We Don’t Run Class Action Settlements – Here’s Who Does
by Erin Shaak
Last Updated on October 21, 2021
Got a question about a class action settlement? While we here at ClassAction.org do our best to report on settlements and provide information, we’re not the ones in charge of sending out the checks.
In most cases, if you have specific questions about, say, the status of your claim, whether you are covered by a settlement, how to update your address, or basically any other detail about a class action settlement, we’ll refer you to the settlement administrator.
What is a settlement administrator?
Behind many class action settlements is a settlement administrator who’s tasked with managing all aspects of the settlement process—from notifying those who are covered by the settlement (referred to as “class members”) to doling out money after the deal gets final approval.
Claims administrators, as they’re also called, are third-party companies, who, in most cases, are chosen by attorneys and approved by the court to administer the settlement in exchange for a portion of the settlement fund. An administrator’s responsibilities may include sending out class notices, setting up a call center to field class members’ questions, designing a settlement website, receiving and evaluating claims, and mailing settlement checks.
It’s worth noting that some settlements are administered by the attorneys handling the case, but for the vast majority of the cases we cover on our site, the settlement administrator is who you’ll need to contact if you have questions.
What kinds of questions can the settlement administrator answer?
The settlement administrator should be able to answer any questions related to the specifics of the settlement and how it affects you.
You can typically find the answers to more general questions—such as how to file a claim, when the deadlines are and who to send your objection to—on the website set up by the administrator. The website usually contains a list of frequently asked questions and often includes links to relevant court documents.
But settlement administrators are authorized to answer more personal questions related to your particular situation. Here are some examples:
Settlements can sometimes be pretty detailed, and though we always do our best to summarize what class members need to know, don’t hesitate to reach out to the settlement administrator if you have any questions about your rights.
Keep in mind, however, that if you are seeking legal counsel or guidance, you should instead reach out to either the attorneys handling the case (whose contact information can be found in the class notice or on the settlement website) or your own attorney at your own expense. Settlement administrators are neutral third parties—meaning their job is not to advocate for your individual rights.
How do I contact the settlement administrator?
The settlement administrator’s contact information should be listed in the communications you received about the settlement, which may include a mailed notice or an email. You may also find the settlement administrator’s contact information on the settlement website—often on the bottom of the homepage, in the FAQs section, or under a “Contact” tab.
Settlement administrators typically offer a mailing address, toll-free phone number and an email address through which they can be contacted.
Do you have a list of websites for recent settlements?
Yes, we do! Check out our settlements page to find out if you’re covered by any recent settlements. But keep in mind that we are sending you to external sites, so if you have questions, the settlement administrator may just be your best friend!
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