PHH Settles With Oregan Combat Veteran Jacob McGreevey For $125,000 In Illegal SCRA Foreclosure Case
Marine Jacob McGreevey discovered he had been a victim of an illegal SCRA foreclosure when he returned to his Oregan home after four years in Afghanistan and Iraq war zones.
Last week, the Marine won. PHH Mortgage last week agreed to pay $125,000 to McGreevey. PHH is also paying settlements to five other servicemembers it foreclosed on. The firm did so after the USDOJ sued it for violating federal law when it illegally grabbed the servicemembers’ homes.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects military members from foreclosures and other collection efforts while deployed overseas. It also covers them in the ensuing 12 months. Federal attorneys claimed PHH knew or should have known the homeowners were deployed servicemembers.
McGreevey said of the settlement:
McGreevey still remains frustrated with PHH:
Ocwen has since acquired PHH and the company did not admit or deny responsibility in the illegal SCRA foreclosure:
McGreevey Is A Victim Of An Illegal SCRA Foreclosure
PHH Mortgage foreclosed on McGreevey’s Oregan home in 2010 while he was on his third tour of duty. McGreevey returned home and got a job at a bank. He soon learned of the federal law that should have prevented his foreclosure.
McGreevey hired Portland lawyer Sean Riddell, his former commanding officer in the Middle East, to represent him. They filed lawsuits against PHH and the Seattle-area foreclosure firm PHH hired to handle the foreclosure.
They lost because McGreevey had waited too long to file his complaint. A federal judge ruled the statute of limitations had expired. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld the ruling.
Riddell did not give up. He sent McGreevey’s lawsuit to every law enforcement agency and consumer protection group he thought might be interested. Lawyers from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice took up the case.
The found five illegal foreclosures against servicemembers in PHH’s portfolio. They also found about two-dozen improper foreclosures conducted by Northwest Trustee, the other defendant in McGreevey’s original lawsuit.