Mortgage Banking

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Overview
Experience
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Briggs and Morgan has served as counsel for mortgage banking clients throughout the country in consumer finance and class action litigation, commercial litigation, regulatory/compliance matters, and investigations. Our attorneys track the latest industry trends closely, and we work with some of the United States’ largest mortgage banking entities and depository institutions, as well as state and national banks, thrift institutions, mortgage bankers, lenders, servicers, insurance companies, and governmental entities with mortgage loan programs.

Consumer Finance Litigation and Class Action Defense
Briggs and Morgan has successfully defended clients against hundreds of groundbreaking consumer class actions arising out of the nationwide challenges of common mortgage industry practices. Our mortgage banking team boasts significant multi-jurisdiction experience through the handling of matters as lead counsel in courts all over the United States. This includes several significant and favorable decisions in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th Circuits, as well as Minnesota appellate courts, including:

  • Culpepper v. Irwin Mortgage Corp.: Notorious yield spread premium case; after four appeals to the 11th Circuit, resulted in class decertification and summary judgment.

Briggs’ attorneys also assist mortgage banking clients to resolve issues, including defense of individual lawsuits, related to mortgage loan origination, servicing, and default practices. Our experience includes defending lawsuits concerning quiet title; foreclosure practices; predatory lending; loan modifications; RESPA, including fee splitting, referral fees, markups, and outsourcing; escrow account administration practices; truth-in-lending (TILA); force placed hazard insurance; private mortgage insurance; late fees; bankruptcy attorneys' fees; mortgage payoff fees; discount fees; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; fraud; state consumer protection statutes; and federal preemption defenses.

Commercial Litigation
Representing clients in commercial and contract disputes, including breaches of representations and warranties, indemnification, repurchase obligations, and investor relations. For example, we have defended correspondent lenders in repurchase litigation brought by purchasers who subsequently sold loans into residential mortgage-backed securities.

Compliance
Assisting clients with compliance issues, including evaluating practices to meet regulatory requirements, such as consumer credit regulations, and monitoring state and federal regulatory and legislative developments.

Minnesota was one of the first states to pass predatory lending legislation. Our clients can rely on us to assist in understanding these new laws and evolving federal regulatory activity, such as new regulations promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Investigations
Our mortgage banking practice also includes helping our mortgage banking clients with internal investigations or in responding quickly and efficiently to governmental investigations, such as inquiries by state attorneys general, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and state departments of commerce investigations. These investigatory efforts help our clients resolve issues and avoid costly litigation.

Representative Matters

Glover v. Standard Federal Bank: Decertification/summary judgment in favor of wholesale lender in RESPA § 8 yield spread premium case; affirmed by the 8th Circuit.

Schuetz v. Banc One Mortgage: Decertification/summary judgment in favor of wholesale lender in RESPA § 8 yield spread premium case; affirmed by the 9th Circuit.

Laskow and Cartwright v. Capstead Mortgage: Summary judgment and denial of class certification in favor of mortgage servicer concerning late fees; affirmed twice by the 11th Circuit.

Kochlin v. Norwest Mortgage: Denial of class certification against mortgage servicer concerning private mortgage insurance; affirmed by Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Colangelo v. Norwest Mortgage: Summary judgment in favor of mortgage servicer concerning payoff fees; affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Potter v. Norwest Mortgage: Denial of class certification on fee split claim concerning appraisal fees; individual settlement mooted appeal to 8th Circuit.