Case: United States v. Plaza Home Mortgage

3:13-cv-02327 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Filed Date: Sept. 26, 2013

Closed Date: 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 26, 2013, the United States of America filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of California against Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc., under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The Department of Justice alleged that the defendant discriminated against African American and Hispanic borrowers in its residential mortgage lending and sought declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, compensatory damages to all of the victims of the defendant's discriminatory policies, an…

On September 26, 2013, the United States of America filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of California against Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc., under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The Department of Justice alleged that the defendant discriminated against African American and Hispanic borrowers in its residential mortgage lending and sought declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, compensatory damages to all of the victims of the defendant's discriminatory policies, and a civil penalty.

This case was filed after years of monitoring by federal agencies. In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") determined that the defendant had substantial disparities in the rates given to minority versus non-Hispanic white borrowers. The FTC requested more information from the defendant, including loan data and the company's policies, and in 2011 the Department of Justice took over the investigation. The data obtained from the investigation showed that from 2006 through at least 2010, the defendant permitted its mortgage brokers to charge excessive fees beyond the fee caps to African American and Hispanic borrowers more frequently than white borrowers based solely on race and national origin. The defendant had a two-step process set in place where the first step determined whether the applicant satisfied objective criteria. The second step was more subjective and allowed mortgage brokers to charge fees with little checks on their discretion. The defendant did not set up objective criteria to guide the mortgage brokers in setting fees or interest rates. The disparities between the rates given to whites and minorities were prevalent in thousands of loans made in numerous states.

On October 1, 2013, the District Court (Judge Marilyn L. Huff) entered a consent order between the parties. Although the defendant did not admit to any pattern or practice of discrimination, the order enjoined the defendant from engaging in any discriminatory act or practice and subjected the defendant to monitoring. The defendant was also required to pay $3 million into a settlement fund to compensate those affected by its discrimination. The order was set to terminate after three years if the defendant had complied during that time period.

On September 28, 2016, the parties jointly moved to extend the consent decree by one month, which was the time that Plaza needed to achieve substantial compliance. The court granted this motion and on November 29, 2016, the parties moved to dismiss the case without prejudice.

Summary Authors

Perry Miska (3/10/2014)

Elena Malik (11/8/2017)

People


Judge(s)

Huff, Marilyn L. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Aste, Dylan M. (California)

Duffy, Laura E. (California)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Keehn, Douglas (California)

Montag, Coty R (District of Columbia)

Price, Joseph Patrick Jr. (California)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Alessio, John D (California)

Judge(s)

Huff, Marilyn L. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Aste, Dylan M. (California)

Duffy, Laura E. (California)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Keehn, Douglas (California)

Montag, Coty R (District of Columbia)

Price, Joseph Patrick Jr. (California)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Alessio, John D (California)

Selden, Lynde II (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:13-cv-02327

Docket [PACER]

Nov. 29, 2016

Nov. 29, 2016

Docket
1

3:13-cv-02327

Complaint

United States v. Plaza Home Mortgage

Sept. 26, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013

Complaint
8

3:13-cv-02327

Order Entering Consent Order between United States of America and Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc.

United States v. Plaza Home Mortgage

Oct. 1, 2013

Oct. 1, 2013

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 4, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT with Jury Demand against Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc., Fee Waived, filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Case Cover Sheet). The new case number is 3:13-cv-2327-H-RBB. Judge Marilyn L. Huff and Magistrate Judge Ruben B. Brooks are assigned to the case. (Price, Joseph)(dls)(av1). (Entered: 09/26/2013)

Sept. 26, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013

2

Summons Issued. Counsel receiving this notice electronically should print this summons and serve it in accordance with Rule 4, Fed.R.Civ.P and LR 4.1. (dls) (av1). (Entered: 09/26/2013)

Sept. 26, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013

3

SUMMONS Returned Executed by United States of America. Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. served. (Price, Joseph) (ag). (Entered: 09/26/2013)

Sept. 26, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013

4

Joint MOTION for Order (Consent Order) by United States of America. (Price, Joseph) (ag). Modified on 10/28/2013 to term motion, motion was ruled on by order no. 8 (ag). (Entered: 09/26/2013)

Sept. 26, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013

5

NOTICE of Appearance by John D Alessio on behalf of Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Proof of Service)(Alessio, John)Attorney John D Alessio added to party Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc.(pty:dft) (ag). (Entered: 09/26/2013)

Sept. 26, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013

6

NOTICE of Hearing: The Court sets a Telephonic Status Conference for 9/27/2013 03:30 PM before Judge Marilyn L. Huff. (no document attached) (smy) (Entered: 09/27/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013

Sept. 27, 2013

7

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Marilyn L. Huff: Telephonic Status Conference held on 9/27/2013. The Court will review the filings and the proposed consent order in this case. Furthermore, the Court will issue the written consent order in due course. (Court Reporter/ECR Lynnette Lawrence). (Plaintiff Attorney Coty R. Montag; Joseph Patrick Price, Jr.). (Defendant Attorney Lynde Selden, II; John D. Alessio). (no document attached) (smy) (Entered: 09/27/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013

Sept. 27, 2013

8

ORDER Entering Consent Order Between United States of America and Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. Signed by Judge Marilyn L. Huff on 10/01/2013.(ag) (av1). (Entered: 10/01/2013)

Oct. 1, 2013

Oct. 1, 2013

9

Joint MOTION for Disbursement of Funds (ref. proposed order efile) by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Proof of Service)(Keehn, Douglas)Attorney Douglas Keehn added to party United States of America(pty:pla) (nbp) (Entered: 03/31/2016)

March 31, 2016

March 31, 2016

10

ORDER Granting 9 Joint Motion for Disbursement of Funds. Signed by Judge Marilyn L. Huff on 04/06/2016. (ag) (Entered: 04/06/2016)

April 6, 2016

April 6, 2016

11

Joint MOTION for Order Extending Consent Order by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Proof of Service)(Keehn, Douglas) (ag). (Entered: 09/28/2016)

Sept. 28, 2016

Sept. 28, 2016

12

ORDER Granting 11 Joint Motion for Extension of Time. The Consent Order will not terminate on 11/1/2016. Signed by Judge Marilyn L. Huff on 9/29/2016. (ag) (Entered: 09/29/2016)

Sept. 29, 2016

Sept. 29, 2016

13

Joint MOTION for Order Extending Consent Order by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Proof of Service)(Aste, Dylan)Attorney Dylan M. Aste added to party United States of America(pty:pla) (ag). (Entered: 10/28/2016)

Oct. 28, 2016

Oct. 28, 2016

14

ORDER Granting 13 Joint Motion for Extension of Time. The Consent Order will now terminate on 12/1/2016. Signed by Judge Marilyn L. Huff on 10/31/2016. (ag) (Entered: 10/31/2016)

Oct. 31, 2016

Oct. 31, 2016

15

Joint MOTION to Dismiss Case without Prejudice by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Proof of Service)(Keehn, Douglas) (ag) (Entered: 11/29/2016)

Nov. 29, 2016

Nov. 29, 2016

16

ORDER Granting 15 Joint Motion for Dismissal and Directing the Clerk to Close the Case. The Consent Order will terminate on December 1, 2016 and the case will be dismissed without prejudice. Signed by Judge Marilyn L. Huff on 11/29/2016.(ag) (Entered: 11/29/2016)

Nov. 29, 2016

Nov. 29, 2016

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 26, 2013

Closing Date: 2016

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiff is the U.S. on behalf of African American and Hispanic borrowers who were charged higher fees than non-Hispanic white borrowers in their residential mortgage lending due to their race and national origin.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Bank or credit provider

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. § 1691

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $3,000,000

Order Duration: 2013 - 2016

Content of Injunction:

Reporting

Provide antidiscrimination training

Monitoring

Discrimination Prohibition

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Funding

Pattern or Practice

Predatory lending

Discrimination-area:

Lending

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic