Robert represents financial institutions and mortgage companies across the United States. He has handled matters both at the pre-litigation and initial Complaint filing phase as well as being employed during discovery, to depose expert witnesses and at the pre-trial phase to assist the current counsel. On the compliance side, Robert has worked with both legal and business managers for multiple clients to draft and outline procedures in response to pending or new legislation.
Experience
  • General Experience
      • United States v. Bank of America, et al. - The firm represented Ally Financial, Inc, Residential Capital, LLC and GMAC Mortgage in the largest national joint state/federal government settlement in history. The case began with “robo-signing” investigation and then broadened into examination of the mortgage industry. The case involved 49 state attorney generals, 48 state banking departments, the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Consumer Financial Protect Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission.
      • Edward S. Cohn v Sonja D. Bates, Case No. 310296v (Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Md. 2009) - This matter originally started as a foreclosure action, the underlying borrower notified the State of Maryland, her congressional delegation and a multitude of legal representatives all of which commented on the litigation and underlying factual disputes. Then this simple matter morphed into a wrongful foreclosure action with high media attention due to the scrutiny of recent federal legislation on loan modifications, FHA direction to loan servicers as to loss mitigation efforts, and Maryland’s yet untested new foreclosure legislation. In turn, the servicer then employed Bradley Arant to take over the matter, handle the exceptions to foreclosure hearing, which involved arguments over HUD’s mortgagee letters, direct/cross examination in open court with multiple media outlets present in the courtroom. Subsequently, on September 2, 2009 the Court ruled in favor of our client, the servicer, on all counts.
      • Georgia Commercial Stores, Inc. v Chicago Title Insurance Company and Land Title Company of Alabama CV 08-902869 (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala.) - This bad faith litigation involves a claim made on a title insurance policy wherein the title company failed to disclose or except two previous mortgages of record for the property from coverage. We represented the Plaintiff. After written discovery and multiple depositions, we were successful in prevailing on Summary Judgment, wherein the Court granted our Declaratory Judgment and determined a title insurance policy was in place. Furthermore, we were able to defeat the defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on our Negligence, Wantonness and Bad Faith Claim. The case settled favorably after the Summary Judgment Order.
      • Gortney v Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., Adversary Proceeding No. 4:07-07266 (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, W.D. Ark.) - This is an Adversary Proceeding alleging violation of the automatic stay, misapplication of payments, improper fees, and violation of the discharge injunction against a mortgage servicer. Originally the plaintiffs sought compensatory, punitive damages and attorney fees in excess of One million dollars. After limited discovery and negotiation the matter settled favorably.
      • J. Steve Wallace and Lucy S. Wallace v. Frontier Bank, N.A., et al., 903 So.2d 792 (Ala. 2004) - We represented Frontier Bank as the mortgagee and Nicholas and Tammy Lee as the mortgagors in a construction financing matter that involved alleged fraudulent conveyances from the builder by a judgment creditor. We were successful in winning Summary Judgment at the trial court and the subsequent appeal at the Alabama Supreme Court. The opinion details the responsibilities of a title insurer and ultimately holds that the Lees were “bona fide purchasers for value without notice” and therefore their mortgage was valid and correspondingly the mortgagee’s interest was also valid.
      • LaSalle Bank, N.A., as Trustee c/o Saxon Mortgage Services v. Betty A. Menzing, et al., CV-07-637119 (Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County, Ohio) - We represented the mortgage servicer in this real estate litigation action involving a counterclaim and third party complaint brought by three mentally handicapped borrowers in a foreclosure action. Defendants’ counterclaims and third-party complaint (filed against their former attorney-in-fact,) included: alleged insufficient capacity to enter into a contract, unconscionability/unenforceability of the loan transaction, and undue influence/ duress at the time of entry into the mortgage transaction. Through Defendants’ counsel, The Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation became involved in the case to ensure that their interests were protected. After extensive discovery, including deposition testimony of the three mentally handicapped borrowers, we were successful in reaching a settlement and dismissal.
      • Optimum Bank v. Eva Verner a/k/a Eva Buchowski, Equestrian Center Co., Wachovia Bank, Tower Financial Services, Inc. Case No. 2004 CV 92896 (Superior Court of Fulton County, Ga.) - We served as Georgia counsel in conjunction with Cohen & Fox in handling a multi-state identity theft and international money laundering scheme which was based in a mortgage fraud operation. The fraudster assumed the identity of the mortgagor and placed millions in false mortgages on property located in Florida. We were successful in freezing the stolen money, recovering assets and ultimately the fraudster was arrested.
      • Taylor Properties, L.L.C., et al v. AIG Baker Brookstone, L.L.C., CV - 2005-315 (Circuit Court of Shelby County, Ala.) affirmed Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, Writ Quashed, Alabama Supreme Court - We represented the developers who purchased a 40-acre tract upon which they subsequently built a multi-million dollar development with over 100 commercial tenants. The Plaintiffs alleged to previously own an easement through said development and sought demolition of the commercial development along with compensatory damages in diminution in value of their adjacent commercial development. After extensive discovery and expert witness testimony, the trial court granted the developers summary judgment which involved analysis of recorded instruments and whether they were easements, licenses and the ability to convey the same.
      • Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corporation v. GMAC Mortgage Corporation, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Case No. 5:05-cv-260 - We aggressively represented GMAC Mortgage in a commercial dispute against Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. related to a series of Purchase & Sale Agreements governing thousands of residential mortgages loans. In that litigation, Taylor Bean asserted claims for breach of contract against GMACM and GMACM asserted claims against Taylor Bean for breach of contract, offset/recoupment, declaratory judgment, indemnification, fraudulent inducement, and for attorneys’ fees. After three years of litigation and shortly before trial, the case ended in a mutually agreeable settlement. Following the settlement, we subsequently represented GMAC in further repurchase demands with Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., which were resolved without further litigation.
      • Town of West Tisbury v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 1:08-cv-10569-GAO (District of Mass.) - This lawsuit alleged predatory lending, initially filed in the Superior Court of Dukes County, MA, but subsequently removed to federal court in 2008 upon Order granting Defendant’s Removal Motion. We represented Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc. as Assignee of the loan at issue. The Plaintiff sought declaratory judgment to enforce an Affordable Covenant, and also asserted a predatory lending claim under Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. Plaintiff alleged that Saxon (as Assignee of mortgage originated by Freemont General Credit Corp) by making/selling a loan to borrower, Cote, engaged in unfair and deceptive acts/omissions in violation of the FDIC’s 2007 prior ruling against Freemont requiring it to cease/desist from engaging in sub-prime lending practices. These allegations included making an excessively risky/unconscionable loan to Cote; failure to consider Cote’s ability to repay the loan; failure to disclose loan risks to Cote; failure to consider that property restrictions inhibit Cote’s ability to sell/transfer lot. Successful in favorably settling the lawsuit.
      • United States of America v Milton Amador-Ramos, Case No. 2008-CF2-26563 (Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Criminal Division) - This matter began as a federal sting operation, wherein an undercover federal agent posed as a “John” to enter into home in suburban DC and they determined a brothel was being run out of the residence. Subsequently, a criminal litigation matter was brought by the United States involving the property and a Show Cause Order as to why the property should not be abated as a public nuisance. We represented the mortgage servicer who had security interest on the property and the United States looked to the mortgage company to resolve the matter. We worked under tight time constraints with both the US Attorney’s office and District of Columbia Metro Police department. The tenants/prostitutes at the property were evicted and an order was entered finding that the prostitution nuisance had been abated and giving the owner of the property full lawful use of the property.
      • Consent Judgment for $100 million settlement payment and $370 million in consumer relief - Represented national bank and mortgage servicing company in large-scale settlement of liability related to servicing and origination of loans leading up to and during the financial crisis, including releases of False Claims Act and FIRREA liability.
      • Consent Judgment for $127.3 million settlement payment and $2 billion in consumer relief - Represented mortgage servicing company in one of the largest national joint state/federal government settlements in history.
      • Consent Judgment for $468 million settlement payment and $500 million in consumer relief - Represented national bank in a large-scale settlement of liability related to mortgage servicing and origination of loans leading up to and during the financial crisis, including releases of False Claims Act and FIRREA liability.
      • Represented mortgage servicing and banking client and its affiliated companies in an investigation and eventual settlement of claims that client's mortgage modification practices violated a Massachusetts foreclosure law. Responded to investigatory subpoenas from the Massachusetts Attorney General and negotiated favorable settlement terms, resulting in the entry of an Assurance of Discontinuance.