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Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement
www.ZiwczynSettlementInfo.com

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Why Did I Receive a Settlement Notice Packet By Mail?

A Settlement Notice Packet was sent to you because the Defendants’ records indicate that your residential insurance policy lapsed, that a hazard or wind-only lender-placed insurance policy (“LPI policy”) was issued for your residential property, and that you were charged by Regions, as your mortgage servicer, for this LPI policy between January 1, 2009 and June 22, 2016.

The Court ordered that Notice to be sent to eligible Class Members because they have the right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit, which concerns LPI issued by the Defendants or by another insurer for which you were charged by Regions, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

The Court granted Final Approval of the Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement on November 29, 2016. If you satisfy the claim criteria and submitted a valid claim, you will receive either: (a) a cash award from the Settlement Administrator, if you paid all or a portion of the premium for your LPI Policy; or (b) a credit towards what you currently owe Regions, or, at Defendants sole discretion, a partial refund check form the Settlement Administrator, if you have not paid the premium for your LPI Policy. However, the cash award or credit will not be made until any objections or appeals are resolved.

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2. What is the Settlement Notice?

The Settlement Notice is part of a package sent to all potential Settlement Class Members. The package includes the Class Notice, the Instructions for the Class Action Claim Form, and the Class Action Claim Form. This package explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, Class Member legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the case is known as Ziwczyn et al. v. Regions Bank and American Security Insurance Co.; Case No. 1:15-cv-24558-FAM (Southern District of Florida).

Plaintiffs Edward Ziwczyn, Bernard DePaul, and Rhona Holganza sued on behalf of you and all Settlement Class Members and are called the “Plaintiffs.” The companies they sued, Regions, American Security Insurance Company (“ASIC”), Standard Guaranty Insurance Company (“SGIC”), and Voyager Indemnity Insurance Company (“VIIC”) are called the “Defendants.”

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3. What is this lawsuit about?

This lawsuit involves lender-placed insurance (“LPI”), which is insurance (hazard or wind-only) that is placed on a borrower’s property to protect the borrower and mortgage lender when the borrower’s insurance policy lapses, or when the borrower does not maintain a homeowner’s insurance policy that is acceptable to the mortgage lender. When an LPI Policy is placed pursuant to the borrower’s mortgage contract, Regions pays premiums to the LPI insurer who writes the policy, and then Regions charges the borrowers for those premiums.

The Plaintiffs have brought claims on behalf of all persons in the Settlement Class (as defined in Question #5). Plaintiffs allege that when a borrower was required to have insurance for his or her property pursuant to a residential mortgage, home equity loan, or line of credit, and evidence of acceptable coverage was not provided (for example, when the insurance policy did not exist or had lapsed), Regions would place insurance in a manner such that Regions allegedly received an unauthorized benefit. Plaintiffs allege further that Regions did so primarily to receive “kickbacks” in the form of commissions from the Defendants. Plaintiffs also allege that the way in which LPI policies were obtained and placed caused the rates and the amount of coverage to be excessive.

All Defendants expressly deny Plaintiffs’ allegations and assert their actions are fully authorized under the mortgage instruments and by law. They also expressly deny that they did anything wrong. There has been no court decision on the merits of this case and no finding that Defendants committed any wrongdoing.

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4. Why is there a Settlement?

Both sides agreed to a Settlement to avoid the cost and risk of a trial and so that borrowers can get benefits in exchange for releasing Defendants from liability.

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5. Who is a Settlement Class Member?

To see if you will be affected by this class action, you first have to determine if you are a member of the Settlement Class.

The Settlement Class shall include all borrowers in the United States who, within January 1, 2009 and June 22, 2016 (the “Class Period”) were charged by Regions under a hazard or wind-only LPI Policy for Residential Property, and who, within the Class Period, either: (i) paid to Regions the Net Premium for that LPI Policy; or (ii) did not pay and still owe Regions the Net Premium for that LPI Policy.

Excluded from the Class are: (i) individuals who are or were during the Class Period officers or directors of the Defendants or any of their respective affiliates; (ii) any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States or any State, their spouses, and persons within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouses of such persons; (iii) borrowers who only had an LPI Policy that was cancelled in its entirety such that any premiums charged and/or collected were fully refunded to the borrower’s escrow account; and (iv) all borrowers who file a timely and proper request to be excluded from the Class.

“LPI Policy” means a lender-placed residential hazard or wind-only insurance policy or policies issued by ASIC, SGIC, VIIC, or another insurance company, and placed pursuant to a mortgage loan agreement, home equity loan agreement, or home equity line of credit serviced by Regions Bank to cover a borrower’s failure to maintain the required insurance coverage on the residential property securing the loan.

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6. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement Class?

If you are not sure whether you are included in the Settlement Class, or you have questions about the case, you may call the toll free number, 1-855-907-3253 for additional information or to leave a message for Class Counsel.

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7. What are the terms of the Settlement?

Defendants have agreed to provide a cash award or credit in the amount of 12.5% of the Net Premium charged to the claimant during the Class Period for the LPI Policy by Regions if the charge occurred on or before October 31, 2013 and 7% of the Net Premium if the charge for the LPI Policy by Regions occurred on or after November 1, 2013, provided each Settlement Class Member submitted a valid and properly completed Claim Form, including for some claimants, providing a form of verification of their identity.

As described in further detail in response to Question #9, whether a Settlement Class Member is eligible to receive a cash award or credit (towards what the Settlement Class Member owes Regions) depends on whether he or she paid the premiums charged by Regions for the LPI Policy or whether he or she did not pay but still owes those premiums to Regions. Each Settlement Class member must have submitted a valid Claim Form by February 27, 2017 to be eligible to receive these benefits. Defendants also have agreed to additional injunctive relief from which Class Members may benefit. The Settlement benefits are described in further detail in the Settlement Agreement.

This Settlement will not affect any rights or claims that Class Members may have under the National Mortgage Settlement or any other settlement between Regions and any governmental or private entity. This Settlement also will not affect any claim for benefits on your LPI Policy that you have made or may make in the future. However, as described below (see Question #11), this Settlement will affect any claims that you may have relating to, concerning, or pertaining to, among other things, Defendants’ conduct, policies, or practices concerning LPI Policies and charges for Regions’ placement of LPI Policies during the Class Period.

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8. How do I receive a cash award or credit?

To receive a cash award or credit towards what you currently owe, you must be a Settlement Class Member and must have submitted a valid and properly completed Claim Form by February 27, 2017.

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9. How do I know whether I am eligible for a cash award versus a credit towards what I owe Regions?

The Class Action Claim Form Instructions and Claim Form explain the different relief available to Settlement Class Members, depending upon whether they paid their LPI premium.

As explained on the Claim Form, Settlement Class Members are eligible for a cash award if during the Class Period they made at least one full monthly mortgage payment to Regions after either: (a) their existing escrow account was adjusted to charge the increased premium for the LPI Policy; or (b) an escrow account was created to charge the increased premium for the LPI Policy.

All other Settlement Class Members who, during the Class Period, were charged by Regions for their LPI Policy, and who have not paid and still owe the charged net premium for that policy, are eligible for a reduction of what they currently owe Regions in the amount of 12.5% or 7% of the Net Premium charged to the claimant during the Class Period for the LPI Policy by Regions. The Net Premium is the amount of the LPI premium minus any refunds already provided to the borrower. Alternatively, Defendants may elect, in their sole discretion, to send partial cash award checks to such claimants.

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10. When will I receive my cash award or credit?

The Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement received Final Approval by the Court on November 29, 2016. Eligible Class members that submit a valid, timely Claim Form will receive their refund check or credit within 180 days after the Final Settlement Date.

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11. What am I giving up to be part of the Settlement Class?

If you are a Settlement Class Member and did not submit a valid and timely exclusion request, you are staying in the Settlement Class. That means you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants about LPI, or the issues that were or could have been raised in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders concerning the Settlement Class will apply to you and legally bind you, including the Release described in detail in Section 10 of the Settlement Agreement. The Court granted Final Approval of the Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement on November 29, 2016. Section 10 of the Settlement Agreement describes the legal claims that Class Members gave up if a Class Member did not submit a timely and valid exclusion request.

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12. What happens if I do nothing?

If you do nothing as a Settlement Class Member, you’ll receive no money or credit from this Settlement. But, unless you submitted a valid and timely exclusion request, you will not be able to start a lawsuit or continue with a lawsuit against the Defendants about the legal issues that were or could have been raised in this case, ever again.

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13. How do I get out of the Settlement?

The deadline to exclude yourself from the Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement was October 21, 2016. If you fall within the definition of the Settlement Class (see Answer #5), you are automatically a member of the Settlement unless you submitted a timely and valid exclusion request. If you submitted a timely and valid exclusion request, you will receive no payment or credit as part of this Settlement, nor any of the additional Settlement benefits.

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14. What if I do not opt out of the Settlement?

Any member of the Settlement Class who did not submit a timely and valid exclusion request is part of the Settlement Class, is bound by all Orders and proceedings in this action, and gave up the right to sue any of the Defendants for the claims that this Settlement resolves. The deadline to exclude yourself from the Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement was October 21, 2016.

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15. If I excluded myself, can I receive money or a credit from this Settlement?

No. If you submitted a timely and valid exclusion request you cannot submit a Claim Form to ask for any money or a credit from the Settlement but you may sue or continue to sue Defendants individually or you may be part of a different lawsuit against Defendants.

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16. How can I object to the Settlement?

The deadline to object to or comment on all or part of the Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement was October 21, 2016.

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17. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court appointed the following lawyers to represent you and all other Settlement Class Members. Together, these lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged any money to pay for these lawyers.

Adam M. Moskowitz
amm@kttlaw.com
Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A.
2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd., 9th Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Telephone: 305-372-1800
Facsimile: 305-372-3508

Aaron S. Podhurst
apodhurst@podhurst.com
Podhurst Orseck, P.A.
City National Bank Building
25 West Flagler Street, Suite 800
Miami, FL 33130
Telephone: 305-358-2800
Facsimile: 305-358-2382

Lance A. Harke
lharke@harkeclasby.com
Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP
9699 NE Second Ave.
Miami Shores, FL 33138
Telephone: 305-536-8220
Facsimile: 305-536-8229

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18. How will the Class Counsel lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses up to $1,750,000, and a case contribution award of $5,000 paid to each of the Named Plaintiffs Edward Ziwczyn, Bernard DePaul, and Rhona Holganza for their time and effort undertaken in the matter. The Court may award less than these amounts.

Defendants will separately pay the fees and expenses, and the case contribution awards that the Court awards, up to maximums of $1,750,000 in fees and expenses and $5,000 each to Named Plaintiffs Edward Ziwczyn, Bernard DePaul, and Rhona Holganza, respectively. These amounts will not reduce the amount of any cash awards or credits to Settlement Class Members. Defendants have agreed not to oppose the applications by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses or the case contribution award to Plaintiffs.

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19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida held a Final Approval Hearing on November 22, 2016. Final Approval was granted on November 29, 2016.

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20. What was the outcome of the Fairness Hearing?

The Ziwczyn v. Regions Bank Settlement received Final Approval from the Court on November 29, 2016.

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21. Where can I get more details about the Settlement?

More details are contained in the Settlement Agreement, which is available on this Settlement Website on the Court Documents page. You may also contact Class Counsel, as identified in Question #17 above.

In addition, you may call 1-855-907-3253 toll free to obtain additional information about the Settlement and other information to help you determine whether you are eligible for relief from this Settlement.

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22. How Do I Answer Question 1 and Question 2 On The Claim Form?

You should not check the same answer to both questions. For example, if you answered “Yes” to Question 2 indicating that you paid all or a portion of the premium, then you should check “No” as to Question 1.

You may only check the “Yes” box to Question 2 (whether you were charged by Regions Bank and paid the LPI premium), which may make you eligible for a cash payment, if you made at least one full monthly mortgage payment after either: (a) your existing escrow account was adjusted to charge the premium for the Lender-Placed Insurance Policy; or (b) an escrow account was created for you by Regions Bank to charge the premium for the Lender-Placed Insurance Policy.

If you were charged by Regions Bank and still owe the premium for your Lender-Placed Insurance Policy, but you did not make one full monthly mortgage payment in the manner described above, you must check the “No” box to Question 2, but you may check the “Yes” box to Question 1 (whether you have been charged by Regions Bank and still owe and have not paid the Lender Placed Insurance premium).

Please review the Instructions for Class Action Claim Form for additional information.

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