$2 Million Jury Verdict Against Mortgage Servicer

Posted by NCBRC - April 21, 2015

On Monday, Alena Hammer obtained a $2 million jury verdict against Residential Credit Solutions, Inc. (RCS), a national mortgage loan servicer, for its breach of contract, violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and violations of the unfairness and deception provisions of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. All of Hammer’s claims dealt with RCS’s misconduct in handling and servicing the mortgage loan on Hammer’s home in DuPage County, Illinois, where Hammer has resided for the last 27 years.

Hammer’s mortgage loan was serviced by AmTrust Bank (AmTrust) until AmTrust failed and was taken over by the FDIC in December 2009. In June 2010, Hammer entered into a loan modification agreement with the FDIC as receiver for AmTrust. Hammer’s home mortgage loan was then transferred to RCS in August 2010. In September 2010, RCS began rejecting Hammer’s monthly payments and refused to acknowledge the existence of the loan modification. RCS then proceeded to prosecute two separate foreclosure actions against Hammer, despite the fact that Hammer, still to this day, has tendered all of her monthly payments as required under the loan modification agreement. The first foreclosure case was dismissed in favor of Hammer and against RCS in March 2011. However, RCS continued to reject Hammer’s payments and continued to deny the existence of the loan modification agreement; RCS filed a second foreclosure action against Hammer in September 2011 and prosecuted that case through December 2013. Hammer had complained of improper fees and costs assessed to her loan account, the attorney’s fees and costs she incurred to defend two improper foreclosure proceedings, damages for mental anguish and pain and suffering, and other damages that were incurred during the nearly three and a half year ordeal.

The six (6) day federal trial concluded on April 20, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  The same day, the jury determined that RCS breached the loan modification agreement, violated RESPA for failing to adequately respond to Hammer’s Qualified Written Request, and committed both unfair and deceptive acts in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. Hammer was awarded $500,000.00 in compensatory damages and $1,500,000.00 in punitive damages.

Nick Wooten, Esq. of Nick Wooten, LLC, and Ross Michael Zambon, Esq., and Mara Ann Baltabols, Esq., both from Sulaiman Law Group, Ltd., led the litigation team on behalf of Hammer.

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One Comment

  • Debra Faulmino
    Posted April 22, 2015 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on the victory! Would it be possible for me to get the case number or a copy of the decision? I live in NY and I am considering suing RCS for many of the same reasons stated in this article. Thank you for you consideration.
    Debra Faulmino

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