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Yes, checks now arriving in Indiana mailboxes for an auto dealer document fee lawsuit settlement are real

Thousands of Indiana residents are now getting unexpected checks in the mail and are turning to the VERIFY team to see if they're legitimate.

INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of Indiana residents are now getting unexpected checks in the mail.

The mailings say the payouts represent a settlement award for a class action lawsuit involving document fees charged by auto dealers, and 13News viewers contacted VERIFY to ask if they should cash the checks – or if they are part of a scam.

“Please verify if this class action settlement check is legitimate,” wrote Brenda, who sent 13News a picture of a $59.53 check she received for “Auto Doc Fees Litigation.”

Jerry received a check, too. “I and someone else I know received checks in the mail with a description regarding a class action lawsuit for Indiana auto dealerships charging preparation doc fees,” he wrote. “All I want to know is are these checks safe to cash. Are they legitimate?


Are “auto doc fee litigation” checks now arriving in Indiana mailboxes legitimate?


Irwin Levin, attorney at Cohen & Malad, who is listed as the legal counsel of record representing the class of Indiana consumers who sued the auto dealerships

KCC, the company named as the administrator of the auto doc fee litigation settlement


This is true.

Yes, checks are now being mailed to Indiana consumers who recently purchased a vehicle at an auto dealership participating in the class action settlement, and those payout checks are legitimate. The settlement checks resulted from lawsuits alleging that dozens of Indiana auto dealerships charged excessive document fees.


In 2019, consumers filed class action lawsuits against dozens of Indiana car dealerships, claiming the companies charged excessive document fees that violated Indiana’s consumer protection law. Last July, 12 dealership groups named in the lawsuits entered into a settlement agreement. They denied doing anything wrong, but collectively agreed to pay about $13.5 million to settle the lawsuits.

KCC, the settlement administrator, told 13News that 145,000 checks will be sent to Indiana consumers who purchased a vehicle during the qualifying time period from one of the dealership groups named in the settlement.

Those dealership groups include: Butler Motors Inc., D-Patrick, Inc., Dorsett Auto Sales, Inc., Ed Martin 236, Inc., Terry Lee Companies, Inc., Twin City Dodge, Inc., Andy Mohr Automotive Group, Inc., Bill Estes Chevrolet, Inc., Circle Buick GMC., Inc., Beck Automotive Group. Inc., Lockhart Automotive Group., Inc., and Rohr Indy Motors., Inc.  According to the settlement agreement, the qualifying time period for vehicle purchases was April 4, 2017 to March 31, 2022.

Qualifying consumers will receive a proportional share of the settlement fund based on the amount of document fees they paid. 

Settlement checks started to go out Dec. 20, 2022. The checks that Indiana consumers are now receiving from the settlement administrator are real, according to Irwin Levin, who is listed as class counsel for the settlement.

“Is this a legitimate check? The answer is yes. The checks are legitimate,” Levin said. The Indianapolis attorney who specializes in class action litigation said he is not allowed to comment on the case, but Levin told Verify that consumers can usually determine whether settlement checks like these are real by looking closely at the actual check and then doing some of their own research online.

“If someone were to get a check and have any questions whatsoever, there is usually a settlement claims administrator that is identified. There’s probably going to be a website that refers to the case,” he said.

That is certainly true for this class action settlement. The settlement checks are being mailed from Computershare/KCC, the same class action lawsuit administrator listed in the case’s settlement agreement. That is also the same company that posted information about the auto document fees settlement process online.

If you do receive one of the settlement checks, make sure you cash it within six months. After that, the check is void and will not be reissued.

Some of the document fee lawsuits filed against Indiana auto dealerships back in 2019 are still working their way through the courts, so more settlements or damages could be awarded to additional consumers pending the outcome of the cases. Other dealerships were dismissed from the document fee class action lawsuits after arguing that the disputes should be settled by arbitration hearings rather than in court.

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