Banks are historically hard to sue, with laws generally siding with the financial institutions. However, Judge Robert Scola Jr. sided with the homeowners, led by lead plaintiff, Kimberly Barardi.
The court’s conclusion: Homeowners had been misled.
The case, Barardi v. Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., case number 1:16-cv-23381, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, was filed in August of 2016.
Barardi took out a loan with Credit Suisse in 2005 and defaulted in five years. Foreclosure proceedings began, according to Law360’s reporting on the case. However, in 2015, Barardi attempted to handle the default and accompanying fees.
Select Portfolio Servicing, a division of Credit Suisse sent the woman a reinstatement letter that did not list all the monies owed. Barardi said she had the funds outlined in the SPS letter, but did not pay because the amount in the letter was high than what she really owed and that she did not understand the fees included.
“The plaintiff’s allegations that she was deprived of the right to information is sufficient on its own to confer standing under the FDCPA,” Law360 reported Judge Scola as saying.
The bank sought dismissal, alleging the class had not provided a thorough case the bank had failed to properly disclose debts and fees.
In Barardi’s case, the judge declared the homeowner’s case solid, with all the necessary information and Credit Suisse had indeed violated the Fair Debt Collection Act, misleading homeowners over fees for reinstating mortgages.
Scola, Law360 reported, said the homeowners had “specifically claimed that SPS included hidden and illegitimate fees,” this being a blatantly against the FDCPA.
The homeowners are represented by Jack Dennis Card Jr. and Darren R. Newhart of Consumer Law Organization PA, James L. Kauffman of Bailey & Glasser LLP and Court E. Keeley of Jacobs Keeley PLLC.
Select Portfolio Servicing is represented by Keith Levenberg of Goodwin Proctor LLP, and Jonathan R. Rosenn and Jan T. Williams of Lapin & Leichtling LLP.