For the past couple of years in Northern California, there has been a flurry of refinancing fueled by low interest rates, substantial property appreciation, and financial needs of homeowners. While before, it seemed that every unemployed high tech worker here got a real estate license, it seems like half of them now became loan agents. The terms of the loans they peddled got more and more complex at the same time the experience and quality of the persons pushing the loans declined, in my view.
I’ve wondered whether all of these non standard loans might present Truth in Lending violations. Truth in Lending is federal law designed to see that borrowers get clear and meaningful information about the cost of a proposed loan before they commit. A federal judge in the Eastern District of Wisconsin just found disclosures by Chevy Chase Bank in connection with an adjustable rate mortgage to violate Truth in Lending, and certified the case as a class action. Andrews v. Chevy Chase Bank, Case No. 05C0454, 1/16/07.
One of the remedies for violation of Truth in Lending is the rescission of the loan and the crediting of all payments on the loan to principle. The statute of limitations is generally three years from the transaction.
I suspect that this case, against this lender, is just the beginning.