Eric Houser was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1962. He graduated from the University of California at San Diego in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1987 from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Prior to formation of the Firm in 2001, Mr. Houser was employed at a national litigation firm and a named partner in an Orange County commercial litigation firm. Mr. Houser has obtained multi-million dollar judgments in high stakes technology litigation and successfully defended at trial a myriad of financial institutions.
Mr. Houser has a State and National litigation practice specializing in consumer and commercial finance, default servicing, title, bankruptcy, and technology litigation. Mr. Houser has practiced law for over 32 years. He has successfully tried cases from Hawaii to Connecticut (and lots of places in between).
Mr. Houser is a frequent speaker at Bar Association events, Mortgage Bankers Association conferences and at Best Practices sessions.
Representative Trial Matters:
ACC/Lincoln Savings Securities Litigation: Part of the co-lead counsel team in this multi-district litigation on behalf of the plaintiff class of Bondholders who recovered in excess of $250 million from the professionals who assisted Charles Keating in Lincoln Savings and its parent, American Continental Corporation. $4.0 billion jury verdict was rendered against Mr. Keating in 1992 in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona in this notorious fraud case.
Y2K Computer Litigation: Mr. Houser represented the largest worldwide distributer of computer products in litigation against the a manufacturer of a Y2K solution product. Mr. Houser’s client paid upfront for all of the product. When the client tried to return the product, the manufacturer shut down. Mr. Houser went after the manufacturer and its individual owner to pierce the corporate veil on an alter ego theory. Mr. Houser obtained a substantial settlement during the owner’s deposition, on September 11, 2001.
Coke for Cocaine Litigation: Mr. Houser represented a large Southern California distributor of Coca Cola syrup product who fell victim to an inside job. The client’s employee was stealing bags of Coca Cola syrup and selling them for cocaine to an individual who had connections to various fast food restaurants. Both the former employee and individual purchaser went to jail. Mr. Houser obtained substantial six figure sums from the various fast food restaurants after obtaining their purchase records to show that during the period that the thefts occurred those restaurants were not buying Coca Cola syrup through normal distribution channels. The restaurant owners were buying the stolen syrup for 30% of the regular price of Coca Cola syrup.
Wrongful death Jury trial: Defense verdict obtained. Represented Defendants who purportedly caused a death of a truck driver after the truck driver ran into the back of the Defendants’ truck that was parked along a desert highway. Jury returned verdict for the Defendants.
Wrongful adoption Jury trial: Defense verdict obtained where Plaintiff parents sued Catholic orphanage for wrongful adoption when it was later discovered that their child had Marfan’s Syndrome. Child was six feet tall before age 10. Smoking gun document showed that a social worker had warned the parents, prior to the adoption, that child may have the condition.
Lender/Servicer Accused of Fraud in Jury trial: Defense verdict obtained where third party claimed that misrepresentations were made by lender/servicer concerning assumption and loan modification. Jury deliberated less than an hour in rendering a verdict for Mr. Houser’s client.
Federal Court Jury trial in California on federal and state consumer protection laws: Jury rendered a defense verdict against borrower on two commercial loans. Borrower tried to claim that the loans were consumer in nature and therefore subject to additional legal protections. Mr. Houser stepped into the case less than two months before the trial and won.
Hawaii Jury trial Victory for Lender: Mr. Houser represented lender in a jury trial in Maui, Hawaii. Commercial borrower and owner of apartment building alleged various claims against lender. Mr. Houser won the trial on the first day, of a two- week scheduled trial.
California Court trial over Fees Assessed to loan: Defense verdict obtained for Mr. Houser’s client following the assessment of more than $60,000 in prior litigation expenses against loan. Court determined that Mr. Houser’s client correctly assessed the items, and other advances to the loan despite the lack of a court order.
Connecticut Court Renders Verdict for Commercial lender: Verdict obtained for commercial lender concerning a four-acre real property, former textile mill. Borrower’s claims against lender were disposed of by Judge following trial in rural Connecticut.
Representative Appellate Matters:
- Knapp v. Doherty, (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 76 (California Appeals Court held that Trustee’s premature notice to defaulting borrowers of non-judicial foreclosure sale, mailed slightly before expiration of three months after recordation of default notice, did not cause injury to borrowers, even if the sale price was inadequate, sale was still valid.)
- Calvo v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., as Trustee etc., (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 118, (California Appeals Court held that statutory requirement that an assignment of the beneficial interest in a debt secured by real property must be recorded in order for the assignee to exercise the power of sale applies only to a mortgage and not to a deed of trust. Sale by Trustee was valid.)
- Philip v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Corp. as Trustee 636 Fed. Appx. 5 (2nd Cir. 2015), (Plaintiff suffered severe burns from a house fire brought action against client. Plaintiff’s last settlement demand was $20M. New York Federal Court awarded summary judgment to client based on the evidence developed by the Firm to show that Plaintiff’s claims of lawful entry were false and that client had no reasonable expectation that the Plaintiff would be in the premises and could not have foreseen the injuries. New York Federal Court of Appeals affirmed judgment on all grounds.)
- Benson v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 562 Fed.Appx.567 (9th Cir. 2014), (Borrower sued loan servicer for negligence, fraud, and California’s unfair competition law. Federal trial court determined that lender owed no duty on which to base a negligence claim and that there was no evidence to support the remaining claims. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.)
- Galope v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Corp, as Trustee, 666 Fed. Appx. 671 (9th Cir. 2016), (Borrower sued lender for alleged violations of Sherman Antitrust Act, Unfair Competition and other state law claims. Federal trial court dismissed the matter on summary judgment. Court of Appeals reversed in part and remanded. Trial Court dismissed the claims on remand. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal.)
- Zahn vs. Aames Home Loan Corp., 2008 WL 256623, ( Following both a jury trial and a bench trial, in which the Firm’s client won both cases, borrower appealed for a second time contending that the lender could not add its legal fees and costs to the loan that were incurred during the first trial and appeal. California Court of Appeals disagreed finding that lender could add the fees and costs from the litigation without a court order pursuant to the terms of the deed of trust.)
- Janossy v. Washington Mutual Bank, FA 2003 WL 139982, (Mortgagor sued mortgagee-bank a second time for emotional distress, defamation and related torts concerning alleged improper collection efforts. Borrower lost in the trial court. California Court of Appeals affirmed finding that collateral estoppel precluded mortgagor from relitigating these issues after losing in a prior action against the bank.)
Mr. Houser has co-authored the original edition of the book “California Causes of Actions” which was published by James Publishing. Mr. Houser has also co-authored “Bankruptcy and Complex Civil Litigation: Practice and Procedures,” for the Continuing Education of the Bar.
Mr. Houser is a member of the California State Bar, the Orange County Bar Association, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy, Business Litigation and Financial Practice sections, and the Mortgage Bankers Association. Mr. Houser is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Houser is a member of the Steering Committee / Orange County Food From The Bar. Mr. Houser is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Wagner College.