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Chances are you have been involved in a class action settlement and not even realize it. Class action settlements happen all the time and you are probably missing out on hundreds of dollars or more per year! I touched upon class action settlements as a way to make $50 per hour and today I wanted to create the ultimate guide for class action settlements.
I will walk you through where to find class action settlements, how to sign up for them, quickly filling out info, keeping track of your settlements, and scheduling.
NOTE: PLEASE TRY TO BE ETHICAL WHEN DOING THIS. I DON’T CONDONE FLAT OUT LYING, MY GOAL IS TO INFORM AND INSTRUCT.
What Are Class Action Settlements?
The whole idea of class action settlements is that usually a company is accused of something illegal or non-ethical, so instead of getting sued for tens of millions of dollars or more, they settle in court.
The cool thing about this is that when they settle in court. It is done on behalf of everyone affected by the activity.
Generally, there is often a fixed dollar amount that is settled between both parties. This can vary between tens of thousands of dollars, all the way to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Then all the affected consumers who sign up to claim their settlement funds get a shared amount of the settlement pool. It can be a few pennies or well over $100+.
How To Find Class Action Settlements
Considering that a lot of these companies often settle vs. spending years in court means that there is a lot of opportunities to get on the class action settlement train.
There are several websites that tell you which settlements you qualify for. PS: Some settlements don’t require proof!
There are two main websites I recommend as they are often up-to-date with the latest class action news:
I recommend strictly using these sites when searching for class action settlements. There are some credit card sites that pretty much copy/paste the settlements you see but for my strategy, stick with the top two.
Top Class Actions Settlement Strategy
Top Class Actions is the most up to date website that keeps track of all court cases, filings, news, and the progress of settlements. To find available class actions on their site: hover over “settlements” and select “open settlements”
You’ll land on the settlement page. From there scroll down past the newsletter and featured list sections. You’ll then see a filtered list.
Press “Sort by” and select “Date Added”
If this is your first time:
- Start from the top
- Work your way down across all pages
- Select the settlements that are relevant and open them up in a new tab
- Then follow directions for each form
After your first time:
- Sort By -> Deadline
- Fill out all the ones with the nearest deadline (that are relevant) 30 days from the current date.
- Then Sort By -> Date Added
- You then find the relevant settlements until you start seeing settlements you might have applied to in the past. This might only be 1-page long. See the ‘timing’ section for why this is the case.
Class Action Rebate Settlement Strategy
It doesn’t matter if it is your first time or returning time. All of their settlements appear on the home page in “date added” order.
- (If it’s your first time) -> Start from the very bottom of the page. If you are returning, start from the last settlement you recall looking over.
- Work your way up on all settlements that are relevant.
- Usually, there might be some settlements that appear on one site and not the other, that’s why I recommend these two.
Which Settlements Should You Focus On
Because there is a major “grey area” in claiming settlements on products that you may or may not have used, I’ll go over the major types of settlements that almost all of us can apply for and not feel like a scumbag.
ALWAYS apply for these. Some settlements will ask for your phone number first to verify if you qualify. While others you can fill out the info and it’s 50/50 that you’ll get paid. The main reason why I say “ALWAYS” is because TCPA involves getting an unsolicited phone call or text. As someone who gets a lot of spam, it’s pretty likely I’m affected.
No Proof Settlements
Most Of The Time I apply if I have used them at some capacity in the past. You’ll see what I mean in the screenshot below.
As of this post, there are two valid class action lawsuits that most of us probably were affected by. Considering I’ve bought an HDMI cable from them in the past, I’m pretty sure I qualify. On the flipside, if you got a robocall from Chase, you qualify for extra cash. All you need to do is check your phone number if you qualify.
Since the Best Buy is ‘no proof”, I won’t need to find the receipt that I used 2-3 years ago.
A lot of ‘no proof’ items are based on the trust system. So that’s why I say if you believe that you were affected in some capacity to your best knowledge then claim a no proof settlement.
Most no proof items allow you to claim a limited amount funds, but if you have proof of purchase you can get 2-10 times more.
Product Based Settlements
Depends on the product. There are a lot of these. Some of these fall under “no proof”, but a good amount of products that are being used for settlements you might have used. Look at the details carefully.
Each website has a page dedicated to the settlement. All other settlements look over carefully as eligibility is based on location, time frames, etc.
Filling Out Claim Forms
Assuming you found a settlement that you qualify for. In nearly all cases, each website will provide a link for you to fill out the form. Click the link and it will take you to the settlement website.
Online Vs. Mail Forms
Always do online over mail forms. Not only are online forms much easier to fill out, but you don’t run the risk of losing your form in the mail. However, some settlement claims require you to print out the form and mail it in.
I’ve noticed the ones where you mail often have a higher amount of money to be claimed. For the Best Buy example, it’s pretty straightforward.
The Fast Way To Fill Out Forms
Chances are you won’t be checking these sites daily (nor should you). When you are first starting out and occasionally filling out forms in one fell swoop, it becomes time-consuming to fill out dozens of claim forms manually.
There are a couple of methods to speed up the form filling process.
AutoFill Option One: Chrome
I recommend Google Chrome since I’ve had a lot of success in filling out forms automatically. Make sure you have Google Chrome downloaded.
After download, press the three buttons on the upper right side of the browser and select settings.
In the settings form, you’ll need to press ‘advanced’
Proceed to select “Passwords & Forms”
You’ll then end up with the option to enable autofill. Go ahead and make sure it’s selected. Then press ‘add’.
You’ll be prompted to fill out your name, address, and phone number.
Fill out all of the information (you can leave ‘organization blank’).
Press ‘save’ when you are done.
That’s it! Whenever you start to fill out your claim form, you’ll information will automatically appear. This will dramatically speed up your settlement claim process.
AutoFill Option Two: LastPass
If you aren’t comfortable having your information auto-filled on a browser. You can always download LastPass. It’s my favorite password saving tool. But it is also great for saving your information on form fills.
LastPass is a browser extension. After your download, click the LastPass icon and select “add form fill”.
Fill out your information and press “save”.
That’s pretty much it! I personally prefer Google Chrome slightly over LastPass, but since LastPass can only work if you are logged in, you have an extra layer of security.
Keeping Track Of Form Fills
While I do recommend updating settlements twice a month. Over time you might start losing track of settlements you’ve applied to and how much money you are expecting to get.
That’s why I created a tracking guide for you to use and download.
It is pretty straight-forward to fill out (note, this is some dummy info)
- Enter the name of the settlement (usually the name of the company and type of settlement).
- Enter the date you submitted your claim.
- If you get a claim number, copy/paste that.
- Enter the expected payout.
- All sections that are separated are based on month. Tabs are separated per year.
To Save A Copy
- Go to the Google Sheet
- Press “File” -> Make A Copy
- You can save it to your google drive for further use
When you get a settlement check, you can find the settlement in your document and insert the actual amount received.
Expectations, Scheduling & Tips
For starters: I recommend you check for new settlements twice a month. Preferably on the 1st and 15th of each month. Some settlements only appear for 1-2 weeks while others can be up for months.
- It will take between 2-16 months for you to get a settlement check. So if you change addresses, it is worth paying the $1 to do mail forwarding.
- You won’t receive checks about 33-50% of the time. Regardless if you do qualify or not.
- Settlement check amounts aren’t always accurate, you might get a check for $2.33 in one instance and then get $80 on another one where you didn’t think it would be worth much.
- Some cases you might need to follow up via mail for proof of purchase. if you have it, then mail it in.
- Some settlements only send one check per household. So if you have a spouse, sibling, or a loved one that lives with you, you are likely out of luck getting two checks (assuming you both qualify).
- Don’t be stupid and apply for everything. Some settlements require you to say you are telling the truth or you risk perjury. While it’s unlikely, don’t press your luck. (Example: you are a male in your 30’s claiming a settlement for female beauty products. Don’t do that).
I will likely keep updating this over time. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
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