Lobel Financial Repossession Class Action Settles

April 2, 2010

Post-repossession notices are the subject of a series of class actions coordinated in Sacramento Superior Court (LOBEL FINANCIAL Auto Cases, Case No. JCCP 4563). On March 26, 2010, Judge Michael P. Kenny issued preliminary approval of a class action settlement collectively resolving the matters. Lobel Financial had originally sued borrowers Ivon Lara and Jaime Penuela, filing separate complaints against them in Sacramento and Contra Costa Counties, respectively. Kemnitzer Barron & Krieg answered those actions and filed nearly simultaneous class action cross-complaints challenging the post-repossession notices on which alleged debts were based.

Although Lobel Financial denies any wrongdoing, it will provide significant relief to the settlement class. According to the declaration of general counsel Gary Lobel, there are 9,159 members of the class whose outstanding deficiency balances total approximately $43,808,147. The settlement halts all collection activity on those accounts. Lobel has collected approximately $407,563 in deficiencies from class members already to date. Those class members who paid money toward their deficiencies and file a claim as set forth in the class notice will get a refund of the amount they paid. In addition, Lobel Financial will waive and extinguish the entire $43,808,147 in alleged deficiencies and instruct credit reporting agencies to delete the Lobel Financial tradelines of all settlement class members.

The class is defined as all persons: who purchased a Motor Vehicle in California and as part of that transaction entered into a Conditional Sales Contract assigned to Lobel Financial; whose Motor Vehicle was repossessed in California; who were issued an NOI by Lobel Financial from July 7, 2004 to October 1, 2008; who were assessed a deficiency balance ; and against whom Lobel Financial had not obtained a judgment as the settlement date.

Class Notice is to be mailed to all settlement class members around April 20, 2010. Nancy Barron and Bryan Kemnitzer, of the law firm Kemnitzer Barron & Krieg, along with Alexander Trueblood of the Trueblood Law Firm, are class counsel. If you have any questions concerning this case, feel free to contact us.