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Ocwen sued by pension fund for ERISA breaches

Washington, D.C., members of the Employers Midwest Pension Fund and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union might be interested in learning that the trustees have filed a lawsuit against Ocwen. Ocwen, which is a mortgage lender, allegedly forced people into foreclosure in an effort to drive up profits.

According to the lawsuit, the trustees allege that Ocwen acted in violation of its fiduciary duties under ERISA. ERISA governs pensions and requires that fiduciaries act with due diligence and loyalty to investors. Since the pension fund invested in mortgage-backed securities that are held by Ocwen, the plaintiffs allege that Ocwen's actions toward the homeowners also harmed the pension fund.

The lawsuit alleges that Ocwen engaged in a number of different tactics, including charging illegal fees for bounced checks, late payments and partial payments. Ocwen also allegedly treated homeowners' payments as partial payments if they did not include the illegal fees. The pension fund claims that Ocwen's actions were in violation of ERISA because the company failed in its fiduciary duty to the investors under the law.

ERISA benefits claims litigation may be highly complex and require an in-depth analysis of the plan and corporate documents. Trustees of pension funds who believe that companies in which their funds have invested violated their fiduciary duties under ERISA might want to consult with experienced ERISA litigation lawyers. Attorneys may assist their clients with trying to recover damages to replace the funds that have been lost because of the alleged breaches. They may be able to negotiate settlements in some cases. In other cases, the attorneys may advocate on behalf of their clients through the court process.

Source: CIO, "Pension fund sues Ocwen over alleged breached ERISA duty," Michael Katz, March 13, 2018.

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