AHMSI, Ohio AG Swap Lawsuits Over Servicing Claims
American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHMSI) is filing a "pre-emptive" lawsuit contesting allegations made by the Ohio attorney general this week. AHMSI said it received a letter from the Ohio attorney general’s office, claiming its mortgage servicing -- including customer service, loss mitigation and loan modification business practices -- may be in violation of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. “Although we respect the attorney general’s commitment to serve the people of Ohio, we are convinced that these allegations are entirely without merit, and intend to defend ourselves vigorously against them,” said AHMSI executive vice president and chief legal officer Jordan Dorchuck. “Rather than wait to be named as a defendant in a suit that AHMSI considers to be rash and without merit, we elected to petition an Ohio state court for a declaration that AHMSI’s servicing practices are fully compliant with Ohio law.” Based in Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, AHMSI was founded in April 2008 and employs 3,000 individuals. It has a servicing portfolio of more than 500,000 residential mortgages, including about 17,000 in Ohio, the company said. It did not originate any of the loans it currently services. According to a release from Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray, a suit was filed against AHMSI on Thursday, alleging violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, including incompetent and inadequate customer service, failure to respond to requests for assistance, failure to offer timely or affordable loss mitigation options to borrowers and unfair and deceptive loan modification terms. “For far too long there has been little to no accountability for those who take advantage of the dire circumstances of home foreclosure,” said Cordray. “The acts of some mortgage servicers have gone beyond the point of being negligent — they have become predatory financial practices and in Ohio, they won’t be tolerated.” Write to Austin Kilgore.