Earlier this year, Alena Hammer, a resident of Illinois’ DuPage County
for the past 27 years, was awarded a total of two million dollars from
Texas-based national mortgage loan servicer Residential Credit Solutions
(RCS). Of the two million, $500,000 served as compensatory damages for
breach of contract, unnecessary foreclosure actions, wrongly-assessed
fees, mental and emotional distress for the three-and-a-half-year ordeal,
and other damages.
Hammer entered into a loan modification agreement with her lender, AmTrust
Bank, just before it failed and was taken over by the FDIC at the end
of 2009. Her mortgage was later passed on to RCS, who refused to acknowledge
the existence of her loan modification and soon began rejecting her monthly
payments. Although Hammer to this day has still never missed a monthly
payment, RCS brought foreclosure actions against her on two separate occasions.
The first foreclosure case was dismissed in Hammer’s favor, but
RCS still continued to deny the existence of the modification and prosecuted
her again in 2011.
The six-day trial, presided over by the Honorable Thomas M. Durkin at the
United States District Court Northern District of Illinois in Chicago,
concluded in Hammer’s favor on April 20, 2015. RCS was found guilty
of breaching the loan modification agreement, violating the Real Estate
Settlement Procedures Act for failing to acknowledge the Qualified Written
Request, and committing deceptive and unfair actions against Hammer in
violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. In addition to the $500,000
that Hammer was awarded in compensatory damages, RCS was also ordered
to pay an additional $1,500,000 in punitive damages as a punishment to
discourage future misconduct.
Hammer was represented by Chicago consumer lawyers Ahmad Sulaiman, Esq.
and Mara Ann Baltabols, Esq., both of Sulaiman Law Group, LTD, as well
as Nicholas Heath Wooten, Esq. and Ross Michael Zambon, Esq.
To view the original court document concerning Hammer’s case, please
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