“There is no basis for these proposed class actions,” Fortress Real Developments said in a statement. “The allegations made about the defendants and the syndicate mortgage loans are untrue, highly misleading and are clearly aimed at damaging the reputation of Fortress and Fortress projects in an attempt to benefit its competitors.”
Fortress’ legal issues started in late August, when two investors in one of its developments, the Mady Collier Centre in Barrie, brought forth
a claim seeking $25 million in general damages, among others.
A second claim was filed in late September, brought forth by one of the claimants in the original suit.
David Franklin, real estate counsel for Arlene McDowell, the plaintiff in both cases, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca at the time that there were “at least 11 more (claims) coming.”
Despite these claims, Fortress is alleging one of the applicants is a competitor who benefited from brokering loans.
“One of the applicants, David Martino, is in fact a CEO of a copycat company attempting to compete with Fortress and brokerages that offer loans to Fortress projects,” Fortress said. “Mr. Martino got his start and the idea for his copycat business as a mortgage broker at one of the brokerages he is now suing, and through which he personally recommended loans to hundreds of lenders.
“In doing so, Mr. Martino received commissions for brokering those loans. Now he is trying to damage the reputation of Fortress and Fortress projects through abusive litigation.”
Fortress also claims the lawyers who represent Martino represent the defendants in the other two proposed class actions.
“The syndicated mortgage loans in these projects are in good standing and lenders have not suffered any losses,” Fortress said. “There is nothing to sue for.”
Statement of claim issued to major syndicated mortgage provider
Second syndicated mortgage claim filed
The developer, which has found itself embroiled in a number of claims related to syndicated mortgages, claims there are no basis for the proposed class action suits.