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Womble Carlyle’s Consumer Finance Litigation team is built on the firm’s nearly 150 years of successful business litigation. In that time, we have represented financial institutions of all kinds and of all sizes in incredibly complex disputes, along with a wide range of other matters. Through that experience we have developed the talent and tools to manage large litigation portfolios. That’s why numerous leading financial institutions turned to Womble Carlyle to manage their consumer lending litigation portfolios following the 2008 financial crisis, including multi-jurisdictional loan portfolios experiencing serial defaults and giving rise to expansive litigation. Our system is refined enough to manage large portfolios but adaptable enough to identify and address risk on an individual case level.
We provide clients:
A Project Management Approach
Through technology and a commitment to responsiveness and quality, our team develops and coordinates litigation strategy that balances regulatory imperatives at the portfolio level with case-specific litigation demands, both as lead counsel in litigation initiated within Womble Carlyle’s footprint and as coordinating counsel working with firms in other jurisdictions. Led by veteran attorneys with a deep and personal knowledge of the specific jurisdictions involved, Womble Carlyle provides efficiency without sacrificing effectiveness. Our team is actively representing clients in Delaware, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Each client works with a designated state team leader for each state in which client is litigating. That state team leader is an experienced attorney who has litigated mortgaged-related cases in the courts located in that state. The state team leader actively participates in litigating the client’s cases in his or her respective state and coordinates the client’s defense with the other team lawyers representing the client in his or her state and with the other state team leaders. In addition, the state team leaders use web-based software to provide regular updates to the client on each of the client’s matters.
State Team Leads
Georgia North Carolina
Jennifer Collins Chad Ewing
South Carolina District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland
John Hawk Lela Ames
This approach to litigation portfolios enables our team to function not only as an advocate for a lender’s interests in a particular matter, but also as a strategic business partner with respect to related matters, including bankruptcy and recovery, complex title issues, servicing and reporting disputes, coordination with eviction and foreclosure counsel, regulatory and compliance, class action defense and appellate matters. Together, we have helped lender clients resolve large portfolios of defaulted loans and identify systemic servicing errors and litigation trends.
Case Management Facility
The Womble Carlyle Case Management Facility (CMF) is a practice team that organizes, tracks, searches and synthesizes the documents generated in complex litigation into information attorneys can use. These custom “online filing cabinets” house, organize and facilitate easy access to all litigation materials, including master case calendars, pleadings, written discovery, transcripts, exhibits, legal research and memos and other work product. The online file cabinet is coupled with lawyer, case coordinator and paralegal services to provide initial drafts of litigation materials, case analyses, trend spotting and compliance reporting. In the process, our team of nearly 100 attorneys and paralegals helps in-house counsel move legal work to the most appropriate level, eliminate redundancy of effort among outside counsel and reduce the time devoted to managing information and coordinating legal team efforts.
The CMF’s innovative approach involves the efficient and aggressive use of technology to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Our system creates “virtual law firms” that unite counsel teams by facilitating communication and coordination and breaking down silos that lead to redundancy and miscommunication. The CMF provides clients ever-higher quality legal services while simultaneously improving execution on defense strategy and lowering costs.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
Rose v. SLM Financial Corp., 254 F.R.D. 269 (W.D.N.C. 2008) (Class certification denied in case alleging bait and switch tactics by mortgage broker implicating federal disclosure regulations including RESPA and TILA).
Adams v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., Case No. 7:11-cv-00051 (E.D.N.C. 2012) (Represented national bank in a mass action by 150+ Plaintiffs arising out of the marketing, sale and financing of coastal resort properties in North Carolina and South Carolina. All matters have been resolved on dispositive motion or court-supervised mediation with no recovery by any Plaintiff on any claim and substantial recoveries by the lender on its claims for breach of the underlying promissory notes).
Beritelli v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2012 WL 2374290 (W.D.N.C. June 22, 2012) (Represented national bank in a mass action by 50+ Plaintiffs asserting lender liability claims arising out of the marketing, sale and financing of failed mountain resort developments in Western North Carolina. The claims of Plaintiffs were severed, and 27 Plaintiffs then filed separate lawsuits. All claims have been resolved on dispositive motion or court-supervised mediation with no recovery by any Plaintiff on any claim and substantial recoveries by the lender on its claim for breach of the underlying promissory notes).
Roberts v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Case No. 4:12-cv-200 (S.D. Ga. 2013) (2013) (Represented national bank in putative class action arising out of lender placed insurance practices and rates,. The Court refused to exclude applicability of filed rate doctrine, which ruling resulted in favorable resolution for client).
Johnston et al v. HomEq, 4:07-cv-00025-WLS (M.D. Ga. 2015) (Obtained favorable settlement of class action alleging failure to timely cancel security deeds).
Providence Hall Associates L.P. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Case No. 1:14-cv-352 (E.D. Va. 2015) aff’d by 816 F.3d 273 (4th Cir. 2016) (Plaintiff’s claims arising out of an interest rate swap transaction barred by principles of claim preclusion as applied to three sale orders entered in borrower’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case).
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Hartman, Case No. 12-165225 (Cir. Ct. Anne Arundel County Maryland 2016) (Successfully defended $1,000,000 counterclaim based on claims of fraud, negligence and violations of Maryland’s Mortgage Fraud Collection Practices Act, with all claims against the clientbeing dismissed and summary judgment being entered in the bank’s favor on its claim on the note, including interest and attorneys’ fees. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed).
Goodwill v. BB&T Inv. Services, Inc., 2013 WL 6271868 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 4, 2013) (Successfully obtained dismissal of tort and contract claims against investment services firm arising out of dispute under annuity contract).
Wright v. Bear Stearns Arm Trust 2007-2, Specialized Loan Servicing, Case No. 1:14-cv-00597-GMS, (D. Del. 2015) (Obtained dismissal of FDCPA claims against mortgage loan servicer).
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Pappas, 2016 WL 3200188 (S.C. Ct. App. June 8, 2016) (Summary Judgment affirmed in client’s favor on claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and a violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act arising out of appraisals of a lots within a real estate development).
Anders v. Settings of Mackay Point, LLC, 2015 WL 4937821 (S.C. Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2015) (Dismissal affirmed in client’s on claims of fraud and civil conspiracy arising out of a real estate development).
Davis v. Specialized Loan Servicing, Case No. 1:15-cv-2614-AT (N.D. Ga. 2015) (Obtained both dismissal of FDCPA, FCRA, and wrongful foreclosure claims by borrower against mortgage loan servicer and sanctions against plaintiff).
Odum v. Specialized Loan Servicing, 2016 WL 4582070 (N.D. Ga. July 5, 2016) (Obtained dismissal of RESPA and wrongful foreclosure claims by borrower against mortgage loan servicer).
Brown v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 25 F. Supp. 3d (D. D.C. 2015) (Borrower’s origination claims in connection with a pick-a-payment mortgage loan dismissed and attorneys’ fees awarded to the lender).
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Carter, 2014 WL 11034776 (D.S.C. July 22, 2014) (Court denied Borrower’s motion to dismiss based on statute of limitations and held that the twenty-year statute of limitations applied to sealed instruments).
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Jenkins, 744 S.E.2d 686 (Ga. 2013) (Summary judgment affirmed on privacy claims against bank arising out of identity theft incident).
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Simpson, 2013 WL 8541651 (S.C. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2013) (Court affirmed trial court’s ruling in client’s favor on claims that client did not fulfill its obligations under the South Carolina Administrative Order governing foreclosure matters).
Humphrey v. PennyMac Loan Services, LLC, Appeal No. A16A0485 (Ga. Ct. App. 2016) (Court affirmed summary judgment in client’s favor on claim for wrongful foreclosure and related tort and contract claims).
Guilford County, ex rel. Thigpen v. Lender Processing Services, Inc., 2013 WL 2387708 (North Carolina Business Court May 29, 2013) (Court dismissed all claims by Register of Deeds against national banking client relating to “robo- signing” and improper utilization of MERS).
Malcolm v. PennyMac Loan Services, LLC, Case No. 2014-CV-243906 (Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia) (2016) (Obtained summary judgment in favor of servicer on negligent misrepresentation, wrongful foreclosure, rescission, and related claims).
Julian v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2012 WL 1857611 (N.C. Super. Ct. May 22, 2012) (Court dismissed borrowers’ claims against a mortgage lender for alleged unfair trade practices in the loan origination process).
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Vandorn, 2012 NCBC 6 (N.C. Super. Ct. 2012) (Court dismissed borrowers’ claims against mortgage lender based on the premise that bank owed higher duty of care in originating loan because of prior relationship with one of the borrowers).
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Faile, Case No. 2009-CP-16-217 (S.C. Cir. Ct. 2014) (Summary judgment granted on claimed violations of the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code, the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act, gross negligence, and a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing).