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Angela Bates vs KB Home and Homesafe Escrow Company

The class-action lawsuit settled for $7.1 million just a few days before it was set to go to trial in the Alameda County Superior Court.   It was brought under a California law that prohibits real estate developers from requiring their customers to use their captive escrow companies and California’s Unfair Competition Law.  It alleged that KB Home required its California customers to pay an unauthorized and unnecessary $275 fee for “contract coordination” to a subsidiary it set up for that purpose.  The settlement requires KB Home to pay back all the fees it collected, plus attorney fees.  It should be enough to refund the $275 back to every class member who can be found, and also pay $50 to  those class members who did not pay fee. Most class members will get their checks in the mail without further action.   My co-counsel was Thomas Loeser of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

Hugo Zaldana vs KB Home, Countrywide Home Loans, and First American Title

This class action lawsuit alleges that First American Title and Countrywide Home Loans (now Bank of America) used sham joint venture arrangements to pay KB Home kickbacks in exchange for referring its customers to them in violation the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). In addition to cash payments, the lawsuit alleges that Countrywide supplied KB Home with predetermined appraisal. It is in the precertification stage in the federal court in the San Francisco.  My co-counsel is Thomas Loeser of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.