Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

September 25, 2013

Another Federal Judge Can’t Take It Anymore

By David Reiss

Magistrate Judge Brown (EDNY) issued a memorandum and order in Pandit v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., CV 11-3935 (June 5, 2013) that reflects, to my mind, judicial frustration with mortgage industry companies.  This frustration arises, no doubt, from the many frequent of shockingly bad behavior by such companies.

Pandit concerned a mortgage that the plaintiffs had attempted to modify through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAMP has been derided as an “ineffectual” response (one of many) that arose in the aftermath of the financial crisis. (1) The plaintiffs allege that Saxon deceived them throughout their participation in HAMP and seek to form a class of similar victims.

Defendant moved to limit discovery to the named plaintiffs’ claims only or, in the alternative, to “the existence and scope of a putative class.” (2) The court stated that

[i]t is ironic, then, that a defendant accused of “routinely ask[ing] homeowners to resubmit financial information on pretextual grounds; mislead[ing] homeowners over the phone; and ignor[ing] completed loan modifications in what is fairly read to be a series of steps designed to string along loan modification applicants,” , now seeks to establish procedural hurdles that may fairly be read to string along the adjudication of plaintiffs’ legal action. The proposed path appears neither just nor fair. (13, citation omitted)

With that the Court denied defendant’s motion and granted plaintiff “leave to proceed with discovery related to their claims and certification of the class.” (2)

While this is, of course, just a procedural win for plaintiffs, the judge noted that the “parties are at liberty to engage in fulsome discovery . . ..” (14) Defendant, one would assume, is not looking forward to “excessive, extravagant, overdone, immoderate, inordinate” discovery and are not looking forward to appearing before a judge who issues such an order.


[HT Scott Mollen, NYLJ]

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