October 7, 2015

$38 Million Foreclosure Settlement For Military Servicemembers

On October 6, 2015, Judge Paul Gardephe of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted final approval of a $38 million class settlement in Rodriguez v. CitiMortgage, Inc. The settlement provides a recovery of $116,785 plus lost equity for each military servicemember whose property was foreclosed while they were on active duty military service.

In July 2011, Bursor & Fisher, P.A. filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Sergeant Jorge Rodriguez and other active duty military servicemembers alleging the lender violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a federal law that protects military servicemembers against foreclosures while they’re serving on active duty. After years of hard-fought litigation, the case was settled for $38 million, with the Servicemembers’ attorney’s fees to be paid by the lender.

“I’m proud that my firm took this case on back in 2011, and we were the first to represent military servicemembers challenging this lender’s foreclosure practices. I’m even prouder to say that this $38 million settlement is all cash, and that 100% of that cash will go to the class members we represent, since my firm’s attorneys’ fees will be paid by the lender,” said Scott A. Bursor, lead counsel for the Class.

At the final approval hearing, Judge Gardephe noted that the attorney’s fees would be paid by CitiMortgage and “would not be drawn from the common fund.” This was one of the factors Judge Gardephe mentioned in finding that military servicemembers “will realize a significant and real benefit” from the settlement.