Last year, 278 subprime-mortgage-related cases were filed in federal court--with the number in the second half of the year nearly twice the number in the first half--and that figure is likely to continue growing, according to a report by Navigant Consulting. Forty-three percent of those cases were borrower class actions, most involving inadequate disclosure regarding option adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and discriminatory lending practices.
Paul Kiesel, a Beverly Hills, California, lawyer, also represents borrowers suing over option ARMs. His firm has filed 56 class actions, most of which revolve around TILA violations, all on behalf of borrowers who stand to lose their primary residences. He estimated that half had loans with low interest rates before signing up for the option ARMs. "They were eligible for far better mortgages than they got," he said.
Fifty-six. Phew. Anyway, the article is a good wrap-up of foreclosure litigation from the plaintiff's view, also including an update on Cleveland public nuisance and whistleblower complaints about mortgage companies.
The Navigant Consulting study mentioned above, "2007: Looking Back at What's Ahead," is available at the firm's website, here. The news release is headlined, "Subprime Mortgage Litigation Outpacing Savings-and-Loan Crisis of the Early 1990s, According to Navigant Consulting Study." Well, Mr. Kiesel is doing his share.