Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the settlement. Detailed information about the settlement is contained in the Class Notice and Settlement Agreement.

If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact us directly.

About The Settlement

What is this Lawsuit about?

The lawsuit claims that Defendant was responsible for the Data Incident and asserts claims for negligence, breach of contract, and invasion of privacy.

Defendant denies these claims and says it did not do anything wrong. No court or other judicial entity has made any judgment or other determination that Defendant has any liability for these claims or did anything wrong.

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

You are affected by the Settlement and potentially a member of the Class if you reside in the United States and your Private Information may have been compromised in connection with the Data Incident, including if you were mailed a notification by or on behalf of AAA Collections, Inc. regarding the Data Incident.

Only Class Members are eligible to receive benefits under the Settlement. Specifically excluded from the Class are (1) the judge presiding over the class action lawsuit and his direct family members; (2) the Defendant, its subsidiaries, parent companies, successors, predecessors, and any entity in which the Defendant or its parents have a controlling interest and their current or former officers, directors, and employees; and (3) Class Members who submit a valid request to be excluded from the Settlement.

What does the Settlement provide?

The Settlement provides that Defendant will fund the following payments up to a total of $865,000.00: (a) $25.00 per hour, up to a total of $125.00, for Class Members who attest that the time claimed was actually spent as a result of the Data Incident; (b) up to $5,000.00 for reimbursement of your documented Out-of-Pocket Expenses reasonably traceable to the Data Incident; and (c) a pro rata $50.00 payment, subject to adjustment.

The $50.00 pro rata payment will be dispersed after the distribution of attorneys’ fees, Class Counsel’s litigation expenses, the Service Award, Notice and Administrative Expenses, and other Settlement benefits to claimants. The other Settlement benefits are also subject to pro rata reduction as needed in the event that the total claims exceed the $865,000.00 cap on payments to be made by Defendant, and payments may also be increased on a pro rata basis until the Settlement Fund is distributed. Payment of (1) attorneys’ fees and expenses and service award to Plaintiffs (see Question 19) and (2) the costs of notifying the Class and administering the Settlement will also be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

Also, as part of the Settlement, Defendant either has undertaken or will undertake certain reasonable steps to further secure its systems and environments.

What payments are available for reimbursement under the Settlement?

Class Members who submit a claim are eligible to receive:

  • Reimbursement of actual, documented, unreimbursed Out-of-Pocket Expenses resulting from the Data Incident (up to $5,000.00 in total), such as the following incurred on or after September 30, 2021:
    • any costs incurred from credit monitoring services or ordering copies of your credit report;
    • late fees, declined payment fees, overdraft fees, returned check fees, customer service fees, and/or card cancellation or replacement fees;
    • late fees from transactions with third parties that were delayed due to fraud or card replacement;
    • unauthorized charges on credit, debit, or other payment cards that were not reimbursed;
    • parking expenses or other transportation expenses for trips to a financial institution to address fraudulent charges or receive a replacement payment card;
    • costs incurred obtaining credit freezes; and
    • other expenses that are reasonably attributable to the Data Incident that were not reimbursed.
  • Compensation for time spent (lost time) remedying issues related to the Data Incident, up to 5 hours at $25.00/hour for time spent in response to the Data Incident for a total amount of up to $125.00.
  • A potential cash payment of the remainder funds, which is estimated to be $50.00 but may be adjusted upward or downward pro rata based on how many other claims are made.

What are my options?

(1) Submit a claim.  

To receive a benefit under the Settlement, you must complete and submit a claim for that benefit (a “Claim”). Every Claim must be made on a form (“Claim Form”) available here or by calling 833-743-9638. A Claim Form will also be sent to Class Members as part of the postcard notice that will be mailed to Class Members. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form, provide the required documentation, and submit it according to the instructions on the Claim Form.

(2) Exclude yourself.

To exclude yourself, send a letter that says you want to be excluded or opt-out from the Settlement in Pederson, et al. v. AAA Collections, Inc., Case No. 4:22-cv-04166, United States District Court, District of South Dakota. The letter must: (a) state your full name, address, and telephone number; (b) contain your personal and original signature or the original signature of a person authorized by law to act on your behalf; and (c) state unequivocally your intent to be excluded from the Settlement. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked by January 15, 2024, to:

Pederson, et al. v. AAA Collections, Inc. Settlement Administrator
Attn: Exclusion Request
P.O. Box 2007
Chanhassen, MN 55317-2007

(3) Object to the Settlement.

You can tell the Court that you do not agree with the Settlement or some part of it by objecting to the Settlement. The Court will consider your views in its decision on whether to approve the Settlement. The Court can only approve or deny the Settlement and cannot change its terms. To object, you must mail your objection to the Clerk of the Court and the Settlement Administrator, at the mailing addresses listed below, postmarked by no later than the Objection Deadline, January 15, 2024:

Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
District of South Dakota
225 South Pierre Street
Pierre, SD 57501

Settlement Administrator:
Pederson, et al. v. AAA Collections, Inc.
c/o Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 2007
Chanhassen, MN 55317-2007

Your objection must be written and must include all of the following: (1) the name of the proceedings; (2) the Class Member’s full name, current mailing address, and telephone number; (3) a statement of the specific grounds for the objection, as well as any documents supporting the objection; (4) the identity of any attorneys representing the objector; (5) a statement regarding whether the Class Member (or his/her attorney) intends to appear at the Final Approval Hearing; (6) a statement identifying all class action settlements objected to by the Class Member in the previous five years; and (7) the signature of the Class Member or the Class Member’s attorney.

(4) What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you do nothing you will not get any money from this Settlement. If the Settlement is granted final approval and the judgment becomes final, then you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant and the other Released Parties based on any of the Released Claims related to the Data Incident, ever again.

When is the Final Approval Hearing?

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 3:00 p.m. CT on March 25, 2024, at United States District Court, District of South Dakota, 225 South Pierre Street, Pierre, SD 57501, or by remote or virtual means as ordered by the Court. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are timely and valid objections, then the Court will consider them and will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing if such a request has been properly made. The Court will also rule on the request for an award of attorneys’ fees and reasonable expenses, and service award. After the hearing the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so Class Counsel recommend checking this website or calling 833-743-9638.

Do I have lawyers in this case?

Yes. The Court appointed Terence R. Coates and Dylan J. Gould of Markovits, Stock & DeMarco, LLC (119 E. Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202); Joseph Lyon of the Lyon Firm, LLC (2754 Erie Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208); Raina Borrelli of Turke & Strauss, LLP (613 Williamson St., Suite 201, Madison, WI 53703); and Pamela Reiter of Reiter Law Firm LLC (5032 S. Bur Oak Place, Suite 205, Sioux Falls, SD 57108), as Class Counsel to represent the Class. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, then you may hire one at your own expense.

Contact us/Where do I get more information?

This information summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement itself. A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available here.

You may also call the Settlement Administrator with questions or to receive a Claim Form at 833-743-9638.


Please contact the Settlement Administrator or Class Counsel if you have any questions about the Settlement.