San Francisco, CA: Saxon Mortgage Inc, the mortgage service division of Morgan Stanley, is facing a a potential class action lawsuit alleging that the company uses the Homeowners Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to attract customers into making "trial"payments on loans it has no intention of ever permanently modifying.
Filed in Northern California, the suit, titled Gaudin v. Saxon Mortgage Services Inc, alleges a pattern of misconduct by Saxon of collecting trial payments, delaying the processing of loan modifications, and then denying the application altogether for demonstrably false reasons.
According to the suit, Marie Gaudin, lead plaintiff and owner of a San Francisco bridal boutique that suffered hard times as a result of the recession brought on by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, asked Saxon for loan modification on her home. Gaudin was directed to Saxon' "Home Preservation Department"and subsequently asked to provide extensive documentation of her financial condition, which she did. She was assured by Saxon that they were "committed to assisting you in any way we can to complete the [the loan modification]. We want to help!"She received a written agreement from them that appeared to promise a permanent HAMP loan modification after she made three "trial"payments as proof she could handle the loan repayments.
The complaint notes that Saxon instead delayed the processing of the HAMP loan modification, while urging Gaudin to continue making trial payments. However, after receiving numerous trial payments and fulfilling the rest of her obligations under the agreement Saxon denied her a permanent HAMP modification. They falsely claimed that Gaudin had failed to make payments or comply with document requests. Saxon' correspondence with Gaudin shows a pattern of inaccurate and irresponsible behavior on the part of a major global bank. The company claimed that she did not make payments, while in the same letter actually acknowledged that she was current on all payments. It also claimed that the U.S. Treasury Department was involved in reviewing HAMP applications.
The class action alleges that Saxon' breach of contract, rescission and restitution, deceptive debt collection practices violated California' Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Rosenthal Act) and fraudulent, unlawful, and unfair business practices under California' Unfair Competition Law (UCL).