Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who Is A Settlement Class Member?
  2. What Are the Settlement Benefits?
  3. What Are the Tax Consequences of Settlement?
  4. What You Will Give Up In Exchange For Benefit?
  5. How Do I Exclude Myself From the Settlement?
  6. How Do I Object To the Settlement?
  7. When is the Final Approval Hearing?
  1. Who Is A Settlement Class Member?

    The phrase “Settlement Class” is defined as all California residents:

    (a) who purchased a motor vehicle and, as part of that transaction, entered into an agreement subject to California’s Rees-Levering Automobile Sales Finance Act, Civil Code § 2981, et seq.;

    (b) whose motor vehicle was repossessed or voluntarily surrendered;

    (c) who were issued an NOI by Automotive Funding Group, Inc. d/b/a County Financial Services from October 2, 2010 to February 16, 2018; and

    (d) against whose account a deficiency balance was assessed.

    “Settlement Class” excludes persons (1) whose accounts were discharged in bankruptcy, and (2) against whom AFG or its agents or assignees obtained a Superior Court judgment. If you received the Notice, AFG CEO Corey Leyton has identified you as a Settlement Class Member from AFG’s records.

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  2. What Are the Settlement Benefits?

    If the settlement is approved by the Court, all Settlement Class Members will receive benefits.

    Class benefits. Approximately 3,378 persons are members of the Settlement Class, whose outstanding Deficiency Balances AFG contends total approximately $12 million.

    1. As part of the settlement, AFG and/or its assignees, including but not limited to any debt collector hired by or on behalf of AFG agree not to attempt to collect any outstanding alleged Deficiency Balance on Class Member’s Accounts, the Settlement Class do not owe any further money on their Accounts, and AFG and/or its assignees, including, but not limited to any debt collector hired by or on behalf of AFG has stopped all collection efforts on such Deficiency Balances.

    2. Furthermore, Corey Leyton, on behalf of AFG, has requested that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion delete the trade line referencing Settlement Class Members’ accounts.

    3. Finally, if you are a Settlement Class Member who paid any amount toward a deficiency balance after repossession, you will receive the non-monetary benefits described above, and in addition, you will receive a check for 100% of the amount you actually paid AFG and/or its assignees toward your deficiency balance. The check will be made out to the first-named borrower on the account.

    Any Settlement Class Member (other than the Settlement Class Representative, who approves of and entered into this Agreement, and other than those who request exclusion from the Settlement Class) may dispute the amount of payment by submitting in writing his or her dispute to the Settlement Class Administrator and also Settlement Class Counsel. Such dispute must be postmarked no later than forty-five (45) days after the Distribution Date. Any dispute must contain: the name, address, dated signature, and telephone number of the Settlement Class Member; a clear statement of the dispute; and copies of all supporting evidence. Settlement Class Counsel and the disputing Settlement Class Member or other party will first meet and confer in a good-faith attempt to resolve that dispute within ten (10) days of receipt of the dispute from the Settlement Class Member. In the event the dispute cannot be resolved informally between Settlement Class Counsel and the disputing Settlement Class Member or other party, the Settlement Class Administrator will resolve the dispute within ten (10) days of Settlement Class Counsel referring the dispute to the Settlement Class Member and such resolution shall be final and binding on the Settlement Class Member. In resolving such disputes, AFG’s records shall be presumed to be accurate and correct, and shall be final and binding, unless information provided by the Settlement Class Member proves otherwise.

    Settlement Class Members will have one hundred eighty (180) days from issuance of the settlement check to cash said check. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 384(a), checks that remain uncashed after 180 days will be distributed to an organization appointed by the Court at the time of final approval, designed either to further the purposes of the underlying class action or causes of action, or to promote justice for all Californians.

    You do NOT need to do anything to receive these benefits.

    Attorneys’ Fees and Award to Class Representative. Class Counsel will seek attorneys’ fees and costs of $655,000.00, subject to approval by the Court at the Final Approval Hearing referred to below. If the Court approves the fees and costs sought by Class Counsel, fees and costs will be paid with settlement funds specifically reserved for this purpose and will not diminish your benefits under the settlement. In addition, the Class Representative will request an award of $15,000.00 to be approved by the Court at the Final Approval Hearing. Any service award to the Class Representative will be paid from settlement funds specifically reserved for this purpose and will not diminish your benefits under the settlement.

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  3. What Are the Tax Consequences of Settlement?

    Any benefits you receive may or may not be the subject of state or federal taxation, depending on your circumstances. Class Counsel are not tax attorneys, and you are advised to seek separate legal advice on matters of taxation.

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  4. What You Will Give Up In Exchange For Benefit?

    The settlement is a compromise. In exchange for the benefits described herein, every Class Member who does not opt out will be bound by the terms of the settlement, once final, and all court orders in the Action and will give AFG, the Leyton Parties and 3 Generation a Release. A release means you can’t sue or be part of any other lawsuit against AFG, the Leyton Parties or 3rd Generation about the claims or issues in this Action ever again, including the NOIs and the collection and reporting on your Accounts. For more information about the terms of the Release, you may consult the Settlement Agreement on file with the Court.

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  5. How Do I Exclude Myself From the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must send a request for exclusion to the Settlement Class Administrator, Buckingham v. Automotive Funding Group Settlement Class Administrator, at the address provided below, by First Class Mail postmarked no later than November 2, 2020 [45 days from issuance of Class Notice], and containing all of the following: (1) The name of the Action “Buckingham v. Automotive Funding Group, Inc. d/b/a County Financial Services, et al., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC492394,” (2) Your full name and current address, (3) A statement of your intent to exclude yourself, and (4) Your signature and the date you signed it. If you do not follow these procedures to exclude yourself, your rights will be determined in this Action if the settlement receives final judicial approval.

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  6. How Do I Object To the Settlement?

    If you do not request to be excluded, you may object to the settlement. You may not do both. To object to the settlement, you must send your objection to the Settlement Class Administrator, Buckingham v. Automotive Funding Group Settlement Class Administrator, at the address provided below, by First Class Mail postmarked no later than November 2, 2020 [45 days from issuance of Class Notice], and containing all of the following: (1) The name of the Action “Buckingham v. Automotive Funding Group, Inc. d/b/a County Financial Services, et al., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC492394,” (2) Your full name, current address, and telephone number, (3) A clear statement of each objection, (4) All supporting evidence and briefing you wish to have considered in support of the objection, and (5) Your signature and the date of your signature. Objectors are not required to attend the Final Approval Hearing, but may do so.

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  7. When is the Final Approval Hearing?

    The proposed settlement must be finally approved by the Court. The Court has set the Final Approval Hearing for December 17, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. (subject to change without further notice), in the Superior Court of Los Angeles in Department 9 to determine whether the settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable and adequate; whether certification of the Settlement Class is proper; the amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and the amount of the service award; and whether the settlement should be finally approved. You may appear remotely at the Final Approval Hearing. Information on how to appear remotely at the Final Approval Hearing will appear on the settlement website www.afgsettlement.com when such information becomes available. Notice of final judgment will be posted on the settlement website.

    You do not need to hire a lawyer, but may if you want to do so. You and the Settlement Class are already represented by Class Counsel listed below, at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

    The settlement will not take effect unless and until: (1) the Court approves the settlement at the Final Approval Hearing, and (2) the Final Approval Order and Judgment is entered by the Court and no longer subject to any appellate challenge. After the Court grants final approval and the time to appeal has expired or appeals are exhausted, the settlement will become final, and you will receive the class benefits set forth above. If the Court does not approve the settlement, Settlement Class Members will not receive any benefits described in the Notice and it will be as if no settlement had been reached.

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