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Attorneys at Hogan & Hartson finalized a big win for their clients last month in D.C. Superior Court. And this time, the win was more than just a large payout. It meant that Hogan’s clients could stay in their homes. The firm spent 18,000 hours litigating two pro bono cases in which six homeowners were allegedly victimized by a predatory mortgage-lending scheme. Hogan partner Thomas Connally and associate Philip Metcalf argued that the homeowners were edging on foreclosure when they were approached by a business that promised to help them clear their debt. The homeowners, all but one of whom were elderly, then signed over the titles to their houses to Modern Management Co., but the original mortgages stayed in the homeowners’ names. Modern Management then allegedly leased the houses back to the homeowners at an inflated price and often neglected to pay the mortgages on time, further exacerbating the homeowners’ financial situation. The two cases started in 2004. In one case that went to trial, the jury awarded damages totaling more than $3.3 million last March after concluding the defendants had committed fraud and violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Act. The other case settled last summer, with the defendants paying $455,000 to the plaintiffs and returning title to several homeowners. The settlement became public once the final payment was made last month. Modern Management’s lawyer, David Cox of Jackson & Campbell, says that his client will appeal the jury verdict and that it settled the other case settled due to “business considerations.”
Attila Berry can be contacted at [email protected].

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