Florida Judge Rejects One Motion to Dismiss a Borrower’s Force-Placed Complaint

DEC 3, 2012 1:26pm ET

A Florida judge has rejected one of CitiMortgage’s motions to dismiss legal complaints by an 89-year-old borrower related to force-placed insurance coverage.

Judge Spencer Eig of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County ruled that the case filed by Celeste Coonan should move forward, according to Gilman Law LLP, a firm that represented the plaintiff.

When asked about the judge’s decision, a CitiMortgage spokesman said in an emailed statement, “This is one of a series of complaints Ms. Coonan has filed on the same subject. Our motions to dismiss have been granted twice with regard to those complaints. We believe that what little remains in the most recent complaint is also without merit.”

According to a press release by Gilman Law managing partner Ken Gilman, Coonan at one point due to limited financial resources pursued her case against Citi without the benefit of legal counsel.

Coonan alleges that Citi unnecessarily force-placed wind, flood and hazard/fire insurance on her via a company owned by an insurer multiple times despite her documentation of coverage. Citi initially refunded the charges, but that it later found in a review done after Coonan had filed a complaint with the Florida attorney general “that there had in fact been a brief lapse in coverage,” according to the allegations. CitiMortgage subsequently levied charges against her escrow fund, followed by letters telling her she would face foreclosure in the event she did not pay, according to the law firm.

A call asking the Florida AG to confirm whether Coonan had made a complaint and, if so, what its status was, had not been returned at deadline.

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