The National Plaintiff’s Law Firm of Baron and Budd Wins First Round in Mortgage Fee Lawsuit

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California federal judge denies defendants Wells Fargo, Citibank motion to dismiss charges.

Baron & Budd, P.C.

The Court’s decision in the two cases marks the first step in the effort to hold these banks accountable for the conduct we alleged in our complaint.

A federal judge in California rejected attempts by the two banking giants Wells Fargo and Citibank to dismiss lawsuits filed by the law firm of Baron and Budd on behalf of mortgage holders. The lawsuits claim that the banks unlawfully charged borrowers who were late on their mortgages with fees which were secretly marked-up. Representing the borrowers in the lawsuits are Baron and Budd attorneys Daniel Alberstone, Roland Tellis and Mark Pifko. (RE: CITBANK, N.A. and CITYMORTGAGE, INC., Case No.: 12-cv-03892-YGR, N Dist. Of CA.) (WELLS FARGO & COMPANY and WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. litigation, Case. No. 12-cv-00664-YGR, N. Dist. Of CA)

“The Court’s decision in the two cases marks the first step in the effort to hold these banks accountable for the conduct we alleged in our complaint,” said Baron and Budd attorney Roland Tellis. “We look forward to eventually trying the case to the jury and letting them decide the appropriate penalty for these ‘too big to fail’ institutions.”

According to a February 13th Business Insider article, the lawsuits are based on fees for so-called “property preservation” services, including “drive-by” inspections and Broker’s Price Opinions (BPOs). Banks order these services from third parties when mortgage holders are late on their payments and they are supposed to charge borrowers for the actual costs of these services. http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-13/news/31054084_1_mortgage-fees-strategic-default-mortgage-payments

According to the lawsuits, Wells Fargo and Citibank created a scheme to cheat borrowers out of funds by secretly marking up these costs by 100 percent or more. As stated in the lawsuits, the banks used vague descriptions like “Other Charges,” “Delinquency Expenses” or “Corporate Advances” to hide the inflated charges from borrowers. (RE: CITBANK, N.A. and CITYMORTGAGE, INC., Case No.: 12-cv-03892-YGR, N Dist. Of CA.) (WELLS FARGO & COMPANY and WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. litigation, Case. No. 12-cv-00664-YGR, N. Dist. Of CA)

An additional case alleging the same issues is also pending against JP Morgan Chase.

If you believe that you may have been charged inappropriate fees as a result of being late on your home mortgage loan, please call us at 1.866.844.4556 or email info(at)baronbudd(dot)com to learn more. There is no cost for our complementary review and calls to Baron and Budd are always confidential.

The national plaintiff’s law firm of Baron and Budd has been a leader in consumer litigation for over 35 years. The firm held an important position in the litigation concerning the banking industry’s manipulation of overdraft fees, which eventually resulted in a $410 million settlement with Bank of America and a $110 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase. The case also forced banks nationwide to alter their overdraft fee policies. Additional settlements are still in negotiation. (RE: CHASE Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 1:09-MD-02036-JLK, Dist. Of CA, BANK OF AMERICA Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, Case No. 1:09-MD-02036-JLK, Dist. Of CA)

About Baron and Budd

The law firm of Baron & Budd, with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with over 35 years of “Protecting What’s Right” for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals, governmental and business entities in areas as diverse as water contamination, Gulf oil spill, Qui Tam, California Proposition 65 violations, unsafe drugs and medical devices, Chinese drywall, deceptive advertising, consumer financial fraud, securities fraud and asbestos cancers such as mesothelioma.

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Amanda Theaker, Marketing
Baron and Budd
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