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Class action involving bank loans may be resolved

One British based bank will apparently be required to pay $1.55 million to settle claims concerning alleged gouging of borrowers. Lloyds Banks was said to have offered a number of loans to individuals in a number of states including Florida. Though the money was apparently loaned subject to a principal cap along with a variable interest rate, Lloyds is accused of ignoring the cap and arbitrarily increasing interest rates as well.

The ignoring of the loan caps was said to have occurred between 2006 and 2012, and the uncapped balances reportedly ballooned by more than 20 percent higher than what was negotiated. Because of the complexities of the loans, borrowers were purportedly subjected to "foreign currency exchange rate risk." Lloyds had also reportedly foreclosed upon borrowers based upon uncapped loan balances.

Settlement talks had been entered into by the bank and members of a class in 2013. A federal judge tentatively approved a settlement earlier this year.

Class members will now need to decide prior to March 7 whether they wish to be excluded from this settlement. Attorneys will also be required to move for attorneys' fees and costs in the near future.

As this matter demonstrates, real estate disputes can involve extremely complex claims. Loans are often subject to a number of state and federal regulations. Also, contractual language can determine how these loans will need to be governed. In any case, banks may be accused of conducting business concerning loans and mortgages in an improper fashion and may require the advice and counsel of an attorney to understand precisely what legal options are available.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Lloyds Settles Currency Loan Dispute for $1.5M," Jonny Bonner, Jan. 10, 2014

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