Are the Mutual Fund Settlements Legit?

Posted by Madison on July 19, 2010

I received a stack of envelopes in the mail last week. I almost tossed the papers since they looked sort of like junk mail. Apparently we’re involved in a class action mutual fund settlement, but is it a scam? Honestly, that was the first thing that crossed my mind.

Good thing I didn’t toss the papers! The mutual funds were involved in market-timing and late trading in what was called the 2003 mutual fund scandal. I remember the scandal vaguely in the news, but at the time I didn’t realize we were affected by it since we were busy with our wedding at the time.

Mutual Fund Settlement

The court papers I received directed me to the mutual fund settlement website where it lists all of the mutual funds involved.

They mutual funds involved are:

  • Alger
  • AllianceBernstein
  • Allianz
  • Bank of America/Nations
  • Columbia
  • Federated
  • Invesco
  • Janus
  • MFS
  • One Group/Bank One
  • Pilgrim Baxter (PBHG)
  • Putnam
  • RS
  • Schwab/Excelsior
  • Deutschebank/Scudder
  • Strong

How to Get Your Mutual Fund Settlement Money

Here’s what you need to know about submitting a claim:

Mutual Fund Settlement Period: The time periods are different for each fund, but go as far back as October 1, 1998 through September 30, 2003.

Deadline to submit your claim: December 8, 2010.

Mutual Fund Settlement Process: If you got a notice in the mail, you can go to the website listed and file your claim form with the claimant number. If you didn’t get a form in the mail, you can still submit a claim directly on the website.

You will need to identify how many shares you held of each mutual fund at the end of each of the years involved. This is where I’m relieved that I have more than a decade of transactions in Microsoft Money. I can put together a report very quickly before I begin the tedious process of digging out all the statements.

Our Mutual Fund Settlements

Late last year we received a check from a Invesco mutual fund settlement, but I didn’t think much of it. Now that I’m looking into it, I realize we have a lot of affected mutual funds. Many of them are because our home state 529 plan was run by Strong.

But some of the mutual fund settlement times go back to when I was still in college. I was just learning about index fund investing, so I had money in many actively traded mutual funds included a handful on the list!

I guess I know what I will be working on for the next few weeks…

Time to check your investment histories! Are you involved in any of the mutual fund settlements?

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Comments to Are the Mutual Fund Settlements Legit?

  1. I have gotten a couple. One for Strong and one for Janus. For Strong, no need to do anything from my side but for Janus, have to fill out forms and document # of shares. I use Quicken so it was easy to pull up and get the information. Will need to mail it in for them.


    • Wayne, do you still hold the Strong funds?


  2. These class action lawsuits are kind of ridiculous. I was involved in one against Bally Total Fitness at one point and got a check eventually for $5 or something.


    • Although I’m guessing in the case of mutual funds, it will be based on how many shares you held. We’ve already gotten much more than $5 from Invesco.


  3. I got one from MFS for 1999 to 2003. Problem is that I do not know have my statements that far back. Any ideas on how to get them?


    • Call the fund company and ask them to mail you the necessary papers.


    • And if that doesn’t work, I’m hoping you might be able to piece together what you held from your tax returns. Check your tax folders for your year end statements that you used for Schedule D’s if they were taxable accounts.


  4. I have not been able to access the Janus fund settlement form website. All of the others are easily accessed. Anyone have any suggestions or having the same problem?


    • Here’s a direct link to the Janus claim form.


  5. Still having problems accessing the Janus fund Settlement Website; Tried using the direct link but it did not work. Any other suggestions?


    • I did receive a letter about the Janus settlement several weeks ago. They said because my claim amount that I was entitled to was under $50, there would be no check. The only folks that are making out here are the greedy lawyers once again.


      • Really Mark?

        I would think they could use that statement if the claim was less than $1: costs more to mail than the check is worth…. but less than $50?

        That doesn’t sound fair!


      • Thats what the settlement docs for Janus Funds states. Why that is, not sure. Example – my total compensation could have been hundreds of dollars but after the dreaded fees my amount comes to $49. No check for me. You win some you lose some and not much to lose sleep over.


  6. It is a pain to find these records. I only owned about $10K dollars worth of the fund. What order of magnitude should I be expected to get back? If it’s less than $100 it’s not worth my time.


    • Daniel, I haven’t been able to find the documentation that says how much we’ll get for each mutual fund settlement after fees.

      Are we jumping through hoops for pennies? I hope not, but this seems to keep falling lower on my priority list.


    • I was told in 2010 settlement payments would be made in July 2012. I’m now being told that there more than 150,000 plaintiffs and not sure when payments will be made.

      Clarence Grier

  7. i received papers with my claimant #s because i had shares when i worked for deans foods and accidently tossed them out. i don’t have all my papers that show my shares for 1999 thru 2003. we called the MFS and they told us the company i worked for had already filed. what should we do?

    willard jackson

  8. I received a paper from you about a MFS claim. I lost the paper while relocating, and I just found it. Is it to late to make A claim, if so how can I find out my share total.

    Steve Daniel

  9. It is 4/11/2011 – Any word on the Janus fund
    litigation settlement? They really keep you in the dark on this one.


  10. I mailed in a completed claim form for the the settlement on the MFS Emerging Growth Fund and as of 06/27/2011 I have not received any money. The close date on submissions was 12/08/2010 and it seems a very lengthy delay.. So has anyone received any checks for settlement for the Emerging Growth Fund??

    It seems with no one really to be able to contact that this is really in the dark. Almost like one would possibly need a litigation about the payments of the original litigation !!! What if we never receive a payment ? What do we do?

    Mickie Foster

  11. i heard back from them..they are expecting a dispersement in the fall..they responded next day


    • Thank you for this info. I was feeling in the dark like Mickie. Figured much of the settlement would be eaten up by legal fees and court costs, but just curious since there was no news yet.


    • It’s “fall” … no news


  12. Mickie, I had many shares in many funds, including Emerging Growth. Got all paperwork in on time and have since moved. Contacted them and confirmed my new address with them and I still have heard nothing regarding any payouts.


  13. the shares were my parents and my sister and I have recently taken over after my parents death. How do i find out what is going on? i tried calling the number on the notice i recieved and it was only a recording. Is this worth investigating


  14. no news


    • I haven’t heard anything either. This is getting ridiculous…. we’re coming up on the one year mark since submitting our information.

      I’m starting to wonder if we’ll ever get some sort of update…


  15. It is December 2, 2011. Haven’t gotten a check.
    Has anyone received a check?


    • No check for my MFS funds yet! Wish it would come soon.


  16. No……. I lost somewhere in the range of 250,000 in that time period. I cant believe I didn’t have enough shares invested as to not get any back. I understand the legal fees and all, just wish they’d let us know one way or another IF we will receive a settlement. If we didn’t have enough shares to bother with—–then they should also inform us of that. IT WAS OUR MONEY–NOT MFS’s money! This is an outrage not to hear anything at all.


  17. MFS can smooch my hiney … rip off artists and should be a criminal case…along with a settlement for all who invvested with them.


    • Maybe MFS Mutual Funds is not to blame or behind all of this misguided, NO INFORMATION we are all receiving(or not receiving) Someone called me & asked for personal info that I already provided with my claim. I received the 1st quarter 2012 distribution info by EMAIL!!!
      I am just saying BEWARE.


  18. I just called about the mailing of our checks. I was told ‘1st quarter 2012’. It Feb 7th, 2012…so lets see what happens our the next 7 weeks. They tell us NOTHING!


  19. Thanks Chuck…. nuff to make ya upchuck, eh?


  20. March 10th…the count down begins……..


  21. One more week???????????????????????


  22. 4/12/2012 Status Update from MFS Settlement:

    “Thank you for following up with us. We are still in the process of wrapping up the administration of this settlement and are preparing to present submitted claims to the Court for approval. At this time, we anticipate distribution to occur in the second quarter of 2012. Thank you for your continued patience in this matter.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions.

    Thank you.”

    MFS Mutual Fund Settlement
    Toll Free: (800) 949-1898


  23. April 30, 2012 — still nothing


  24. Ahhhhhhhhh ok…now they say 2nd quarter 2012 April-June So let’s see—they’ll then say checks will be mailed by June 30, 2012…and the wait continues.


  25. And the second quarter comes and goes with nada from MFS. I’m afraid to contact their email since the cost of replying likely comes out of the erstwhile settlement.

    Good thing I’m not counting on the settlement for anything more than a few items from McD’s dollar menu.


  26. If you have not heard we are now pushed back again. Please see below:

    Thank you for following up with us. We are still in the process of wrapping up the administration of this settlement and are preparing to present submitted claims to the Court for approval. At this time, we anticipate distribution to occur in the third quarter of 2012. Thank you for your continued patience in this matter.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions.

    Thank you,

    MFS Mutual Fund Settlement


  27. I followed up with MFS on September 2nd (the last month of the 3rd Quarter) and I specifically asked them if they had completed the approval process from the Court and they said that this portion was still incomplete BUT they still anticipated to distribute checks within the 3rd Quarter 2012. They have three weeks to prove they are correct.


  28. I have had an ongoing dialog with MFS Mutual Fund Settlement (i.e. Garden City Group and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP) for over 2 years. It is now October 2012 and still no check. My question is this… Has anyone received a check from these folks?


    • No I did not receive a check yet this is ridiculous we are in November of 2012 and still nothing if anyone has any information please share with me.


  29. More than 50% of the persons they admit filed valid claims and were injured by MFS will receive nothing because they claim the amount is below $20.00. Wile the lawyers in the MFS case will get over Ten Million Dollars (some around $1800.00/hr) and the administrators will get over Six Million Dollars. $16 million to the lawyers and administrators and zero to the victims. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? They claim no one objects to this.


  30. nothing – December 26, 2012


  31. This, this is my shocked face that no settlement from MFS or these shyster law firms appeared during the 4th quarter 2012.


    • The checks are, in the mail started sending checks on the 14th of april,


  32. I haven’t cashed the check yet, but a check did arrive today – nothing life changing. Yes it’s 4/1, but no joke.


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