SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Berger & Montague, P.C. And Nichols Kaster, PLLP Announce Final Approval Of Nationwide Class Action Settlement With Citibank Making Millions Of Dollars In Force-Placed Insurance Refunds Available To Mortgage Borrowers

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Judge David Hurd of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York has granted final approval of a nationwide class action settlement in a pair of consolidated federal cases, Casey v. Citigroup, Inc., No. 12-cv-820 (N.D.N.Y.) and Coonan v. Citibank, N.A., No. 13-cv-353 (N.D.N.Y.), involving force-placed insurance. The law firms appointed to represent the plaintiffs and the classes, Berger & Montague, P.C. and Nichols Kaster, PLLP, are pleased that the court approved all aspects of the settlement, which makes force-placed insurance refunds available to over 400,000 borrowers. Specifically, Citibank and the other defendants have made more than $115 million in refunds and escrow credits available to borrowers whose mortgage loans were serviced by Citibank, and who submit a claim form to receive a refund of the force-placed insurance premiums that were charged to them.

The lawsuits alleged that Citibank and its force-placed insurance vendors, Assurant, Inc., American Security Insurance Company, and Standard Guaranty Insurance Company, unlawfully profited from force-placing insurance on borrowers' properties, including by arranging for improper kickbacks or so-called "commissions" to be paid to Citibank or its affiliates by the force-placed insurance vendors. The Casey lawsuit also alleged that Citibank increased the amount of force-placed flood insurance required for some borrowers in excess of their unpaid principal balance, in violation of borrowers' loan agreements.

To receive compensation under the settlement, mortgage borrowers whose loans have been serviced by Citibank and who were subjected to force-placed insurance must submit a claim form by the end of the claim period, which remains open. Class members who submit timely and valid claims will receive a check or escrow credit equal to (a) 12.5% of any hazard insurance premiums they were charged between January 1, 2007 and April 2, 2014; (b) 8% of any wind insurance premiums they were charged between January 1, 2007 and April 2, 2014; and (c) 8% of any flood insurance premiums they were charged between May 17, 2006 and April 2, 2014. Claim forms are available on the settlement website, www.CMIMortgageInsuranceSettlement.com, and should be sent to CitiMortgage Claims Administrator, PO Box 43262, Providence RI 02940-3262. In addition, the settlement provides for significant injunctive relief by prohibiting the allegedly improper kickbacks from continuing and by limiting the amount of insurance that Citibank can require borrowers to maintain.

"This settlement is a victory for the class members," said Kai Richter of Nichols Kaster, PLLP, one of the lead attorneys for the Plaintiffs. "Under the settlement, class members who submit claims will be entitled to recover almost all of the commissions that were paid to Citibank's affiliate on force-placed hazard insurance, and will be entitled to recover a portion of the premiums they paid for flood and wind insurance even though Citibank and its affiliates did not receive commission payments in connection with flood and wind insurance."

"This was a hard-fought settlement that vindicates the rights of affected consumers," said Shanon J. Carson of Berger & Montague, P.C., also appointed as co-lead counsel for the Plaintiffs. "It is important that class members understand that the time period in which they can submit a claim to receive a refund of their force-placed insurance premiums remains open, and that they only have to go on the website www.CMIMortgageInsuranceSettlement.com and fill out and return a one-page claim form to receive their payment."

Berger & Montague, P.C., based in Philadelphia, PA, represents plaintiffs in complex and class action litigation and is consistently ranked as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the United States by many publications. Berger & Montague, P.C. has extensive experience representing homeowners, consumers and borrowers in class action litigation against banks and insurers, and the firm has played lead roles in major cases for over 40 years resulting in recoveries of many billions of dollars for their clients and the classes they represent.  Further information about Berger & Montague, P.C. can be found at www.bergermontague.com.

With offices in Minneapolis and San Francisco, Nichols Kaster is a premier consumer and employment litigation firm. Nichols Kaster has been ranked as a Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report, as a top plaintiffs' employment law firm by Law360, and by Minnesota Lawyer as one of Minnesota's Top 100 Law Firms. The firm is composed of 32 experienced and talented attorneys dedicated to "fighting for the little guy." Further information about Nichols Kaster's practice is available at www.nka.com.

 

Please contact:


Shanon J. Carson

Kai Richter

Berger & Montague, P.C.

Nichols Kaster, PLLP

1622 Locust Street

4600 IDS Center

Philadelphia, PA 19103

80 South Eighth Street

Telephone: (215) 875-4656

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Email: [email protected] 

Telephone: (612) 256-3278


Email: [email protected]

SOURCE Berger & Montague, P.C.

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