On November 12, 2013, Judge Paul Crotty certified a lawsuit brought by Ann Taylor LOFT credit card holders. In the suit, the plaintiff, Ester Kelen, alleged that that the World Financial Network National Bank (WFNNB), which issues the cards, violated the Truth in Lending Act by failing to provide disclosures to new credit card holders about their rights and the creditor’s responsibilities. The suit, originally filed in 2011, is pending in federal court in New York.
In opposition to class certification, WFNNB argued that the plaintiff was not a proper class representative because she had been involved in four other class action lawsuits in which she had been represented by the same attorneys as the ones in this case. The judge, however, found that Kelen was a suitable representative because she had “knowledge of the action and a desire to represent the class.” The judge noted that the plaintiff actively sought out legal representation after acquiring the Ann Taylor LOFT card. Further, Judge Crotty wrote that the defendant’s concern on behalf of the class members was a farce as there was no evidence that “potential class members have their own lawyers willing and able to proceed on their own.”
The court stated that “while Congress does not always favor class actions, TILA specifically contemplates and allows class actions to address creditors’ failures to comply with the statute and applicable regulations” and that “class actions are preferable to a flood of duplicative suits.”
The certified class includes all LOFT card holders who were given a deficient opening disclosure statement on or after June 27, 2011.
The case is styled Kelen v. World Financial Network National Bank, Case No. 1:12-cv-05024 (S.D. N.Y.).