Anthony James Leo v AppFolio, Inc.

U.S. District Court Western District of Washington: Case No. 3:17-cv-05771-RJB

A settlement has been proposed in a purported class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court, Western District of Washington, entitled Leo v. AppFolio, Inc., Case No. 3:17-cv-5771-RJB.  The settlement includes the following class members:

All persons who between September 27, 2015 and August 10, 2018: were the subject of a consumer report prepared by Defendant which contained public record information that the person disputed with Defendant (the “1681e(b) Settlement Class, Automatic Payment Group”);

and

All persons who between September 27, 2015 and August 10, 2018: were the subject of a consumer report prepared by Defendant which contained a public record or records where the first and/or last name on the public record(s) did not match character-for-character to the first and/or last name on the person’s rental application (the “1681e(b) Settlement Class, Claim Form Group”);

and

All persons who between September 27, 2015 and August 10, 2018 made a request for their own information to Defendant and to whom Defendant sent a copy of a consumer report it had previously provided to a third party (the “1681g Settlement Class”). 

 

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF ONE OF THE ABOVE GROUPS, YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTICE CAREFULLY BECAUSE IT WILL AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS.

The notice explains the nature of the lawsuit, the general terms of the proposed settlement, and the legal rights and obligations of Settlement Class Members.  For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, you may also view the Settlement Agreement.  The Notice and Settlement Agreement can be viewed or downloaded at the "Important Documents" section of this website. 

 

 

  1. WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT AND WHY IS THERE A SETTLEMENT?

    1. Plaintiff Anthony J. Leo filed a purported class action lawsuit against AppFolio, Inc. (“AppFolio”) on behalf of allegedly similarly situated consumers.  The lawsuit claims that AppFolio violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (or “FCRA”) by (i) selling tenant screening reports that included public records that did not belong to the subject of the report, and (ii) not providing consumers with certain disclosures of information upon request that Plaintiff asserts are required under the FCRA.  AppFolio denies that it did anything wrong or that its conduct violated the FCRA or any other law in any way.  No court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability against AppFolio. 

      Although AppFolio denies any liability, the parties have determined that it is in their best interests to resolve the lawsuit.  The settlement was reached after vigorous pre-trial litigation discovery and discussions, including a mediation session before a neutral, third party mediator with extensive FCRA experience.  By reaching a settlement, the parties avoid the costs and risks of motion practice and a trial, and the people allegedly affected will receive benefits, including compensation. In addition, Judge Bryan of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington has determined that it is likely that the Court will be able to give final approval to the settlement, and certify the proposed Settlement Classes as a class action for settlement purposes only, with Plaintiff Anthony J. Leo as the class representative.

  2. WHAT BENEFITS DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?

    1. Without admitting liability or that there is anything unlawful about its current procedures, AppFolio has agreed to implement and/or maintain several procedures in connection with the settlement.  First, to further ensure maximum possible accuracy in the information it reports on its screening reports, AppFolio will implement updated technology matching rules and quality control procedures.  Second, AppFolio also will make a series of changes to its procedures for responding to consumer requests for information, to further ensure that consumers are aware of the entities providing information used in tenant screening reports about them, and to further ensure that consumers who wish to will obtain all of the information that AppFolio maintains about them.

      As a condition of the Settlement, AppFolio will e-mail all 1681g Settlement Class Members a secure link to a copy of their previously run screening report.  The communication will include a cover note with specific instructions on how to obtain a full file from AppFolio.

      Further, AppFolio has agreed to establish a Settlement Fund of $4,500,000.00. After administrative costs and any awards for attorneys’ fees and to the Class Representative are deducted, approximately $3,100,000.00 of that sum will be available to make monetary payments to members of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class.  Members of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Automatic Payment Group will receive a payment without the need to make a claim.  Members of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Claim Form Group must submit a timely and valid Claim Form asserting that (a) the public record AppFolio included on a tenant screening report about them did not pertain to them, and (b) they lost a rental opportunity or suffered other harm as a result of AppFolio’s inclusion of the public record on the background report.  Claims may be subject to verification. 

      Members of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Automatic Payment Group who do not request to be excluded and whose notices are not returned as undeliverable, and members of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Claim Form Group who submit timely and valid claims shall be paid a cash amount, determined on a pro rata basis.

      The value of any checks sent to 1681e(b) Settlement Class Members that have not been negotiated (cashed) within 60 days of the date of the check will be donated to the King County Bar Association Housing Justice Project.

  3. DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THIS CASE?

    1. The Class Representative retained the law firms of Francis & Mailman, P.C. and  Terrell Marshall Law Group, PLLC to represent him.  Together, the lawyers are called Class Counsel.  You will not be separately charged by these lawyers for their work on the case.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at  your own expense.  The contact information for class counsel is:

       

      FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.
      1600 Market Street, 25th Floor
      Philadelphia, PA  19103
      1-877-735-8600
      Email: [email protected]

  4. HOW WILL THE LAWYERS BE PAID?

    1. Counsel for the named Plaintiff (“Class Counsel”) will request that the Court approve an attorneys’ fees payment of $1,350,000 to compensate them for the work they performed on behalf of the Settlement Classes and the out-of-pocket expenses they incurred during the litigation.  Class Counsel will also request that the Court award the class representative, Anthony J. Leo, an individual settlement and service award of $30,000, in exchange for the broader release he is agreeing to and for his time and efforts spent in service to the Settlement Classes.

      Class Counsel’s fee petition and request for an individual settlement and service award will be available for you to review on April 30, 2019 under the "Important Documents" section of this website.  The Court will make the final decision as to the amounts to be paid to the class representative and Class Counsel.

  5. WHAT RIGHTS DO I GIVE UP BY STAYING IN THE SETTLEMENT?

    1. If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, it will enter a final and binding judgment in the lawsuit as to all Settlement Class Members who do not request to exclude themselves from the Settlement.  The judgment will contain releases of claims in the following forms:

      For 1681e(b) Settlement Class members who receive payment.  All Automatic Payment Group members (who have not timely and properly opted out) and all Claim Form Group members who submit valid claim forms and who receive payment from the Common Fund agree to fully and forever release, waive, acquit and discharge the Released Parties from any and all claims (including but not limited to claims for actual, statutory, and/or punitive damages) that such individuals have or may have under 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) of the FCRA and any and all analogous state law claims.  Such individuals further agree not to serve as a class representative in a future suit against Defendant or the other Released Parties for claims arising out of or relating directly or indirectly in any manner to the facts alleged or which could have been alleged or asserted in the Complaint.  This release does not include claims which accrue after the Opt Out deadline.

      For 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Claim Form Group members who do not submit claim forms.  All Claim Form Group members who do not submit valid claim forms and who do not timely and properly opt out of the Settlement Class agree to fully and forever release, waive, acquit and discharge the Released Parties from any and all claims for statutory damages that such individuals have or may have under 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b). Such individuals further agree not to serve as a class representative in a future suit against Defendant or the other Released Parties for claims arising out of or relating directly or indirectly in any manner to the facts alleged or which could have been alleged or asserted in the Complaint.  This release does not include claims which accrue after the Opt Out Deadline. 

      For 1681g Settlement Class members.  All 1681g Settlement Class members (who have not timely and properly opted out) agree to fully and forever release, waive, acquit and discharge the Released Parties from any and all claims for statutory damages that such individuals have or may have under 15 U.S.C. § 1681g.  Such individuals further agree not to serve as a class representative in a future suit against Defendant or the other Released Parties for claims arising out of or relating directly or indirectly in any manner to the facts alleged or which could have been alleged or asserted in the Complaint.  This release does not include claims which accrue after the Opt Out deadline.

      “Released Parties” in this settlement means Defendant and each and all of its current or former subsidiaries, parents, affiliates, predecessors, insurers, agents, employees, successors, assigns, officers, officials, directors, attorneys, personal representatives, trustees, principals, executors, and shareholders.  “Released Parties” also includes CoreLogic Screening Services, LLC, CoreLogic National Background Data, LLC and each and all of their current or former subsidiaries, parents, affiliates, predecessors, insurers, agents, employees, successors, assigns, officers, officials, directors, attorneys, personal representatives, trustees, principals, executors and shareholders.

  6. WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE COURT DECIDE WHETHER TO APPROVE THE SETTLEMENT?

    1. On July 18, 2019 at 9:30 AM a final settlement approval hearing will be held on the fairness of the proposed settlement.  At the final settlement approval hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and argument concerning the proposed settlement’s fairness.  The Court will also consider Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, costs, and an individual settlement and service award for named Plaintiff Anthony J. Leo.  The final settlement approval hearing will take place before the Honorable Robert J. Bryan in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, located at 1717 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402, Room 3100.

  7. HOW DO I PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

    1. If you are a member of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Automatic Payment Group, or the 1681g Settlement Class, you do not need to do anything to receive the benefits of the settlement to which you are eligible.

      If you are a member of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Claim Form Group, you must submit a valid and timely claim in order to receive a monetary payment in connection with the settlement.  You may either submit a claim electronically on the settlement website or you may also download the Claim Form and submit it by U.S. mail to:

      Leo v AppFolio Settlement
      c/o Settlement Administrator
      PO Box 23489
      Jacksonville, FL  32241-3489

       

      The Claim Form must be submitted to the Settlement Administrator no later than May 10, 2019.  To submit a claim online, click the "To File a Claim: Click Here" button, click on the appropriate link, provide the required information, and follow the instructions for submitting the claim.  Online claims must be submitted no later than May 10, 2019.  The Settlement Administrator will verify that you are a member of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Claim Form Group.  Claims may be subject to verification.  If you are a member of the 1681e(b) Settlement Class, Claim Form Group and do not submit a valid and timely claim, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement Fund, but you will still be bound by the Settlement unless you exclude yourself.

  8. CAN I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT?

    1. You may exclude yourself from the lawsuit and the Settlement in two ways.  You may visit the "Exclusion" page on the website, and exclude yourself electronically by clicking on the appropriate link and providing the required information, or you may download the Exclusion Form and submit it by U.S. mail to:

      Leo v. AppFolio
      c/o Settlement Administrator
      PO Box 23489
      Jacksonville, FL 32241-3489

      If you timely request exclusion from the Settlement, you will be excluded from the Settlement, you will not be bound by any judgment in the lawsuit, you will not receive any monetary or other benefits provided for in the Settlement, and you will not release any claim you may have for actual damages against AppFolio or any Released Party.

  9. HOW DO I TELL THE COURT THAT I DO NOT LIKE THE SETTLEMENT?

    1. If you wish to participate in the Settlement but object to some or all of it, you must deliver a written objection to the Settlement Administrator at the address set forth in FAQ 7 and 8.  Any written objections must state: the caption of the Litigation; the full name, address and telephone number of the Class Member objecting to the Settlement; a detailed statement of each objection asserted, including the grounds for objection and reasons for appearing and being heard, together with any documents such Class Member wishes to be considered in support of the objection; the identity of all counsel who represent the objector, including any former or current counsel who may be entitled to compensation for any reason related to the objection to the Settlement or Fee Petition; any and all agreements that relate to the objection or the process of objecting—whether written or oral—between objector or objector’s counsel and any other person or entity; the identity of any counsel representing the objector who will appear at the Final Approval Hearing; and, all relief sought.

      All objections must be postmarked no later than May 10, 2019.  Settlement Class Members who fail to make objections in the manner specified above will be deemed to have waived any objections.  Only Settlement Class Members who send timely objections can speak at the fairness hearing.  If you wish to speak to at the fairness hearing, you must notify the Court no later than July 8, 2019.  You may be subject to cross examination at the hearing.  You may, but need not, enter an appearance through counsel of your choice.  If you do, you will be responsible for your personal attorney’s fees and costs.

      IF YOU DO NOT TIMELY MAKE YOUR OBJECTION, YOU WILL BE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED ALL OBJECTIONS AND WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO SPEAK AT THE FAIRNESS HEARING

  10. HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?

    1. The above description of the lawsuit is intended to be a summary and does not address all of the issues and proceedings that have occurred or all of the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The full Settlement Agreement—detailing all of the terms of the Settlement Agreement—is available at the "Important Court Documents" section of this website.  In order to review all of the proceedings in the case, you may visit the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, PACER Service Center, located at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov.  You may also visit or call the Clerk’s office of the Western District of Washington located at the U.S. Courthouse, 1717 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402.  The phone number of the Clerk’s office is (253) 882-3800.  The Clerk will tell you how to obtain the file for inspection and copying at your own expense.

      To fully understand the terms and conditions of the settlement, Counsel and the Court recommend that you read the Settlement Agreement, because it may contain language, terms, conditions and procedures that are not mentioned or explained in this notice.  In the event of any conflict or disagreement between the language of this notice and the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Agreement will control.

      DO NOT ADDRESS ANY SUBSTANTIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT OR THE LITIGATION TO THE COURT OR THE JUDGE’S CHAMBERS.

  11. WHAT IF I HAVE A CHANGE OF ADDRESS?

    1. You must notify the Settlement Administrator of any changes in your mailing address so that your Settlement Award will be sent to the correct address.

      To update your mailing address, contact the Settlement Administrator at Leo v. AppFolio, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 23489, Jacksonville, FL 32241-3489 or [email protected].

      Please provide your previous address and new address in the body with a subject line -- Change of Address (COA) and [Your Name].