On January 30, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified a class of mortgage borrowers in a breach of contract suit against a national bank (defendant). In doing so, the court approved a class defined as consumers who (i) had a mortgage loan with the defendant; (ii) qualified for a modification of their loan between 2010 and 2018 “pursuant to the requirements of government-sponsored enterprises (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), [or] the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)”; (iii) though they qualified, were not offered a loan modification by the defendant due to defendant’s flawed calculations of eligibility; and (iv) had their homes foreclosed upon and sold by the defendant. According to the order, the plaintiffs claimed that in 2013 the “defendant discovered a calculation error that had caused certain fees to be misstated and had resulted in incorrect mortgage modification denials,” but the problem was not fully resolved until 2018.

The court also granted the plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file a third amended complaint in order to add a plaintiff “whose property was secured by an FHA instrument.” The plaintiffs reasoned that they should have a representative for the FHA contracts as well as a representative for the GSE contracts, in case it is argued that the FHA and GSE contracts are so different that each requires its own representative.