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
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 www.milberg.com.
By René Tankersley