Albrecht v. Alaska Trustee, LLCAnnotate this Case
Diana Albrecht brought a class-action lawsuit against Alaska Trustee, LLC, on behalf of a group of Alaska homeowners who had faced foreclosure on their homes. Alaska Trustee, acting as foreclosure trustee, had provided Albrecht and the other homeowners reinstatement quotes that included the costs of foreclosure. Albrecht maintained that the inclusion of foreclosure costs in her reinstatement quote violated her right to cure under a former version of AS 34.20.070(b), the non-judicial foreclosure statute, which provided that a homeowner’s "default may be cured by payment of the sum in default other than the principal that would not then be due if no default had occurred, plus attorney fees or court costs actually incurred by the trustee due to the default." According to Albrecht, Alaska Trustee's inclusion of foreclosure costs in addition to "attorney's fees or court costs" constituted a violation of not only the non-judicial foreclosure statute but also Alaska’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA). The superior court concluded that Albrecht lacked standing to sue and denied her motion for class certification. The superior court further ruled that Alaska Trustee's practice of including various fees and charges as foreclosure costs was permitted under the statute. The superior court awarded attorney's fees to Alaska Trustee as the prevailing party, enhancing those fees under AS 45.50.537(b) on the ground that Albrecht's claims were frivolous. Because the inclusion of foreclosure costs in a reinstatement quote did not violate AS 34.20.070, the Supreme Court affirmed the superior court in most respects. But because the Court concluded that Albrecht’s claims were not frivolous and attorney's fees could not be awarded under Rule 82 for time spent litigating the structure of a class action, the Court remanded for recalculation of fees awarded.