Business Law

Wells-Fargo Sued in Whistleblower Action over the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

The complaint was recently unsealed in a Qui tam action, where plaintiff and Texas resident Michael Fisher brought a $1 Billion dollar whistleblower action against Wells Fargo Bank N.A. under the False Claims Act. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. From 2008-2012, Fisher worked for law firms assisting with loan modifications relating to residential property mortgage loans made by Wells Fargo and other servicers or lenders. In 2009, the US Treasury Department rolled out the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, which encouraged lenders to modify home-secured loans. Under HAMP, loan servicers, borrowers, and certain other parties would receive incentive payments from the Government in connection with granting the modification and keeping the modified payments current. Borrowers’ incentives, for example, were paid to the servicer to be applied to the reduction of the principal. Fisher alleges that Wells Fargo falsely certified that it was in full compliance with the relevant laws (including Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z) in the HAMP servicer agreement. Specifically, the complaint claims that the bank did not provide borrowers with notice of the right of rescission, as required under Regulation Z. Fisher’s action seeks treble damages, attorneys’ fees, court costs and other relief.

The case is currently pending in the Southern District of New York, and is case number 1:13-cv-01460-LTS, which is accessible on Pacer.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Duncan, General Counsel at ResortCom International LLC (jduncan@resortcom.com).

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