A.G. Settles with PHH Mortgage Corp.

Stephanie Abbott —  August 1, 2018 — Leave a comment

PHH Mortgage Corporation (“PHH”) has entered into a settlement today with Attorney General Chris Carr’s office to resolve allegations that it violated Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act by charging unauthorized fees to Georgia consumers.

The Attorney General’s office alleges that PHH, a New Jersey-based mortgage servicing and mortgage originating business, marketed various third-party products and services, including insurance products and home warranty programs, to certain consumers whose mortgages it serviced and placed charges for these products and services on consumers’ mortgage bills. According to the Attorney General, many consumers did not even realize they had signed up for these products and services. Likewise, they were not aware that the cost of these items was being added onto their monthly mortgage payments.

In resolution of these allegations of unfair and deceptive acts and practices, PHH has entered into a settlement requiring it to:

  • comply with the Fair Business Practices Act;
  • refrain from soliciting Georgia consumers’ purchase of and/or enrollment in third-party products and/or services;
  • cease all billing for the products and/or services provided and/or fulfilled by third-parties;
  • notify each consumer it is currently billing for products and/or services provided and/or fulfilled by third-parties that the consumer may cancel the remainder of the contract without penalty;
  • pay $25,000 to fund a Consumer Restitution Trust Account, to be administered by the Attorney General, for consumers who paid fees for third-party products and/or services that, due to any of PHH’s solicitation and/or billing practices, the consumer alleges were not owed; and
  • pay $50,000 to the Attorney General’s office in fees, penalties, investigation and litigation costs, and/or for future  consumer protection and consumer education costs. In the event that PHH fails to comply with the settlement terms at any time during a 120-day monitoring period, an additional $50,000 will immediately become due.

“Our office will hold accountable those that use deceptive means to profit from consumers,” said Attorney General Chris Carr.

Refunds for Consumers

Consumers who paid fees for third-party products and/or services due to any of PHH’s solicitations and/or billing practices may be entitled to compensation under the settlement and  should fill out and submit a prescribed claim form, along with supporting documentation, to the Georgia Department of Law. Claim forms must be postmarked, faxed or hand-delivered no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 in order to be considered for restitution.

Eligibility

Claims must be submitted by or on behalf of consumers who: pfees for third-party products and/or services that, due to any of PHH’s solicitation and/or billing practices, the consumer alleges were not owed; and have not received a full refund from PHH and/or the third-party provider.

Filing a Claim

Consumers can download a claim form from the Consumer Protection Unit website here.

Completed claims and any documentation, should be submitted by mail, overnight delivery, fax or hand-delivery to:

Georgia Department of Law – Consumer Protection Unit

ATTN: PHH Restitution

2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 356

Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9077

Fax number:  404-651-9018

You may NOT submit the Claim Form by email.

Claims must be postmarked or faxed no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on August 29, 2018.

 

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Stephanie Abbott

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