updated 4/17/2011 11:15:22 PM ET 2011-04-18T03:15:22

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An American Arbitration Association Arbitrator approved distribution of the following Notice to members of the certified class in the arbitration described below.

Your Rights May Be Affected By How You Respond Or Fail To Respond To This Notice. If You Enrolled In A Debt Management Agreement With Genus Credit Management Corporation or American Financial Solutions You May Be Entitled To Receive Money From A Class Action Settlement.

An Arbitrator has approved this Notice. This is Not a Solicitation from a Lawyer.

You May Have Received A Prior Notice About this Arbitration

On May 7, 2009, a class arbitration was certified by Arbitrator Donald H. Green of the American Arbitration Association in this matter. In March 2010, a Notice was sent to all members of the certified class notifying them about this arbitration, the Arbitrator's class certification decision and their right to exclude themselves from the certified class. That Notice may also have described a settlement with two of the nine original Respondents in the arbitration, and how some class members could file claims to receive money as part of that partial settlement. This Notice describes a different settlement with two of the remaining seven Respondents, Genus Credit Management Corporation ("Genus") and InCharge Institute of America, Inc. ("ICI"), and your rights related to this settlement. 

What Is The Case About?

The Complaint filed in this arbitration alleges that Respondents, including Genus and ICI, were directly or indirectly participating in debt management and/or credit counseling operations or were affiliated with companies who did so engage. The Complaint alleges violations of consumer protection laws based on allegedly false and misleading statements about debt management plans or programs ("DMPs") created, advertised, sold, administered or serviced by any of the Respondents, including the DMP benefits and claims that DMPs improve credit, credit ratings, credit histories or credit scores without providing required disclosures. Genus and ICI believe that they acted lawfully at all times, deny that they violated any laws or did anything wrong and contend that they are not liable to the class.

Why Did I Get This Notice?

You were mailed this Notice because Respondents' records show that you are a member of the certified class. Therefore, you are entitled to submit a claim to receive money from the proposed settlement with Genus and ICI. You may also seek exclusion from or object to the settlement, as described below.

Who Is Eligible to Participate in the Settlement with Genus and ICI?

To participate in the settlement with Genus and ICI, you must be a member of the class certified by the Arbitrator, and defined as follows:

All persons in the United States and its territories who, between January 1, 1998 and May 7, 2009, enrolled in a Debt Management Plan or similar program created, advertised, administered or serviced by Respondents or any of them, or any entity sharing common ownership with any Respondent, provided those persons have entered into contracts with arbitration provisions similar to or the same as those entered into by the named class representatives.

If you received this Notice by mail, it is believed you satisfy the conditions to file a claim to receive money from the settlement with Genus and ICI. If you are not sure if you are eligible to participate in the settlement with Genus and ICI, you may contact the Settlement Administrator by telephone or email (as indicated below). 

What Are The Principle Terms Of The Settlement With Genus and ICI?

Genus and ICI have collectively agreed to pay four million dollars ($4,000,000.00) (the "Settlement Fund"). In exchange for that payment, claimants and all class members who do not request exclusion from the settlement by June 6, 2011, will forever release Genus, ICI and certain related entities from all claims brought in this arbitration and all claims relating to the same asserted wrongful actions. The Settlement Agreement was signed on March 10, 2011 and has been preliminarily approved by the Arbitrator. It is available for review on the settlement website, www.GenusCreditClassArbitrationSettlement.com. The settlement requires final approval by the Arbitrator. If finally approved, this arbitration will be dismissed as to Genus and ICI and payments will be made to class members who submit valid claim forms by June 6, 2011. 

Claimants have not settled their claims or the claims of the certified class made in this Arbitration against the remaining five respondents who have not settled. This arbitration will continue against them.

How Will Payments from the Settlement Fund be Made?

Class members must file a Claim Form by June 6, 2011 to receive a payment from the Settlement Fund. All class members who submit valid claim forms will receive an equal share of the Settlement Fund after payment of the Arbitrator-approved attorneys' fees and costs. 

Who Represents The Class?

Class Counsel represents the Class. Class Counsel are collectively the following law firms who represent Named Claimants and the Certified Class: G. Oliver Koppell & Associates, Tusa, P.C., Jack Sando, Esq. and Whalen & Tusa, P.C. which firm (Whalen & Tusa, P.C.) shall be class counsel for the limited purpose of claiming and receiving the fees earned by that firm for representation of Claimants and the Class in this arbitration.  

No class member will be charged a fee by Class Counsel. Class Counsel will request a fee equal to one-third (33.33%) of the Settlement Fund and to be reimbursed for their expenses in prosecuting the arbitration for Claimants and the certified class. If you do not want Class Counsel to represent you in the settlement with Genus and ICI, you may hire your own lawyer at your own expense.

What Are My Legal Options And Rights?

1. To Receive Money From The Settlement. To receive money from the settlement with Genus and ICI, you must be eligible to participate in the Settlement and submit a completed Proof of Claim form. The Claim Form is also available at www.GenusCreditClassArbitrationSettlement.com. The Claim Form can be submitted by mailing a completed form to the Settlement Administrator at the following address:

JONES V. GENUS CREDIT MGT. CORP.
SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR
C/O STRATEGIC CLAIMS SERVICES
600 N. JACKSON STREET, SUITE 3
MEDIA, PA 19063

Instead of mailing a Claim Form, class members may complete and file Claim Forms electronically on the settlement website www.GenusCreditClassArbitrationSettlement.com . Please submit only one Claim Form for each DMP. 

Claim Forms must be postmarked or submitted by June 6, 2011 to be valid.

2. To Exclude Yourself From the Settlement. You have the option to exclude yourself from the settlement with Genus and ICI. If you exclude yourself from the settlement, your claims against Genus and ICI will not be released, but you will not be eligible to receive a payment from the Settlement Fund. To request exclusion, you must send a letter to the Administrator requesting to be "excluded" from the settlement with Genus and ICI. The letter must include the following information: i) the title of this arbitration: Jones v. Genus Credit Mgt. Corp.; ii) your full name and address; and iii) your signature; and iv) your Genus DMP account number (if known).

Exclusion requests must be postmarked by June 6, 2011 to be valid.

3. To Comment On Or Object To The Settlement. If you do not request exclusion, you may comment in favor or opposition to the Settlement, or to Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees. Objections to the settlement must be in writing, sent to the Administrator, and include the following information: i) the title of this arbitration: Jones v. Genus Credit Mgt. Corp.; ii) your full name and address; iii) your signature or the signature of your legal representative; iv) your Genus DMP account number (if known); and v) a detailed description of each reason you are objecting to the settlement with Genus and ICI, along with citations to any supporting authorities. 

Comments or Objections must be postmarked by June 6, 2011 to be valid.

4. To Do Nothing. If you do nothing and the settlement with Genus and ICI is approved, you will forever release your claims against Genus and ICI in this arbitration. If you do not complete and submit a Claim Form, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement Fund. All class members will maintain their claims in this arbitration against the five respondents who have not settled with Claimants and the certified class. 

When Is The Hearing To Consider Final Approval Of The Settlement?

The Arbitrator will hold a Fairness Hearing at the offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP, 600 14th St. N.W., Washington DC 20005 on June 27, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. to decide whether to approve the settlement with Genus and ICI and whether to approve Class Counsel's request for the payment attorneys' fees and costs. Class members or their attorneys may appear at this hearing, but do not have to. If you submit a written objection to the settlement with Genus and ICI, the Arbitrator will consider your objection whether or not you attend the Fairness Hearing. If a class member or his or her attorney intends to attend the Fairness Hearing, written notice must be provided to the Administrator. 

Notices to attend the Fairness Hearing must be postmarked by June 7, 2011 to be valid.

How Can I Obtain More Information?

For more information about the settlement with Genus and ICI, or this arbitration generally, or to view the Settlement Agreement, you may call the Administrator toll-free at (888) 349-4110 or visit the settlement website www.GenusCreditClassArbitrationSettlement.com, or visit the page of AAA's website concerning this arbitration at www.adr.org/sp.asp?id=29365 . Please do not contact the AAA or the Arbitrator.

What Is the Administrator's Mailing Address?

Completed Proof of Claim forms, exclusion requests, comments and objections to the settlement with Genus and ICI and notice to appear at the Fairness Hearing should be mailed to the Administrator at: Jones v. Genus Mgt. Corp., Settlement Administrator, c/o Strategic Claims Services, 600 N. Jackson Street, Suite 3, Media, Pa 19063.

CONTACT: Strategic Claims Services
         600 N. Jackson Street, Suite 3
         Media, PA 19063
         Phone: (888) 349-4110
         Fax: (610) 565-7985

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