On May 16, 2016 in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Smith, Gildea & Schmidt, LLC and Joseph, Greenwald & Laake,PA filed a Motion to Approve the Settlement for approximately $400,000 on behalf of more than 190 consumers alleged to be victims of an illegal kickback scheme involving Genuine Title of Owings Mills, Maryland.
The lawsuit alleged that from 2009 through early 2014, Genuine Title provided kickbacks to Chase Bank licensed mortgage brokers in exchange for referring borrowers to Genuine Title for title insurance and settlement services. Approximately 190 loans originated by the defendant, Chase Bank, were involved in this settlement. Chase Bank is responsible for the payment of settlement funds, which will be awarded within 90 days after finality of the settlement.
“We are very pleased that we have been able to help the victims of Genuine Title. It’s important for consumers to be protected from dishonest practices such as these kickback schemes,” said Michael Paul Smith, a partner with Smith, Gildea & Schmidt who represented the plaintiffs in this case along with Timothy Maloney of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake.
“Clients at the settlement table had no way of knowing about these kickbacks,” said Maloney. “We are happy this lawsuit brought these practices to light and that we have been able to obtain a significant recovery for consumers of title services.”
Wells Fargo was the first lender to settle in February in the Genuine Title lawsuits. Smith, Gildea & Schmidt and Joseph, Greenwald & Laake currently have cases against seven additional banks/mortgage companies, Genuine Title and three of its sham marketing companies.