Wigod v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 11-1423 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2009, lender issued plaintiff a four-month trial loan modification, under which it agreed to permanently modify the loan if she qualified under Home Affordable Mortgage Program guidelines, implemented by the Department of the Treasury to help homeowners avoid foreclosure during the decline in the housing market. Plaintiff filed a putative class action, claiming that she did qualify and that lender refused to grant her a permanent modification. She alleged violations of Illinois law under common-law contract and tort theories and under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The district court dismissed, finding that HAMP does not confer a private federal right of enforcement action on borrowers. The Seventh Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. Plaintiff stated viable claims under Illinois law for breach of contract or promissory estoppel, fraud, and unfair or deceptive business practices. Claims of negligent misrepresentation or concealment were not viable. HAMP and its enabling statute (12 U.S.C. 5219(a)) do not contain a federal right of action, but neither do they preempt otherwise viable state claims.