COMMENTARY ON SOME OF OUR PAST CASES

“On August 29, 2011, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an opinion in Gonzalez v. Wilshire Credit Corp., 207 N.J. 557… (2011) [Houston & Totaro, Attorneys for Plaintiff] that all New Jersey mortgage lenders should read.   In sum, the Court held that the consumer friendly New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”), N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 to -195, applies to mortgage loans and to, more specifically, a lender’s activities postforeclosure-judgment, including entering into a forbearance agreement to avoid a sheriff’s sale.  This ruling is detrimental for lenders because, among other reasons, a successful plaintiff on CFA claim is entitled to recover treble damages as well as their attorneys’ fees and costs of suit.  Additionally, because of these consumer-friendly provisions, more competent plaintiffs’ counsel will be drawn to cases involving allegations by mortgagors of unconscionable practices in connection with mortgage lending.”

 The New Jersey Supreme Court Extends The Powerful New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act To Foreclosures,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel,  Joshua N. Howley (November 2011); emphasis added.

 

“…[T]he push for anti-predatory lending legislation in the State [of New Jersey] has been fueled by the 2001 Appellate Division decision, Associates Home Equity Services, Inc. v. Troup, 343 N.J. Super. 254 (App. Div. 2001) [Houston & Totaro, Attorneys for Troup].

New Jersey Predatory Lending Update,” Mortgage Industry Update, J. Michael Nolan, Jr., Esq. and Jenny R. Kramer, Esq. (August 2002); emphasis added.    

          

“In Associates Home Equity v. Troup, Ms. Troup, a seventy-four year old African-American resident of Newark who owned her home free and clear, was targeted by a home repair contractor who, in close cooperation with a subprime lender, ultimately convinced her to take out a $46,500 home equity loan. Despite her good credit, the loan had an adjustable interest rate that started at 11.65%, required her to pay four points, and left her with a balloon payment of $41,604 after fifteen years. Ms. Troup obtained a landmark ruling in Associates Home Equity v. Troup, 343 N.J. Super. 254 (App. Div. 2001) [Houston & Totaro, Attorneys for Troup], in which the court stated that the Troups provided facts in support of their claim that the lender “participated in the targeting of inner-city borrowers who lack access to traditional lending institutions, charged them a discriminatory interest rate, and imposed unreasonable terms.” 

Predatory Lending In New Jersey: The Rising Threat To Low-Income Homeowners,” New Jersey Institute of Social Justice, Ken Zimmerman, Elvin Wyly, and Hilary Botein (February 2002); emphasis added.

 

“[I]Scott v. Mayflower Home Improvement Corp., 363 N.J. Super. 145 (Law Div. 2001) [Houston & Totaro, Attorneys for Plaintiffs], the court held that TI­LA’s express limitation on liability applied only to claims brought under TILA and did not preclude plaintiffs from attempt­ing to peg derivative liability claims to the CFA or other state law. …

The result for assignees has been that, of all the venues in which they might be sued on these types of claims, the state courts of New Jersey have been among the least attractive of all. Psen­sky stands to change that to some degree.”

Consumer Lending Law,” New Jersey Law Journal, William S. Gyvesand Robert M. Travisano (October 10, 2005); emphasis added.