FDCPAForeclosureNewsPress ReleasesPress Release – Landmark Case Against Ocwen

May 10, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission Support Plaintiffs in Landmark Case Against Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

Press Release - official statement

Clearwater, FL (May 10, 2024) – In a move that could have far-reaching implications for the mortgage servicing industry, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have filed an amicus brief in a case filed by Consumer Law Attorneys against Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC.

The case, which is currently being heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, centers around Ocwen’s alleged practice of charging unlawful “convenience fees” to borrowers who choose to make their mortgage payments online or by phone.

According to the complaint filed by Glover and Booze, Ocwen repeatedly violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by imposing fees ranging from $7.50 to $12 on numerous occasions without obtaining the borrowers’ prior consent or providing evidence that such fees were expressly permitted by law. The plaintiffs, Sheryl Glover and Cathy Booze, argue that these fees were nothing more than a way for Ocwen to pad its profits at the expense of hardworking homeowners who were already struggling to make ends meet.

Spearheading the litigation is Consumer Law Attorneys’ Young Kim, Esq. According to Mr. Kim:

“Ocwen services over 1 million loans and charges any homeowner bogus pay to pay fees for a service that they are already paid to do, which is collect payments on behalf of the mortgage. Homeowners such as Cathy Booze and Sheryl Glover have been charged hundreds of dollars for payments that there should be no charge. Ocwen profiteers from this nationwide proliferation of junk illegal fees”

In August 2023, a lower court ruled largely in favor of Glover and Booze, finding that Ocwen’s actions were indeed in violation of the FDCPA. However, not content with the ruling, Ocwen chose to file an appeal, arguing that the FDCPA’s protections do not extend to these so-called “convenience fees” and that borrowers implicitly agree to pay them at the time of making their mortgage payments.

The CFPB and FTC, in their amicus brief filed on February 27, 2024, have strongly disagreed with Ocwen’s position. The agencies contend that the FDCPA strictly prohibits debt collectors from charging any fees that were not explicitly agreed to by the borrower at the time the loan was originated unless such fees are affirmatively permitted by law. In other words, simply claiming that borrowers agree to pay these fees at the time of payment is not sufficient to make them legal under the FDCPA.

The agencies’ brief goes on to emphasize that the FDCPA’s protections are broad in scope, applying to all fees related to the collection of a debt, not just those that are explicitly mentioned in the loan agreement. Furthermore, the brief argues that the only exceptions to this rule are fees expressly agreed to by the borrower at the time the loan was originated or those that are specifically allowed by existing laws or regulations.

This interpretation of the FDCPA, according to the CFPB and FTC, is firmly grounded in legal precedent and is consistent with the original intent of Congress when it passed the Act in 1977. The agencies assert that the primary purpose of the FDCPA was to protect consumers from abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices and that allowing debt collectors to impose additional fees without the borrower’s explicit consent would undermine this fundamental goal.

The case has attracted significant attention from consumer advocates, industry watchdogs, and legal experts across the country, who see it as a potential watershed moment in the ongoing struggle to protect the rights of homeowners and combat predatory lending practices. Many have praised the CFPB and FTC for taking a strong stance in support of the plaintiffs, arguing that it sends a clear message to the mortgage servicing industry that deceptive and unlawful practices will not be tolerated.

Regardless of the outcome, the case is likely to have significant implications for the mortgage servicing industry and for the millions of homeowners who rely on these companies to manage their loans. A victory for the plaintiffs could lead to a wave of similar lawsuits against other mortgage servicers, as well as increased scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers at both the state and federal levels.

At the heart of the case is Consumer Law Attorneys, the Florida-based law firm representing Glover and Booze. With a long and proven track record of fighting for the rights of homeowners and consumers, the firm has earned a reputation as an advocate for those who have been victimized by predatory lending and unfair debt collection practices.

As the case makes its way through the appeals process, all eyes will be on the Eleventh Circuit, whose ruling could have profound implications for the future of consumer protection in the United States. For now, however, the plaintiffs and their legal team remain focused on the task at hand, determined to see justice served and to hold Ocwen accountable for its alleged misdeeds.

Only time will tell how this landmark case will ultimately be resolved, but one thing is clear: the stakes could not be higher, and the outcome will be watched closely by homeowners, consumer advocates, and industry stakeholders across the country.

About Consumer Law Attorneys:

Consumer Law Attorneys is a prominent Florida-based law firm that has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of homeowners and debtors for over a decade. With a strong focus on foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, eviction defense, and consumer protection, the firm has established itself as a leading advocate for those facing financial hardships and unfair treatment from lenders and creditors.

The team at Consumer Law Attorneys consists of highly skilled and experienced attorneys who are passionate about fighting for the rights of their clients. Over the years, Consumer Law Attorneys have successfully helped countless homeowners with the often overwhelming process of foreclosure defense. In addition to foreclosure defense, Consumer Law Attorneys also provide comprehensive assistance to people considering bankruptcy as a means of managing their debt.

If you are a homeowner or debtor in Florida who is struggling with foreclosure, eviction, overwhelming debt, or unfair treatment from lenders or creditors, Consumer Law Attorneys is here to help. With their extensive knowledge, experience, and commitment to client success, they are well-equipped to provide the legal guidance and representation you need to protect your rights and achieve a brighter financial future.

Contact:

Consumer Law Attorneys
2727 Ulmerton Road, Ste. 270, Clearwater, FL 33762
877-241-2200



    *Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.