Mortgage class settlement: $10 per member, $250k for seven lawyers

Steve Korris Mar. 20, 2008, 5:15am



Brad Lakin and six other attorneys have settled a nationwide class action against mortgage firm Accredited Home Lenders for $10 per borrower.

Anyone who borrowed from Accredited since 1997 can claim ten bucks if he or she paid a courier fee when closing a mortgage.

Borrowers will receive notices with claim forms they can return.

If a class member has died, a representative of the estate may claim the $10.

The settlement provides $250,000 for class counsel and $5,000 for class representatives Paul Wratchford and Ladonna Wratchford.

Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron granted preliminary approval to the settlement on Feb. 29.

The Wratchfords paid a $20.90 courier fee to Accredited in 2000, when they closed a loan on a home at 529 Hamilton Ave. in Wood River.

They sued in 2002, claiming Accredited spent less than $20.90 on a courier.

They alleged consumer fraud and unjust enrichment.

In 2005, Byron certified a national class action on unjust enrichment and an Illinois class action on consumer fraud.

Byron must now set a hearing on final approval of the settlement.

The $250,000 class counsel fee stretches thin among four law firms over six years.

The group includes Brad Lakin, Mark Brown and Paul Marks of the Lakin firm, Philip Bock and Robert Hatch of Diab and Bock in Chicago, Timothy Campbell of Campbell and McGrady in Godfrey, and Paul Weiss of Freed and Weiss in Chicago.

Weiss and Lakin battled over fees all last year, but set aside their differences this year and resumed sharing fees from settlements.

Kevin Babb of Unsell, Schattnik, Babb and Juen in Edwardsville represented Accredited, along with Bruce Allensworth and Andrew Glass of Boston.

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