Here is a cautionary tale of how a seemingly minor error can end up costing a financial services company big if left unaddressed.

A jury last month awarded $16.2 million in damages to a California homeowner who waged a three-year battle to block a foreclosure by the private-label mortgage servicer PHH Corp. The verdict is among the largest ever awarded in a mortgage case and $6 million more than PHH's mortgage servicing business earned in the second quarter.

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