Stephen R. Meinertzhagen
Mr. Meinertzhagen focuses his practice on representing mortgage banks in class, mass, MDL, and individual actions brought throughout the country. Mr. Meinertzhagen has defended financial institutions against numerous claims brought under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and related state law consumer fraud and contract claims. These lawsuits include challenges to escrow administration, charging of default fees and costs, lender-placed insurance, lien releases, anti-deficiencies, reconveyance of deeds or mortgages, yield spread premiums, and many other servicing, origination and payoff practices. He also has substantial appellate experience in both state and federal courts. In addition to the litigation aspect of his practice, Mr. Meinertzhagen frequently counsels mortgage banking clients on compliance with federal and state laws.
Mr. Meinertzhagen received his B.A. degree, with honors, from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, in 1990, and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1994. He is admitted to practice in Illinois and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (where he is a member if its trial bar), the Third, Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court. He also has been specially admitted to practice in courts in New York, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama, Nevada, Georgia, Washington, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Below are examples of decisions in cases Mr. Meinertzhagen has handled on behalf of financial institution defendants:
Coleman v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, 2011 WL 2688998 (3rd Cir. July 12, 2011), affirming 2009 WL 3806417 (D.N.J. Nov. 10, 2009) (affirming dismissal of class action against lender based on claims for recovering allegedly excessive foreclosure attorneys' fees and costs).
Tucker, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, et al., 2011 WL 280962 (D. Nev. Jan. 25, 2011) (dismissing class action against lender, servicers and trustees for alleged failure to comply with HAMP loan modification guidelines).
Quezada v. Loan Center of California, et al., 2009 WL 5113506 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 18 2009) (denying class certification of alleged common law and state consumer fraud claims brought against former loan assignee relating to option ARM loan disclosures).
Gillespie v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, 2009 WL 4061428 (N.D. Ind. Nov. 20, 2009) (dismissing class action claims under the FDCPA against loan servicer).
Biggins, et al., v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., 2009 WL 2246199 (N.D. Cal. July 27, 2009) (dismissing class action claims against lender that purchased failed institution’s loans from FDIC on basis that lender did not assume alleged liabilities under purchase and assumption agreement).
Webb, et al. v. Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, 2008 WL 2230696 (S.D. Ohio May 28, 2008) (granting summary judgment against putative class plaintiffs on RESPA and related state law claims for allegedly improper application of funds and escrow administration, and charging excessive force-placed hazard insurance premiums).
Barrows v. Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, et al., 465 F.Supp2d 347 (D. N.J. 2006) (dismissing class action consumer fraud claims against lender based on lack of standing).
Fitts v. Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, 2006 WL 34322296 (N.J. Super. A.D. Nov. 30, 2006) (affirming dismissal of state consumer fraud class action against lender alleging excessive foreclosure and bankruptcy attorneys’ fees and costs).
Chow v. AEGIS Mortgage Corporation, et al., 2005 WL 1750392 (N.D. Ill July 6, 2005) (trial judgment in favor of lender on TILA and consumer fraud claims).
In re Intercorp International, Ltd., 309 B.R. 686 (Bankr. S.D. N.Y. 2004) (sanctioning debtor, its principal, attorney and attorney’s firm for filing bad faith bankruptcy petition to avoid imposition of foreclosure judgment following trial contested on basis that loan servicer lacked standing to foreclose and that California’s “security first” rule had been violated).
Louis Fink Realty Trust v. Harrison, et al., 2003 WL 22595555 (S.D. N.Y. Nov. 7, 2003) (dismissing class action against lender, affiliated entities and officers for claims arising under RESPA, FDCPA, Bank Holding Company Act and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act).
Stein v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, 279 F.Supp.2d 286 (S.D. N.Y. Aug. 27, 2003) (dismissing TILA class action arising out of interest rate calculation for home equity lines of credit).
Ploog v. HomeSide Lending, Inc., 2001 WL 1155288 (N.D. Ill. Sept 28, 2001) (denying class certification in a Cranston-Gonzales class action).