The Boston Globe recently reported that a class action lawsuit was settled in Massachusetts against the Harmon Law Office of Newton, Massachusetts for the sum of $800,000 which represented unearned legal fees in foreclose cases initiated by that law firm against homeowners. The principal plaintiff, Sharon Pettway, tried to save her home from a foreclosure in 2002. In a three week time period, November 15, 2002 to December 9, 2002, Pettway was quoted rapidly increasing legal fees owed to the mortgage company's attorneys (the Harmon Law Office). On November 15th, the fees were $2,237 but very soon rose to $4,020 by December 9th.
Pettway received $5,000 as the principal plaintiff in the class action lawsuit. The plaintiff's attorney, Gary Klein, reported that the mortgage company's attorneys collected estimated charges when the homeowners tried to payoff the mortgage loan, rather than earned fees. Cristopher Lefebvre, Esq., a Rhode Island attorney who also filed a class action lawsuit against the Harmon Law Office, said "The mortgage industry has been given a license to steal from homeowners with this out-of-control system in which law firms tack on fees and costs". Lefebvre further described the foreclosure fee process to include charges which are "highly automated" and "consummated by paralegals but billed at prominent Wall Street firm rates".
Paying attention to inaccurate and overcharged legal fees by mortgage companys may entitled you to a refund if you pay the fees under protest to stop a foreclosure action. If you believe you have been the victim of overcharging by a mortgage company's attorneys in a situation similar to Sharon Pettway, seek legal advice as to whether you can recover those unearned and overcharged fees and costs. My office evaluates litigation against mortgage companies who employ improper billing practices- if you've experienced problems with your mortgage companies please contact my office today.