What Happens to Unclaimed Class Action Money?

A court splits a settlement in a class action suit amongst many distinct recipients. The court efforts to contact each individual so that he could claim this money, however sometimes the court might not discover a recipient, otherwise, he does not send in a claim. According to “The Judge’s Periodical,” the court might also select not to send a class action settlement if the recipient would obtain a tiny claim, for example, 10 cents, which is less than the price of postage to mail the notice letter. The court has a lot of suppleness in deciding whatever to do with unclaimed class action cash.

class action settlement


The court syndicates all of the class action cash into a fund however it decides who is eligible to obtain payments. Afterward, the court sends out the cash to each receiver it can find, there might still be a large sum of cash in the fund.


A state could donate some of the unclaimed cash in the fund toward a charity. US law allows the court to give the cash to a not-for-profit charity. A qualifying charity should meet eligibility necessities, for example filing tax returns as a not-for-profit for numerous years and performing a service that the court agrees with. Numerous charities might receive a share of the unclaimed monies.

Unclaimed Property

Each state retains a record of unclaimed possessions, counting cash in addition to other property. While the state distinguishes the name of the class action receiver, the recipient has a restricted amount of time toward submit a claim to the State Treasurer.


A court could return the class action cash to the defendant. The court could order the defendant to decrease the value it charges for its products infraction to this refund, to confirm that the firm does not gain any revenue from the refund. As said by “The Judge’s Journal,” this kind of decision could give the defendant a competitive benefit, since the firm must sell its products at a lower price than its competitors might not be capable to match to continue profitably.

Customer Trust Fund

The point of the class action award is to defend wronged customers, thus the court may use the cash to set up a business to protect customers. A large class action settlements can be used to creating a customer trust fund, which pays attorneys to research class action law and aids lawyers file additional class action lawsuits.