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Mortgage Lawsuits News | Mortgage Litigation Index
Mortgage industry lawsuit news and mortgage litigation coverage. Stories about legal settlements, judgments and mortgage class actions.

Supreme Court Considers Unearned Fee Case

Freeman v. Quicken

May 20, 2011

By staff

A judgment in favor Quicken Loans Inc. is being considered for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue are alleged unearned fees.

Quicken, which claims it has never charged unearned fees, said it won the case on summary judgment at the trial court level by presenting undisputed evidence that fees it collected were earned.

The ruling, according to the Detroit-based firm, was upheld on appeal by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Anthony Laura, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Patton Boggs LLP who is not involved in the case, explained that the Supreme Court has asked the Solicitor General to weigh in on whether it should review the lower court's decision in the case, Freeman v. Quicken Loans Inc.

The Office of the Solicitor General is part of the Department of Justice and is charged with supervising and conducting government litigation headed to the Supreme Court. It determines which cases will seek Supreme Court review and the positions that will be taken by the government.

Laura explained that it isn't unusual for the Supreme Court to invite the Solicitor General when it thinks that the government's views might impact how it will decide the case.

The Solicitor General will respond by suggesting whether or not the case should be reviewed, Laura said.

"The invitation clearly signals that there is some support among members of the court to hear the case," Laura said.

He noted that in order for an invitation like this to be made, agreement must be reached between at least four justices -- the same number who must agree in order for the case to be reviewed.

"One of the focuses of the circuit court below in the Freeman case was whether to give deference to HUD's 2001 statement of policy on the interpretation of section 8(b), which the 5th Circuit rejected, in pertinent part, in deciding in Quicken's favor," Laura continued. "I expect what the Supreme Court ultimately wants to know is whether the government still support's HUD's interpretation."

Quicken is clearly frustrated with lawsuits like this one but vowed to never to give in to the law firms behind them, calling such counsel "unscrupulous operators who only exist because companies and courts allow them to continue their immoral gamesmanship."

The company added, "It is unfortunate that once again our legal system is being used to extort money from job-producing companies by plaintiff attorneys who attempt to manipulate and distort reason, logic and the law with the hope that companies will capitulate and settle rather than embark on a lengthy and expensive defense of right versus wrong."

Freeman v. Quicken Loans Inc.
Case No. 10-1042.

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