The Cobb EMC Patronage Capital class action lawsuit brought on behalf of former members of the cooperative has been settled for $98 Million.
For further information regarding claim eligibility and all questions, please go to the website http://www.cobbemcsettlement.com or call 800-226-9880
For your convenience, below are links to several important documents, press releases and newspaper articles available in PDF format.
So, whose money is it?
The Lost Member Capital of Georgia’s Electric Cooperatives
“So, whose money is it?” is a question some rural Electric Membership Cooperatives in Georgia seem to have a problem answering. As a result, there are hundreds of millions of dollars of “lost“ member capital on the books of Georgia’s electric cooperatives that truly belong to the hard working folks who were served by the cooperatives in years past, and many of them could really use the money now.
Over the years, annual profits (“margin” in the lingo of non-profit, member owned cooperatives) have routinely been retained by EMCs to help build infrastructure and finance operations. The money is either held in cash or more often spent or invested on capital projects. The value of the annual margin is pro-rated among the members according to their usage, also known as the members’ patronage, and credited to the members’ capital accounts on the books of the EMC. With each year of positive margin the credits to the capital accounts of the EMC members grow. As the accumulated capital in the accounts grow, so grows the accumulated value of the EMC.
But Cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations. They cannot make a profit. Nor can they retain earnings. There are no stockholders.
IF the EMCs were for-profit corporations, the profits would fund dividends to the stockholders, the accumulated profit would be taxed, and the increased capital-on-hand would increase the value of the stock.
Electric Membership Cooperatives are supposed to be member-owned and financed. “Members” are simply, and solely, customers: the people and businesses who obtain electricity from the EMC. So long as they are customers, they are members and have a voice in the affairs of the EMC – they have a vote in the coop’s operation – and they enjoy the benefit of the accumulated capital being used for the EMC’s benefit interest-free.
But what happens when a member leaves the cooperative, either by moving from the service area, ceasing business or by death? What happens to their capital credits? The question is: Who’s Money Is It?
*** Previous Update ***
Largely in response to the lawsuit initiated by Pierce ~ Gabriel Partners, WatersKraus and Mitchell & DeClerk, the Cobb EMC announced the retirement of $7 Million in Capital Credits. The Cobb EMC Board of Directors has approved a general retirement of all patronage capital allocated in years 1957 through 1971. If you were a member of Cobb EMC at any time during the years 1957 through 1971, you are due a refund.
If you are a FORMER MEMBER from anytime during the period from 1957 through 1971 you are due a refund. If you are a subsequent but former member of the coop, your claims are being addressed by the current lawsuit. For your convenience we are providing Refund Request Forms and Applications in pdf format, available by clicking on the links below.
Click here to request more information or schedule a consultation. You may also call us at (800) 226-9880
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