The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama recently approved settlements totaling more than $10,000,000 for classes of affected debtors represented by Cunningham Bounds in three separate cases related to the submission of improper affidavits by Wells Fargo, CitiMortgage, and Chase Home Finance in class members’ Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Part of the settlement included the refund of attorneys’ fees and filing fees charged to class members by these mortgage companies.
Cunningham Bounds developed evidence that employees of the mortgage servicing companies were “robo-signing” documents related to class members’ home foreclosures, meaning that they were signing hundreds of affidavits a month and submitting them to the United States Bankruptcy Court without reviewing them for truthfulness or accuracy. The affidavits were improper because the signature pages were often executed separately from the other pages of the document and employees of one of these companies testified that they signed sworn affidavits without reading them and that some affidavits contained false or misleading titles and statements regarding the review process.
“This litigation and its successful outcome made clear to mortgage servicing companies that they cannot take shortcuts just to make extra money at the expense of those who are already struggling with the threat of foreclosure. We hope this litigation has put an end to these dishonest practices,” said Cunningham Bounds partner Steve Nicholas.
The three cases involved nearly 6,000 class members and settled for a total of more than $10,000,000, which included a separate award for attorneys’ fees. Steve Olen and Steve Nicholas served as co-lead counsel for the Plaintiffs.