Monday, April 02, 2007

Foreclosure Rescue Victim Wins $3.3+ Million Verdict Against D.C. Operator

The Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia law firm Hogan and Hartson LLP has announced that it:
  • "has obtained a substantial jury verdict, including $3.3 million in punitive damages, against the perpetrators of a "pre-foreclosure" scheme in the Washington metropolitan area. After a week-long trial in the District of Columbia Superior Court, the eight-person jury found that the defendants — Vincent Abell, his company Modern Management, and his agent Calvin Baltimore — defrauded the plaintiff Maria Wilson and wrongfully took her home for a tiny fraction of its value. The jury also found that the defendants' scheme, in which they approach homeowners facing foreclosure and offer to help them "keep" their homes through a fraudulent sale-leaseback transaction, violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Act. The jury awarded Wilson compensatory damages of $60,000, and assessed punitive damages totaling $3.3 million against the three defendants."
For more, see Hogan & Hartson Wins $3.3 Million Verdict in Pre-Foreclosure Scam Case.

Editor's Note:

Because consumer protection laws typically call for an attorney fee award to be granted to the prevailing plaintiff (in this case, the foreclosure rescue victim), the foreclosure rescue operator in this case will, in all likelihood, be ordered to pay an additional amount to the homeowner's attorney for legal fees for violating the D.C. Consumer Protection Act. The amount could conceivably amount to several hundred thousand dollars or more (see, for example, the Nebraska case in
Voiding A Title Transfer In A Foreclosure Rescue Transaction, where the attorney fees that the foreclosure rescue operators were ordered to pay added up to over $375,000).