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Please see article in the Fulton County Daily Report legal newspaper (12/14/12 edition) about Mr. Grumet and his hobbies outside the law office.

Full text of the Westlaw Order

This is a very important win for consumers everywhere. Among other things, the Court - Judge Amy Totenberg, District Court for the Northern District of Georgia - held that despite BOA's attempts to have Plaintiff's case dismissed at the Motion to Dismiss stage, Plaintiff's claims for BOA's violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA") - in particular, as related to Plaintiff's Qualified Written Requests under 2105 - the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the GA Fair Lending Act, the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act, Breach of Contract, Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Conversion, Unjust Enrichment, among other claims, were all viable claims that were sufficiently pled to withstand BOA's Motion. All of these claims arose in conjunction with Plaintiff's attempts to modify her home mortgage loan under the HAMP program.

This is a great new opinion by Judge Amy Totenberg, in the Northern District of Georgia. It addresses the widely discussed and litigated issues of mortgages, MERS, standing, title to property, and foreclosures and is the only case I have seen to date that favors homeowners/consumers on theses issues in this context. The case is Evans v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, Civil Action File No.: 1:2011cv02231 and the opinion was published on July 7, 2011. See links below

I am counsel for the Plaintiff in at least one very similar case against BOA, also pending in the NDGA before Judge Totenberg, which involves claims pertaining to mortgage modifications under HAMP and FCRA [credit reporting] issues - and we are currently awaiting a ruling on BOA's Motion to Dismiss.

See more information here and here.

This is a HUGE win for consumers who have challenged BOA's loan modification "efforts" and have alleged [accurately], among many other things, that BOA caused homeowners to rely to their detriment on BOA's false promises with respect to HAMP loan modification efforts.

The case is styled "In re: Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Contract Litigation", Case No.: No. 10-md-02193, pending in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

Coverage from Reuters about the recent ruling.

The July 6, 2011 Order can be viewed here.

The Federal Reserve Board's latest "interim final rule" (bit of an oxymoron) postpones certain aspects of the Gift Card Rules required under the Credit CARD Act to take effect on Aug. 22, 2010. Source: bankrate.com

Dodd Co-Sponsors 'Right to Repair' Bill [Automobiles] (May 3, 2010)

This should be interesting....

By Mark Huffman
ConsumerAffairs.com

April 30, 2010
The move to pass the automotive "Right to Repair" bill has picked up another powerful Senate sponsor -- Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

"We want to thank Sen. Dodd for supporting this very important piece of pro-consumer and pro-small business legislation," said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, which is championing the measure.

The Right to Repair Bill would require carmakers to provide independent repair shops with the same access to the same safety alerts, technical service bulletins, diagnostic tools and repair information they provide to their dealer network.

The sponsors say the bill protects motoring consumers from a "growing and potentially hazardous vehicle repair monopoly" by requiring that car companies provide full access at a reasonable cost to all service information, tools and safety-related bulletins needed to repair motor vehicles, thus leveling the competitive playing field between dealerships and independent repair shops. They say consumers would benefit because in many cases, independent repair shops provide service at a lower cost than dealerships.

The measure currently has bipartisan support.

"The Right to Repair Act does not cost taxpayers money, does not create a new agency and, more importantly, does not ask taxpayers for a bailout," said Ray Pohlman, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality. "This bill keeps motorists in the driver's seat by making sure that they, and not the vehicle manufacturers, have the final say on where a car is taken for service."

'Solution in search of a problem'

Some other automotive groups have a decidedly different view, with one calling the bill "a solution in search of a problem."

"Automakers already provide affordable access to the necessary information to diagnose and service vehicles," said Ron Pyle, president of the Automotive Service Association, a group representing automotive service businesses. "All automakers maintain service information websites and make factory scan tools available to the independent repair community. The information is the same as that provided to franchised dealers and the tools are capable of performing the same functions. By investing in proper equipment and training and subscribing to service information providers, repair shops can gain access to everything they need to repair a motor vehicle of any make or model."

Automakers don't support the legislation either. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says proponents have been pushing for the legislation at both the federal and state levels for nearly a decade.

"The U.S. Congress and all other state legislators have consistently rejected their claims," Alliance President and CEO Dave McCurdy said. "No state has ever adopted the so-called 'Right to Repair' legislation."

The House version of the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (HR 2057) was introduced by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and George Miller (D-CA) and currently has 61 cosponsors.

See opinion here.

 

 

(Below is my comment on the blog posting by a member - Richard Tuschman - of the Alumni Group of my former law firm, Epstein, Becker & Green. The topic is the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the controversial case of Corbitt v. Home Depot, which is scheduled to be heard "en banc" - that is, by the full panel (which is unusual and only occurs when the court deems the issue particularly important, or, in this case, controversial). See weblink at bottom.)

I just hope, with all the passion I can muster, that the Corbitt decision(s) does NOT get overturned. To be sure, I'd like to see the court [continue to] go the OTHER way. As Camille Paglia and other bright contemporary sociologists, evolutionary biologists and thinkers have noted, our society - particularly in the workplace - has become so rigid, narrow-minded and downright paranoid that we have completely lost sight of what it means to be a human. And we must not forget that one of the most fundamental evolutionary aspects of being a homo sapien - a member of the animal kingdom - is our sexuality.

Quite frankly I think American law in this context [e.g. Title VII, sexual "harassment"] has devolved to a point beyond the absurd. To suggest that flirting, and even superficial/casual "touching", among persons - regardless of whether it occurs in the workplace and notwithstanding the fact that one may act in a supervisory capacity to another - is somehow "wrong" or should be deterred is preposterous!

Indeed, our corporate conglomerations have grown so large, and we now spend such a significant portion of our lives in the workplace, coupled with the fact that despite advances in technology, we are in many ways more socially alienated than ever before, means that it has become increasingly difficult to meet others with whom to partner or "mate". This, in turn, means that romance AND FLIRTING in the workplace is actually more important than ever!

This is NOT to say, however, that I do not believe there are some [very narrow and limited] circumstances in which this kind of interaction becomes improper, but such conduct must be characterized by, and limited to, the most egregious, repetitive, disruptive and UNWANTED physical touching - not unlike the kind of conduct that would rise to the level of criminal sexual battery. And behavior meeting this threshold so as to warrant administrative or legal sanctions - to say nothing of civil liability and damages - is extraordinarily rare. Furthermore, I believe that prior notice - by the "victim" to the "accused" - should be a prerequisite to sustaining a cause of action or adverse employment decision and that the former MUST be compelled to make it absolutely and unequivocally clear to the latter that the conduct/touching is unwanted.

I realize my opinion may be inconsistent with the current state of law - in other words, I do not recommend that an individual or employer act in any way that would expose he, she or it to adverse legal ramifications (said another way, this is not formal legal advice:). But I DO believe and hope that our legislature and judiciary should and will eventually come to pass and implement rules and regulations that are consistent with my views and with a MUCH more logical, liberal and natural (in the evolutionary sense) state of affairs.

Auden L. Grumet, Esq.
Original link


If applicable, you understand and agree that neither I nor my firm perform, nor have or do we hold ourselves out as performing, "credit repair" services as such term is defined under the Credit Repair Organizations Act (15 U.S.C. § 1679 et seq.)[or any other related state or federal law or rule]. Thus, while the end result of certain of my legal services may result in the improvement of one's credit or credit score, to the extent I am engaged by a client to help him or her with any matter that involves the FCRA or other aspects of consumer credit, my services are limited to assisting with legitimate problems or disputes about erroneous or inaccurate information [i.e. reported with "less than maximum accuracy" as defined by the FCRA and caselaw] and, as with all other aspects of my practice, I do not and cannot promise a particular or favorable outcome. Furthermore, if and when I am retained to represent a client in conjunction with a disputed/inaccurate credit related matter [whether exclusively or along with other legal issues], the scope of my representation is not limited solely to or with a view towards "credit improvement". Rather, such matters comprise only a part of the overall scope of my representation. In addition, neither I nor my office is a "mortgage loan originator" or lender as defined by either the GA Residential Mortgage Act [e.g. O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1000 et seq.] and or the Federal S.A.F.E. Act [Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008] and any mortgage or loan related services provided by me or my firm are or would be ancillary to the representation of the client and or otherwise exempt from the purview of same. Finally, neither I, my office nor the facsimile or telephone number(s) listed herein - or contained in any documents or links included or posted on this website - accept any commercial or advertising communications of any kind, which is strictly prohibited, and any provision or inclusion thereof; is not intended as a waiver of any protections granted by the TCPA, JFPA, CAN-SPAM Act(s) or any other applicable laws & and shall not create or give rise to a "business relationship".