Haventree Mortgage Renewal Settlement

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

 

1. What is this class action about?

2. Why is there a Settlement?

3. How do I know if I am part of the proposed Settlement?

4. Who is excluded from the proposed Settlement?

5. What should I do if I’m still unsure if I’m included?

6. Why did I receive the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing?

7. What does the proposed Settlement provide?
8.
What is a cy-près recipient?

9. When is the Settlement Approval Hearing?

10. Do I have to attend the Settlement Approval Hearing?

11. What if I disagree with the proposed Settlement?

12. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

13. What if I don’t want to participate in the proposed Settlement, Class Counsel Fees and/or the Honourarium?

14. If I don’t exclude myself from this case, can I sue for the same thing later?

15. What is the difference between objecting and opting out?

16. What happens if I do nothing at all?

17. What happens if the proposed Settlement is approved?

18. How will the Settlement benefits be distributed?

19. How do I make a Claim?

20. If my Claim is successful, when will I receive my Settlement Payment?

21. What if my Claim is found to be incomplete?

22. Who represents the Settlement Class Members?

23. How will the lawyers representing the Settlement Class Members be paid?

24. How do I get more information?

1. What is this class action about?

 

The individual who filed this lawsuit is referred to as the “Representative Plaintiff,” and the company she sued, Haventree, is called the “Defendant” (the Representative Plaintiff and the Defendant are, together, the “Parties”).

 

The Representative Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant breached the terms of its contracts with Settlement Class Members in connection with the involuntary and/or automatic renewal of certain mortgages without the Settlement Class Members’ consent, resulting in additional interest, costs and fees.

 

The Defendant denies all of the allegations against it. None of the allegations against the Defendant have been proven and the Defendant has not been found liable for any of the claims raised in this lawsuit. The Parties have instead agreed to settle the lawsuit. The terms of the proposed Settlement are summarized in the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing. To view the Settlement Agreement, please click here.

 

Approval of the proposed Settlement is being sought in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “Court”).

 

2. Why is there a Settlement?

 

The Parties have agreed to the proposed Settlement to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation, including potential trials, and to provide Settlement Class Members with reasonable Settlement benefits without the delay and uncertainty of trial. The proposed Settlement does not mean that the Defendant broke any laws or did anything wrong, and the Court did not decide which side was right. The Defendant denies all allegations made in the lawsuit.

 

The Parties entered into a Settlement Agreement. The Representative Plaintiff and the lawyers representing her (called “Class Counsel”) believe that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class.

 

The Settlement Agreement, including its schedules, describes in greater detail the rights and obligations of all the Parties and is available here. If there is any conflict between this FAQ Section and the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Agreement governs.

3. How do I know if I am part of the proposed Settlement?

 

You are a Settlement Class Member if you are a person in Canada (including his/her/their heirs, estates, executors, trustees or personal representatives):

 

  1. whose mortgage held by the Defendant was involuntarily and/or automatically renewed, and
  2. who paid any amount of interest, costs and fees as a result.

    Not all Settlement Class Members are eligible to receive Settlement benefits. Some exceptions apply (see question 4 below).

4. Who is excluded from the proposed Settlement?

 

Only Settlement Class Members who meet certain criteria are eligible to submit Claims in the proposed Settlement. You are excluded from making a Claim in the proposed Settlement if you previously settled claims against the Defendant and executed a release in favour of the Defendant in relation to matters that are the subject of this Action.

5. What should I do if I’m still unsure if I’m included?

If you are not sure whether you are included in the Settlement Class, you can ask for free help by emailing the Claims Administrator at info@haventreemortgagerenewalsettlement.ca for more information.

6. Why did I receive the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing?

 

The purpose of the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing is to inform you of a proposed settlement in Vistoli v Haventree Bank, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Court File No. CV-20-00651976-CP; and the certification of the Action for settlement purposes only.

 

The Notice was sent to anyone listed in the Defendant’s records as a potential Settlement Class Member, meaning a Person in Canada (including his/her/their heirs, estates, executors, trustees or personal representatives) whose mortgage held by the Defendant was involuntarily and/or automatically renewed, and who paid any amount of interest, costs and fees as a result.

 

You may be eligible to receive a cash payment if the proposed Settlement is approved and you submit a valid and timely Claim to the Claims Administrator.

 

You have a right to know about the proposed Settlement and your options before the Court decides whether to approve the proposed Settlement. The Notice explains the class action lawsuit, the proposed Settlement, your legal rights, what Settlement benefits are available, who is eligible for Settlement benefits, and how to make a Claim for those Settlement benefits. To view the Notice, please click here.

7. What does the proposed Settlement provide?

 

Under the proposed Settlement, the Defendant and its insurer will pay an all-inclusive amount of $1,500,000 to pay the successful Claims of Settlement Class Members; an Honourarium of $15,000 to the Representative Plaintiff; Administration Expenses; Class Counsel Fees in the amount of $450,000 plus HST and disbursements (estimated to be approximately $49,000); interest; and all applicable taxes, all subject to Court approval. After deduction of the requested Honourarium and requested Class Counsel Fees, the estimated Settlement Amount remaining to pay the successful Claims of Settlement Class Members, Administration Expenses, interest, and all applicable taxes is $927,500.

 

Under the proposed Settlement, Settlement Class Members may be eligible for a Settlement Payment, provided that they submit a valid and timely Claim. The quantum of the payments to Settlement Class Members with Approved Claims will not exceed $5,000 per mortgage, but could be less than that amount per mortgage. This amount will be divided evenly between any Settlement Class Members with Approved Claims related to the same mortgage.

 

After satisfying all Approved Claims, any excess or remaining amount of the Settlement Amount will be donated to a cy-près recipient to be jointly agreed to by the Parties and approved by the Court.

8. What is a cy-près recipient?

 

When a class action settles, it is possible that some of the money will be unclaimed by class members and remain in the settlement fund. This happens when, for example, some class members do not cash their settlement cheques or are unreachable. Donating unclaimed and/or leftover money to a cy-près recipient – a charitable organization – is a way for this extra money to be put to good use.

 

After satisfying all Approved Claims, any excess or remaining amount of the Settlement Amount will be donated to a cy-près recipient – a charitable organization – to be jointly agreed to by the Parties and approved by the Court.

 

9. When is the Settlement Approval Hearing?

 

The Settlement Approval Hearing will take place on Friday, June 28, 2024 at 10:00am EST virtually over Zoom at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 330 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1R7.

 

The Zoom call-in details will be posted on this website a few days prior to the Settlement Approval Hearing.

 

At this Settlement Approval Hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to Settlement Class Members who have asked to speak at the Settlement Approval Hearing. The Court will also consider whether to approve the Honourarium of $15,000 for the Representative Plaintiff and how much of the Class Counsel Fees requested ($450,000 plus HST plus disbursements (estimated to be approximately $49,000)) are approved and can be paid from the Settlement Amount. The Court will make its decision after the Settlement Approval Hearing. We do not know how long this decision will take.

 

The Settlement Approval Hearing may be rescheduled without further notice to you. It is recommended that you periodically check this website for updated information.

10. Do I have to attend the Settlement Approval Hearing?

 

No, you do not need to attend the Settlement Approval Hearing, but you are welcome to attend at your own expense.

 

Settlement Class Members do not need to appear at the Settlement Approval Hearing or take any other action to indicate their approval of the proposed Settlement. Class Counsel will answer any questions that the Court may have.

 

If you submit an objection, you do not need to appear at the Settlement Approval Hearing to talk about it. As long as you have mailed your signed written objection statement on time, the Court will consider it. You may also attend at your own expense or pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

11. What if I disagree with the proposed Settlement, Class Counsel Fees and/or the Honourarium?

 

If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the proposed Settlement if you don’t like it or any part of it. You can give the Court reasons why you think the Court should not approve the proposed Settlement. The Court will consider your views.

 

You can also object to the Class Counsel Fees request and/or the Honourarium requested for the Representative Plaintiff.

 

If you want to object to the proposed Settlement, the Class Counsel Fees request, and/or the Honourarium, you are asked to do so in writing. You may also appear at the Settlement Approval Hearing, either personally or through your own legal counsel, at your own expense.

 

To object, you are asked to sumbit a signed written objection statement to the Claims Administrator on or before June 4, 2024 to:

 

Email

info@haventreemortgagerenewalsettlement.ca

 

Mail

Haventree Mortgage Renewal Settlement

c/o Epiq Class Action Services Canada Inc.

P.O. Box 507 STN B

Ottawa, ON  K1P 5P6

 

 

In your signed written objection statement, you are asked to include the following:

 

  1. your full name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address (if available);
  2. a statement that you meet the criteria for membership in the Settlement Class;
  3. a written statement of the basis for your objection (for example, any factual and legal grounds on which you rely);
  4. copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents upon which your objection is based;
  5. an indication of whether you intend to speak at the Settlement Approval Hearing;  and
  6. an indication of whether you intend to appear at the Settlement Approval Hearing through counsel, and if so, identifying any counsel representing you who intends to appear at the Settlement Approval Hearing.

 

Please submit your objection by mail or email to the Claims Administrator on or before June 4, 2024.

 

If you want to speak at the Settlement Approval Hearing, please indicate your intention to do so in your written objection statement. You can hire a lawyer to appear on your behalf at your own expense or you may appear yourself at your own expense.

12. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

 

If you do not opt out, you will be part of the Settlement Class that is bound by the Settlement if the Settlement is approved by the Court. That means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant or other related entities or individuals (about the legal issues in this case relating to your mortgage held by the Defendant. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

 

If you have any questions about the scope of the legal claims you give up by staying in the Settlement Class, please view Section 5 of the Settlement Agreement (available on the  Documents page of this website) or you can contact Class Counsel:

 

Landy Marr Kats LLP

2 Sheppard Ave E, Suite 900

Toronto, ON M2N 5Y7

Tel: 416-221-9343 ext. 250

Email: haventreebankclassaction@lmklawyers.com

 

McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP

140 Fullarton Street, Suite 1800

London, ON N6A 5P2

Tel: 1-844-672-5666 ext. 7343

Email: christina.noble@mckenzielake.com

 

You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers. You may also hire your own lawyer for legal advice at your own cost.

13. What if I don’t want to participate in the proposed Settlement?

 

If you do not want to participate in the proposed Settlement and you want to keep your legal rights, if any, to sue the Defendant on your own about the legal issues in this case, you must take steps to exclude yourself (opt out). By opting out, you will not be eligible to receive any Settlement benefits.

 

To exclude yourself from the proposed Settlement and preserve your legal rights against the Defendant, you must submit a signed and completed Opt-Out Form to the Claims Administrator on or before June 4, 2024 by:

 

Email

info@haventreemortgagerenewalsettlement.ca

 

Mail

Haventree Mortgage Renewal Settlement

c/o Epiq Class Action Services Canada Inc.

P.O. Box 507 STN B

Ottawa, ON  K1P 5P6

 

A copy of the Opt-Out Form can be obtained here or by reaching out to Class Counsel.

 

If you exclude yourself from (opt out of) the Settlement Class, you will not have any rights as a Settlement Class Member under the Settlement and will not receive any payment under the Settlement. You will not be bound by any further orders or judgments in the Action and you will keep the right to sue the Defendant at your own expense.

14. If I don’t exclude myself from this case, can I sue for the same thing later?

 

No. Unless you exclude yourself (opt out), you give up the right to sue the Defendant, and other related entities or individuals, for the claims that this Settlement resolves.

 

If you have a pending lawsuit against the Defendant, or other related entities or individuals, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class to continue your own lawsuit if it concerns the same legal issues in this case.

15. What is the difference between objecting and opting out?

 

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the proposed Settlement, the Class Counsel Fees request, and/or the Honourarium. You can object to the proposed Settlement, the Class Counsel Fees request, and/or the Honourarium only if you stay in the Settlement Class.

 

Opting out (excluding yourself) is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class and the proposed Settlement. If you opt out (exclude yourself), you have no basis to object because the proposed Settlement no longer affects you.

16. What happens if I do nothing at all?

 

If the Court approves the proposed Settlement and you do nothing at all, you will not receive any Settlement Payment from the proposed Settlement. In order to receive a Settlement Payment, you must submit a valid and timely Claim Form. Unless you exclude yourself (opt out), you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant, or other related entities or individuals, about the legal issues in this case.

 

However, even if you take no action, you will keep any right to sue the Defendant for any other claims not resolved by the proposed Settlement, subject to any applicable limitation periods.

17. What happens if the proposed Settlement is approved?

 

If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, you can participate by submitting a Claim for Settlement benefits. If you wish to participate, you are not required to do anything until after the Settlement is approved.

18. How will the Settlement benefits be distributed?

 

For details about the proposed process for evaluating Claims and distributing Settlement benefits, please view the Distribution Protocol.

19. How do I make a Claim?

 

The claims process has not yet begun. If the proposed Settlement is approved by the Court at the Settlement Approval Hearing to be held on Friday, June 28, 2024, you may make a Claim by filling out the Claim Form and submitting it to the Claims Administrator, by mail or email, on or before the deadline to submit a Claim (9 months from the date on which the Notice of Settlement Approval is first disseminated).

 

If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, to request a copy of the Claim Form, you can contact the Claims Administrator by email (info@haventreemortgagerenewalsettlement.ca), visit this website, or contact Class Counsel using the contact information on this page.

 

Please keep a copy of your completed Claim for your own records. Your completed Claim Form, and any other documents you submit with it, will not be returned to you.

 

If you fail to submit a Claim Form on or before the deadline to submit a Claim, you will not be eligible for any distribution from the Settlement. Sending in a Claim Form late will be the same as doing nothing.

 

20. If my Claim is successful, when will I receive my Settlement Payment?

 

In general, Approved Claims will be paid after the Claims Deadline, which will be published after the date of the Court order giving final approval to the Settlement. If there are appeals, the date will be later. When the date becomes known, it will be posted on this website. Please visit this website periodically for updates.

 

The Settlement must be approved by the Court to become effective. The Settlement Approval Hearing will take place on Friday, June 28, 2024 at 10:00am EST virtually over Zoom at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 330 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1R7.

 

The Settlement Approval Hearing may be rescheduled without further notice. To obtain updated scheduling information, please visit this website periodically.

 

You may continue to check on the progress of the Settlement by visiting this website or by reaching out to Class Counsel at haventreebankclassaction@lmklawyers.com or 416-221-9343 ext. 250 (Landy Marr Kats LLP) or christina.noble@mckenzielake.com or 1-844-672-5666 ext. 7343 (McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP).

21. What if my Claim is found to be incomplete?

 

The Claims Administrator will review each Claim Form for completeness. If your Claim Form is found to be incomplete, the Claims Administrator will let you know within twenty (20) business days of receiving your Claim Form. You will then have an opportunity to complete the Claim Form within the later of:

 

  1. thirty (30) days from the date that the Claims Administrator advises you that your Claim Form is incomplete; or
  2. the Claims Deadline.

22. Who represents the Settlement Class Members?

 

The law firms representing the Settlement Class are listed below.

 

Landy Marr Kats LLP

2 Sheppard Ave E, Suite 900

Toronto, ON M2N 5Y7

Tel: 416-221-9343 ext. 250

Email: haventreebankclassaction@lmklawyers.com

 

McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP

140 Fullarton Street, Suite 1800

London, ON N6A 5P2

Tel: 1-844-672-5666 ext. 7343

Email: christina.noble@mckenzielake.com

 

You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers about this case. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own cost.

23. How will the lawyers representing the Settlement Class Members be paid?

 

At the Settlement Approval Hearing, Class Counsel will ask the Court for approval of the payment of their fees and other expenses out of the $1,500,000 Settlement Amount. Class Counsel will request fees in the amount of $450,000 plus HST and disbursements (estimated to be approximately $49,000). It will be up to the Court to approve or determine the amount that Class Counsel will receive from the $1,500,000 Settlement Amount. The Court may award less than the amount requested by Class Counsel. You may continue to check on the progress of Class Counsel’s request for fees and expenses by visiting this website periodically.

24. How do I get more information?

 

The Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing and this FAQ Section summarize the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement and its schedules, which can be viewed here.

 

Neither the Parties nor their counsel make any representation regarding the tax effects, if any, of receiving any benefits under the proposed Settlement. Consult your tax advisor for any tax questions you may have.

 

The court offices will be unable to answer any questions about the matters in this FAQ Section. Please do not contact them. If you have any questions regarding the proposed Settlement or the class action lawsuit in general, please contact the Claims Administrator or Class Counsel directly using the information below.

 

CLASS COUNSEL

 

Landy Marr Kats LLP

2 Sheppard Ave E, Suite 900

Toronto, ON M2N 5Y7

Tel: 416-221-9343 ext. 250

Email: haventreebankclassaction@lmklawyers.com

Website: https://thetorontolawyers.ca/classactions/haventree-bank/

 

McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP

140 Fullarton Street, Suite 1800

London, ON N6A 5P2

Tel: 1-844-672-5666 ext. 7343

Email: christina.noble@mckenzielake.com

Website: https://www.mckenzielake.com/haventree-automatic-mortgage-agreement-renewals/

Claims Administrator

Haventree Mortgage Renewal Settlement

c/o Epiq Class Action Services Canada Inc.

P.O. Box 507 STN B

Ottawa ON K1P 5P6

Fax: 1-866-262-0816

Email: info@haventreemortgagerenewalsettlement.ca

 

 

 

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