A West Virginia judge has slapped online mortgage giant Quicken Loans Inc. with more than $2.7 million in punitive damages and legal costs after finding the lender had defrauded a borrower by misleading her about her loan and using an inflated property appraisal.
Ohio County (W.Va.) Circuit Judge Arthur Recht awarded the borrower just under $2.17 million in punitive damages. He also ordered that Quicken pay her attorneys nearly $600,000 in legal fees and costs. In a ruling last year, Recht had called Quicken’s conduct “unconscionable.”
James Bordas, one of the attorneys who represented the borrower, said he hoped the award would send a message to struggling homeowners that “big companies can’t just come in and cheat them.”
Dan Gilbert, Quicken’s founder and chairman, told the Center for Public Integrity that the judge’s fraud finding and damages award were “irrational and incomprehensible.”