Excessive loan notary fees spark suit

Law of the Land

The Anthonys took out a home loan from American General Financial Services Inc. and paid notary fees in connection with the signing of the loan that exceeded the $4 per service maximum imposed by section 45-17-11(b) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). On their own behalf and a class of similarly situated consumers, the Anthonys sued American General, asserting three separate causes of action:

  • that section 45-17-11(b) created a private cause of action, empowering consumers to recover the fees paid in excess of the statutory maximum;
  • that by charging a fee beyond the statutory maximum, American General breached its Loan Agreement with the Anthonys and other borrowers, in that the fee was not "reasonable and necessary"; and
  • that American General was liable for fraud and "money had and received," by virtue of charging these illegal fees.