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HSBC Force-Placed Insurance

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HSBC Mortgage Corporation faces a lawsuit alleging abusive practices in its use of force-placed insurance. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that premiums on force-placed insurance policies used by HSBC were unreasonably high and involved illegal kickbacks for unnecessarily placed policies. Several force-placed insurance lawsuits have been filed against HSBC and other mortgage lenders


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Force-Placed Insurance

hsbcforceplacedinsForce-placed insurance is insurance that a mortgage company or bank places on a property where the homeowner's insurance coverage has lapsed. That insurance is placed on the property to protect the bank or mortgage lender's interests in the property. In other words, if a homeowner cannot provide proof of interest on their property, the bank or mortgage lender can force place an insurance policy on the property, at the homeowner's expense.

Force-placed insurance lawsuits allege illegal and unethical practices in the force-placed insurance industry. Among the allegations are that banks and mortgage lenders receive illegal kickbacks for force placing insurance. Furthermore, plaintiffs allege that because force-placed insurance is not available on a competitive market—homeowners have no say in which policy is used, the premiums are high. Making premiums even higher, they allege is that commissions are paid to banks and mortgage lenders from the insurer and those commissions are charged to the homeowner. Some critics argue that force-placed insurance policies can cost up to 10 times more than traditional insurance.

Plaintiffs also allege that despite premiums on force-placed insurance being much higher than regular homeowners' insurance, the policy often offers less protection for the homeowner. Furthermore, the force-placed insurance policy may cover more than the banks' actual interest in the home, further increasing the rates, and is sometimes applied retroactively. Finally, homeowners allege that when they have shown proof of insurance coverage, it has taken too long to have the force-placed insurance policy off their home.

HSBC Force-Placed Insurance Lawsuit

badfaithinsuranceclaim3.jpg Plaintiffs in an HSBC force-placed insurance lawsuit (case number 2:11-cv-4074-JD) allege that despite having sent HSBC proof that their property was insured, they received a letter stating insurance had been force-placed on their property. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, "regularly use their right to force-place insurance on property to profit at the borrowers' expense," through kickbacks and redundant charges. Among the redundant charges, according to the lawsuit, are requiring the borrowers to pay for coverage exceeding the amount required to protect the defendant's interest in the property; making policies retroactive to cover time when no damage was done to the property; and force-placing insurance even at a time when the lender's interest in the property was covered.

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