(CN) - A class action accusing Countrywide Home Loans of charging illegal fees can proceed, the Hawaii Court of Appeals ruled.
When Cynthia Nakamura refinanced her home, Countrywide charged her a $60 statement fee. She paid it, but then filed a class action against the company, challenging the legality of the fee.
Nakamura said she "represents a class of mortgagors that have been damaged by (Countrywide's) unlawful and deceptive trade practices."
She also argued that the fee was a sham, because the company had a secret policy of waiving the fee on request. Her class included 19,000 customers to whom Countrywide had charged the fee.
Countrywide argued that the class lacked commonality because it sometimes charged a $30 fee and other times waived the fee for customers through the mail or over the Internet.
Judge Daniel Foley noted that the lower court had performed a "rigorous analysis" and had correctly certified the class.
"By examining Nakamura's pleadings, the circuit court was able to determine that the interests of the absent parties were fairly encompassed by Nakamura's claims," Foley ruled.
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