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National Mortgage Professional
Jun 15, 2008

Sub-prime mortgage litigation reaches record levelsMortgagePress.comNavigant Consulting Inc., risk management, sub-prime-related cases Navigant Consulting Inc., a consulting firm providing dispute, investigative, operational, risk management and financial advisory solutions, has released a report that shows the number of sub-prime-related cases filed in federal courts surged in the first quarter of 2008, dramatically outpacing 2007 filings. The total filings are close to surpassing the savings-and-loan (S&L) crisis litigation of the early 1990s. According to the Navigant Consulting report, the number of sub-prime-related cases exploded in the first quarter of 2008, increasing 85 percent over the next busiest quarter. A total of 170 cases were filed during the quarter, approaching the mark of 181 filings over the final six months of 2007. "Like the credit crunch itself, the litigation is unrelenting," said Jeff Nielsen, managing director of Navigant Consulting. "In this most recent quarter, we are looking at approximately two filings per day, including weekends. What we saw in 2007 was a mild breaking wave compared to the tsunami we are witnessing now." Over a 15-month span ending March 31, 2008, the number of sub-prime-related cases filed totaled 448, up from 278 previously reported at year-end 2007. As of March 31, 2008, 86 percent of the 448 cases filed continued to be active. The first quarter cases were comprised of borrower class actions (46 percent), securities cases (26 percent) and commercial contract disputes (10 percent), among other case types. Class action cases accounted for 76 percent of the 170 cases filed in the first quarter; however, there were also some atypical plaintiffs entering the sub-prime litigation scene, such as municipalities like Baltimore and Cleveland. The report found that in 42 percent of the 448 cases filed, at least one Fortune Global 500 company was named as a defendant. Ten percent of the cases named at least one non-U.S. Global 500 company as a defendant, with U.K. firms accounting for approximately half of the non-U.S. total. Geographically, approximately half of the first quarter cases are still being filed in California and New York courts. For more information, visit www.navigantconsulting.com.
Published
Jun 15, 2008
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