The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has denied a request from a mortgage servicer to appeal class-action certifications in two cases at the District Court level, accusing the servicer of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act by contacting the plaintiffs about foreclosure proceedings while their loans were in a trial modification program from the federal government.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Belcher v. Ocwen Loan Servicing can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff defaulted on his mortgage loan, which was transferred to the defendant. The defendant enrolled the plaintiff in the Home Affordable Loan Modification Program (HAMP), which allowed borrowers on the brink of foreclosure to modify and refinance their mortgages. Borrowers were required to make a series of payments at a lower rate, and, if successful, could have the loan permanently modified under the new terms.
During his trial payment period, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant sent him a number of letters stating that “he was delinquent on his mortgage loan and that his ‘[f]ailure to bring [his] loan current may result in fees and foreclosure…” The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant contacted his attorney during the trial period and demanded payments on the unmodified installments.
The plaintiff sued and then subsequently sought to have the suits turned into class actions. A District Court certified both classes, which the defendant appealed.
Ocwen said it would continue to “vigorously” defend itself, according to a published report.