status of your business is presented.

    If your bank will not cash or deposit your check, please return the original check to the Settlement Administrator at: Merchant’s Choice Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 5110, Portland, OR 97208-5110, accompanied by a letter with instructions for the name that should be included on the replacement check, as well as documentation that you may have proving you are authorized to act on behalf of the business. Documentation may include Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, Articles of Dissolution, or any other similar legal documentation that explicitly states the individual is an acting party for the business.

    We will review the letter and documentation and will contact you if more information is required.

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  10. Why did I receive a Notice directing me to this website?

    According to the records of Defendants, you either currently have an active payment processing account with Merchants’ Choice or maintained an account with Merchants’ Choice at some point from December 22, 2013, through September 18, 2018.

    The Court authorized Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

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  11. What is this lawsuit about?

    The case is known as Al’s Pals Pet Care, LLC, et al. v. Woodforest National Bank, N.A., et al., Case No. 4:17-CV-3852 was approved in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The eight merchants who sued are called the “Plaintiffs,” and the companies they sued—Merchants’ Choice, Woodforest, and Paysafe—are the “Defendants.”

    Plaintiffs contracted with Defendants to process payment card transactions. Plaintiffs claim that Merchants’ Choice and its agents caused merchants to unknowingly enroll in its payment card processing services by misrepresenting facts or omitting material information during their cold-calls to merchants. Plaintiffs also claim that Merchants’ Choice added certain unauthorized charges to their monthly invoices, specifically (1) annual fees, (2) batch header fees, (3) PCI program/compliance fees, (4) PCI non-compliance/non-validation fees, (5) gateway access fees, (6) Foundry/emerchant fees, (7) monthly minimum discount fees, (8) non-qualified fees, (9) discount rates, (10) other discount fees (including signature debit rates), or (11) paper statement fees.

    The lawsuit seeks to recover the amount that merchants were overcharged and other relief. Defendants deny that that they acted improperly and assert they have no legal liability.

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  12. Why is this a Class Action?

    In a class action, one or more people or entities called “class representatives” sue on behalf of themselves and other people and entities with similar claims. All of these people and entities together are the “class” or “class members.” One court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class. A class action allows the claims of all class members to be more efficiently resolved than individual lawsuits and provides a remedy for class members whose individual damages are not large enough to justify their own lawsuit.

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  13. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to the Settlement. Settlements avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial and related appeals, while providing benefits to the settlement class. The Class Representatives and the attorneys for the Settlement Class support the Settlement.

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

    You are a member of the Class and affected by the Settlement if:

    • you contracted to receive payment card processing services from or through Merchants’ Choice from December 22, 2013, through September 18, 2018; and
    • you were charged any of the following fees: (1) annual fees, (2) batch header fees, (3) PCI program/compliance fees, (4) PCI non-compliance/non-validation fees, (5) gateway access fees, (6) Foundry/emerchant fees, (7) monthly minimum discount fees, (8) non-qualified fees, (9) discount rates, (10) other discount fees (including signature debit rates), or (11) paper statement fees.
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  15. Are there exceptions to being included?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement passed on January 2, 2019.

    If you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you are no longer part of the Settlement Class and will no longer be eligible to receive any of the Settlement benefits. This process of excluding yourself is also referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement.

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  16. What does the Settlement provide?

    Defendants have paid $15,000,000.00 into a Settlement Fund to pay cash benefits to Class Members; the cost of notifying the Class, administering the Settlement; and, the fees and expenses of the lawyers who represent the Class and Service Awards to the Class Representatives.

    Class Members who maintained one or more payment card processing accounts with or through Defendants as of September 18, 2018, are considered “Current Customers.” If you are a Current Customer, you automatically received a payment via a credit on your statement, electronic funds transfer (where feasible), or check.

    Class Members who are not Current Customers are considered “Former Customers.” Former Customers are eligible for a payment via check but needed to have filed a valid and timely Claim Form to get it. The deadline for filing a claim was March 4, 2019.

    Now that all claims of Former Customers have been received, the following amounts have been totaled: payments to be made to Current and Former Customers; the costs of Notice and administration; the amount the Court authorizes for attorneys’ fees and expenses for Class Counsel and Service Awards to the Class Representatives; and any Taxes paid from the Settlement Fund. The total was less than $15 million but more than $11 million. The amount remaining in the Settlement Fund after all obligations are paid will be returned to Defendants.

    Defendants will also amend their standard Merchant Payment Card Application – Terms & Conditions, or equivalent document, to reflect the following modifications:

    • Prior to increasing or adding any fees, Defendants will notify all affected customers in writing at least 30 days prior to the effective date of such increase or addition;
    • Any applicable early termination fee will be waived in the event of termination of the agreement by a merchant within 90 days of an increase in non-regulatory /non-pass-through fees; and
    • Customers will be permitted to dispute errors or charges on their statements within 90 days (rather than the current 30 days) from receipt or availability of their statements.

    Defendants will also undertake a comprehensive review of their telemarketing practices and, based on the results of this review, will establish a training and retraining program for their independent sales offices/agents. Such training and retraining programs will include, but not be limited to, instruction that independent sales offices/agents should not imply or insinuate to prospective merchants that they are affiliated with the merchant’s current payment processing service provider.

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  17. How can I get a cash payment?

    Current Customers automatically received a payment in the form of a credit on their statement or via electronic funds transfer. If for some reason that was not possible, a check was mailed. It was not necessary for Current Customers to file a claim.

    Former Customers must have completed and submitted a simple Claim Form to qualify for a payment via check. The Claim Form asked Former Customers to attest that they were in the Class and to provide their current contact information. The claim filing deadline was March 4, 2019. Late claims will not be accepted and we are no longer accepting claim submissions.

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  18. What did I give up to get a Settlement benefit or remain in the Class?

    Unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you cannot sue Defendants or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants about the issues this Settlement resolves. You will also be bound by all of the Court’s decisions and the release contained in the Settlement. The specific claims you will be giving up against Defendants are described in Section XII of the Settlement Agreement. Read it carefully.

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  19. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement passed on January 2, 2019.

    If you asked to be excluded, you will not get any benefits under this Settlement, and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in the lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Defendants in the future. You cannot both exclude yourself from the Settlement and object to the Settlement. If you sought to exclude yourself and object, you were deemed to have excluded yourself.

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  20. If I did not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendants for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you have given up your right to sue Defendants for the claims that this Settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must have excluded yourself from this Class to continue your own lawsuit.

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement passed on January 2, 2019.

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  21. If I excluded myself, can I get money from this Settlement?

    No. If you are a Current Customer and excluded yourself, you will not receive a payment. If you are a Former Customer and excluded yourself, do not send in a Claim Form asking for a payment.

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement passed on January 2, 2019.

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  22. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    Yes. The Court appointed to represent you and other members of the Settlement Class the following lawyers: Adam Webb and Matt Klase of Webb, Klase & Lemond, LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia; and Andrew Meade, John Neese, and Leann Pinkerton of Meade & Neese, LLP, in Houston, Texas. 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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  23. How did the lawyers representing the class get paid?

    You will not be asked to pay any of the lawyers’ fees or expenses.

    The Court determined the amount the lawyers will receive at the Final Approval Hearing on January 30, 2019. The Court approved the requests for attorneys’ fees of $5,000,000.00, and expenses of $27,340.50 to be paid from the Settlement Fund.

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  24. Did the Class Representatives get anything?

    The Settlement Class is represented by the eight merchants who brought the case: Al’s Pals Pet Care, LLC; DeFabio Spine and Sports Rehab, LLC; Julie Rudiger, Inc.; Mena Stone & Landscaping Supplies, LLC; Tulsa Art Center, LLC; Ban-A-Pest Extermination Co., Inc.; Fleetwood Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, PC; and Bayley Products, Inc. In addition to the benefits the Class Representatives will receive as members of the Settlement Class, Class Counsel asked the Court to pay Service Awards of up to $10,000.00 to each of the eight merchants to compensate them for the efforts and risk they took on behalf of the Class. Among those risks was the possibility they might have to pay Defendants’ attorneys’ fees and expenses as Defendants’ contracts purportedly required. Defendants have agreed not to oppose the request. The Service Awards approved by the Court have been paid from the Settlement Fund. The Court has granted $10,000 in Service Awards for each class representative.

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  25. How do I tell the Court I do not like the Settlement?

    If you did not think the Settlement was fair, reasonable or adequate, you had the option to object by writing to the Court. All objections were reviewed and considered at the Final Approval Hearing on January 30, 2019.

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  26. What is the difference between objecting and excluding/opting out?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. By objecting, you still have the option to remain in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself, or “opting out,” is telling the Court that you don’t want to be included in the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because the Settlement no longer affects you.

    The deadline to object to the Settlement, or exclude yourself from the Settlement passed on January 2, 2019.

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  27. When and where did the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court held the final approval hearing on January 30, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 11A before the Honorable Kenneth Hoyt, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 515 Rusk Avenue, Houston, Texas 77002.

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  28. Did I need to attend the hearing?

    No, you did not need to attend the hearing. Class Counsel was present to answer questions from the Court.

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  29. What happens if I did nothing at all?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member and chose to do nothing, you will remain a part of the Settlement Class and will not be able to sue Defendants about the claims being resolved through the Settlement. If you are a Current Customer, you automatically received the cash payment to which you are entitled. If you are a Former Customer, you received nothing unless you filed a claim.

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  30. How do I get more information about the Settlement?

    This website summarizes the Settlement. More details are available in the Settlement Agreement itself. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. You may also get more information from the Settlement Administrator by writing to Merchants’ Choice Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 5110, Portland, OR 97208-5110, or calling toll free at 1-877-877-2385. The status updates of the Settlement will be posted on this website.

    Please do not contact the Court with questions about the Settlement.

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