PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, January 2, 2013, Judge David N. Hurd of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York issued a ruling permitting all of the plaintiffs' claims to proceed in a nationwide class action alleging that Citibank (NYSE: C) and MidFirst Bank improperly force-place high-premium flood insurance policies on homeowners across the United States.
In their Complaint, plaintiffs Gordon Casey and Duane Skinner allege that Citibank and MidFirst Bank have a policy and practice of force-placing unnecessary flood insurance coverage above the amounts required by their borrowers' mortgage contracts and by federal law. Citibank, MidFirst Bank and their affiliates asked the Court to dismiss the case, asserting that the borrowers' mortgage contracts permit them to force-place high premium flood insurance coverage in amounts the banks deem necessary. However, the Court denied the defendants' motions to dismiss and decided that the plaintiffs' claims alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, violation of the Truth in Lending Act, and violation of the New York Deceptive Practices Act can proceed.
"With respect to borrowers who live in federally designated flood zones, Citibank, MidFirst Bank, and other banks engaged in the loan servicing industry have engaged in a classic bait-and-switch, in which borrowers are informed of one set of flood insurance requirements at closing and then, later, the banks demand additional, unwarranted flood insurance coverage," said Shanon Carson of Berger & Montague, P.C., one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs. "Through this scheme, Citibank and MidFirst Bank have harmed thousands of borrowers by force-placing unnecessary flood insurance at extraordinarily high prices, which often results in unwarranted fees and other charges. In addition, each time the banks require such insurance, they receive lucrative financial benefits from the insurance companies who place the flood insurance policies."
"All U.S. borrowers with mortgages serviced by Citibank and MidFirst Bank who have been forced to purchase flood insurance policies may be affected by the Court's decision," added Kai Richter, another of the plaintiffs' attorneys. "Now they will have their day in court."
Borrowers who have been subjected to force-placed insurance policies including customers of Citibank and MidFirst Bank who are potentially affected by this decision can obtain additional information by calling Shanon J. Carson, Esq. at (215) 875-4656, of the law firm, Berger & Montague, P.C. Mr. Carson can also be contacted by email at [email protected]. The plaintiffs in this case, Casey, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 5:12-CV-820 (N.D.N.Y.), are represented by the law firms of Berger & Montague, P.C., Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and Taus Cebulash & Landau LLP.
Berger & Montague, P.C., based in Philadelphia, PA, consists of over 60 attorneys who represent plaintiffs in complex and class action litigation. The firm's Consumer Protection Group and Insurance and Financial Products & Services Group have extensive experience in representing homeowners, borrowers and consumers in class action lawsuits against banks and insurers, and the firm has played lead roles in major cases for over 40 years resulting in recoveries of over $22 billion for their clients and the classes they represent. On the Web: www.bergermontague.com. A copy of the Court's decision denying the motions to dismiss filed by Citibank and MidFirst Bank is available at http://www.bergermontague.com/media/363057/citi-mtd-decision.pdf.
Nichols Kaster, PLLP has offices in Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA. The firm was named to National Law Journal's 2011 Litigation Boutiques Hot List for its attorneys' courtroom abilities, and has also been ranked as a Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report. Additional information may be obtained by contacting attorneys Kai Richter and Michelle Drake at 612-256-3200. In addition, a copy of the Court's decision is also available on the firm's website, www.nka.com.
Taus, Cebulash & Landau, LLP, based in New York City, specializes in complex consumer and antitrust class action litigation. Brett Cebulash and Kevin Landau, the two TCL partners involved in this matter have 35 years of combined experience in complex litigation and can be reached at (212) 931-0704 or via e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.
Berger & Montague, P.C., Nichols Kaster, LLP, and Taus Cebulash & Landau, LLP are currently pursuing class action lawsuits against numerous banks and insurance companies in the mortgage industry who are alleged to have engaged in practices similar to Citibank and MidFirst Bank regarding force-placed hazard insurance and force-placed flood insurance, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citizens Bank, GMAC, and others.
Shanon J. Carson
Berger & Montague, P.C.
1622 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Telephone: (215) 875-4656
Email: [email protected]
Nichols Kaster, PLLP
4600 IDS Center
80 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Telephone: (612) 256-3278
Email: [email protected]
SOURCE Berger & Montague, P.C.