Nationstar Mortgage, LLC named in class action over failure to honor applicants of the Home Affordable Modification Program

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The lawsuit was brought  on behalf of a class of homeowners across the nation (the “Class”) to challenge Defendant Nationstar Mortgage, LLC’s (“Defendant” or “Nationstar”) intentional and systematic failure to provide permanent loan modifications to borrowers who signed Permanent Modification Agreements (“PMAs”) under the Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”).

As alleged, Nationstar has serially failed to honor its express and implied contractual obligations under its PMAs, has made repeated misrepresentations of material fact, and has engaged in business practices that are deceptive, immoral, unscrupulous, unfair, and oppressive under California law.

Under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”), also known as the taxpayer bailout, the United States Government provided the nation’s largest financial institutions with nearly $700 billion in funds to address what was widely accepted as an unprecedented financial crisis.

A key feature of TARP is the Making Home Affordable Program, of which the HAMP is a major component. Under the HAMP, servicers like Nationstar and other major lenders receive incentive payments for providing mortgage loan modifications to eligible borrowers such as Plaintiff Burton and the putative Class.

In or around May 2009, Nationstar signed a contract with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, through its agent, Fannie Mae, agreeing to participate in the HAMP as an approved HAMP servicer. Nationstar thereafter executed an amended Servicer Participation Agreement (“SPA”) in or around September 2010.

As a HAMP servicer, Nationstar entered into written PMAs for modifications with Plaintiff and other eligible Nationstar borrowers. These PMAs, which were form contracts, expressly required Nationstar to permanently modify the borrower’s loan pursuant to the terms of the PMA.

Plaintiff and the members of the putative Class complied with their obligations under their TPP Agreements and PMAs by executing and submitting all required documentation, answering all questions truthfully, keeping their representations true and accurate, and making their required trial period payments. Despite Plaintiff’s and the other Class Members’ full performance,

According to the complaint, Nationstar has ignored its obligations under their PMAs and the HAMP by refusing to permanently modify their loans. Nationstar’s failure to permanently modify its borrowers’ loans is no accident. To the contrary, Nationstar has knowingly established a system designed to wrongfully deprive its eligible HAMP borrowers of an opportunity to modify their mortgages, pay their loans, and save their houses from foreclosure. Nationstar’s actions, which serve only its interest in extracting as much money as possible from borrowers it deems are at risk of default, thwart the very purpose of HAMP, constitute express and implied breaches of its various contracts, and amount to immoral, unlawful, and unfair business practices under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

A copy of a complaint may be viewed here: Nationstar 3-19-13

 

Nissan North America named in class action lawsuit alleging failure to disclose defect in Timing Chain Systems which results in premature failure

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This is a consumer class action concerning a breach of warranty and an intentional failure to disclose material facts and a safety concern to consumers. Secondary timing chains, secondary timing chain tensioners and secondary timing chain tensioner shoes (“Timing Chain Systems”) installed in 2004 -2008 Nissan Maxima vehicles, 2004 – 2009 Nissan Quest vehicles, 2004 – 2006 Nissan Altima vehicles (with the VQ35 engine), 2005 – 2007 Nissan Pathfinder vehicles, 2005 – 2007 Nissan Xterra vehicles, and 2005 – 2007 Nissan Frontier vehicles (with the VQ40 engine) (collectively, “Subject Nissan Vehicles”), which were designed, manufactured, imported, distributed, marketed, and maintained, upon information and belief, by Nissan North America, Inc. and Nissan Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha d/b/a Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Nissan” or “Defendants”), were prone to premature failure and could not be reasonably repaired. Nissan’s breach of warranty and failure to disclose material facts presents a safety concern to consumers, and has caused consumers to suffer significant monetary damages.

As alleged, the Timing Chain Systems installed in the Subject Nissan Vehicles are prone to premature failure, before the end of the useful life of the vehicles, and well before consumers reasonably expect any such failure to occur. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and based thereon, alleges that a vehicle’s Timing Chain System is intended and reasonably expected to last for at least ten years, if not more, without the need for repair or replacement.

Nissan has been aware that the Timing Chain Systems installed in the Subject Nissan Vehicles are prone to premature failure, and Nissan continued to install defective Timing Chain Systems in the Subject Nissan Vehicles knowing that they were prone to premature failure. Nissan not only refused to disclose the problem, but also actively concealed knowledge of it.

Nissan undertook affirmative efforts to conceal the failures through, among other things, Technical Service Bulletins issued to repair facilities. Although Nissan was aware enough of the problem to issue multiple Technical Service Bulletins to repair facilities, informing them of the need for Timing Chain Systems to be replaced, Nissan selectively chose not to inform consumers of this fact. Nissan concealed this so that the warranty period on the Subject Nissan Vehicles would expire before owners become aware of the problem. Through this practice, Nissan unlawfully transfers the cost of  replacement from itself to the owners of the Subject Nissan

As a result of Nissan’s failure to disclose the fact that the Timing Chain Systems were prone to unavoidable premature failure, consumers are required to spend thousands of dollars to replace the Timing Chain Systems, or sell their vehicles without  repair at a substantial loss. The fact that the Timing Chain Systems are prone to premature failure is material because no reasonable consumer expects to spend thousands of dollars to replace essential components of the Subject Nissan Vehicles’ engines in the early years of vehicle ownership.

The fact that the Timing Chain Systems were prone to sudden premature failure is material to consumers because it presents a serious safety issue and places the driver and passengers at a risk of harm. The Timing Chain Systems form an integral component of the Subject Nissan Vehicles’ engines. When they fail, they can cause a variety of problems, including the inability of the vehicles to accelerate and maintain speed, as well as catastrophic engine failure, among other issues. When any of these occur while the vehicles are in motion, occupants of the vehicles are exposed to rear end collisions and other accidents caused by the driver’s inability to maintain an appropriate speed on the road. The fact that the Timing Chain Systems are prone to premature failure is also material to consumers because there is no safe alternative way for owners of the Subject Nissan Vehicles to avoid the risk of potential harm. As a result of its failure to disclose the material fact that the Timing Chain Systems installed in the Subject Nissan Vehicles are prone to premature failure, Nissan has recklessly placed the safety of owners and occupants of the vehicles at risk.

Complaint: Nissan FAC