UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
IF YOU RECEIVED CORRESPONDENCE FROM OR
WERE SUBJECTED TO A LIEN BY SEGAN, MASON & MASON, P.C.
BETWEEN MAY 8, 2011, AND OCTOBER 1, 2012.
YOU COULD GET A CASH PAYMENT FROM
A CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT.
A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
The settlement resolves a lawsuit about whether Segan, Mason & Mason, P.C. (SMM) violated the Federal Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq., by (1) demanding payment of attorneys’ fees
and costs from consumers in its correspondence and memoranda of liens, even though such fees and costs had
not been awarded by any court, and (2) demanding payment for interest that had not yet accrued, and (3)
demanding payment for interest calculated without first crediting payments that were made.
You may be entitled to a cash payment from the Settlement Fund.
This notice is sent to you because you are a part of the Class. There are approximately 2,695 Class members and
you and each class member will receive a check for approximately $112.78 representing damages. You are part
of this Class if between May 8, 2011 and October 1, 2012, SMM sent you correspondence or a memorandum of
lien demanding payment for fees, costs and interest without a lawsuit being filed.
SMM agreed to contribute $336,945.00 into a Settlement Fund for the cash settlement payments to class members
and costs to administer the settlement.
Court-appointed lawyers for the class members will ask the Court for an amount up to 25.8% of the fund as fees
and expenses for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement. Subject to the
approval of the court, SMM has agreed to pay fees and costs of $117,505.00.
Your legal rights are affected whether you act or don’t act. Read this notice carefully.
|YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT:|
Get no payment. This is the only option that allows you to ever be part of any other lawsuit
against SMM about the legal claims in this case.
Write to the Court about why you don’t like the settlement.
You will still get a check for approximately $112.78. You will not be able to exclude
yourself or object to the settlement later if you do nothing.
The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the settlement. Payments will be made only
if the Court approves the settlement and after appeals are resolved. Please be patient.
1. Why did I get this notice package?
You received this notice of a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit against SEGAN, MASON & MASON,
P.C. (SMM).You are a member of the Class if SMM sent you correspondence or a memorandum of lien that demanded
payment of attorneys’ fees and costs without a court order, demanded payment for interest that had not accrued, or
demanded payment of interest calculated without first crediting payments made.
Your legal rights will be affected by the settlement of this lawsuit.
Please read this notice carefully. It explains the lawsuit, the settlement, and your legal rights, including the process
for receiving a settlement check, excluding yourself from the settlement, or objecting to the settlement.
The people who sued are called Plaintiffs, and the company they sued, SMM, is called the Defendant.
2. What is this lawsuit about?
This lawsuit was filed on May 7, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by
Christopher Pritchard, Maksim Tsvetovat and Tatyana Tsvetovat, who are the Plaintiffs in this case. The defendant,
SMM, is a debt collector. The lawsuit alleges that SMM, on behalf of homeowners’ associations, attempted to collect
amounts of money that it was not legally entitled to collect and used illegal methods to collect this money in violation
of the federal consumer protection law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
SMM denies that it violated any law or regulation.
3. Why is this a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case there are three class representatives:
Christopher Pritchard, Maksim and Tatyana Tsvetovat), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people
together are called the Class, and individually each is a Class Member. One court resolves the issues for all Class
Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III is in charge of this
4. Why is there a settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or SMM. The Plaintiffs think they could have won at trial. SMM thinks
the Plaintiff would not have won anything from a trial. But there was no trial. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement.
That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Plaintiffs, SMM, and the attorneys
think the settlement is best for all Class Members.
WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT?
If you received this Class Notice, you are a Class Member.
5. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?
Because you received this Class Notice, according to SMM’s records, you are a member of this Settlement Class and
are affected by the settlement because SMM sent you correspondence or a memorandum of lien demanding payment of
attorneys’ fees or costs that were not awarded by any court, demanded interest that had not accrued or that had been calculated
without crediting payments between May 8, 2011 through October 1, 2012. (“Class Period”).
Specifically, for the purposes of settlement only, the Court has provisionally certified a Settlement Class as defined
All natural persons to whom on or after May 8, 2011, Segan Mason mailed correspondence on behalf of a
Condominium or Homeowner’s association, that made a demand for payment of attorneys’ fees that had not been awarded
by a Court, interest that was not yet due or failed to credit payments.
THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS—WHAT YOU GET?
6. What does the settlement provide?
In this case, there are approximately 2695 Class members. SMM has agreed to contribute $336,945.00 into a
Settlement Fund for the cash settlement payments to all Class Members. The cost to administer the settlement will be
subtracted from this amount and then divided equally among the class members.
Subject to the Court’s approval, SMM will pay $117,505.00 for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, which constitutes
25.8% of the total settlement value. Up to $15,000.00 in costs will be paid from the settlement fund. To the extent
there are funds remaining in the Class Settlement Fund after the settlement is approved and the time has expired for class
members to cash their checks, those remaining funds will go to a cy pres recipient, Northern Virginia Family Services,
subject to approval by the Court.
HOW YOU GET A PAYMENT
7. How can I get a payment?
You DO NOT HAVE TO SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM to qualify for a payment.You automatically qualify for a payment
if you received this notice. This notice is provided to you as a Class Member so that you may exercise your right
to (1) do nothing; (2) object; (3) exclude yourself. If you do nothing and the Class Settlement is approved by the court,
you will receive a check.
Upon expiration of the claims period, the Class Administrator will mail checks to the Class Members who have not
opted out of the Settlement at the last known address on file, which check shall become void 60 days after issuance.
The Court will hold a hearing on April 12, 2013 to decide whether to approve the settlement. If Judge Ellis approves
the settlement after that, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving
them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Details of the Settlement and Approval process, and dates for expected
payments will be posted at www.SeganMasonMasonClassAction.com. Please be patient.
8. What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?
Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the class, and that means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be
part of any other lawsuit against SMM about the legal issues in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will
apply to you and legally bind you.
EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
If you don’t want a payment from this settlement, but you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue SMM on
your own about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out. This is called excluding yourself—or is
sometimes referred to as opting out of the Settlement Class.
9. How do I get out of the settlement?
To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must send a letter by mail saying that you want to be excluded from
Tsvetovat et al v. Segan Mason & Mason, 1:12CV410-TSE. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number,
e-mail address (if you have one) and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than
March 29, 2013 to Segan Mason & Mason Class Action, P.O. Box 1367, Blue Bell, PA 19422.
YOUR REQUEST TO BE EXCLUDED MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE CLASS ADMINISTRATOR. DO NOT MAIL YOUR REQUEST TO THE COURT
If you ask to be excluded, you will not get any settlement payment, and you cannot object to the settlement. You will
not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit.You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) SMMin the future.
10. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue SMM for the same thing later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue SMM for the claims that this settlement resolves. If
you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must exclude yourself from this Class
to continue your own lawsuit. Remember, the exclusion deadline is March 29, 2013.
11. If I exclude myself, can I get money from this settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself, you will not get any money. But, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different
lawsuit against SMM.
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
The Court appointed the law firms of Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C. and Surovell, Isaacs, Peterson & Levy,
PLC to represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. 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.
13. How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment representing 25.8% of the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees
as well as payment for expenses incurred to prosecute the case. Class Counsel will also ask the Court to approve a payment
of $6,000 to each of Christopher Pritchard, Maksim Tsvetovat, and Tatyana Tsvetovat for their services as Class
Representatives. The fees would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement.
The Court may award less than these amounts. SMM has agreed not to oppose these fees and expenses.
OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT
You can tell the Court that you don’t agree with the settlement or some part of it.
14. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the settlement?
If you’re a Class Member, you can object to the settlement if you don’t like any part of it.You can give reasons why
you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter saying
that you object to the settlement in Tsvetovat et al v. Segan Mason & Mason, 1:12CV410-TSE. Be sure to include your
name, address, telephone number, e-mail address (if you have one), your signature, and the reasons you object to the settlement.
Mail the objection to the Court, Class Counsel and Defense Counsel postmarked no later than March 29, 2013:
Clerk of the Court
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
Leonard A. Bennett
Susan M. Rotkis
Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C.
763 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Suite 1-A
Newport News, VA 23601
Kristi Cahoon Kelly
J. Chapman Petersen
Scott A. Surovell
Surovell, Isaacs, Peterson & Levy, PLC
4010 University Dr., Suite 200
Fairfax, VA 22030
Brendan D. O’Toole
William D. Bayliss
Williams Mullen Clark & Dobbins P.C.
200 South 10th Street, 16th Fl.
Richmond, VA 23219
15. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the settlement. You can object only if you
stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself,
you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
THE COURT’S FAIRNESS HEARING
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement.You may attend and you may ask to speak,
but you don’t have to.
16. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on April 12, 2013 at the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Virginia, 401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314. At this hearing the Court will consider
whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Ellis
will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay to Class
Counsel. After the hearing, the Court decides whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long these decisions
17. Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer questions Judge Ellis may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense.
If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection
on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.
18. May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter saying that
it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear in Tsvetovat et al v. Segan Mason & Mason, 1:12CV410-TSE.” Be sure to
include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address (if you have one) and your signature. Your Notice of
Intention to Appear must be postmarked no later than March 29, 2013, and be sent to each the Clerk of the Court, Class
Counsel, and Defense Counsel, at the addresses above. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself.
IF YOU DO NOTHING
19. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you’ll still get a check. Remember, unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit,
continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against SMM about the legal issues in this case, ever again.
GETTING MORE INFORMATION
20. Are there more details about the settlement?
This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details are in a Stipulation of Settlement.You can get a copy
of the Settlement Agreement by writing to the Class Administrator at: Segan Mason & Mason Class Action, P.O. Box
1367, Blue Bell, PA 19422 or by visiting WWW.SEGANMASONMASONCLASSACTION.COM.
21. How do I get more information?
You can call 1-800-222-2760 toll free; write to Segan Mason & Mason Class Action, P.O. Box 1367, Blue Bell, PA
19422; or visit the website at WWW.SEGANMASONMASONCLASSACTION.COM where you will find answers to
common questions about the settlement.
DATE: December 28, 2012