In 2018, PHH Corporation. settled two lawsuits. The first was settled for $45 million over mortgage servicing and foreclosure issues. The second was settled for $17 million with both PHH and Realogy paying over alleged kickbacks for title services. PHH is a subsidiary of Ocwen, a publicly traded financial company that provides residential and commercial mortgage servicing and debt collection services. According to news reports about the first settlement, the agreement was reached with 49 state attorney generals and 45 state mortgage regulators for practices reached between January 1 2009 to December 31, 2012. Among the allegations stated in the lawsuit PHH threatened homeowners with foreclosure, did not keep accurate documentation, did not apply payments accurately to certain borrowers, did not adequately process borrowers’ applications for loan modifications. PHH was also required to pay $30 million to homeowners who lost their homes in foreclosure. Eligible claimants are can apply here.
The second settlement was a class action lawsuit against both PHH and Realogy over alleged kickbacks for services like title insurance. The “kickbacks” were alleged referral fees and things of value. As all homeowners know, title services are very important to any real estate transaction. They review the title of the land, the insurance policies, help with the closings and file the paperwork.The allegations were made against a PHH entity, PHH Home Loans, that was reportedly the exclusive lender for Realogy brands which include Better Homes and Gardens, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, ERA Real Estate, and Sotheby’s International Realty. Realogy is also a publicly traded real estate company that owns some of the most well-known brands in real estate. Even before 2018, PHH has had to settle lawsuits related to their practices. In 2017, the company settled with United State Justice Department to pay taxpayers $74 million over mortgage lending. The company are still settling claims most recently they agreed to pay Jacob McGreevey for illegally foreclosing on his home. According to The Oregonian, McGreevey, a veteran in the armed services, foreclosed on his house while he was on his tour of duty. He hired his former commanding officer who was an attorney and sued PHH. In their fight against the company, they found out the company foreclosed on other military service members illegally as well. McGreevey settled with PHH for $125,000.