Court Awards Borrower Attorney’s Fees

Court Awards Borrower Attorney’s Fees in a Wrongful Foreclosure Action

In Monterossa v. Superior Court (PNC), a California Appellate Court awarded a homeowner attorney’s fees after they stopped a foreclosure sale. In Monterossa, plaintiffs procured a loan through PNC Bank, which was secured by a deed of trust. They failed to make payments on that loan. PNC started a foreclosure, but at the same time, sent them a hardship-assistance package. Plaintiffs and PNC had a number of communications regarding the package. Plaintiffs submitted the package, PNC subsequently claimed that it was missing documents. Plaintiffs claim they addressed the issue. At the same time the hardship-assistance package was being processed, PNC moved forward with a foreclosure sale. Plaintiffs filed suit and requested that the court issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction stopping the foreclosure sale. Plaintiffs claimed a violation of the California Homeowners’ Bill of Rights. The TRO and injunction were granted. Plaintiffs subsequently moved for their attorney’s fees. The trial court denied the request, finding that there was no authority to find them as the prevailing borrowers, particularly, since the action was not complete. The appellate court reversed, holding them to be the prevailing parties under the statute.