Consumer Finance Litigation

Overview

Consumer financial services companies continue to be confronted with changing regulations and laws, an increase in litigation, and expensive class action claims. To compete in this space, you need counsel with not only deep industry experience, but who also knows and understands the landscape inside and out. We closely track changes and developments in the industry that will impact our clients, and proactively provide advice and counsel on how best to respond to these changes and developments.

Our consumer finance litigation group is nationally recognized as a leader in the industry. We have extensive experience representing consumer mortgage originators, correspondent lenders, mortgage servicers, and investors. Our litigators have successfully defended national and regional consumer lending and servicing clients in individual and class action lawsuits in state and federal courts in numerous jurisdictions throughout the country, including proceedings before trial courts, appellate courts and bankruptcy courts.

Members of the consumer financial services team are admitted to practice in the following jurisdictions: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Indiana; Illinois; Kentucky; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Ohio, Pennsylvania; Texas; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and West Virginia.

How We Can Help

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”)
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  • Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”)
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”)
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”)
  • Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (“UDAP”)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)
  • Home Ownership and Equity Protection Amendments (“HOEPA”)
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”)
  • Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (“FCCPA”)
  • Credit Repair Organizations Act (“CROA”)
  • Predatory lending practices
  • Title disputes and title insurance coverage disputes
  • consumer fraud
  • federal loan modification programs
  • state consumer protection laws
  • national mortgage settlement
  • actions on tax liens, homeowners association liens and condominium association liens
  • California Homeowner Bill of Rights (“HBOR”)

What Sets Us Apart

Our consumer finance litigation team is comprised of approximately 50 experienced attorneys who are highly experienced in the practice are, and who are committed to provide the highest degree of legal services to our clients. Our team has been trained to focus on the specific facts and nuances of every case they handle.  The team works hard to establish a true partnership with each client.  Associates work closely with counsel and partners to make sure that each matter is handled in accordance with the client’s best interest, and in an effective and cost-efficient manner.  As a whole, the team customizes its representation of each client to meet that specific client’s business model and goals. 

The consumer finance litigation team works closely with our regulatory compliance team to help the client address any regulatory issues that may be present in, or potentially arise from, any given case. 

Experience

  • Successfully represented mortgage loan servicer in having federal district court (MD Fla. 2017) refuse to certify a putative class of borrowers alleging violations against mortgage loan servicer under the FDCPA and FCCPA for directly communicating with borrowers after allegedly being on notice of their representation by counsel.  The district court held that the class did not meet the ascertainability requirement under Fed.R.Civ.P 23(a) where numerous factual issues existed and determining membership in the class would involve a “highly individualized” file by-file review of approximately 560 loan files that would make a class action administratively unfeasible.  The district court also held that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of establishing commonality and predominance under Fed.R.Civ.P (b).
  • Obtained judgment of non-suit in favor of lending institution in one month jury trial (Orange County, CA – 2017), defeating claims for wrongful foreclosure and promissory estoppel arising from the attempted reinstatement of a mortgage loan beyond California’s statutory reinstatement deadline.
  • Obtained pre-discovery dismissal of class action claims filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California, involving (1) violations of the Truth in Lending Act, (2) violations of the California Homeowner's Bill of Rights, (3) breach of a loan modification agreement, (4) unfair competition, and (5) declaratory relief.  Successfully urged the Court to adopt two novel defensive theories of first impression in the Ninth Circuit. 
  • Succeeded on motion to dismiss class action (ED PA, 2016) alleging breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against the Bank and City of Philadelphia granted.
  • Secured appellate court reversal (4th DCA, FL 2015) of the trial court’s final judgment awarding a permanent loan modification to the borrower. Appellate court held that the trial court erred by forcing a loan modification and imposing a new contract on the parties that was outside the scope of the pleadings and was not tried by consent.
  • Successfully defeated Borrower’s challenges (2nd DCA, FL 2016) to standing to foreclose based on numerous issues principally focused on multiple allonges attached to various copies of the Note produced during different stages of the lower court case. Final judgement was obtained before the trial court and, in response to Borrower’s appeal, it was argued successfully that servicer re-established the Lost Note through the Lost Note Affidavit and Witness testimony at trial, that by meeting the elements of Florida’s Lost Note Affidavit Statute standing was established, that the Pooling and Servicing Agreement and Master Loan Schedule introduced as exhibits at trial proved standing and finally that the borrower’s failure at trial to argue an error in the Master Loan Schedule precluded that argument from being raised on appeal for the first time.  
  • Obtained appellate decision affirming dismissal of Third Party claim and holding that that the Statute of Limitations to enforce a mortgage had not expired despite language in the default notice that if the default is not cured, the mortgage “will be accelerated.” (NY 2nd Dept., 2017) 
  • Second Circuit (2016) affirmed a District Court order of dismissal of a would-be class action against Northland Group, Inc. and held that violations of state and local debt collection statutes are not per se violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 
  • Obtained summary judgment (CT. Superior Ct, 201___) on contested foreclosure action including dismissing claims of fraud and Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. 

Team

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