Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Housing News

Homeowner wins $21M lawsuit against lender – ultimate David and Goliath tale

The ultimate David versus Goliath story

America’s 8th largest mortgage company, PHH Mortgage was just ordered to pay a single homeowner $21 million in damages after they falsely reported him as “seriously delinquent” to credit rating companies despite his never making a late payment.

The 29 year old US Army sergeant, David Brash and his wife bought a $160,000 home in Columbus, Georgia in 2007 and because he was on active duty at Fort Benning and sought to avoid any missed payments, he immediately set up a direct debit and proved to the court he never missed a payment.

Despite no missed payments, Brash began getting late notices in 2009 when PHH Mortgage failed to properly credit his account after two years without a problem. Brash diligently called PHH Mortgage but was continually sent to the customer service center. In India. No one could answer his questions.

The jury listened to Brash’s calls to PHH

The late notices continued, threatening to report him as “seriously delinquent” to credit agencies. Brash continued calling and was continually given no answer.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

PHH recorded calls were subpoenaed and played for the jury who heard some of his frustrations including being put on hold for up to an hour with each customer service agent giving him a different response as to why he was getting late notices. Brash was told they would investigate and call back but days later, he would call and learn no investigation was ever noted on the account.

Brash feared damage to his military career

PHH began reporting his “delinquency” and Brash couldn’t get a credit card and feared this PHH error would interfere with his military career which is why Brash hired an attorney who wrote to PHH’s President who failed to respond within the 60 days legally required under RESPA.

The jury awarded Brash $21,350,575, including $20M in punitive damages. PHH says they will seek further judicial review.

We thought the homeowner who foreclosed on a Wells Fargo branch was the ultimate David/Goliath story of the year, but Brash’s $21M award may have just taken the cake.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Randy Pereira

    April 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Nice… I bet this military family isn’t worried about a gov’t shut down!
    Glad to see justice served for a change.

  2. Bruce Lemieux

    April 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    My only regret is that the guy didn’t receive $41M.

  3. BawldGuy

    April 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Sadly, he’ll never get $21M.

  4. Kristen Emery

    December 12, 2011 at 3:21 am

    The correct spelling of the lender is PHH Mortgage. After the first correct spelling, the article has the name of the lender mis-spelled as PPH.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Real Estate Technology

(TECH NEWS) It turns out that Internet of Things, like smart bulbs in homes, are not secure and give up your info - here...

Real Estate Marketing

(MARKETING) Your fancy, self-animating website might be making people violently ill, even if it is insanely beautiful. Sorry...

Real Estate Marketing

(MARKETING) Conduit is a CRM that does more than CRM, it analyzes your networking data to help you see how to improve your relationships.

Real Estate Corporate

(REAL ESTATE) Zillow has long been a data powerhouse, but a lawsuit about a $150M listing offers a look into listings claims.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.