Third Quarter 2009 Mortgage Litigation Report

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Firms that collected up-front fees for loan modifications pushed modification-related litigation to the forefront of the Third Quarter Mortgage Litigation Report from But overall mortgage litigation slowed significantly.

The analysis, based on active cases covered by between July 1 and Sept. 30, was prepared in conjunction with the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP, which is known as a leader for its work in mortgage banking litigation.

A rash of litigation was filed by states’ attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission as part of “Operation Loan Lies,” an initiative launched in July.

But overall active cases covered during the period tumbled to 76 from the second quarter’s 125. In the third-quarter 2008, 74 cases were tracked.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average solidly over 10,000, active investor actions were down to 11 in the third quarter from 31 cases three months earlier. In line with investor activity, mortgage-backed securities litigation tumbled to four cases from 16.

“I am not surprised to see a decline in mortgage-backed and investor litigation as the number of deals remaining to be resolved decreases,” said Patrick F. McManemin, a partner in Patton Boggs’ Dallas office.

The industry must continue to be conscious of risks affecting their products and services, Mr. McManemin said.

For example, we are seeing more courts addressing title and foreclosure issues that signal an increased focus on technical aspects of negotiable instruments and ownership of a lien,” Mr. McManemin said.

But despite the increased focus — and possibly reflecting the seasoning of the Home Affordable Modification Program — foreclosure litigation sank to 10 cases from 26 in the second quarter.

As the Home Valuation Code of Conduct became more entrenched at U.S. mortgage shops, active appraisal lawsuits fell to two from 11.

The following table reflects the full count of third-quarter cases.


Mortgage Daily Staff


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