Thursday, April 19, 2012

EBR court clerk sues lenders in withholding fees

State District Court Clerk Doug Welborn of Baton Rouge sued 17 banks and mortgage companies Tuesday, alleging they participated in a racketeering conspiracy to avoid millions of dollars in fees on real estate transactions over the past decade.

No specific dollar amounts are included in the suit, but Welborn’s attorneys in Dallas County, Texas, said approximately $450 million in combined losses were suffered by court clerks in East Baton Rouge and 28 other Louisiana parishes.

“We’re pursuing this matter on behalf of the clerks of court,” said attorney Richard D. Faulkner from his office in Richardson, Texas. Faulkner estimated the alleged loss in East Baton Rouge Parish alone at $40 million.

Attorney Ted B. Lyon, of Mesquite, Texas, also represents Welborn. Lyon said additional suits will be filed against the same mortgage lenders and banks in Texas and several other states, beginning in about a month.

Alleged losses are expected to total billions of dollars, Lyon added. “It’s huge,” he said.

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