Providian Pays $105 Million To Settle Lawsuits By Cardholders

This case has settled, and the Claims Administrator is unable to process any claims submitted after December 31, 2001. Payments were mailed out directly by Providian between July and September of 2002. If you did not receive a check or have questions about your account, please contact Providian directly either by telephone or in writing at:

P.O. Box 660490
Dallas, TX 75266-9575
Phone: 1-800-647-8641

Please be aware that Green & Noblin, P.C. does not have access to, nor can provide information about, individual claims. If you have questions about your individual claim, again you should contact Providian directly. If Providian is unwilling to work with you, you may wish to contact the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) Customer Assistance Group, designed to help consumers report a problem with a national bank and to receive information on how to file a complaint against a national bank. You may contact the OCC Customer Assistance Group at or through the OCC website at

Because there were millions of people in the Class and a set amount of funds in the Settlement Fund, individual payments were estimated to be less than $20 in most cases. In most class actions, the class should not expect to receive all monies lost in the form of damages, but rather a percentage of the monies lost. There are a number of reasons for this, and, ultimately, each class member has to keep in mind the purpose of the action — to retrieve loss, punish the company for its wrongdoing, prevent the company from doing it again, and to set an example for other companies.

If you had an outstanding balance at the time of the Settlement Fund disbursement, all monetary shares of the Settlement Fund were in the form of a credit to your Providian account. All credits were indicated directly on applicable individual Providian statements, and no separate statement or letter specifically indicating a credit was mailed. If you did not have an outstanding balance, a check should have been mailed to you. Class Members who had already received a refund of fees at the time of check disbursement were not entitled to receive additional refunds. Additionally, Class Members who had already received refunds of credit line increase fees may have had their Class benefits reduced or eliminated because of the earlier refund.

If you are having problems with rising annual percentage rates on your Providian credit card, we encourage you to contact Providian directly and if you cannot reach some sort of resolution, you have the option of canceling your credit card.

Plaintiffs in class action litigation pending in the San Francisco Superior Court and the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, have reached a settlement agreement with Providian Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries (“Providian”), requiring Providian to pay $105 million to settle allegations that it engaged in unlawful business practices affecting consumer credit accounts. The settlement was approved in October 2001. Among other things, Plaintiffs alleged that Providian violated consumer protection and other laws in connection with the marketing and sale of Providian’s add-on products, including Credit Protection, PricePro, Drive Pro, HealthPro, and credit line increases.

The settlement was reached following almost two years of litigation and nine months of mediation. The mediation was conducted before the Honorable Ellen S. James, a retired superior court judge. Plaintiffs’ counsel anticipate that class members will be notified of the terms of the settlement in the spring of 2001. Plaintiffs are represented by the law firms of Green & Noblin, P.C.; Girard Lee & Gibbs, LLP; Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP; and the Sturdevant Law Firm, each headquartered in San Francisco, California; Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Fox, LLP, headquartered in New York, New York; and Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C., headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The $105 million will cover restitution to Providian customers, “in-kind” payments to customers, and the costs and expenses of the litigation, including attorneys’ fees. More than three million customer could be eligible for reimbursements under the proposed settlement, according to Robert S. Green, counsel for Plaintiffs. The settlement follows another settlement by Providian in June 2000 of charges brought by San Francisco and by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In that settlement, the largest ever in an OCC enforcement action, Providian agreed to repay $300 million to its customers.

Providian denies any wrongdoing, but says it hopes the settlement will put its consumer disputes into the past. “The business practices that are the subject of these lawsuits are history, both literally and figuratively,” Providian spokesperson Alan Elias said, in an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, December 29, 2000. Mr. Elias reportedly said that since last year, Providian has examined its marketing procedures and has taken substantial steps to boost customer satisfaction.