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The unraveling of the subprime mortgage market has generated plenty of litigation and the rate of federal filing has expanded as the market continues to tumble, according to a research report by Navigant Consulting. By the end of 2007 some 278 actions, by borrowers, securities cases and commercial contract disputes have been filed, with the majority in the last half of the year, Navigant reported. Filings doubled in the last half of the year, jumping from 97 in the first half to 181 in the second. Almost no one seems immune, according to Navigant. It reported the defendants in these suits were primarily mortgage bankers and loan providers, as 32% of the time. But named defendants also included mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, title companies, homebuilders, underwriting firms, bond insurers, rating agencies, money managers and public accounting firms. Half of the cases were centered on each coast, either in California or New York, the report states. Commercial contract claims were 22% of the total cases filed. And Fortune 1000 companies were named in nearly 60% of the cases. Topping the list of plaintiffs firms filing the borrower-related suits were Jeffrey K. Berns in Tarzana, Calif., with 22 cases, and Kiesel, Boucher & Larson in Beverly Hills, Calif. with 17. Navigant, a Chicago-based global consulting firm, pointed out the number of subprime-related cases filed in 2007 already equals half of the total 559 savings & loan cases handled in the 1990s by the Resolution Trust Corp. over several years. “This appears to be just the beginning,” said Jeff Nielsen, managing director of Navigant. “We are already observing a steady acceleration ofcontinuing litigation activity in 2008.”

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