Predatory Lending and Borrowers’ Rights

Berger Montague’s attorneys fight vigorously to protect the rights of borrowers when they are injured by the practices of banks and other financial institutions that lend money or service borrowers’ loans.

This includes mortgage borrowers, automobile borrowers, credit card borrowers, student loan borrowers, payday loan borrowers, and other types of borrowers who are harmed or fraudulently deceived by their lenders or loan servicers.

Over the past decade, banks and other financial institutions have engaged and continue to engage in practices that harm and deceive borrowers but result in huge profits for the banks and institutions. These deceptive practices include hidden fees, excessive fees, overdraft fees, improper insurance requirements (including lender-placed insurance or force-placed insurance abuses), usurious or excessive interest rates, credit card protection programs, and many others. Banks and financial institutions may also engage in discriminatory practices that harm protected classes. Berger Montague has successfully obtained multi-million dollar class action settlements for nationwide classes of borrowers against banks and financial institutions and works tirelessly to protect the rights of borrowers suffering from these and other deceptive and unfair lending practices.

Common Deceptive and Unfair Lending Practices

Borrowers’ legal rights in class actions can arise from many different types of lender and loan servicer conduct, including, just for example:

Mortgage Lending

  • Excessive default fees such as appraisal fees and other default services;
  • Receiving kickbacks on force-placed insurance (also known as lender-placed insurance) in the form of commissions, fees and reinsurance premiums, as well as charging for excessive force-placed insurance (including with respect to hazard insurance, flood insurance, and wind-storm insurance); and
  • Excessive origination fees due to undisclosed kickback arrangements with entities providing closing and loan services including appraisals, home inspections, private mortgage insurance (PMI), title insurance, and more.

Student Loans

  • Tying claims related to the lender’s requirement that the borrower open a checking account with the lender and pay fees for transferring money out of the account;
  • Failure to properly apply payments to principal and interest; and
  • Deceptive offers to reduce interest rates where the reduction results in lower monthly principal payments and increased debt.

Payday Lending

  • Usurious/excessive interest rates;
  • Excessive finance charges as a runaround to the usury/excessive interest rate laws; and
  • Rent-a-tribe schemes to avoid usury/excessive interest rate laws.


  • Discriminatory interest rate setting;
  • Excessive collateral protection insurance (CPI) requirements;
  • Collateral protection insurance commissions and other kickbacks paid to banks in exchange for charging borrowers excessive premiums; and
  • Kickback schemes with auto dealers in exchange for higher interest rates charged to borrowers.

Credit Cards

  • Payment protection plan schemes;
  • Unlawfully changing the terms of the credit card agreement; and
  • Failure to properly apply payments to balances by failing to apply payments on the agreed-to date, failing to apply payments properly to principal and interest, etc.

No Fees Without Recovery

Berger Montague’s Lending Practices and Borrowers’ Rights class action cases are typically litigated on a contingent fee basis, so plaintiffs and the class do not pay attorneys’ fees or court costs unless there is a recovery.

Contact Us To Learn More

We invite you to learn more about our Predatory Lending and Borrowers’ Rights Group. Berger Montague welcomes referrals from other law firms and attorneys. For more information or to schedule a confidential discussion about a potential case, please fill out the contact form on the right, email us at, or contact a Predatory Lending and Borrowers’ Rights Group shareholder. We are available to evaluate potential consumer class action cases without charge.