Court certifies class in lawsuit against Associates

| 11/29/2001

Long before the Federal Trade Commission filed its lawsuit against the Associates on March 6, 2001, a New York law firm filed a class action lawsuit against Associates in Arizona's district court system. Originally filed April 28, 1997, the Arizona case received its class certification March 30, 2001, for certain Arizona residents who financed a home mortgage through Associates and bought credit life insurance through Associates.

U.S. District Judge John M. Roll of U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (Tucson) approved Magistrate Judge James C. Carruth's report and recommendations, which named Alfonso Gamboa as class representative.

The magistrate's report, filed Dec. 13, 2000, also recommended certification of four claims against Associates for violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, breach of contract, negligent supervision and unjust enrichment.

Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, the law firm representing the Arizona consumers, alleges Associates exploited customers through several wrongful practices, including refinancing loans unnecessarily, force-selling life insurance with its loans and selling insurance products that don't pay as promised.

The firm says in some cases borrowers bought insurance in connection with a loan without being aware of it because the insurance was included in a loan package. Patricia D. Ryan, a Maryland attorney who has been working on the case against Associates for more than six years, would like to review Associates loan documents from borrowers (in all states) who have obtained loans and/or credit insurance from Associates. Contact her at: Patricia D. Ryan, Attorney at Law, 6106 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 110, Bethesda, MD 20816, or fax (301) 263-0587; phone (301) 263-0586.

If you believe you have been taken advantage of through an improper loan, by either being required to pay for insurance you didn't want, by being charged very high fees or by repeated refinancing of your loan, or other wrongful acts, you may also contact Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP at 1-800-320-5081 or visit their web site at
By René Tankersley