Tracking mortgage-related legal activity around the nation, the most recent ""Mortgage Litigation Index"":http://www.mortgagedaily.com/LitigationIndex1Q092412.asp?spcode=pr showed that litigation in the industry slowed its pace between the final quarter of 2011 and the opening quarter of 2012.[IMAGE]
Reporting numbers from the first-quarter of the year, _Mortgage_ _Daily's_ survey revealed that the number of total lawsuits dropped from 244 to 216 between the periods.[COLUMN_BREAK]
However, the index also indicated that while case activity declined overall on a quarter-to-quarter basis, legal action was up across the board year-over-year. Litigation related to compliance, loan titles, and whistleblower action displayed especially strong increases, and _Mortgage_ _Daily_ noted that each of the three industry segments saw activity that was ""significantly elevated versus a year earlier.""
The tally for all mortgage-related cases rose from 151 to 216 year-over-year, while legal activity for the servicing sector jumped from 49 to 65 during the same period. Additionally, litigation in the sectors of foreclosure, investing, criminal activity, and title services escalated as well, rising from 46 to 89, 42 to 62, 27 to 56, and 8 to 47 respectively.
Christopher Willis, partner for ""Ballard Spahr LLP"":www.ballardspahr.com/, contributed his commentary in a white paper related to the topic, noting, ""Still, a decrease should be cause for some hope, shouldn't it? Unfortunately, I believe it is not, because of the underlying factors that likely operated to reduce litigation in the first quarter, and the continued presence of very strong drivers for more mortgage litigation for the remainder of this year.""