Fidelis consumers in Ohio to receive restitution

Now-defunct dealer of vehicle service contracts ordered to pay more than $9.3 million.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Dec 16, 2013

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with the attorneys general of Missouri, Texas, and Washington, has announced that about 19,000 consumers nationwide will receive more than $9.3 million total in restitution in connection with US Fidelis, a now-defunct dealer of vehicle service contracts.

Checks are being mailed to eligible consumers. In Ohio, 583 consumers will receive $287,484 total.

“The restitution that consumers will receive is the result of hard work and lengthy negotiations,” DeWine said. “When a business files for bankruptcy, as US Fidelis did, it can be difficult to recover anything for consumers. But the states worked hard to advocate for consumers and to recover as much money as possible.”

In addition to the restitution checks being mailed this week, about 4,000 consumers already have received $3 million total in restitution from companies that worked with US Fidelis but are still in business.

US Fidelis was once the nation’s largest dealer of vehicle service contracts. On March 1, 2010, it petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In April 2010, Ohio and several other state attorneys general sued the business and its owners over US Fidelis’ deceptive solicitations, illegal telemarketing, robo-calls, and misleading TV ads. The states later agreed to settle claims against the owners in exchange for their agreement to turn over their assets to the bankruptcy estate.

Distributions are being made to consumers who filed claims with the US Fidelis Consumer Restitution Fund, which was established in a 2012 global settlement negotiated by the Ohio, Missouri, Texas, and Washington Attorneys General, the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee of US Fidelis, Inc., and others involved in the US Fidelis bankruptcy.

Consumers will receive at least $250 each. Those eligible for a refund of their contract will receive partial refunds based on the unused portion of their contract remaining after cancellation but not less than $250. Consumers with “money-back guarantee” refund claims will receive $350 each, and consumers with misrepresentation, telemarketing, or other claims will receive $250 each.

The Consumer Restitution Fund will remain open until January 2015, so consumers who have active contracts with a defunct business still may file refund claims.

Representatives from the Ohio, Texas, Missouri, and Washington Attorneys General Offices are working with the claims administrator, GCG, Inc., to oversee the Consumer Restitution Fund and its administration.

Consumers who have outstanding claims against US Fidelis, who have questions about their claims, or whose contact information may have changed should contact GCG, Inc. at www.usfbankruptcy.com or by calling (877) 691-8477.