Billions of dollars, unclaimed and up for grabs. We've all heard about class action settlements and all the money involved. But did you know, some of that cash could be yours? We have some simple ways for you to stake your claim.
It's everyone's dream: stumbling onto cash you didn't know you had coming. Money falling into your lap! Well stop dreaming. Your claim may be just a click away.
"35-billion dollars have been listed in settlements," says Lewis Kahn of Class Action America. Settlements from class action lawsuits involving everything from consumer products to prescriptions. Websites like Class Action America and Big Class Action, help consumers figure out whether any of that dough belongs in their pockets! "There's a long list of settled cases and they can see if any of those apply to them and then the contact information will be there for them," says Scott Wurtele of Big Class Action.
"Our site is about consumer empowerment. That money is out there for them. They simply have to be motivated to find it," says Kahn.
And lots of people are motivated. Lewis Kahn says his site alone gets hundreds of thousands of visitors each and every month.
Visitors like Cindy O'Connor, is in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis. She was surfing the net one day when she found Class Action America and a notice about a drug she was taking. It turns out the pharmaceutical company had overcharged customers and had to repay as part of a settlement. O'Connor, collected cash. "I filled out their short little form, figuring, well, that's about all I'll hear. Companies don't just give away money."
But this time they did. Cindy went to her mailbox one day and found two checks totalling $1700, which she used to fix her wheelchair. "I was just like shocked, surprised, excited. I can go out and get fresh air," says Cindy.
Ed Sherman heads a class action task force for the American Bar Association. He says the sites can be helpful but he has a warning: "Remember that these websites are essentially marketing tools for lawyers. They're set up by law firms who are involved in class action practice," says Sherman.
But while you can pay for legal advice on the sites, it didn't cost Cindy O'connor a dime to file her claim. Now she checks out class action websites every day, hoping to track down more cash. She says it's so easy, she'd be crazy not to!
While most of these websites are free initially, they can charge you for more detailed information as you progress through the system.