Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has filed a lawsuit against American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHMSI), a Texas-based company servicing more than 12,000 sub-prime and prime mortgage loans in Ohio. The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act including but not limited to: Incompetent and inadequate customer service, failure to respond to requests for assistance, failure to offer timely or affordable loss mitigation options to borrowers and unfair and deceptive loan modification terms.
The filing in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court marks Cordray's second lawsuit against a loan servicer company, positioning Ohio as the lead state nationally in holding servicers accountable in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.
"For far too long there has been little to no accountability for those who take advantage of the dire circumstances of home foreclosure," said Cordray. "The acts of some mortgage servicers have gone beyond the point of being negligent—they have become predatory financial practices and in Ohio, they won't be tolerated."
According to the lawsuit, AHMSI required loan modification agreements that forced consumers to pay excessive fees and waive their rights in order to get help. The suit also alleges that the terms of loan modifications were unconscionably one-sided in favor of AHMSI.
The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction from the continuation of unfair and deceptive loan modification practices, consumer restitution, civil penalties and damages. It also requests that the court order AHMSI to implement processes designed to provide efficient, competent and adequate customer service to all of its Ohio mortgage customers. To read the full complaint, click here.
In July, Cordray was the first state Attorney General to sue a loan servicer for unfair and deceptive loan modifications. The case against Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, is currently in litigation in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. As of Sept. 30, Carrington implemented a voluntary 60-day moratorium on home foreclosures.
For more information, visit www.SaveTheDream.ohio.gov.