This firm is getting ready for the appeal in the case of Brown v. Quicken Loans. This is a case that some of you may have heard about involving a local woman and her daughter who had gotten a loan through Quicken Loans which later became the subject of a foreclosure. As Bordas & Bordas investigated the facts of the case, we quickly learned that Quicken did a number of things that were inappropriate, such as making promises that it would not keep, and never intended to keep; hiring appraisers that gave false and inappropriate appraisal values; promising reduced interest rates by paying the points that never came about; and all-in-all, completely misleading this mother and daughter. The verdict returned by Judge Arthur Recht included the canceling of the loan obligation of over $200,000, an award of $2.5 million dollars to the family, attorney fees, and costs. In addition, the family was able to recover a substantial sum of money from the appraiser who had worked hand-in-hand with Quicken.
This was not the first banking/lender case that this firm has done. The first banking case that this firm handled, and one of the most interesting, was Marook v. Bank One. This case was tried here in Ohio County, and resulted in what is still the largest pure lender liability verdict in the State. In this case, Mrs. Mary Lou Marook was being sued by Bank One for a debt that was not hers. The bank hired agents who inappropriately kept her out of her home, made false and defamatory statements about her, and committed a number of other misdeeds. Mary Lou was unable to find an Ohio attorney (the place where the loan was made) to represent her. She then sought me out here in West Virginia, and after having told me the story, I told her that I would defend her for free in the case that Bank One was bringing against her for $250,000, and that I would countersue the bank and charge her our customary fee for that portion of the case. At the time, I had no realistic expectation that I would recover money on behalf of Mary Lou because I had never been involved in one of these cases and wasn't sure what a jury would do.
The jury ultimately returned a verdict of $2.5 million dollars. Years later, I was told by the jury foreman that the jurors had voted to give Mary Lou a verdict of $10 million dollars. I asked him why they didn't, and he told me that they thought the Supreme Court would set that aside. I wish they had let us see if the Supreme Court would do that but, nonetheless, the $2.5 million dollar verdict was the largest pure lender liability verdict in the history of the State at that time. The Brown case has now exceeded that.
The long and short of it is, there are things that banks and lenders sometimes do that are inappropriate. If you feel that something is wrong, and you are about to lose your home, it doesn't hurt to pick up the phone and call for advice. That's not to say that we will take your case, but we will look at the facts, and if it is a situation where we agree that you have been wronged, and if we feel a jury will likely return a verdict on your behalf, then there is a strong chance that we will agree to represent you.
Thoughts for the day (taken from the book entitled "Wisdom and Wit for the Journey" by Father Scott Seethaler:
It's not what happens to one that's important, it's what we do about it.
Remember, we can do something in an instant, which causes heartache for life.
God bless all.