Gatens Green Weidenbach, PLLC Announces Non-Profit Recipients of Cy Pres Award from Class Action Case

CASHMERE, Wash., Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Local attorney Clay Gatens of Gatens Green Weidenbach, PLLC today announced the distribution of…

CASHMERE, Wash., Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Local attorney Clay Gatens of Gatens Green Weidenbach, PLLC today announced the distribution of $835,300.40 to recipients of the Cy Pres awards resulting from the Class Action Settlement Rhodes v. Wells Fargo N.A. in which Mr. Gatens served as lead Plaintiff’s counsel.

On December 19, 2018 the US District Court of Eastern Washington granted final approval of the $26.3 million dollar class action settlement entered into between Plaintiff and Wells Fargo. The case was one of several Gatens pursued involving homeowners whose locks were changed by lenders and mortgage servicers prior to foreclosure, claiming the properties were abandoned.

Four non-profit organizations evenly split the nearly one million dollars in Cy Pres awards that remained undistributed to class members from the common fund settlement that Mr. Gatens achieved for class members in the case.  The Cy Pres recipients are Northwest Justice Project, Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services, Rebuilding Together Seattle, and Housing Hope – Everett.  Each organization received $208,825.10.  The latter two organizations were designated by Wells Fargo under the terms of the settlement.

When a class action settles with a common fund settlement there are often settlement funds that do not get claimed by class members. These funds are then designated to non-profit «Cy Pres» recipients.  Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services is one such Cy Pres recipient and has received $208,825.10 in funds as a result of the lawsuit and settlement. 

«A gift of this size is a game changer for CDCVAS and offers stability for civil legal aid in uncertain times,» shared Eloise Barshes, Executive Director at Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Services. «I can assure you, it will be thoughtfully and responsibly allocated to ensure our services and program continue to meet the needs of our community for years to come.»

«This case resulted in a significant victory for over 4,000 distressed Washington homeowners who had locks changed on their homes prior to the completion of a lawful foreclosure,» explained Mr. Gatens of Gatens Green Weidenbach. «I am extremely proud that Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services and Northwest Justice Project will be able to use these Cy Pres funds to support and carry-forward the good work that they do in our local community and region.» 

Clay Gatens, recently opened the firm Gatens Green Weidenbach, PLLC in North Central Washington, alongside Lindsey Weidenbach and Michelle Green. Gatens Green Weidenbach, PLLC offers professional legal services in North Central Washington and beyond. They focus their practice in land use, real estate, business law, commercial civil litigation, and class actions. For more information on the firm, visit their website at or contact them at (509) 888-2144 or


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