Friday, October 21, 2005

HSBC Following Fairbanks Footsteps

Utilizing a similar legal stand as the Curry v. Fairbanks class action case, Rebecca Turner-Freely of Philadelphia has filed a class action case against HSBC, the Squaliforme that swallowed one of the most dangerous of all Squaliformes, Household Financial.

Typical of the schemes perpetrated in predatory mortgage servicing, Turner-Freely's suit claims: “Defendant has uniformly engaged in a scheme of illegal, unfair, unlawful and deceptive business practices that violate contract and state law in the servicing of home-secured loan transactions and in the provision of certain related services.”

Sounds like HSBC hasn’t been reading the Curry v. Faribanks playbook, er, settlement.

The key difference in this case is that while the mortgages involved allow the addition of attorney’s fees for foreclosure purposes, the language of the HSBC-serviced mortgages apparently doesn’t allow for “fee shifting” of legal expenses in dealing with borrower bankruptcies – something that HSBC has routinely tried to shove down the throats of bankruptcy filers - even after their discharge.

Of course, once any predatory servicer starts saying a borrower owes more than they actually do, the spiral down toward foreclosure is predictable. HSBC even attempted to charge the plaintiff for a Sheriff’s sale that never took place, nor was it ever even advertised.

Obviously, this isn’t an isolated incident, therefore the class could be large. The firm handling the case is McCullough & Eisenberg, P.C., of Warminster, PA. Stuart Eisenberg’s phone number is 215-957-6411.

The real question is, and will always be, will a win permanently change their behavior or the behavior of other servicers?

In this court, it would. Partly 'cause they'd be behind bars long enough.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

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