Foreclosure Litigation Declines in Q1, Activity Still High

Mortgage-related litigation remained historically high in the first quarter, according to data from Mortgage Daily.

The site’s First Quarter 2013 Mortgage Litigation Index shows there were 227 mortgage-related cases tracked that saw activity in Q1—little changed from Q4 2012’s 223 but up from 216 the year prior.

Among all cases, those related to foreclosures were the most active, with 74 cases moving forward. However, that was still a drop from that category’s peak. An accompanying white paper released by Ballard Spahr LLP suggests the decline in foreclosure-related cases has more to do with the drop in foreclosure filings during the period.

Cases involving loan modifications also decreased as foreclosure filings normalized—though dissatisfaction still remains high.

“Failed loan modification efforts continue to be a frustration for consumers and we not only expect to see the number of consumer advanced loan modification claims rise, but also anticipate regulatory involvement and enforcement actions,” Ballard Spahr’s paper said.

Following foreclosures, servicing was the second-biggest category for litigation with 66 cases.

At the same time, cases related to mortgage-backed securities, regulation, commercial mortgages, and investor problems all saw increased activity.

In fact, Ballard Spahr anticipates an increase in regulation and similarly related cases in the year to come as trends suggest consumer-advanced claims will continue to dominate courtrooms.

“Thus, while we anticipate a shift in the types of actions pursued resulting in a normalization of previously hot litigation areas, we predict a continued dominance of consumer-advanced claims and a volume of claims similar to 2012,” Ballard Spahr partner Martin C. Bryce Jr. wrote.


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