In 2010, Lori Wigod filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo when the bank declared she was ineligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program, HAMP, after she completed a four-month trial modification.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning dismissed her case, ruling that federal law barred her claims of fraud and breach of contract. However, this week, the three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the decision by Judge Manning. Wigod’s attorney said the ruling is “a real victor for homeowners,” and that “The 7th Circuit should be commended for sticking up for the rights of borrowers.”
President Obama pushed HAMP in 2009 to help prevent foreclosures, but homeowners have reportedly had a difficult time qualifying for the reduced payments, and at the appellate court said it identified at least 80 HAMP related lawsuits.
The ruling is a blow to Wells Fargo and other banks that have argued that HAMP related lawsuits are precluded by federal law.
Wigod is currently seeking class-action status for her lawsuit.