Users of ‘RushCard’ pre-paids from 2015, check your mail: a check is on its way

If you had a RushCard in October 2015 (and you don’t any longer) check your mail: the federal consumer protection bureau said Tuesday you were sent a check.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said that “redress checks” were sent to consumers who held the prepaid cards (which were not tied to a financial institution) and unable to access money on the cards three years ago. The payments are being made to those who held the cards, but no longer have an active RushCard Account.

The RushCard is a prepaid debit card not linked to a bank account that is aimed at persons who lack a checking account and want a way to receive paychecks and make payments. It can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs and make online payments; loading cash or checks on the card has been termed “inconvenient.” The card was introduced in 2003.

In October 2015, what has been described as a “major technology outage” locked out card services to tens of thousands of users, sometimes for weeks.

A year ago (February 2017), CFPB ordered RushCard operators Mastercard and UniRush to pay an estimated $10 million in compensation to people who were unable to access money in their accounts in 2015

The bureau said Tuesday that “preventable service disruptions left RushCard users unable to take out cash, access their paychecks or other direct deposit funds, access other funds they had attempted to load, make purchases, or get accurate balance information.

CFPB said affected RushCard users do not have to take any action to receive payments under the order. The bureau said UniRush must contact harmed users who are eligible for payments.

Current RushCard holders who were affected by the October 2015 issues should have received a credit to their cards March 6 or 7, the bureau said. Credits will be from “RushCard Consent Order Restitution.”

Others affected who no longer have a RushCard were sent letters Tuesday with a check. Letters will go to the consumer’s last address; if it’s returned, UniRush is required to make reasonable efforts to find the current address and resend it. Checks received must be deposited or cashed before Aug. 10, the CFPB said.

CFPB blog post today

CFPB February 2017 announces consent order

CFPB consent order