Hylla approves '03 Countrywide class action settlement

Amelia Flood Jun. 28, 2010, 6:00am


One in a series of class action suits filed seven years ago over fees charged to mortgage customers is over.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla gave the final go-ahead to the settlement of a class action brought against Countrywide Home Loans Inc. on Monday morning.

The suit, one of at least two filed by lead plaintiff Todd Morgan, secured class members about $30 in compensation.

The attorneys for the class will receive $100,000 in fees and costs.

Morgan, as class representative, will get $10,000.

Morgan has another class action against Countrywide pending in Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder's courtroom and it will be at case management Wednesday.

Hylla gave the Morgan suit before him the initial go ahead on its settlement in February.

In both class actions, the lead plaintiff and class contend that Countrywide charged improper fees.

The suits were among a series of such cases filed beginning in 2003 by the then partnership of the Lakin Law Firm (now LakinChapman LLC) and the Freed & Weiss firm of Chicago.

The partnership has since broken up, although the suits it filed remain.

The Morgan suit before Hylla is a year older than the one still pending before Crowder.

Hylla asked only for clarification of what fees the class attorneys would receive before signing the approval order.

There has been little action in the 2004 case before Crowder since Freed & Weiss withdrew from it in April 2008.

That suit is set for case management at 9 a.m. on June 30.

According to the attorneys present at Monday's hearing, there were no opt-outs from the settlement or objections.

Mark Brown, Paul Marks and others represent Morgan and the class.
Countrywide is represented by Beth Bauer and others.

The settled 2003 Countrywide case is Madison case number 03-L-980.

The 2004 case still pending before Crowder is case number 04-L-1432.

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