If you own a smelly or moldy front-loading washing machine, you might be eligible for "free" money.
As a result of various class action lawsuits, people who own Whirlpool, Kenmore or Maytag front-loading washing machines manufactured between 2001 and 2010 can receive a cash payment and more, WJW reports.
But there's a deadline to receive this compensation: Owners must submit a claim form on the washer settlement website or by mail by Oct. 11, 2016.
The settlement is part of a larger lawsuit filed against Sears and Whirlpool. Consumers complained their washing machines were not cleaning themselves, ruining clothes by producing a foul odor, mildew and mold, WTHR reports.
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"They found lots of mold, and they also found parasites living inside the washer," said Karen Freeman, who initiated the class action lawsuit, of a visit by lawyers and biochemists during legal proceedings. They took her washing machine apart. "When they were done, they cleaned and sanitized it, and put it all back together. For a while, it was fine, but the smell came back four months later."
"It's probably the worst, almost like a sewer gas smell," she added. "The minute you take them out, you can smell that foul, sour smell to them, so them you have to wash them all over again."
But thanks to Freeman's lawsuit, some owners are eligible for $50 cash payment, in addition to a refund for repairs or a rebate on a subsequent machine purchase.
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"Class Members who experienced a mold or odor problem with their Class Washer within five years of purchase may be eligible to receive a cash payment of $50," the settlement's website elaborates.
Those with an LG brand front-loading machine made between 2002 and 2006 can receive $35, in addition to a rebate on a new front-loading washer.
Freeman is satisfied with the lawsuit's outcome, noting she will use the proceeds to buy a new washer.
"I'm going back to the old-fashioned top-loader. No more $3,000 washer and dryer for this house. That much I can tell you," Freeman said. "The experts all tell me 'More is not better. Buy the simplest machine that has the least bells and whistles.'"