Who is a Class Member
You are included in the PHH Mortgage Real Estate Fee Kickback Scheme Class Action Settlement “if on or after November 25, 2014 and on or before November 25, 2015, you:
- closed on a mortgage loan originated by PHH Corporation, PHH Mortgage Corporation, PHH Home Loans, LLC, or any of their affiliates (including loans where PHH Mortgage Corporation provided origination services on behalf of any PLS Partners), and
- paid title-, escrow-, or closing-related charges in connection with that mortgage loan to Title Resource Group LLC or any of its affiliates.”
You can view the complete list of affiliates of PHH Corporation, PHH Mortgage Corporation, and PHH Home Loans LLC; and PLS Partners here.
If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other class action settlementsyou may be eligible for.
The actual amount of your individual payout is estimated to be between 15 percent and 20 percent of the amount you paid and is based on PHH’s records. Specifically, your payout will reflect the total amount of the fees shown either on Lines in the 1100 series of your HUD-1 Settlement Statement, or in the section of your Closing Disclosure form, corresponding to the title, escrow, and closing-related charges that you paid to Title Resource Group or its affiliates at closing of your real estate transaction.
If you disagree with the listed amount paid on your Notice, you should submit a Claim Form specifying what you believe to be the accurate amount paid.
Proof of Purchase
- You will need to provide your Claim ID and PIN code printed on your Class Notice.
Note: If you agree with the Amount Paid listed on your Notice, you do not need to do anything to receive payment. However, if you feel the amount paid listed on your Notice is inaccurate, you can submit a claim form along with supporting documentation.
You can also request a paper claim form by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-866-651-8299.
PHH Mortgage Real Estate Fee Kickback Scheme Settlement Notes
- Dodge, et al. v. PHH Corporation, et al.
- Case No. 8:15-cv-01973-FMO-AFM
- Pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
PlaintiffsSheri and Neal Dodge and Ram and Sarita Agrawal initiated this class action lawsuit alleging that borrowers who obtained a mortgage loan from PHH Mortgage or their affiliates were improperly referred for title, escrow, or closing-related services from Title Resource Group or its affiliates in exchange for kickbacks.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that for more than a decade PHH engaged in an “improper scheme of providing cross-referrals, preferences, exclusivities, and other things of value to and among themselves, often through their many affiliates and subsidiaries, for settlement services related to federally-related mortgage loans. The purpose and effect of the scheme was to permit Defendants (defined below) to influence the market and obtain anticompetitive prices for their services” – a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act or RESPA.
Congress passed RESPA in 1974 to promote competition within the real estate settlement industry and protect consumers from “unnecessarily high settlement charges caused by certain abusive practices.” One goal, in particular, was the “elimination of kickbacks or referral fees that tend to increase unnecessarily the costs of certain settlement services.”
In the Dodges’ case, they refinanced their home in California in October 2015 with Morgan Stanley Private Bank, for which PHH acted as the bank’s agent, providing loan processing and underwriting services.
The Dodges were referred to Title Resource Group for both title insurance and other settlement services in connection with their refinance. “The Dodges trusted and relied that the referrals were lawful and not part of an anticompetitive kickback scheme,” the lawsuit states. The Dodges paid fees and other charges totaling approximately $1,233.50 to Total Resource Group for the services related to the settlement of their mortgage loan. After closing, the Dodges’ new loan was serviced by PHH. They refinanced two other homes around the same time, where they were again referred to Title Resource Group for title insurance and other settlement services and where PHH serviced their new loan.
The Dodges claim they were never made aware of the kickback scheme and as a result paid more for settlement services than they would have paid in the absence of the anticompetitive referrals and kickbacks.
PHH denies any wrongdoing but agreed to settle to the tune of $17 million. Complete details about the case and settlement can be found on the PHH Mortgage Real Estate Fee Kickback Scheme Settlement Website.
Class members who wish to exclude themselves or object to the PHH Mortgage Real Estate Fee Kickback Scheme settlement must do so by May 14, 2018. Class members who wish to contest the amount listed on their Class Notice, must submit a claim form along with supporting documentation on or before May 14, 2018. Class members who agree with the amount listed on their Notice do not need to do anything.
- 5/14/18: Claim Form Deadline (Only if you disagree with the amount listed on page 4 of your Class Notice)
- 5/14/18: Objection or Exclusion Deadline
- 8/16/18: Final Hearing at 10:00 a.m. PT* (class members do not need to attend this hearing in order to receive a slice of the settlement pie).
*Settlement Class Members who wish to speak at the hearing should check www.RealEstateFeeSettlement.com to confirm that the date or time of the Hearing has not been changed.
- Mail: Dodge v. PHH Corporation Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 404041, Louisville, KY 40233-4041
- Phone: 1-866-651-8299