Service Members to Receive Over $123 Million for Unlawful Foreclosures Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The Justice Department today announced a major victory for servicemembers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The Justice Department reached a settlement with a group of mortgage servicers for improperly foreclosing on servicemembers’ homes. The five mortgage servicers are JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. (JP Morgan Chase); Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wells Fargo & Co. (Wells Fargo); Citi Residential Lending Inc., Citibank, NA and CitiMortgage Inc. (Citi); GMAC Mortgage, LLC, Ally Financial Inc. and Residential Capital LLC (GMAC Mortgage); and BAC Home Loans Servicing LP formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP (Bank of America).

The DOJ press release is available here.

Vildan Teske Presents about SCRA Protections at CLE

Vildan Teske presented a webinar along with Major Lyndsey Olson, General Counsel for the Minnesota National Guard, for Minnesota CLE. The CLE presentation was part of the Creditor/Debtor CLE Series.  Vildan’s presentation focused on the consumer financial protections contained in the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Class Action Settlement Checks Mailed to Class Members in Repossession Case

Settlement checks were mailed out today in a class action litigated on behalf of consumers in Minnesota and Missouri who were sent unlawful notices following the repossession of their vehicles. Class members will receive checks ranging from nearly $600 to more than $5,000, as well as nonmonetary benefits including the deletion of credit report trade lines regarding the subject vehicle loans and elimination of deficiency balances on those loans. Marisa Katz was the court-appointed lead counsel in the litigation.

Vildan Teske Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing on Consumer Rights & Arbitration

Vildan Teske testified in front of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate hearing was entitled “The Federal Arbitration Act and Access to Justice: Will Recent Supreme Court Decisions Undermine the Rights of Consumers, Workers and Small Businesses?”

The hearing was chaired by Senator Al Franken, D-MN, who introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act into the Senate. Vildan testified about the impact of forced arbitration clauses and class action bans in consumer and employment contracts on the ability of consumers, servicemembers, and employees to hold wrongdoers accountable.

Vildan Teske Introduces Senator Al Franken at National Consumer Rights Conference

This morning, Vildan Teske gave the introduction to Senator Al Franken, D-MN, at the plenary session of the National Consumer Rights Litigation Conference in Washington, D.C. Senator Franken addressed an audience of over 800 consumer attorneys and advocates from around the country.

Vildan Teske Asked to Testify at U.S. Senate Hearing on Forced Arbitration

Vildan Teske has been asked to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing that will explore the impact of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the ability of consumers, servicemembers, and employees to access justice through our civil court system. Vildan is a nationally-recognized expert in representing consumers and in class actions and will bring that expertise before the U.S. Senate in an attempt to further the rights of individuals against large corporations that are trying to keep legitimate claims from being filed in the civil court system.

Class Action Settlement Approved in Mortgage Prepayment Case

The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota has granted final approval of a settlement in the case of Zellner-Dion v. Wilmington Finance, Inc., a class action involving mortgage prepayment penalties. The plaintiff had alleged that Wilmington Finance, Inc. charged home mortgage borrowers prepayment penalties that violated Minnesota law. The settlement included significant refund payments to borrowers who paid mortgage prepayment penalties, as well as payments to Habitat for Humanity and Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance.

A full copy of the order is available here.

Vildan Teske Authors National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Class Actions Manual

Vildan Teske is a contributing author of the National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Consumer Class Actions (8th Ed.) 

The eighth edition of Consumer Class Actions published by the National Consumer Law Center is now in publication.  Vildan Teske is one of the national class action lawyers who served as a contributing author for this book. Herb Newberg, author of Newberg on Class Actions has praised Consumer Class Actions stating it “[c]omprehensively guides lawyers through the entire spectrum of class action litigation. … Invaluable, succinct resource for new and experienced class action practitioners.”