Consumer Rights Investigations and Cases
Lender placed insurance
We are currently investigating the practice of “force placed” or “lender placed insurance”. Mortgage lenders typically require homeowners to maintain property insurance on their mortgaged homeowner’s property. Where a homeowner fails to maintain that coverage, the mortgage lender is allowed by the mortgage agreement to order homeowner’s insurance and then charge that insurance to the homeowner as part of the mortgage balance. Such insurance ordered by the mortgage lender is generally called “force placed” or “lender placed” insurance. Courts are now addressing claims that some or all of the “force placed” insurance ordered by the mortgage lender is unnecessary or duplicates pre-existing property insurance paid for by the homeowner.
If you believe you were required by your mortgage lender to pay for force placed insurance, you may contact us at 412-288-4333 for more information. Or you contact us for a free consultation by following this link: Contact us.
The lawyers handling this investigation are based in California and Pennsylvania and have handled lawsuits to recover these overcharges for homeowners. The firms include Pietz Law Office* and the other law firms listed below. There will never be any charge for contacting us.
Yunker & Schneider
San Diego, CA
Joseph N. Kravec, Jr.
Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC
*Admitted in PA, will apply for pro hac vice appearances in CA if litigation is filed in CA
Notable Consumer Rights Cases
As a Pittsburgh consumer rights law attorney, Jim Pietz has been appointed to represent consumers in the following cases brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Reardon v. ClosetMaid, 08-1730 (W.D. Pa.) (Appointed Class Counsel in a class action case alleging that the defendant violated the FCRA in procuring consumer reports for employment purposes;
- Campos v. ChoicePoint, 237 F.R.D. 478 (N.D. Ga.)(Appointed Class Counsel in a class action alleging that ChoicePoint, a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to disclose insurance claim, criminal background and tenant screening information in a single consumer report when requested by a consumer.)
- Gillespie v. Equifax, 2008 WL 4614327 (N.D. Ill. October 15, 2008) Class action alleging that Equifax, a credit reporting agency, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to disclose the date of first delinquency on consumers credit reports;
Jim Pietz has represented consumers in the following cases involving a patient’s right of access to her or his medical or pharmacy records:
- Anthony C. Mengine Law Inc. v. Healthport GD-09- 012919;
- Wayne M. Chiurazzi Law Inc. vs. MRO Corporation, Case No. GD-09-012911;
- Wayne M. Chiurazzi Law Inc. vs. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Case No. GD-09-012919;
- Wayne M. Chiurazzi Law Inc. vs. IOD Corporation, Case No. GD-09-012922;
- Anthony C. Mengine Law Inc. vs. Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Case No. GD-09-014785.
- Landay v. Rite Aid, 20 WAP 2013 (Pa. Sup. Court)
Jim Pietz has been appointed to represent or is representing consumers in the following cases involving other areas of consumer law:
- Wahl v. American Security Ins. Co., 2009 WL 1766620) (N.D.Cal. 2009)class action alleging the illegal placement of force-placed property insurance;
- Vincent v. Wolpoff & Abramson, 08-423 (W.D.Pa. 2008 September 9, 2008 Order) and McNulty v. Edwin Abramhansen & Assoc. 08-422 (W.D. Pa.). Class actions on behalf of classes of consumers claiming that charges for attorneys’ fees were improperly added to amounts owed in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Mr. Pietz was principally responsible for the prosecution of seven class actions involving the allegedly illegal sale and financing of campground timeshare interests. With respect to this litigation the firm was certified as class counsel in the following cases:
- Zaazouh v. Bank One, C.A., No. 89-145 (W.D. Pa. 1989)
- Conley v. Bank One, 4:91-CV-0251 (N.D. Ohio 1991)
- Rudnik v. Cortland, 1120 of 1990 C.D. (Fayette Cty. 1990)
- Gogola v. FirstSouth, No. 1121 of 1990 (Fayette County, Pa. 1990)
- McDonagh v. GEICO Financial, 4:93 CV 1352 (N.D. Ohio)
- Isaak v. Trumbull Savings and Loan, 4:93 CV 1121 (N.D. Ohio)
- Slentz v. Cortland, C.A. 4:93 CV 1480 (N.D. Ohio 1993).
Additionally, Mr. Pietz was extensively involved in the prosecution of class actions against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company alleging the fraudulent and deceptive sale of life insurance policies including working as one of the class counsel in the following cases:
- State ex. rel. Metropolitan Life v. Starcher, 196 W.Va. 519, 474 S.E.2d 476 (1996);
- Wolbert v. Metropolitan Life, No. 95-0861 (W.D. Pa.)
- Cope v. Metropolitan Life, 82 Ohio St.3d 426, 696 N.E.2d 1001 (1998).
- In Re: Metropolitan Life Insurance Sales Practice Litigation, 1999 U.S. Dist. Lexis 22688, MDL No. 1091 (W.D. Pa).
Mr. Pietz has extensive experience handling appeals in the state and federal courts many of which involved significant, systemic issues in complex class litigation, including as follows:
- Martin v. Franklin Capital, 393 F.3d 1143 (10th Cir. 2004) (what standard applies under 28 U.S.C. § 1447 for awarding attorneys’ fees and costs for defendants’ erroneous removal);
- Gayman v. Principal Life, 311 F.3d 851 (7th Cir. 2002) (whether demutualization of life insurer pursuant to state law constitutes “state action” within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.);
- LaBarre v. Credit Acceptance, 175 F. 3d 640 (8th Cir. 1999)
- (whether McCarren-Ferguson Act barred claim under RICO, 18 U.S.C. §1962(c)); Stewart v. National Education Assoc., 05-7140 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (whether demutualization consideration attributable to a group life insurance policy must be held exclusively for the benefit of the insureds under the policy)