According to a litigation report from MortgageDaily.com, an online resource that provides mortgage news analysis, the number of mortgage-related lawsuits filed in the first quarter of this year jumped to 81, a more than 50% increase from the 50 cases tracked during the same quarter in 2008.

The report analyzed 42 lawsuits related to mortgage banking litigation that took place in the first quarter of the year, finding that the six cases of servicing-related legal action far outpaced the 14 total cases reported in all of 2007.

Cases tied to foreclosures, including actions against foreclosure-rescue firms, jumped to 12, triple from the four cases in the prior period. Lawsuits filed by mortgage-backed securities investors also increased, from four to 13, which pushed investor class actions to 21 cases -- the most of any type. From January to March, nine foreclosure cases were tracked, compared to just 11 total for all of 2007, while the eight cases involving bankruptcy litigation nearly doubled the five cases tracked all of last year.

The nine secondary market cases reported in the first quarter are also on pace to beat last year’s 23 lawsuits.

"Areas of growing activity appear to be those related to rising delinquencies such as bankruptcy, foreclosures and servicing," MortgageDaily.com publisher Sam Garcia said.

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