Welcome to the American Mortgage Law Group, P.C.

Greater San Francisco & Greater Los Angeles Areas

Mortgage Repurchase and Indemnification Defense & Workout

AMLG has managed thousands of cases where loans have been subject to buy-back demands. We understand the nuances of mortgage repurchases and deploy various strategies to efficiently and effectively dispute, rebut and settle the demands placed on our clients.

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Litigation

AMLG advises and represents clients in all areas of mortgage related commercial litigation. Our dedicated team provides cost-effective litigation services on a variety of matters ranging from repurchase defense to contract disputes to fraud and more.

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Regulatory Compliance & Examinations

The AMLG team is experienced with the complex range of mortgage banking related laws and regulations. We constantly monitor for new developments and enforcement actions so that we may best serve and advise our clients.

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White Collar Defense

Our in-depth knowledge of the mortgage industry makes us the ideal legal representatives for clients such as lenders, brokers, loan officers and other industry professionals in both civil and criminal litigation and mitigation.

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Recent News

Loan Defects, Fraud and Misrepresentation Activity Rising in 2018

Multiple mortgage industry publications and reports have noted a spike in the frequency of defects, fraud, and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications over the first quarter of 2018. These reports come after Fannie Mae released its 2017 Mortgage Fraud Trends report which announced a steep increase in 2nd and 3rd Qtr. 2017 fraud tips and a doubling of fraud tips received in 4th Qtr. 2017 over the 1st Qtr. 2017. Fannie Mae reports that Forgery was the top fraud tip they received followed by Occupancy, ID Theft, Liabilities Fraud with Credit Fraud closing out the top 5. The states identified by Fannie Mae as being those most at risk of fraud are: California Florida New York Texas Illinois New Jersey Pennsylvania Georgia Maryland Washington The Servion Group, a mortgage services provider based in Minnesota, reports in their March 2018 Servion Mortgage Newsletter that they have seen an uptick in the incidence of Occupancy and Undisclosed Debt misrepresentations. The newsletter offers useful tips for educating borrowers about the importance of occupying their new home within 60 days of closing and avoiding taking on any new debt before closing. In addition, it also stresses the importance of educating borrowers about the legal consequences and financial impact such misrepresentations can have on them and their lender/investor. According to the First American Loan Application Defect Index for February 2018, First American reports that although the frequency of defects, fraud and misrepresentation remained the same as in December 2017, the year on year results over January 2018 showed a large increase in the incidence rate of 13.7%. The report highlights... read more

Mortgage Lenders and Servicers Are “Debt Collectors” Under California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

On March 13, 2018, the California Court of Appeal held that the definition of “debt collectors” under California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Rosenthal Act) includes mortgage servicers and lenders who attempt to collect on a mortgage debt. The Court of Appeal noted there is a split of authority among the many federal district courts that have considered the issue, and there is “a paucity of California authority addressing the question.” A class action plaintiff, Edward Davidson, alleged that he and others had been the victims of harassing and excessive phone calls from Seterus, Inc., a mortgage service company formed by International Business Machines, Inc., in violation of the Rosenthal Act. The defendants demurred to Davidson’s complaint, arguing that neither of them was a “debt collector” who engages in “debt collection” under the Rosenthal Act. The trial court sustained the defendants’ demurrer, concluding that the defendants “are not ‘debt collectors’ because servicing a mortgage is not a form of collecting ‘consumer debts.’ ” On appeal, Davidson contended the trial court erred in determining that mortgage servicers were not “debt collectors” under the Rosenthal Act. Following the general principle that the Rosenthal Act is a civil statute, which was enacted for the protection of the public and should be broadly construed in favor of that protective purpose, the Court of Appeal concluded that mortgage lenders and mortgage servicers are “debt collectors” under the Rosenthal Act. The Court of Appeal further acknowledged that the alleged conduct by Seterus — harassing phone calls at all hours of the day, and threats of negative credit reporting and threats of foreclosure — is... read more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Bank of America’s Dodd-Frank Preemption Argument and Allows Class Action for Violation of California’s Mortgage Escrow Law Requiring Interest Payments to Proceed

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that California resident Donald Lusnak can proceed with a proposed class action against Bank of America for its failure to pay interest on mortgage escrow accounts. The Court’s unanimous three judge panel decision rejected Bank of America’s argument that the National Banking Act preempted California’s state escrow law, which was enacted in 1976, is found in section 2954.8(a) of the California Civil Code and requires financial institutions to pay borrowers at least two percent annual interest on the funds held in the borrowers’ escrow accounts. Plaintiff sued Bank of America because it does not pay borrowers any interest on the positive balance in their escrow accounts. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling reversed the district court’s dismissal of the putative class action, which concluded that California’s escrow interest law prevents or significantly interferes with banking powers and therefore is preempted by the National Banking Act that was enacted in 1864 and established a dual banking system. The Ninth Circuit noted that the United States Supreme Court has often ruled on the scope of state authority to regulate national banks and that Congress has enacted legislation to prevent inconsistent intrusive state regulation from impairing the national system The Ninth Circuit explained that Dodd-Frank merely codified the existing preemption standard, which is that state consumer financial law is preempted only if it prevents or significantly interferes with the exercise by the national bank of its powers. The Ninth Circuit examined Dodd-Frank’s requirement in 15 U.S.C. section 1639d(g)(g)(3) that a creditor pay interest to the consumer on the amount held in an escrow account if doing... read more

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