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Creditors’ Rights Victory in Mass Financial Tort Claim Suit

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In one of the largest cases of its kind, 368 plaintiffs from 37 different States brought a lawsuit in 2012 against 38 of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders and servicers, alleging a conspiracy by the defendants to engage in wrongful lending practices and violate the plaintiffs’ rights under various state and federal statutes.  The action, which began in New York State Supreme Court, Kings County, and was subsequently removed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, sought to cancel the plaintiffs’ mortgages and recover tens of millions of dollars in compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees from the defendants. 

Carter Conboy joined with 19 other law firms from around the country to defend against this lawsuit.  In a Memorandum and Order filed May 23, 2013, the Hon. William F. Kuntz, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, granted a defense motion to dismiss the suit, holding that the claims of the various plaintiffs could not be maintained in a single action and that the claims of the first named plaintiff lacked merit as a matter of law.  The decision and order is published at 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73801.       

Carter Conboy’s client in the action was a national mortgage loan servicer who had serviced, or was servicing, several of the mortgage loans in question.  The client was represented by Carter Conboy’s Michael J. Catalfimo and James A. Resila.

Michael J. Catalfimo is a principal of Carter Conboy and the Firm’s Chief Operating Officer.  He concentrates his practice in the fields of creditors’ rights and business and property law and litigation, and is also experienced in the areas of family law, estates and trusts law, municipal law and health care law. Mr. Catalfimo is an active member of numerous professional associations, including the American Bankruptcy Institute, the New York Trial Lawyers Association and the Business Litigation Practice Group of the American Law Firm Association (ALFA).  He is the current Chairman of the Board of the St. Louis, Missouri based American Legal and Financial Network (ALFN), one of the nation’s largest network of mortgage loan servicing attorneys and institutions.  He is also a member and a past-president of the Federation of Bar Associations of the Fourth Judicial District and the Washington County Bar Association, and a former adjunct professor of business law at Skidmore College. 

James A. Resila is a partner and litigator with Carter Conboy, concentrating his practice in the defense of municipalities in federal civil rights cases, medical and dental malpractice defense, general negligence claims, defense of lending institutions in state and federal court, and appellate law. Mr. Resila is a graduate of Fordham Law School and has been recognized as a New York SuperLawyer®.  He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers® in America in the field of Appellate Practice. Mr. Resila serves as a Panel Member on the United States District Court, Northern District of New York’s Panel of Attorneys Responsible for the Investigation of Prosecution of Attorney Disciplinary Complaints, and is a Mediator/Arbitrator for the United States District Court, Northern District of New York’s ADR Panel, the Third District Attorneys Fee Dispute Resolution Program, and Albany City Civil Court Arbitration Program.   

Carter Conboy is a full-service law firm founded in 1920.  With offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York, Carter Conboy serves its clients in New York, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Ohio, and New Jersey. For additional information about the firm, visit www.carterconboy.com or contact the firm’s Director of Marketing, Stacy A. Smith, at 518-810-0516 or ssmith@carterconboy.com.