Locke Lord’s Krystle Tadesse and Jeffrey Ankrom (both of Providence) presented a four-day trial to a jury in Plymouth Superior Court (Brockton, Massachusetts) resulting in a jury verdict for a major mortgage servicer on all claims. A borrower raised claims of breach of contract, promissory estoppel and violation of Massachusetts’ consumer protection act (known as Chapter 93A) after the servicer rescinded a loan modification agreement due to alleged fraud. At trial, Tadesse and Ankrom presented evidence from a handwriting analysis expert to prove that a co-borrower’s signature on the agreement had been forged. They also argued that the borrower had not paid anything toward the mortgage, or even taxes and insurance, in almost 10 years since the disputed modification agreement was rejected. According to the special verdict slip, the jury found that the co-borrower had not agreed to the modification, that the plaintiff did not rely on a promise to his detriment, and that the servicer did not act in an unfair or deceptive manner.
Posted on October 8, 2021