A proposed class action has been filed against Ditech Financial, LLC and Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) claiming the defendants charged mortgage borrowers illegal property inspection fees. The plaintiff claims his defaulted mortgage was assigned to Fannie Mae in May 2012 and that Ditech began servicing the loan two years later in May 2014.
According to the complaint, Ditech was required to adhere to The Fannie Mae Single Family Servicing Guide, which purportedly allowed the servicer to charge property inspections “not more frequently than every twenty days.” Nevertheless, the case argues, Ditech apparently conducted “drive-by” property inspections on the plaintiff’s home more often than these limitations allowed and disguised its allegedly unlawful behavior by ambiguously labeling the fees as “Corp Adv Disb” charges on the man’s billing statements.
The suit argues that Ditech is “incentivized to keep borrowers in foreclosure” because the disguised fees it charges, though “relatively small,” are applied over and over, allowing Ditech to generate “thousands of dollars in profit from borrowers who are unlikely to challenge the fee when fighting to save their home.”
According to the complaint, Ditech pays “much less” than the $15.00 fee it charges to conduct property inspections and pockets the extra money. The case claims the defendants’ supposedly deceptive behavior violates not only the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act but also oversteps the boundaries of the Truth in Lending Act and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act.