Federal District Court Rejects Putative Class Challenge To Servicer’s Compliance With IFR Order

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On May 12, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky held that it lacks jurisdiction to review allegations that a mortgage servicer operating under an OCC consent order was negligent in its maintenance of records related to the order. Harris v. Citimortgage, Inc., No. 13-783, slip op. (W.D. Ky. May 12, 2014). The case stems from an amended OCC consent order entered in 2013 as part of the government’s decision to halt the Independent Foreclosure Review Process. The borrower in this action claimed, on behalf of herself and a class of similarly situated borrowers, that one of the settling servicers failed to keep up-to-date records and failed to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of those records, resulting in the borrower’s foreclosure status being incorrectly classified and the borrower being paid less money under the order than she would have been if she her status had been properly classified. The court explained that the consent order requires the OCC to validate the categorization of borrowers, and that the payments to borrowers are established by the OCC at its discretion. To assess the borrower’s negligence claim, the court would be required to review the OCC’s validation of the borrower’s categorization and payment, which the court is prohibited from doing under federal law. The court dismissed the borrower’s action.


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