We recently settled a vigorously contested Philadelphia foreclosure case against one of the nation’s biggest banks. Three weeks before the trial was scheduled to start, the bank, originally represented by a local foreclosure law firm, brought in and retained as trial counsel an international law firm with over 1,500 attorneys. However, we were able to settle on the morning of trial for a significant lump sum cash settlement, as well as a substantial principal reduction in the loan.
The bank had been overcharging our client for homeowners’ insurance for many years, and when our client refused to pay these additional and unnecessary insurance charges, the bank then sued the client in foreclosure, claiming that my clients were delinquent in paying what the bank said they owed. A counterclaim against the bank was filed, alleging improper accounting and unfair trade practices under Pennsylvania law. Several settlement conferences with the judge proved unsuccessful, so I issued a subpoena to the bank to present a witness to testify about the way the bank accounted for the insurance, principal and interest on the loan.
As the trial drew near, the bank kept increasing its settlement offer, but on the morning of trial, an generous offer was made that was accepted and the foreclosure lawsuit and counterclaim have been discontinued and settled. Our clients have lived in the home for 21 years, and were always required to pay their own insurance. In approximately 2005, however, the bank made repeated mistakes in which the bank paid the own insurance coverage but then charged our client for the insurance that the bank purchased. This lead the bank to believe that our client owed money to the bank, but when we went over the loan history, we determined that it was the bank’s mistake, not our clients’. In this case, the devil was in the details and it was clear to see after the bank produced the loan history. In this case, the devil was in the details, and it was clear to see after the bank produced the loan history.
I then took sworn deposition testimony from a bank witness who essentially admitted that the bank was in error. This type of case illustrates the way banks often take advantage of homeowners without the homeowner even knowing that they were violated.
Contact Shaffer & Gaier
To set up a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Or, call our Philadelphia office location at 215-751-0100 or our New Jersey office at 856-429-0970.