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Commonwealth v. Fremont Investment & Loan

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
897 N.E.2d 548 (Mass. 2008)


Facts

Fremont Investment & Loan (Fremont) (defendant) initiated a number of subprime, adjusted rate mortgage loans to Massachusetts residents, most of which required an increase in payments after the first two or three years and required no down payment. Many of these loans ended up going into default and Fremont entered into an agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General (plaintiff), agreeing to consult the Attorney General before foreclosing on any of the loans. The Attorney General ended up objecting to most of the foreclosures and brought a consumer protection enforcement action against Fremont, claiming that in issuing this series of subprime mortgages, Fremont acted unfairly and deceptively in violation of the Massachusetts consumer protection law. The Attorney General also filed this motion for injunctive relief. A judge in Massachusetts Superior Court granted a preliminary injunction restricting Fremont’s ability to foreclose on the loans in question. The injunction required that where the loan terms contained the four characteristics of unfair loans, Fremont seek alternatives to foreclosure, or else seek approval of the court. Fremont appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Botsford, J.)

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