The National Consumer Law Center welcomes cy pres designations of unclaimed settlement funds from class action lawsuits, which are used to support our consumer rights work advancing the core interests of underlying class members.

“Cy pres means ‘next best’ but  directing a cy pres to NCLC is not ‘next best’ but the best way to assure the continued work of a nationwide operation which is engaged, all day and every day, to protect and promote the rights and interests of consumers. It greatly benefits our state and every state to have the Center working directly in the interests of its attorneys and consumers.”

Elizabeth Cabraser, Partner, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Class counsel often has the ability to nominate nonprofit, public interest organizations like NCLC to receive these funds, and NCLC is generally approved by Courts after judicial review and consideration of the expertise we bring to bear in promoting consumer rights.

NCLC works to ensure a fair marketplace and access to justice for all consumers, including low-income people, older Americans, students, military service members and veterans. Our work covers a broad range of consumer issues, including consumer protection, fair credit, debt collection, student loans, mortgages and foreclosures, financial services, bankruptcy, unfair and deceptive acts and practices, robocalls and telemarketing scams, credit reporting and discrimination, auto loans, energy and utility issues, privacy rights, criminal justice debt, civil rights, and more.

We work closely and in collaboration with nonprofit and legal services organizations, federal and state governments, private attorneys and courts at all levels, and NCLC has earned a reputation as the nation’s leading authority and resource on consumer law.

If you have any questions, including whether NCLC might be an appropriate cy pres beneficiary in a particular case, please feel free to contact any member of the NCLC staff, including Paul Laurent at 617-542-8010 or [email protected].


NCLC approves of the approach adopted by the American Law Institute in § 3.07 of its Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation regarding the criteria a court should apply to determining whether a proposed cy pres distribution is appropriate. NCLC also adheres to, and supports, Guideline 7, Cy Pres Awards, of the National Association of Consumer Advocates Standards and Guidelines for Litigating and Settling Consumer Class Actions (3rd Ed. 2014). The procedures set forth in these rules have been endorsed by federal courts as the best way to insure that (1) there is a maximum distribution to class members; (2) the designation of the remaining funds will be allocated for uses that are most likely to further the interests of absent class members; and (3) the selection process is not tainted by self-interest.

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