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).

Announcing Teske, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel!

The last few months have brought exciting new changes to our firm.  First, we are pleased to announce the addition of two new partners, Brian T. Rochel and Phillip M. Kitzer.  We are also announcing the retirement of one of the firm’s founders, Bill Crowder. After 43 years of practicing law, Bill has decided to retire.  We will miss working with Bill and wish him well in retirement.

With these changes, our firm has changed its name!  Crowder Teske Katz and Micko is now Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel.

We have also moved to a new suite on the 40th floor in the Campbell Mithun Tower to accommodate the additional attorneys and staff.  Our new office is located at 222 South 9th Street, Suite 1600, Minneapolis, MN 55402.  

Please visit us on our new website, www.teskekatz.com.  We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Lawyers Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Douglas Micko was recognized as a “Super Lawyer,” a distinction awarded to only 5% of attorneys in Minnesota. In addition, Marisa Katz, Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel were all recognized as “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers. Each year, no more than 2.5% of practicing attorneys in the state receive this award, which is based on a combination of peer nominations and objective criteria.

For individual profiles and to see Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s firm profile, visit the Super Lawyers website.

To view the full digital Super Lawyers magazine with the complete list, click here.

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.

Doug Micko Presents on Pregnancy and Pay Discrimination

At today’s 40th Annual Labor & Employment Law Institute, Doug Micko presented on a continuing education panel along with EEOC Commissioner Jenny R. Yang and other noted attorneys. The panel discussed cutting-edge issues involving pay and pregnancy discrimination. The discussion was prompted by this year marking both the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and the 35th Anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Doug offered his insights on current developments in both areas, and led a discussion on the interaction between the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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.

Vildan Teske Receives FBA Outstanding Achievement Award

Vildan Teske was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Federal Bar Association Robyn Spalter Outstanding Achievement Award.  The award is given to only one attorney in the nation and is named after past FBA president, Robyn Spalter. It recognizes one lawyer each year who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professional achievement. The Robyn Spalter Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Vildan at the FBA’s national convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 26, 2013.

Click here for an FBA article discussing Vildan’s receiving the award.

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.