The pace of lawsuits against financial institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area continued to grow in March 2010, with 144 new filings in Bay Area courts. (Federal courts for Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, and state courts for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco and Sonoma Counties.) This compares to 129 lawsuits in February, and 114 lawsuits in January.
Of the 144 March lawsuits, the majority (38) accused financial institutions of wrongful foreclosure. Another 36 accused financial institutions of violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) or other forms of predatory lending. Employment claims against financial institutions included discrimination based on pregnancy, age and race, and violation of overtime pay laws. Other lawsuits alleged claims for breach of contract, improper assessment of insufficient funds fees, unfair debt collection practices, and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
One lawsuit filed in March accused banks of lying about the quality of mortgage loans that backed $5.4 billion of securities sold to the plaintiff. There were also two class actions, one accusing a bank of improperly sequencing debits to customer accounts in order to increase transactions with overdraft fees, and one accusing a bank of imposing improper terms on small business owners for payment processing services, early termination fees and long term leases.
Cooper, White & Cooper’s Financial Crisis Group offers expertise in handling the issues being raised in the nation’s current housing, finance, banking, and real estate industry turmoil. Staffed by attorneys who are fully experienced in transactional and regulatory counseling, jury trials and complex litigation, bankruptcy, banking, and publicly traded securities, the Group stands ready to assist a wide variety of clients during these difficult times. Immediately responsive and pursuing aggressive action plans, we have consistently produced highly successful results. For further information, please contact Jill Rowe.