Residential Credit Solutions Ordered to Pay $1.5M in Punitive Damages
Earlier this year, Alena Hammer, a resident of Illinois’ DuPage County for the past 27 years, was awarded a total of two million dollars from Texas-based national mortgage loan servicer Residential Credit Solutions (RCS). Of the two million, $500,000 served as compensatory damages for breach of contract, unnecessary foreclosure actions, wrongly-assessed fees, mental and emotional distress for the three-and-a-half-year ordeal, and other damages.
Hammer entered into a loan modification agreement with her lender, AmTrust Bank, just before it failed and was taken over by the FDIC at the end of 2009. Her mortgage was later passed on to RCS, who refused to acknowledge the existence of her loan modification and soon began rejecting her monthly payments. Although Hammer to this day has still never missed a monthly payment, RCS brought foreclosure actions against her on two separate occasions. The first foreclosure case was dismissed in Hammer’s favor, but RCS still continued to deny the existence of the modification and prosecuted her again in 2011.
The six-day trial, presided over by the Honorable Thomas M. Durkin at the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, concluded in Hammer’s favor on April 20, 2015. RCS was found guilty of breaching the loan modification agreement, violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act for failing to acknowledge the Qualified Written Request, and committing deceptive and unfair actions against Hammer in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. In addition to the $500,000 that Hammer was awarded in compensatory damages, RCS was also ordered to pay an additional $1,500,000 in punitive damages as a punishment to discourage future misconduct.
Hammer was represented by Chicago consumer lawyers Ahmad Sulaiman, Esq. and Mara Ann Baltabols, Esq., both of Atlas Consumer Law, as well as Nicholas Heath Wooten, Esq. and Ross Michael Zambon, Esq.
To view the original court document concerning Hammer’s case, please click here.
Atlas Consumer Law is a premier Chicago consumer law firm with decades of experience helping protect the rights of homeowners and consumers. For assistance with your bankruptcy, foreclosure, or creditor harassment case, please contact us today for a case evaluation: (312) 313-1613.