PHH Mortgage Processing Fees for Payments Florida Class Action

The complaint for this class action cites charges made by PHH Mortgage Corporation (which does business as PHH Mortgage Services) when customers pay their mortgages online or by telephone. The complaint claims that this extra charge is unlawful and brings suit under the Florida Consumer Collection Processes Act (FCCPA).

Plaintiff Vincent J Morris owns a home in Hollywood, Florida that he purchased with a mortgage. The mortgage is serviced by PHH, which is a subsidiary of Ocwen Financial Corporation.

When Morris paid his mortgage in April, May, and October 2019, he was charged a $17.50 processing fee for paying the mortgage over the phone or online. For his payments in June, July, August, September, November and December 2019, and January and February 2020, he was charged a $7.50 fee. These fees are identified on Morris’s mortgage statements as “SpeedPay.”

According to the complaint, “The Mortgage does not expressly provide for or authorize charging processing fees for making payments online or over the phone. Furthermore, such processing fees are not expressly authorized by Florida law.”

The complaint looks at the mortgage as a debt and argues that PHH cannot keep those fees: “Where, like here, neither the contract creating the debt nor applicable law expressly authorizes the charging of processing fees, such as those charged by PPH, such fees have been held unlawful because they violate the FCCPA when the debt collector retains any portion of the fee instead of passing the entire fee through to the payment processor.”

PHH does not pass the entire fee on to a payment processor, the complaint claims, and instead retains a substantial portion of it. Also, no such third-party processor is mentioned in any documentation that would explain to Morris who that fee goes to. Also, the complaint says, “It is well known in the payment processing industry (but not by the general public) that third-party processors charge a small fraction of the amounts PHH charges as ‘processing fees.’ [PHH’s] records will demonstrate the exact amount PHH retains for each processing fee charged.”

Three subclasses have been defined as the Florida Class for this action.

  • The FCCPA Subclass is all individuals in Florida who, during the applicable limitations period, paid a processing fee to PHH for paying over the phone or online in connection with any residential mortgage loan owned or service by PHH.
  • The Breach of Contract Subclass is all individual in Florida who, during the applicable limitations period, paid a processing fee to PHH for paying over the phone or online in connection with any residential mortgage loan owned or service by PHH.
  • The Unjust Enrichment Subclass is all individuals in Florida who, during the applicable limitations period, paid a processing fee to PHH for paying over the phone or online in connection with any residential mortgage loan owned or serviced by PHH.

    Employees of PHH, the court, and Morris’s counsel are excluded from the class.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

PHH Mortgage Processing Fees for Payments Florida Complaint

March 25, 2020

The complaint for this class action cites charges made by PHH Mortgage Corporation (which does business as PHH Mortgage Services) when customers pay their mortgages online or by telephone. The complaint claims that this extra charge is unlawful and brings suit under the Florida Consumer Collection Processes Act (FCCPA).

PHH Mortgage Processing Fees for Payments Florida Complaint

Case Event History

PHH Mortgage Processing Fees for Payments Florida Complaint

March 25, 2020

The complaint for this class action cites charges made by PHH Mortgage Corporation (which does business as PHH Mortgage Services) when customers pay their mortgages online or by telephone. The complaint claims that this extra charge is unlawful and brings suit under the Florida Consumer Collection Processes Act (FCCPA).

PHH Mortgage Processing Fees for Payments Florida Complaint
Tags: Additional charges in breach of contract, Excessive Fees