Community Bank of Northern Virginia and Guaranty National Bank of Tallahassee
On July 29, 2015, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a unanimous decision affirming Judge Schwab’s preliminary class certification order. On August 12, 2015, Defendant PNC Bank, N.A., petitioned the appellate court for a rehearing. As of September 22, 2015, the court had not yet ruled on PNC’s petition.
At this time it is not possible to state with any certainty when proceeds will become available for distribution to the Kessler Settlement class through the ResCap bankruptcy proceeding. Resolution of other borrower claims in the bankruptcy proceeding is ongoing. We are hopeful that by year’s end the resolution of the other borrower claims will be near completion. Once those claims are resolved, the process for distribution to the Kessler class members will commence.
Previous case activity (2011-2015):
Pursuant to agreement, after the Third Circuit reversed the District Court’s final approval of the class settlement, the Parties participated in a mediation on June 9, 2011. The purpose of the mediation was to explore whether the prior settlement could be amended in such a way as to adequately compensate the class members and address class certification issues identified as problematic by the Third Circuit. Unfortunately, the Parties failed to reach an agreement, and the case returned to a litigation posture. On September 20, 2011, Judge Lancaster issued a Memorandum and Case Management Order appointing lead counsel, resolving scheduling issues, and granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File an Amended Consolidated Complaint. In accordance with that order, lead counsel filed Plaintiffs’ Joint Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint on October 4, 2011, and Plaintiffs’ RICO Statement on October 18, 2011. Those documents are linked below.
At the time that the Joint Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint was filed, there were three defendants remaining in the litigation: Guarantee National Bank of Tallahassee (“GNBT”), PNC Bank (formerly Community Bank of Northern Virginia (“CBNV”), and Residential Funding Company, LLC (“RFC”).
Since the filing of the Joint Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint, RFC filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Case No. 12-12019). The RFC bankruptcy is part of a consolidation proceeding (Case No. 12-12020) in which RFC and its parent company ResCap, LLC, along with numerous other affiliated subsidiaries, have sought bankruptcy protection. When the bankruptcy was filed, an automatic stay of litigation against RFC went into effect. The claims of the plaintiffs and the putative class are listed in the bankruptcy filing as contingent, unliquidated, and unsecured claims. The putative class members are represented in the bankruptcy proceeding as one of a nine member general unsecured creditors committee through borrower Rowena Drennen. The committee has retained counsel and other consultants to represent the unsecured creditors.
On September 18, 2012, Judge Lancaster heard argument on Motions to Dismiss and took the matters under advisement. Sadly, Judge Lancaster passed away on April 24, 2013. Judge Schwab was appointed to overtake the case. A status conference was held on June 12, 2013, at which Judge Schwab announced the dismissal of the FDIC, which was the receiver for GNBT. PNC remains the sole defendant in the action pending in the Western District of Pennsylvania. On July 31, 2013, Judge Schwab certified this case as a class action and appointed Bruce Carlson and Fred Walters co-lead class counsel. Richardson Patrick Westbrook & Brickman was named as additional counsel for the class.
PNC appealed Judge Schwab’s class certification order. Oral argument occurred in January 20, 2015 before a panel of Third Circuit judges in Philadelphia. The panel then issued a unanimous decision affirming Judge Schwab’s preliminary class certification order.
- Order Referring Case to ADR 8-2-2013
- Memorandum Opinion Certifying Class Action July 31, 2013
- Class Certification Order 7-31-2013
- Memorandum Opinion re MTD 6-27-2013
- Plaintiffs’ First Amended Rico Case Statement (pdf -1.76 MB)
- Plaintiffs’ Joint Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint (pdf – 810 KB)
- Third Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion (pdf – 398 KB)
Please contact us with any questions or if you’d like to explore your legal rights.