Bank of America asks judge to deny class-action status in Boston mortgage case
Bank of America Corp. has asked a Boston judge to reject an appeal by homeowners seeking class-action status as they sue the bank over its alleged failure to properly modify their mortgages.
According to Bloomberg News, the bank in legal arguments Thursday urged U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel in Boston to deny the class-action request, arguing that granting such status would provide unwarranted leverage for the plaintiffs as they pursue their legal claims.
“What was brought as a series of lawsuits has been reduced to desperate attempts to seek certification by any means,” said Bank of America lawyer James W. McGarry, according to Bloomberg’s account of the court proceedings.
Dodd-Frank Stands as Judge Rejects Suit by States, Bank
A lawsuit by 11 states and a Texas bank challenging the Dodd-Frank law’s financial regulation overhaul was dismissed by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in Washington ruled in yesterday’s decision that the states and the State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, didn’t have legal standing to bring their claims. She also said they “did not come close” to showing they would suffer financial injury as a result of the overhaul.
Widow caught in foreclosure vortex after JP Morgan Chase’s mistake
Two weeks ago, a jury in Hillsboro found that JPMorgan Chase broke state law when it foreclosed on a Washington County adult foster home. The jury believed Chase had promised the homeowners a modification, told them to stop making payments, then foreclosed on them anyway.
The events in that case started more than four years ago. The housing market has since recovered. Big banks have paid billions to settle foreclosure fraud allegations nationwide. Chase has reported $75 billion in profits since 2008, more each year.
Surely those problems are behind it.
Not according to Jill Africa-Barnes.
In May, Africa-Barnes found herself threatened with foreclosure by Chase after it bought her newly modified loan from another servicer. She’s now considered behind on her mortgage because she asked for help and followed their instructions.
Other homeowners continue to face similar loan-servicing mistakes and delays, advocates and experts say, despite the 18-month-old mortgage settlement.
“The complaints are continuing to come in,” Jeff Manning, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Justice, said last week.
Marshall C. Watson, one of the original “robo-signing” attorneys, has been suspended for three months as part of an agreement with the Florida Bar.
Watson was one of 11 attorneys in South Florida disciplined in the latest action by the Florida Supreme Court. Another attorney Luis Musa of Coral Gables, was suspended for six months after being arrested on cocaine charges. A third attorney, Howard Michael Scheinberg of Davie, was suspended for two years for private communication with a judge during a criminal trial — 949 cell phone calls and 471 text messages.
Watson agreed to plead guilty in a proposed consent judgment that accused him of failing to supervise or train his employees in foreclosure-related work. Watson also paid $30,000 for a record-keeping analysis by the Bar, plus $5,931 for its investigation.
Watson ran a so-called foreclosure mill – Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson – where it became common practice to rush thousands of foreclosures through with quick review and sign-off to attest to accuracy of documents, leading to the coining of the phrase “robo-signing” in the media.
Copies of the suspension docs below….