Ally Financial Sues Former Employee Over Secret Foreclosure Data

Ally Financial Inc., among the five largest U.S. mortgage originators and servicers, sued a former employee who moonlighted as a foreclosure defense attorney over claims she stole confidential information.

Ally terminated the employee, Tanya L. Blackwell, last week for failing to disclose “a clear conflict” of her dual employment as a foreclosure specialist for Ally’s GMAC unit and as a practicing foreclosure defense attorney, according to court papers filed yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia.

Prior to her termination, Blackwell allegedly improperly obtained confidential company information including organization charts for Ally’s foreclosure operations, according to the complaint.

Blackwell accessed Ally’s protected computers and exceeded such authorizations as may have been granted, and as a result, obtained valuable data,” the company said in the complaint.

Blackwell worked in GMAC’s Residential Capital unit in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, as a member of the Collateral Remediation team, according to the complaint. During her employment with Ally, Blackwell also operated the Law Office of Tanya L. Blackwell in Philadelphia and Washington and described her practice on her LinkedIn web page as a “plaintiff only firm,” Ally said in court papers.

Ally, based in Detroit, is seeking a court order barring Blackwell’s use of the information, which she allegedly sent to third parties, according to court papers.

Blackwell didn’t immediately return phone messages left at her law offices in Philadelphia and Washington seeking comment on the complaint.

The case is Ally Financial Inc. v. Blackwell, 11-cv-4694, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

To contact the reporter on this story: Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at spearson3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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