United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
United States of America, ex rel. Laurence Schneider, et al., and Laurence Schneider, Appellant
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, et al., Appellees
November 13, 2017
from the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia (No. 1:14-cv-01047)
A. Black argued the cause for appellant. With him on the
briefs were Daniel E. Cohen and Robert L. Di Marco.
C. Jed, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, argued the
cause as amicus curiae United States supporting neither
party. With him on the brief was Michael S. Raab, Attorney.
R. Craig Lawrence, Assistant U.S. Attorney, entered an
D. Wick argued the cause and filed the brief for appellees.
Michael M. Maya entered an appearance.
Before: Tatel and Kavanaugh, Circuit Judges, and Silberman,
Senior Circuit Judge.
SILBERMAN, SENIOR CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Laurence Schneider - also called a Relator - brought a
qui tam suit under the False Claims Act against
JPMorgan Chase, alleging that Chase falsely claimed
compliance with a Settlement it, and a number of other large
banks, reached with the United States and state governments.
The Settlement - and it is a massive one, costing Chase alone
$1.1 billion of cash and over $4.2 billion of in-kind aid to
consumers - resolved claims against the banks for alleged
malfeasance in the origination and servicing of residential
mortgages that were thought to contribute to the housing
crash and subsequent financial crisis of 2008. It also
contained detailed dispute resolution procedures and
designated a Monitor to certify compliance with its terms.
The district court approved the Settlement in 2012.
Subsequently, the Monitor did certify that Chase had complied
with the Settlement.
also alleged that Chase falsely claimed compliance with the
Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP")
administered by the Treasury Department.
challenges the district court's dismissal of his claims
under the Settlement. The court concluded that he was
required to exhaust his contentions pursuant to the
procedures of the Settlement. He also disputes the district
court's dismissal of his HAMP claims, even though it was
without prejudice; the district court thought his claim was
defective because he did not allege that Chase committed
material violations of the rules of the program, as
would be necessary to make Chase's certification of
disagree with the district court's exhaustion conclusion,
but we affirm its dismissal of the claims regarding the
Settlement on a related basis. And we agree with the
court's analysis of Appellant's HAMP claim.
National Mortgage Settlement - which was negotiated in 2012
between a group of mortgage lenders and the federal
government, the governments of forty-nine states, and the
District of Columbia - released the lenders from liability
for their past use of inappropriate practices with respect to
the origination, servicing, and foreclosure of residential
mortgages. In exchange for the release, the lenders agreed ...