Residential Mortgage Lending and Servicing

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Baker Donelson attorneys offer decades of experience and a deep commitment to the mortgage lending and servicing industry, working with lenders, servicers and investors on a full range of legal issues including contested matters, origination, bankruptcy, default and other litigation. We are known for our ability to quickly resolve complicated mortgage matters and return loans to performing status. We always keep in mind that success may mean different things to different clients.

Our mortgage team is comprised of attorneys from a wide range of disciplines, with extensive courtroom experience in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. We regularly handle litigation involving allegations of wrongful foreclosure and eviction, regulatory violations including class actions and individual actions, bankruptcy matters and title to property. Our attorneys manage multi-state litigation portfolios for servicing clients, which includes the management of budgets, local counsel and underlying foreclosure and bankruptcy cases.

We work closely with our lending and servicing clients to find creative, cost- and time-effective solutions to their problems, including loss mitigation, quality control and quality assurance. This includes the following:

  • Litigation arising out of contested foreclosure, bankruptcy, eviction and REO
  • Creditor representation in bankruptcy matters including Chapter 11 and bankruptcy adversary cases
  • Lender liability defense
  • Title clearance and title claims
  • Litigation portfolio and budget management for in-house legal and default servicing departments
  • Fair debt and collections practices claims and litigation
  • Local, state and federal regulatory compliance, including Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigations, code violations, public policy matters and statutory enforcement
  • Environmental issues involving secured collateral
  • Quality control and quality assurance review of suspect loans, including review of loans originated through subprime loan products thought to be part of mortgage fraud schemes
  • "Best Practices" training

Representative Mortgage Lending and Servicing Matters

  • Defeated an appellate firm's urging of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to strike the four-year limitation period to bring claims under the Texas constitutional provisions governing home equity loans. A ruling for borrowers in this case would have had a draconian impact on note holders in Texas, opening the door to claims brought decades after origination.
  • Routinely defend mortgage servicers in multiple actions by mortgagors alleging wrongful foreclosure, gross negligence, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and other business torts.
  • Defended a financial services company in multidistrict and class action litigation alleging improper mortgage servicing practices, including charging unauthorized and/or unnecessary fees, misapplying borrower payments, improper placement of hazard insurance, and violations of the FCRA, FDCPA and various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Defended a financial services company in an adversary proceeding brought by the Chapter 7 Trustee seeking the recovery of $200 million arising from the provision of debtor-in-possession financing and the purchase of certain residual interests in mortgage backed securities.
  • Represented mortgage lenders in multiple large scale mortgage fraud cases resulting in recovery of damages; during representation worked with federal and state prosecutors to provide information and training to assist in prosecution of criminal cases.
  • Represented national lender in class action litigation over handling of claims in consumer bankruptcy matters.
  • Represented creditor holding $20 million in mortgage debt in complex apartment bankruptcy case.
  • Conducted numerous foreclosures involving multi-family properties including litigation involving collection of rents and appointment of receivers.
  • Represented Chapter 11 debtors in a number of real estate cases, including multiple apartment complexes and resort hotel property.
  • Coordinated regional representation of several national lenders in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases and the defense of class action litigation brought by a trustee in consumer cases.
  • Lead counsel in large scale mortgage fraud matter involving more than 250 loans.
  • Represented national lenders to jointly defend class action suit in bankruptcy court which alleged improper application of mortgage fees in bankruptcy claim.
  • Obtained dismissal from federal district court and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals of a case alleging wrongful foreclosure and violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act and Fair Debt Collection Practice Act.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims for loan servicer against alleged violations of Truth in Lending Act section 1641(g) under "administrative convenience" exception, affirmed on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Won summary judgment dismissal of all claims asserted by borrowers who alleged their identity was stolen due to the transmission of their loan application via electronic mail.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims for loan servicer on alleged "standing" issues and a challenge to the servicer's authority to exercise the power of sale as the holder of the debt obligation under the Uniform Commercial Code.
  • Won summary judgment dismissal of counterclaim against GSE where borrower asserted oral loan modification and wrongful foreclosure claims, affirmed by Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. The borrower's petition for rehearing was further denied.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal for lender against breach of contract claim arising from alleged violations of required pre-foreclosure notice, affirmed on appeal by the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and writ of certiorari denied by Alabama Supreme Court.
  • Represented title insurer in loan dispute involving claims of fraud and mortgage reformation, resulting in more than $500,000 verdict for client.