Monday, October 31, 2011

Proposed Class Action Tags Loan Servicer, Law Firm Sweatshop With Charges Of Piling On Bogus Fees On Homeowners During Sloppy Or Fraudulent F'closures

From a BHN Law Firm press release:

  • On behalf of a proposed class of distressed homeowners residing in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, BHN Law Firm filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo) and one of its principal foreclosure law firms. The caption of the Complaint, filed on October 24, 2011, is Giles v. Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg, LLP, 1:11-cv-06239 (D.N.J.).

  • The Complaint alleges that Wells Fargo and Phelan, Hallinan & Schmieg (Phelan), a high-volume foreclosure law firm in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, engaged in a fraudulent scheme to "pile on" unlawful foreclosure fees from financially troubled families on the brink of losing their homes. The lawsuit contends that, to carry out the scheme, defendants systematically filed falsified complaints, affidavits and mortgage assignments to bring foreclosure actions in the name of parties without legal standing to sue.


  • The Complaint alleges that, during th[e] process [of foreclosing on one homeowner], Phelan and Wells Fargo

    (1) identified the wrong financial institution as plaintiff,
    (2) recorded bogus mortgage assignments,
    (3) filed court documents containing untrue statements of material fact,
    (4) included multiple versions of the same lawyer's "signature" in different documents filed in the same case;
    (5) charged vastly overstated foreclosure fees and
    (6) despite a formal warning by the misidentified bank, heedlessly continued to file later foreclosure actions against other homeowners "on behalf" of the same improperly named bank.

For the press release, see PA and NJ Homeowners File Foreclosure Fraud Class Action Against Wells Fargo and Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg (Wrongful Foreclosures by Mortgage Servicer and Law Firm Allegedly Drive Systematic Scheme to Impose Foreclosure Fee Overcharges).

For the lawsuit, see Complaint - Giles v. Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg, LLP, 1:11-cv-06239 (D.N.J.).

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