Eight Companies Sued for Alleged 'Abusive Foreclosure Practices' in Ohio
By: Esther Cho
A lawsuit against eight companies in the mortgage industry alleges the defendants used fraudulent mortgage documents to process foreclosures on Ohio homeowners and charged the foreclosed homeowners inflated, unfair fees.
The lawsuit defendants named in the lawsuit are Lender Processing Services; LPS Default Solution; DocX; Fidelity National Information Services; American Home Mortgage Servicing; Lerner, Sampson and Rothfuss; Reimer, Arnovitz, Chernek; and Jeffrey Co.; and Manley Deas Kochalski LLC.
The three law firms named in the suit were described as “foreclosure mills” for their work in prosecuting a high volume of foreclosure cases.
The plaintiffs are seven Ohio residents, but others may seek monetary claims in the class-action suit. According to an article from The Plain Dealer, Cleveland lawfirm Kaufman and Co., along with five firms filed the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs. An article from the Associated Press also reported Ohio’s ex-attorney general, Marc Dann, is among those who filed the suit.
According to the lawsuit, the companies were involved in “abusive foreclosure practices” that involved preparing, executing, and notarizing fraudulent court documents and assignments of mortgages used to initiate and prosecute foreclosures. The lawsuit also alleges the companies imposed inflated, unreasonable fees for “default management services.”
In Ohio, a “foreclosing entity must establish ownership of the note and the mortgage securing the debt at issue,” according to the suit.
The lawsuit stated that the defendants knew that unless their clients owned both the note and the mortgage, they would not be in legal standing to foreclose on the homeowners. When clients did not have proper documents, the lawsuit alleges the defendants “fabricated thousands of mortgage assignments” to proceed with the foreclosures.
The lawsuit claims that from at least 2006, LPS and its network of “foreclosure mills” used fraudulent assignments.
The suit was filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in late July.
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