Foreclosure defense attorney infiltrates Ally mortgage unit
Ally Financial (GJM) said it discovered a foreclosure defense attorney was working for its mortgage unit and pilfering confidential information on the company's foreclosure operations. That's according to a lawsuit filed against the terminated employee, Tanya L. Blackwell, an attorney actively licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania State Bar Association, which did not list any disciplinary actions against her. Blackwell describes her law firm on her LinkedIn page as a "plaintiff's only firm protecting the rights of everyday people and providing affordable legal services. Practice areas include: employment discrimination, foreclosure defense litigation, bankruptcy, and personal injury." She began working for Ally's GMAC Mortgage LLC unit about Jan. 10. She served as a foreclosure specialist in its Fort Washington, Pa., Residential Capital business unit. She was fired in mid-June. Ally alleges Blackwell forwarded confidential information to her personal email account and then disseminated it to third parties. That information, the company said, included organizational charts for Ally's foreclosure operations, "numerous confidential internal emails not addressed to her attention," including mortgage accounts not assigned to her, the lawsuit alleges. Ally requested Blackwell return all information. "Defendant has used and/or is presently misusing Ally's confidential information by disseminating it," the lawsuit alleges. Ally said Blackwell signed a conflict of interest questionnaire at the inception of her employment that "clearly advised defendant that she had a duty to act soley in the best interest of Ally and to provide Ally with her individual loyalty," according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Pennsylvania. The company's code of ethics also prohibited Blackwell from having a material interest or investment in any businesses that could create a conflict of interest, Ally said. Blackwell "never disclosed to Ally that she was an attorney much less that her law firm actively represents that it is adverse to financial services companies such as Ally," the lawsuit said. Ally seeks a temporary restraining order or permanent injunction against Blackwell, and anyone participating with her, from using or disclosing the information she obtained. The company wants Blackwell's computer hard drive and other storage devices so it can delete all Ally information from them, it said. Blackwell could not be immediately reached for comment. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her at Twitter @communicatorKLC.