I received a very random piece of mail inviting me to join the "Settlement Class" for a class action suit again the now defunct (and part of BOA) MBNA bank due to bad practices involving raising periodic interest rates due to delinquency and default back in 2002 to 2008, without proper notification.
While this DID happen to me in that time frame due to some extremely dirty practices by MBNA (in my opinion of course), I have no desire to partake (and would of course investigate legitimacy before joining). However, it got me thinking, I know next to nothing about class action lawsuits other than they make lawyers lots of money (and I'm a Shakespeare fan, see if anyone gets that). I wouldn't know the first thing about how to protect oneself financially during the process.
So question is:
What are the personal financial implications of joining or not joining a class action lawsuit and how can someone best protect oneself financially during the process?