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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

National bank to pay $2 million in mortgage fee violation class action

Courts State Issues California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Debt Collection Mortgages Class Action Settlement Consumer Finance

Courts

On December 19, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted final approval of a settlement in a $2 million class action resolving allegations that a national bank violated California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA) and Unfair Competition Law (UCL). According to the order for preliminary approval, the plaintiff class alleged that the bank improperly charged and collected transaction fees when processing mortgage payments. The district court certified the class, which included “all persons who have or had a California address, and at any time between June 1, 2016 and the date of the Court’s order preliminarily approving the settlement, paid at least one transaction fee to [the defendant] for making a payment on a residential mortgage loan serviced by [the defendant] by telephone, IVR, or the internet.” The district court determined that the settlement agreement was “reasonable and adequate.” The two class representatives who filed the suit were awarded $1,500 each, and their attorneys were awarded $499,000 in fees.