April 24, 2018
On April 24, 2018, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri reversed the dismissal and summary judgment in favor of ten (10) mortgage lenders in Baker v. Century Financial Group, Inc., et al. WD Appeal No. WD80813. The claims in the case involve allegations that the second mortgage loans made to the members of the certified class of Missouri borrowers violated a Missouri consumer protection law, specifically the Missouri Second Mortgage Loans Act. The borrowers alleged that the defendant lenders assessed a host of illegal fees in connection with their second mortgage loans.
This reversal is exceptional as it reinstates the claims of hundreds of Missouri borrowers against a number of large institutional lenders, including The Bank of New York Mellon, Republic Bank (d/b/a Flagship Funding), Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, Wilmington Trust Company, Impac Funding Corporation, Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc., Impac Secured Assets Corp., IMH Assets Corporation, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., formerly Chase Manhattan Bank and as successor by merger to Banc One Financial Services, Inc.
Representing the named plaintiffs in the case, the lawyers at WRRSV, as Class Counsel, appealed from the trial court’s judgment in favor of the defendants based on their statute of limitations defense. The reversal of the trial court’s decision is remarkable in that the defendants had the benefit of multiple opinions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Missouri federal district court predicting that the Missouri Supreme Court would hold that a three-year statute of limitations would govern the borrowers’ Missouri state law statutory claims, rather than Missouri’s six-year statute of limitations, as the firm argued for the borrowers.
Before the trial court’s judgment, the lawyers at WRRSV had successfully completed a number of multi-million-dollar settlements on behalf of other members of the class with lender defendants no longer named in the case. A copy of the Opinion from the Court of Appeals can be downloaded here.
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