Monday, February 27, 2012


MIAMI– On February 21, 2012, United States District Judge, Robert N. Scola, Jr. certified a class of Florida borrowers who had insurance forced placed upon their homes by Wells Fargo, where plaintiffs alleged that Wells Fargo Bank and QBE Specialty Insurance Company contrived a scheme to artificially inflate the premiums charged to homeowners for force-placed insurance on property, after the homeowners self-placed insurance policies had lapsed.

“We have discovered more than 20,000 insurance policies that were force-placed by Wells Fargo and QBE from 2009 to 2011 in the State of Florida,” said Lance A. Harke of Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP ( “This scheme to inflate and profit from force-placed insurance is a clear violation of Florida law and affects our State’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged homeowners,” said Harke.

The suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleges that Wells Fargo Bank and other mortgage servicers engaged in ‘force-placed’ insurance practices, where the mortgage servicer charged an unreasonable and inflated premium, even if the homeowner later secured standard insurance and no claims were made during the lapsed period. As alleged by the plaintiffs in the case, Wells Fargo and QBE inflated these insurance premiums and profited from kickbacks and commissions from the force-placed insurance scheme.

Attorneys Lance A. Harke of Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP and Adam Moskowitz of Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton in Miami have been appointed co-lead counsel to represent the plaintiffs in the case. Members of the class consist of all borrowers that had mortgages with and/or serviced by Wells Fargo Bank, on property located within the State of Florida, that were charged premiums for a force-placed insurance policy within the applicable statute of limitations through April 7, 2011, with certain exceptions.

Miami Shores-based Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP is an AV-rated litigation boutique founded by partner and trial attorney Lance A. Harke in 2000. The firm represents clients throughout the State of Florida and in courts across the country in a wide range of commercial law matters related to commercial litigation, business torts, consumer class actions, securities class actions, product liability, insurance litigation, general civil litigation, general commercial litigation, civil appeals, prescription drug issues, employment matters, bad faith issues, professional malpractice, medical malpractice and appellate practice.


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