Mortgage Litigation Rises Significantly Reports DSNews

Mortgage servicers were plagued with lawsuits in the last quarter of 2010, according to an industry resource.

A quarterly report conducted by Mortgage Daily shows the percentage of legal actions against servicers rose 42 percent in the last three months of 2010.

Actions associated with loan modifications tripled. The report said that 151 mortgage-related lawsuits were reported in the fourth quarter, jumping from 106 in the quarter before.

The index is prepared in conjunction with Patton Boggs, LLP, a mortgage banking law firm.

Servicing litigation cases rose by 21 cases in the fourth quarter, from just five in Q3. Mortgage Daily reports that servicing was busier because foreclosure lawsuits in Q4 nearly doubled the amount from Q3 and modification activity climbed 208 percent.

Investor lawsuits also doubled from the third quarter, which the news organization surmises was because of a similar increase in litigation associated with mortgage-backed securities.

Secondary marketing litigation nearly doubled, and criminal cases also rose.

“The affirmative inquiries of state attorneys general, legislators, and courts in the mortgage assignment and mortgage foreclosure processes have fostered an environment where mortgage-related litigation has expanded on all fronts,” said Antony Laura, a partner in the Patton Boggs Newark office.

“While the increase in servicing cases is stark, the increase in suits by investors alleging missteps in the origination and securitization process is especially worth noting, as hundreds of millions of dollars are often at stake in those loan portfolio repurchase cases,” Laura explained.

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