bankers

Class of 2021: LIT’s Spotted Trappin’ Lawyers in Front of the Singin’ Millionaire Judge Eskridge, S. D. Tex.

Class Action lawyer James Kauffman attempted to intervene in a similar case in Fl, Morris v. PHH Mortgage Corporation (0:20-cv-60633), District Court, S.D. Florida, citing this case in TX. He did not fare well.

LIT UPDATES

APR 15, 2021

Joint case management plan submitted on Apr. 14 explaining case and related cases.

The corresponding  OCWEN case in S.D. Fl was due to settle, but there was backlash and now there’s a hearing on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 10 am. 

Williams v. PHH Mortgage Corporation (4:20-cv-04018)

District Court, S.D. Texas

MAR 20, 2021

AMENDED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs URSULA N. WILLIAMS, MELBOURNE POFF, AND BARBARA POFF, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, allege violations of the Texas Fair Debt Collection Act (“TDCA”) and seek declaratory relief against PHH Mortgage Corporation, itself and as successor by merger to Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (“Defendant” or “PHH”).

1. Borrowers across the country struggle enough to make their regular mortgage payments without getting charged extra, illegal fees when they try to pay by phone or online (“Pay-to-Pay fees”). PHH routinely and systematically violates the TDCA and federal regulations regarding mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) by assessing fees to borrowers that are either not permitted by law or are expressly prohibited by their mortgage agreements. Here, PHH charges borrowers between $10.00–
19.50 for making their mortgage payments online or over the phone. On information and belief, only a small fraction of the fee is paid to a third-party payment processor, and PHH collects the remainder as profit.

2. PHH is one of the largest originators and servicers of mortgages in the United States. PHH abuses its position as a mortgage servicer by charging Pay-to-Pay fees, despite those fees not being expressly authorized in the terms of standard mortgage agreements or otherwise legally chargeable, in violation of the TDCA.

3. Moreover, as a servicer of FHA-insured loans, PHH is bound by the rules and regulations of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). Under FHA servicing rules, a mortgage servicer may not charge a borrower any fee not authorized by the FHA. The FHA has not authorized Pay- to-Pay fees.

4. Each time Plaintiffs made a mortgage payment online or over the phone, PHH collected fees of approximately $7.50–$19.50.

5. On behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs seek injunctive, declaratory, and compensatory relief against PHH for its violations of the Texas Debt Collection Act and federal regulations.

PARTIES

6. Plaintiff Ursula N. Williams is a citizen of the State of Texas.

7. Plaintiffs Melbourne and Barbara Poff are citizens of the State of Texas.

8. Defendant PHH Mortgage Corporation is incorporated in and has its principal place of business in the State of New Jersey and is thus a citizen of the State of New Jersey.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

9. PHH conducts business across the country from its principal place of business in New Jersey.

10. Venue is proper in this District because Plaintiffs are located here and a substantial part of the acts or omissions giving rise to Plaintiffs’ causes of action occurred here.

11. Plaintiffs seek to represent two Classes of borrowers with mortgages serviced by PHH that include all borrowers with properties in the State of Texas and all individuals in the United States with FHA-insured loans. Each of these Classes includes members who are citizens of states other than New Jersey. Therefore, minimal diversity exists between the parties in this action.

12. The amount in controversy, exclusive of costs and interest, exceeds $5,000,000.00. PHH is one of the largest mortgage lenders and servicers in the United States and, more specifically, one of the largest originators and servicers of FHA-insured mortgages. The Classes in this lawsuit are believed to consist of hundreds of thousands of members. To date, Plaintiffs have incurred no less than $15.00 in improper Pay-to-Pay fees, and PHH collects fees in a range of $7.50 to $19.50. Thus, the amount-in-controversy in this action, exclusive of costs and interest, exceeds the amount-in-controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).

COMMON FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

The Texas Debt Collection Act

13. The Texas Debt Collection Act (“TDCA”) prohibits a debt collector from “us[ing] unfair or unconscionable means” in the collection of a consumer debt. Tex. Fin. Code § 392.303(a).

14. PHH is a debt collector under the TDCA because it is “a person who directly or indirectly engages in debt collection ….” Id. at § 392.001(6).

15. PHH engages in debt collection, which the TDCA defines as “an action, conduct, or practice in collecting, or in soliciting for collection, consumer debts that are due or alleged to be due a creditor.” Id. at § 392.001(5).

16. A consumer debt under the TDCA is “an obligation, or an alleged obligation, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes and arising from a transaction or alleged transaction.” Id. at § 392.001(2).

17. As “an individual who has a consumer debt,” each Plaintiff is a consumer under the TDCA. Id. at § 392.001(1).

18. The Pay-to-Pay fees PHH collects are not authorized by HUD regulations or by Plaintiffs’ deed of trust—or, indeed, any standard deed of trust or mortgage.

19. By collecting those fees, PHH employed the unfair and unconscionable practice of “collecting or attempting to collect interest or a charge, fee, or expense incidental to the obligation unless the interest or incidental charge, fee, or expense is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the obligation or legally chargeable to the consumer[.]” Id. at § 392.303(a)(2).

FHA SERVICING RULES

20. The Federal Housing Administration, an agency within the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, “provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories.”1

1HUD.gov – The Federal Housing Administration, https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/fhahistory (last visited on November 27, 2019).

The FHA “is one of the largest insurers of mortgages in the world, insuring more than 46 million mortgages since its inception in 1934.”2

21. The FHA provides incentives to private lenders to make loans to would-be homebuyers whose creditworthiness and inability to contribute a significant down payment make it difficult for them to obtain a home loan on reasonable terms.

22. To achieve that goal, “FHA mortgage insurance provides lenders with protection against losses if a property owner defaults on their mortgage. The lenders bear less risk because FHA will pay a claim to the lender for the unpaid principal balance of a defaulted mortgage.”3

23. The FHA restricts who can make and service FHA loans. “Only FHA-approved Mortgagees may service FHA-insured Mortgages,” and those “Mortgagees may service Mortgages they hold or that are held by other FHA- approved Mortgagees.” Ex. 2 at 3, § III.A.1.

24. PHH is, and has been during the class period, an FHA-approved Mortgagee.

25. As an FHA-approved Mortgagee, PHH must annually “acknowledge that the Mortgagee is now, and was at all times throughout the Certification Period, subject to all applicable HUD regulations, Handbooks,

Guidebooks, Mortgagee Letters, Title I Letters, policies and requirements, as well as Fair Housing regulations and laws including but not limited to 24 CFR
§ 5.105, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act) and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”4

26. HUD’s servicing requirements restrict the fees and charges an FHA-approved Mortgagee may collect from the typically lower-income FHA borrower. Handbook 4000.1: FHA Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook, https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/4000.1hsgh.pdf (last accessed by counsel on June 12, 2020) (the “FHA Handbook”).

27. In the FHA Handbook, HUD makes clear “[t]he Mortgagee must fully comply with all of the following standards and procedures when servicing a Mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration[.]” Id., at 3, § III.A.

28. These mandatory restrictions include limits on the types and amounts of fees and charges an FHA-approved Mortgagee may collect from a borrower.

29. FHA-insured mortgages contain uniform covenants.

2 Id.

3 Id.

30. In one such uniform covenant, the parties to the mortgage agree that “Lender may collect fees and charges authorized by the Secretary [of Housing and Urban Development].” Ex. 1 at ¶ 8; Ex. 2 at ¶ 8 (emphasis added).

31. This provision incorporates by reference HUD’s limits on allowable fees.

32. In a section entitled “Servicing Fees and Charges,” the FHA Handbook establishes what fees and charges are authorized by HUD. Ex. 3 at 5, § III.A.1.f.

33. Specifically, the FHA Handbook defines “Allowable Fees and Charges a[s] those costs associated with the servicing of the Mortgage that are permitted to be charged to the Borrower,” and defines “Prohibited Fees and Charges a[s] those costs associated with the servicing of the Mortgage that may not be charged to the Borrower.” Id., at § III.A.1.f.i.

34. HUD permits FHA-approved Mortgagees to “collect certain reasonable and customary fees and charges from the Borrower after the Mortgage is insured and as authorized by HUD below.” Id., at § III.A.1.f.ii.(A) (emphasis added).

35. A fee or charge is authorized if it meets three specific criteria: the fee or charge “must be” (a) “reasonable and customary for the local jurisdiction”; (2) “based on actual cost of the work performed or actual out-of- pocket expenses and not a percentage of either the face amount or the unpaid principal balance of the Mortgage”; and (c) “within the maximum amount allowed by HUD.” Id. at pp. 5–6, § III.A.1.f.ii.(A) (emphasis added).

36. Appendix 3.0 of the FHA Handbook contains an exhaustive list of the servicing fees and charges authorized by HUD and the maximum amounts that may be charged for such fees.5

37. Pay-to-Pay fees are not on that list.

38. In the absence of HUD authorization, FHA-approved Mortgagees are prohibited from charging for alleged costs associated with servicing an FHA-insured mortgage.

39. Instead, if the FHA-approved Mortgagee wants authorization to collect additional fees and charges, it “may request approval . . . for any fee, charge, or unusual service not specifically mentioned in this SF Handbook.” Id. at 6, § III.A.1.f.ii.(B).

40. If the fee or charge is approved, “[t]he Homeownership Center (HOC) will determine the maximum amount of any fee based on what is reasonable and customary in the area.” Id.

41. Because Pay-to-Pay fees do not appear on the list of servicing fees and charges and have not been assigned a “maximum amount allowed” based

4 See, FHA Lender Annual Certifications: Supervised and Nonsupervised Mortgagees, Changes Implemented  8/1/2016,

https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/SFH_COMP_SUPERNONSUPER.PDF (last visited on June 12, 2020) (emphasis added).

on what HUD deems “reasonable and customary in the area,” FHA-approved Mortgagees are prohibited from collecting them from the FHA borrower.

42. Moreover, even were an FHA-approved Mortgagee to receive authorization to charge a Pay-to-Pay fee, the charge to the borrower must still be “based on actual cost of the work performed or actual out-of-pocket expenses”—in short, the servicer cannot collect such fees to create a profit center. Id., at 6, § III.A.1.f.ii.(A).

43. Based upon information and belief, the Pay-to-Pay fees that PHH collects from borrowers exceed its out-of-pocket costs by several hundred percent, and thus violate mandatory HUD servicing rules.

PLAINTIFFS’ ALLEGATIONS

44. Plaintiff Ursula N. Williams executed a standard form FHA deed of trust to purchase her home in Bryan, Texas. Ex. 1. Plaintiffs Melbourne and Barbara Poff executed a standard form FHA deed of trust to purchase their home in Point Blank, Texas. Ex. 2.

45. PHH Mortgage Corporation was the original lender on Plaintiff Williams’ FHA deed of trust.

46. PHH negotiated with the FHA for an assignment of servicing rights and took an assignment of rights on the loan of Plaintiffs Melbourne and Barbara Poff.

5 In the PDF version of the FHA Handbook, the term “maximum amount allowed by HUD” contains a hyperlink that, when clicked, brings the reader to Appendix 3.0.

47. Under the FHA deed of trust, PHH is an assignee of the mortgage who is bound by all covenants therein.

48. Plaintiffs’ form FHA-insured deeds of trust, entitled “Fees,” states, “Lender may collect fees and charges authorized by the Secretary [of Housing and Urban Development].” Ex. 1, ¶ 8; Ex. 2, ¶ 8 (emphasis added).

49. Furthermore, Plaintiffs’ form FHA-insured deeds of trust provide further that “This Security Instrument shall be governed by Federal law and the law of the jurisdiction in which the Property is located.” Ex. 1, ¶ 14; Ex. 2,
¶ 14.

50. As alleged above, the TDCA and FHA rules prohibit charging Pay- to-Pay fees.

51. And even if a servicer had authorization to collect such a fee, FHA rules prohibit FHA-approved mortgage lenders and servicers from passing on to borrowers more than the out-of-pocket costs for providing the service.

52. On information and belief, which can be confirmed through review of Defendants’ documents, PHH reaps substantial profits from imposing illegal Pay-to-Pay fees. It is believed the cost of the Pay-to-Pay transactions is approximately $0.40 to PHH, while it up-charges Plaintiffs and others $7.00 to
$19.50 per transaction.

53. PHH Mortgage Corporation has collected at least one Pay-to-Pay fee of at least $7.50 from Plaintiffs.

54. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, has collected at least one Pay-to-Pay fee of approximately $15.00 from Plaintiffs Melbourne and Barbara Poff.

55. Those fees violate the TDCA and FHA rules.

CLASS ALLEGATIONS

56. Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23. This action satisfies the numerosity, commonality, typicality, adequacy, and predominance requirements of Rule 23(a).

57. Plaintiffs seek certification of the following classes (collectively, the “Classes”):

The Texas Debt Collection Practices Act Class (the “TDCA Class”)

All persons in the United States (1) with property located in the State of Texas, (2) secured by a loan that is or was serviced by PHH, (3) who were charged one or more Pay-to-Pay fee, and (4) whose Security Instrument did not expressly authorize the collection of a Pay-to-Pay fee.

The FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass (the “FHA Pay-to-Pay Sublass”):

All persons in the United States (1) with property located in the State of Texas (2) secured by an FHA-insured mortgage (3) that is or was serviced by PHH (4) who were charged one or more Pay-to- Pay fee, and (5) whose mortgages contained language the same as or substantially similar to the uniform covenants in the Security Instrument.

58. Plaintiffs reserve the right to modify or amend the proposed class definitions before the Court determines whether certification is appropriate.

59. Excluded from the Classes are Defendant, and Defendant’s parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers and directors, any entity in which Defendant has a controlling interest, all mortgagors who make a timely election to be excluded, governmental entities, and all judges assigned to hear any aspect of this litigation, as well as their immediate family members, and members of the staffs of the judges to whom this case should be assigned.

60. The members of the Classes are so numerous that joinder is impractical. While the exact number of members of the Classes cannot be determined without discovery, Plaintiffs believe that the Classes consist of thousands of members, the identity of whom, upon information and belief, can be readily determined upon review of records maintained by Defendant.

61. Plaintiffs’ claims are typical of the claims of other members of the Classes, in that they arise out of the same acts of PHH, namely collecting fees from borrowers that are not authorized by Texas or federal law. Plaintiffs have suffered the harms alleged and have no interests antagonistic to the interests of any other member of the Classes.

62. There are numerous questions of law and fact common to the Classes and those common questions predominate over any questions affecting only individual members of the Classes.

63. The predominating common questions of law and fact include:

a. Whether, and in what amount, PHH may collect a Pay-to-Pay fee from borrowers with FHA-insured deeds of trust and mortgages (collectively, “Security Instruments”);

b. Whether collecting such fees violates HUD rules and regulations;

c. Whether collecting such fees is authorized by the Plaintiffs’ Security Instrument;

d. Whether collecting Pay-to-Pay fees violates the Texas Debt Collection Act;

e. Whether Pay-to-Pay fees are “legally chargeable” to consumers with FHA-insured mortgages;

f. What is the proper method or methods by which to measure damages caused by PHH’s violations of the TDCA; and

g. Whether PHH should be enjoined from further collections, or attempted collections, of Pay-to-Pay fees from members of the Classes.

64. Plaintiffs are committed to the vigorous prosecution of this action and have retained competent counsel experienced in the prosecution of class actions and, in particular, class actions on behalf of consumers and against financial institutions. Accordingly, Plaintiffs are adequate representatives and will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the members of the Classes.

65. A class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy. Since the amount of each of the Class Member’s claims are small relative to the complexity of the litigation, and due to the financial resources of PHH, no member of the Classes could afford to seek legal redress individually for the claims alleged herein. Therefore, absent a class action, the members of the Classes will continue to suffer losses and PHH’s misconduct will proceed without remedy.

66. Even if members of the Classes could afford such individual litigation, the court system could not. Given the complex legal and factual issues involved, individualized litigation would significantly increase the delay and expense to all parties and to the Court. Individualized litigation would also create the potential for inconsistent or contradictory rulings. By contrast, a class action presents far fewer management difficulties, allows claims to be heard which might otherwise go unheard because of the relative expense of bringing individual lawsuits, and provides the benefits of adjudication, economies of scale, and comprehensive supervision by a single court.

67. Alternatively, certification is appropriate pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) because it is clear that declaratory and injunctive relief is appropriate respecting the Classes as a whole.

CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

COUNT I: Violation of the Texas Debt Collection Act (On behalf of the TDCA Class)

68. Plaintiffs incorporate paragraphs 1 through 67.

69. Plaintiffs’ deeds of trust secure the notes they took out to purchase their residences in the State of Texas. Each Plaintiff, therefore, is a “consumer” under the TDCA who took out a “consumer debt.”

70. PHH, in its own right and as successor by merger to Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, is a “debt collector” under the TDCA.

71. In the process of “debt collection,” PHH collected from Plaintiffs Pay-to-Pay fees that were incidental to their debt obligation and which were not expressly authorized by the agreement creating the obligation.

72. As such, PHH employed unfair and unconscionable means in the collection of a consumer debt, in violation of the TDCA.

73. On behalf of the TDCA Class, Plaintiffs seek an injunction restraining PHH from charging Pay-to-Pay fees as well as actual damages.

COUNT II: Declaratory Relief

(On behalf of the FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass)

74. Plaintiffs incorporate paragraphs 1 through 73.

75. Plaintiffs and members of the FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass have FHA-insured security instruments that are or were serviced by PHH.

76. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201, Plaintiffs seek a declaration on behalf of members of the FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass that HUD regulations prohibit the collection of Pay-to-Pay fees and therefore such fees are not “legally chargeable” to members of the FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass.

77. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2202, upon a determination that Pay-to- Pay fees are not “legally chargeable,” Plaintiffs seek supplemental relief on behalf of the FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass in the form of an injunction requiring PHH to comply with the TDCA, and for all other injunctive relief to which they may prove themselves entitled.

78. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2202, upon a determination that Pay-to- Pay fees are not “legally chargeable,” Plaintiffs seek supplemental relief on behalf of the FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass in the form of disgorgement of all monies received by PHH in the form of Pay-to-Pay fees collected from members of the FHA Pay-to-Pay Subclass.

79. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2202, upon a determination that Pay-to- Pay fees are not “legally chargeable,” Plaintiffs seek their costs.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, respectfully request that this Court:

1. Determine that this action may be maintained as a class action under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, that Plaintiffs are proper class representatives, and that their counsel are appointed Class Counsel;

2. Award compensatory damages and restitution in the amount of all Pay-to-Pay fees collected from the TDCA Class and the FHA Pay-to-Pay

Subclass, and interest on those fees, improperly collected from members of those Classes;

3. Award actual damages in an amount according to proof;

4. Award injunctive relief requiring Defendant to cease collection of all Pay-to-Pay fees that have been charged to, but not yet paid by, Plaintiffs and members of the Classes;

5. Award injunctive relief to enjoin Defendant’s wrongful acts and further violations of Plaintiffs’ and the Classes’ rights, including but not limited to requiring Defendant to implement procedures to ensure it ceases charging the improper fees identified in this Amended Complaint;

6. Award pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate permitted by applicable law;

7. Enter a declaratory judgment that Defendant, through its wrongful actions, has kept and continues to keep for itself, benefits that are due and owed to Plaintiffs and members of the Classes;

8. Award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to applicable law; and

9. Award such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiffs and members of the Classes hereby request a trial by jury.

Dated: January 11, 2021

  /s/ Randall K. Pulliam                 

Randall K. Pulliam
Texas Bar No. 24048058
S.D. Tex. Bar No. AK930527
rpulliam@cbplaw.com

Lee Lowther (Pro Hac Vice)
llowther@cbplaw.com

CARNEY BATES & PULLIAM, PLLC
519 W. 7th Street Little Rock, AR 72201
Telephone: (501) 312-8500
Facsimile: (501) 312-8505

James L. Kauffman (Pro Hac Vice)
jkauffman@baileyglasser.com

BAILEY & GLASSER, LLP
1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, Suite 540
Washington, DC 20007
Tel. (202) 463-2101

Elizabeth Ryan (Pro Hac Vice)
eryan@baileyglasser.com

BAILEY & GLASSER, LLP
99 High Street, Suite 304
Boston, MA 02110
Tel. (617) 439-6730

Patricia Mulvoy Kipnis
pkipnis@baileyglasser.com

BAILEY & GLASSER LLP
923 Haddonfield Road, Suite 300
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Telephone: (856) 324-8219

U.S. District Court
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS (Houston)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 4:20-cv-04018

Williams et al v. PHH Mortgage Corporation
Assigned to: Judge Charles Eskridge

Case in other court:  New Jersey, 1:20-cv-09075

Cause: 15:1692 Fair Debt Collection Act

Date Filed: 11/24/2020
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Nature of Suit: 480 Consumer Credit
Jurisdiction: Diversity
Plaintiff
Ursula N. Williams represented by Edwin Lee Lowther , III
Carney Bates et al
519 W 7th St
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-312-8500
Email: llowther@cbplaw.com
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDRandall Keith Pulliam
Carney Bates & Pulliam, PLLC
519 W 7th Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-312-8500
Email: rpulliam@cbplaw.com
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDElizabeth Ann Ryan
Bailey Glasser LLP
176 Federal Street
5th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
617-439-6730
Fax: 617-951-3954
Email: eryan@baileyglasser.com
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDJames Lawrence Kauffman
Bailey & Glasser LLP
1055 Thomas Jefferson St
Ste 540
Washington, DC 20007
202-463-2101
Email: jkauffman@baileyglasser.com
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDPATRICIA MULVOY KIPNIS
BAILEY & GLASSER LLP
923 Haddonfield Road, Suite 300
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
856-324-8219
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
Plaintiff
Melbourne Poff represented by Edwin Lee Lowther , III
(See above for address)
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDRandall Keith Pulliam
(See above for address)
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDElizabeth Ann Ryan
(See above for address)
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDJames Lawrence Kauffman
(See above for address)
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDPATRICIA MULVOY KIPNIS
(See above for address)
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
Plaintiff
Barbara Poff
on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated
represented by Edwin Lee Lowther , III
(See above for address)
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDRandall Keith Pulliam
(See above for address)
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDElizabeth Ann Ryan
(See above for address)
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDJames Lawrence Kauffman
(See above for address)
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDPATRICIA MULVOY KIPNIS
(See above for address)
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
V.
Defendant
PHH Mortgage Corporation
itself and as successor by merger to OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC
represented by CHRISTOPHER ALBERT REESE
STRADLEY RONON STEVENS & YOUNG, LLP
457 HADDONFIELD ROAD
SUITE 100
CHERRY HILL, NJ 08002
856-321-2410
Fax: 856-321-2415
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDRobert Henry Ford
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
600 Travis Street
Suite 4800
Houston, TX 77002
713-576-0356
Fax: 713-576-0301
Email: rford@bradley.com
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDLee Lowther
Carney Bates & Pulliam, PLLC
519 W. 7th Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-3122-8500
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDMichael R Pennington
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
1819 5th Avenune North
Birmingham, AL 35283
205-521-8000
Email: mpennington@babc.com
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDScott Burnett Smith
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
200 Clinton Ave W
Ste 900
Huntsville, AL 35801-4900
256-517-5198
Email: ssmith@bradley.com
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICEDZachary A. Madonia
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
1819 Fifth Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
205-521-8013
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
Date Filed # Docket Text
03/15/2021 67 REPLY in Support of 63 MOTION to Dismiss 60 Amended Complaint/Counterclaim/Crossclaim etc. , filed by PHH Mortgage Corporation. (Ford, Robert) (Entered: 03/15/2021)
03/12/2021 66 ORDER granting 65 Joint MOTION for Continuance of Initial Pretrial Conference ( Joint Discovery/Case Management Plan due by 4/7/2021. Initial Conference set for 4/14/2021 at 01:30 PM before Judge Charles Eskridge)(Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 03/12/2021)
03/10/2021 65 Joint MOTION for Continuance of Initial Pretrial Conference by Ursula N. Williams, filed. Motion Docket Date 3/31/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 03/10/2021)
02/22/2021 64 RESPONSE in Opposition to 63 MOTION to Dismiss 60 Amended Complaint/Counterclaim/Crossclaim etc. , filed by Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams. (Ryan, Elizabeth) (Entered: 02/22/2021)
02/01/2021 63 MOTION to Dismiss 60 Amended Complaint/Counterclaim/Crossclaim etc. by PHH Mortgage Corporation, filed. Motion Docket Date 2/22/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A: State of Alabama et al. v. PHH Mortgage Corporation – May 10, 2018 Consent Judgment)(Ford, Robert) (Entered: 02/01/2021)
01/14/2021 62 ORDER granting 61 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants shall file their motion to dismiss on or before 02/01/2021. Plaintiffs shall file their opposition on or before 02/11/2021, and Defendants shall file their reply on or before 03/15/2021.(Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 01/14/2021)
01/11/2021 61 Joint MOTION for Extension of Time Briefing Deadlines Related to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss by Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams, filed. Motion Docket Date 2/1/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 01/11/2021)
01/11/2021 60 AMENDED COMPLAINT with Jury Demand against All Defendants filed by Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3)(Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 01/11/2021)
01/11/2021 59 STIPULATION re: Permitting Plaintiffs to File Amended Complaint by Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 01/11/2021)
01/07/2021 58 ORDER granting 55 Motion for James Kauffman to Appear Pro Hac Vice.(Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 01/07/2021)
01/07/2021 57 ORDER granting 54 Motion for Elizabeth Ryan to Appear Pro Hac Vice.(Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 01/07/2021)
01/05/2021 56 NOTICE of Appearance by Scott Burnett Smith on behalf of PHH Mortgage Corporation, filed. (Smith, Scott) (Entered: 01/05/2021)
01/04/2021 55 MOTION for James L. Kauffman to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Barbara Poff, filed. Motion Docket Date 1/25/2021. (Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 01/04/2021)
01/04/2021 54 MOTION for Elizabeth Ryan to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Barbara Poff, filed. Motion Docket Date 1/25/2021. (Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 01/04/2021)
12/22/2020 53 ORDER granting 48 Motion for Extension of Time. Plaintiffs response to the motion is dismiss is due by 01/15/2021. Defendants shall file their reply on or before 02/05/2021.(Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 12/22/2020)
12/22/2020 52 CERTIFICATE OF INTERESTED PARTIES by Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams, filed.(Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 12/22/2020)
12/21/2020 51 ORDER granting 46 MOTION for Lee Lowther to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 12/21/2020)
12/21/2020 50 ORDER granting 42 MOTION for Zachary A. Madonia to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 12/21/2020)
12/21/2020 49 ORDER granting 43 MOTION for Michael R. Pennington to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalez, 4) (Entered: 12/21/2020)
12/21/2020 48 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time Briefing Deadlines by Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams, filed. Motion Docket Date 1/11/2021. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 12/21/2020)
12/18/2020 47 SCHEDULING and DOCKET CONTROL ORDER. Amended Pleadings due by 04/23/2021. Joinder of Parties due by 03/24/2021. Plaintiff Expert Report due by 10/20/2021. Deft Expert Report due by 11/19/2021. Discovery due by 01/04/2022. Mediation due by 05/06/2022. Dispositive Motion Filing due by 02/18/2022. Non-Dispositive Motion Filing due by 02/18/2022. Joint Pretrial Order due by 06/07/2022. Docket Call set for 07/18/2022 at 9:30 AM before Judge Charles Eskridge. (Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified. (jengonzalezadi) (Entered: 12/18/2020) (Entered: 12/18/2020)
12/14/2020 46 MOTION for Lee Lowther to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams, filed. Motion Docket Date 1/4/2021. (Lowther, Edwin) (Entered: 12/14/2020)
12/14/2020 45 NOTICE of Appearance by Randall K. Pulliam on behalf of Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff, Ursula N. Williams, filed. (Pulliam, Randall) (Entered: 12/14/2020)
12/11/2020 44 MOTION to Dismiss by PHH Mortgage Corporation, filed. Motion Docket Date 1/4/2021. (Ford, Robert) (Entered: 12/11/2020)
12/10/2020 43 MOTION for Michael R. Pennington to Appear Pro Hac Vice by PHH Mortgage Corporation, filed. Motion Docket Date 12/31/2020. (Ford, Robert) (Entered: 12/10/2020)
12/10/2020 42 MOTION for Zachary A. Madonia to Appear Pro Hac Vice by PHH Mortgage Corporation, filed. Motion Docket Date 12/31/2020. (Ford, Robert) (Entered: 12/10/2020)
12/09/2020 41 NOTICE Regarding Procedural Posture of Case by PHH Mortgage Corporation, filed. (Ford, Robert) (Entered: 12/09/2020)
12/07/2020 40 ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 3/24/2021 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 8B before Judge Charles Eskridge. (Signed by Judge Charles Eskridge) Parties notified.(jengonzalezadi, 4) (Entered: 12/07/2020)
11/24/2020 39 Case transferred in from New Jersey. Case Number 1:20-cv-09075; certified copy of transfer order, certified docket sheet, and transfer letter received (Entered: 11/24/2020)
11/24/2020 38 ORDER directing the Clerk to transfer this case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 11/24/2020. (dmr) (Entered: 11/24/2020)
11/23/2020 37 Letter from Patricia M. Kipnis re 36 Order,. (KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 11/23/2020)
11/12/2020 36 TEXT ORDER After holding a Zoom pre-motion conference, the Court orders the following schedule: within ten (10) days, the parties are to file a joint letter stating their positions on a transfer of this matter to federal court in Texas, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a). So Ordered by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 11/12/2020. (Costigan, Roberta) (Entered: 11/12/2020)
11/12/2020 35 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Renee Marie Bumb: Pre-Motion Conference held via video on 11/12/2020. Ordered within 10 days for the parties to submit a joint letter to the Court. (Court Reporter Karen Friedlander) (ar1, ) (Entered: 11/12/2020)
11/06/2020 34 TEXT ORDER The Court has received the parties’ letters regarding a pre-motion conference [Dkt. Nos. 9, 14] and finds that such a conference would be helpful in this instance. The Court will therefore hold a Zoom conference on this matter at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2020. The Zoom invitation will be sent to the email addresses on file with the Clerk’s Office. If counsel wish to provide an alternate email address, please promptly contact Arthur Roney at Arthur_Roney@njd.uscourts.gov. So Ordered by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 11/06/2020. (Costigan, Roberta) (Entered: 11/06/2020)
11/02/2020 33 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider: Motion Hearing held on 11/2/2020. Hearing on 15 MOTION to Stay Class-Related Proceedings held on the record. Court issues Oral Opinion on the record. Ordered Motion DENIED. Order to be entered. (Court Reporter/Recorder Electronic Court Recorder.) (dmr) (Entered: 11/06/2020)
11/02/2020 32 ORDER denying 15 Motion to Stay. The Court having held oral argument by phone on November 2, 2020 on defendant`s motion; and this Order intending to confirm the Court`s ruling set forth on the record; and for all the reasons set forth in the Court`s Oral Opinion read into the record after the completion of oral argument, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant`s motion to stay is DENIED. ORDERED by Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider on 11/2/20. (Schneider, Joel) (Entered: 11/02/2020)
10/30/2020 31 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice Zachary A. Madonia (unopposed) by PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Christopher A. Reese, # 2 Declaration of Zachary A. Madonia, # 3 Text of Proposed Order, # 4 Statement Local Rule 7.1(d)(4) Statement, # 5 Certificate of Service)(REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 10/30/2020)
10/26/2020 30 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice James L. Kauffman (Unopposed) by BARBARA POFF, MELBOURNE POFF, URSULA N. WILLIAMS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Declaration of Patricia Kipnis, # 3 Declaration of James L. Kauffman, # 4 Statement Pursuant to Local Civ. R. 7.1(d)(4), # 5 Certificate of Service)(KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 10/26/2020)
10/22/2020 29 NOTICE by BARBARA POFF, MELBOURNE POFF, URSULA N. WILLIAMS re 23 Brief in Opposition to Motion of Supplemental Authority (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A – Torliatt v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, ECF # 93, No. 3:19-cv-04304-WHO (N.D. Cal. Oct. 2, 2020))(KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 10/22/2020)
10/20/2020 28 TEXT ORDER: Oral argument on defendants motion to stay [Doc. No. 15] will take place by phone on November 2, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. The call in and access numbers are 1-888-684-8852, access code 3436790#. So Ordered by Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider on 10/20/20. (Shaw, A). (Entered: 10/20/2020)
09/30/2020 27 Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Randall K. Pulliam to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. (KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 09/30/2020)
09/30/2020 26 Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Lee Lowther to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. (KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 09/30/2020)
09/30/2020 25 Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Cassandra DeCoursey to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. (KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 09/30/2020)
09/28/2020 24 REPLY BRIEF to Opposition to Motion filed by PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION re 15 MOTION to Stay Class-Related Proceedings (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 09/28/2020)
09/21/2020 23 BRIEF in Opposition filed by BARBARA POFF, MELBOURNE POFF, URSULA N. WILLIAMS re 15 MOTION to Stay Class-Related Proceedings (KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
09/18/2020 22 Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Michael R. Pennington to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. ( Pro Hac Vice fee $ 150 receipt number ANJDC-11374686.) (REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 09/18/2020)
09/18/2020 21 Notice of Request by Pro Hac Vice Joe N. Nguyen to receive Notices of Electronic Filings. ( Pro Hac Vice fee $ 150 receipt number ANJDC-11374636.) (REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 09/18/2020)
09/14/2020 20 ORDER Granting 12 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Lee Lowther, Esquire, etc. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider on 9/14/2020. (dmr) (Entered: 09/14/2020)
09/14/2020 19 ORDER Granting 13 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Cassandra DeCoursey, Esquire, etc. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider on 9/14/2020. (dmr) (Entered: 09/14/2020)
09/14/2020 18 ORDER Granting 5 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice a to Joe N. Nguyen, Esquire, etc. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider on 9/14/2020. (dmr) (Entered: 09/14/2020)
09/14/2020 17 ORDER Granting 6 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Michael R. Pennington, Esquire, etc. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider on 9/14/2020. (dmr) (Entered: 09/14/2020)
09/14/2020 16 ORDER Granting 11 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Randall K. Pulliam, Esquire, etc. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider on 9/14/2020. (dmr) (Entered: 09/14/2020)
09/04/2020 15 MOTION to Stay Class-Related Proceedings by PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION. (Attachments: # 1 Brief, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Certificate of Service)(REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 09/04/2020)
08/25/2020 14 Letter from Patricia M. Kipnis re 9 Letter. (KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 08/25/2020)
08/24/2020 13 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice Cassandra DeCoursey by BARBARA POFF, MELBOURNE POFF, URSULA N. WILLIAMS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Declaration of Patricia Kipnis, # 3 Declaration of Cassandra DeCoursey, # 4 Statement Pursuant to Local Civ. R. 7.1(d)(4), # 5 Certificate of Service)(KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 08/24/2020)
08/24/2020 12 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice Lee Lowther by BARBARA POFF, MELBOURNE POFF, URSULA N. WILLIAMS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Declaration of Patricia Kipnis, # 3 Declaration of Lee Lowther, # 4 Statement Pursuant to Local Civ. R. 7.1(d)(4), # 5 Certificate of Service)(KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 08/24/2020)
08/24/2020 11 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice Randall Pulliam by BARBARA POFF, MELBOURNE POFF, URSULA N. WILLIAMS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Declaration of Patricia Kipnis, # 3 Declaration of Randall Pulliam, # 4 Statement Pursuant to Local Civ. R. 7.1(d)(4), # 5 Certificate of Service)(KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 08/24/2020)
08/19/2020 10 Corporate Disclosure Statement by PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION identifying Ocwen Financial Corporation as Corporate Parent.. (REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 08/19/2020)
08/18/2020 9 Letter from Christopher A. Reese Requesting Pre-Motion Conference. (REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 08/18/2020)
08/18/2020 8 TEXT ORDER This matter comes before the Court upon a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant PHH Mortgage Corporation [Dkt. No. 7]. The motion is ADMINISTRATIVELY TERMINATED. Pursuant to the Court’s Individual Rules and Procedures I.A, “[i]n an effort to resolve cases expeditiously, before bringing a motion to dismiss, a party must submit a letter” described therein. If Defendant seeks to bring its motion, it should first comply with this Court’s Individual Rules. So Ordered by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 08/18/2020. (Costigan, Roberta) (Entered: 08/18/2020)
08/17/2020 7 MOTION to Dismiss by PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION. Responses due by 9/8/2020 (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Brief, # 4 Exhibit A, # 5 Exhibit B, # 6 Exhibit C, # 7 Exhibit D, # 8 Exhibit E, # 9 Exhibit F, # 10 Exhibit G, # 11 Exhibit G-1, # 12 Exhibit G-2, # 13 Exhibit G-3, # 14 Exhibit G-4, # 15 Exhibit G-5, # 16 Exhibit G-6, # 17 Exhibit G-7, # 18 Exhibit G-8, # 19 Exhibit G-9, # 20 Exhibit G-10)(REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 08/17/2020)
08/11/2020 6 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice Michael R. Pennington by PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Declaration of Christopher A. Reese in Support of Motion, # 3 Declaration of Michael R. Pennington in Support of Motion, # 4 Local Rule 7.1(d)(4) Statement, # 5 Certificate of Service)(REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 08/11/2020)
08/11/2020 5 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice Joe N. Nguyen by PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Declaration of Christopher A. Reese in Support of Motion, # 3 Declaration of Joe N. Nguyen in Support of Motion, # 4 Local Rule 7.1(d)(4) Statement, # 5 Certificate of Service)(REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 08/11/2020)
08/07/2020 4 NOTICE of Appearance by CHRISTOPHER ALBERT REESE on behalf of PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION (REESE, CHRISTOPHER) (Entered: 08/07/2020)
08/04/2020 3 SUMMONS Returned Executed by URSULA N. WILLIAMS, BARBARA POFF, MELBOURNE POFF. PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION served on 7/27/2020, answer due 8/17/2020. (KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 08/04/2020)
07/20/2020 2 SUMMONS ISSUED as to PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION. Attached is the official court Summons, please fill out Defendant and Plaintiffs attorney information and serve. (pr, ) (Entered: 07/20/2020)
07/17/2020 1 COMPLAINT against PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION, as successor by merger to OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC. ( Filing and Admin fee $ 400 receipt number ANJDC-11091242) with JURY DEMAND, filed by Ursula N. Williams, Barbara Poff, Melbourne Poff. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(KIPNIS, PATRICIA) (Entered: 07/17/2020)

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