Mealey's Mortgage Lending

  • March 19, 2024

    Class Definitions In RESPA, FCRA Suit Deemed Not So Deficient To Require Striking

    PHILADELPHIA — Calling class definitions “‘more of an art than a science,’” a federal judge in Pennsylvania denied a mortgage servicer’s motion to strike class allegations in a lawsuit accusing it of ignoring Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requests and providing inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies (CRAs) after determining that two classes proposed by the borrower bringing the claims are “not so clearly deficient that no class could ever be certified.”

  • March 18, 2024

    Suit Against Loan Servicer Dismissed After Settlement Of Late Payment Notation Row

    TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on March 15 dismissed with prejudice a man’s claims that the servicer of a property loan taken out in his name failed to properly investigate his disputes concerning late payments and provided “incomplete” or “misleading” information to credit reporting agencies when the servicer failed to include a notation with the report of the late payments that the loan had been the responsibility of his ex-wife pursuant to their divorce decree, after the parties notified the court that they had reached a settlement.

  • March 14, 2024

    Bank And Creditor Amici: Bankruptcy Court Sole Arbiter Of Injunction Violation

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four amici curiae involved in the banking and credit industry told the U.S. Supreme Court that a ruling allowing a mortgagor to pursue state court remedies for alleged violation of a bankruptcy injunction would create chaos in the industry and that the bankruptcy court is the best place to pursue such actions.

  • March 12, 2024

    5th Circuit Revives Subsequent Owner’s Quiet Title Action Against Loan Servicer

    NEW ORLEANS  — The subsequent owner of a condo has sufficiently pleaded facts allowing a court to infer that the statute of limitations for foreclosure has run, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found, reversing a lower court’s dismissal of the owner’s quiet title action against the servicer of a loan on the property taken out by a prior owner.

  • March 11, 2024

    9th Circuit: Fraud, Negligence Claims May Be Timely In Loan Payoff Confusion Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — A mortgagor may proceed with claims for fraudulent omission and negligence against a loan servicer whom he alleges told him a loan was discharged due to a regulatory settlement and then later came back to collect on the loan, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, partially reversing dismissal of the claims without leave to amend due to the statute of limitations after finding that those two claims may be timely.

  • March 08, 2024

    Expert On Credit Reports, Credit Scores Can Testify, Arizona Federal Judge Says

    PHOENIX — An expert retained by a credit reporting agency can testify in a suit filed by a couple alleging that the agency wrongfully reported a foreclosure on their home in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), an Arizona federal judge ruled, rejected the couple’s argument that his testimony was inadmissible under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc.

  • March 08, 2024

    Dismissal With Leave To Amend Granted In Wells Fargo Rate Lock Fees Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A mortgagor who filed a putative class complaint against three Wells Fargo entities over rate lock extension fees (RLEF) charged to borrowers and later refunded failed to sufficiently allege misconduct, a federal judge in California ruled, granting Wells Fargo’s motion to dismiss with leave to amend.

  • March 04, 2024

    2nd Circuit: Affidavit In 1st Foreclosure Accelerated Loan, Started Clock

    NEW YORK — The filing of an affidavit in a foreclosure action by the vice president of a mortgage assignee calling due the full mortgage amount “was an unequivocal overt act . . . to accelerate the loan” and triggered a six-year statute of limitations under New York law, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in a summary order affirming a trial court’s ruling that the second foreclosure action more than seven years later was too late.

  • March 01, 2024

    Lender Wins Judgment On Some Insurance-Related RESPA Claims; Others Continue

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Finding that there are triable issues regarding whether a borrower suffered actual damages when her mortgage lender failed to pay her hazard insurance policy premium in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a federal judge in California denied the borrower’s motion for summary judgment; however, the judge granted the lender summary judgment on the borrower’s claims that it violated the RESPA subsection governing force-placed insurance.

  • March 01, 2024

    Mortgage Broker Objects To Dismissal Recommendation In Antitrust Suit Against Lender

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Arguing that it “includes errors on each element critical to its rejection” of a mortgage broker’s claim of “an illegal per se antitrust conspiracy,” the broker has filed an objection to a federal magistrate judge in Florida’s recommendation that all claims in its putative class action complaint against a wholesale mortgage lender should be dismissed.

  • February 28, 2024

    3rd Circuit Reverses, Finds State Fraud, Contract Claims Not Preempted By HAMP

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 27 reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to a bank in mortgage modification suit, finding that the borrower’s state law fraud and breach of contract claims are not preempted by the regulations governing the U.S. Treasury Department’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

  • February 28, 2024

    Supreme Court Justices Hear Arguments In New York Escrow Law Preemption Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An attorney representing mortgage borrowers in challenging a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the National Bank Act (NBA) preempts New York’s escrow-interest law argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 27 that the court used the wrong test, one concerning whether the law “controls or otherwise hinders the exercise of a national bank’s powers.”

  • February 26, 2024

    Texas High Court: Lender May Simultaneously Rescind Acceleration, Re-Accelerate

    AUSTIN, Texas — If rescission of a loan acceleration complies with Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 16.038, it resets the statute of limitations “even if it is combined with a notice of reacceleration,” the Texas Supreme Court ruled Feb. 23, answering in the affirmative the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ certified question asking whether a mortgage lender may simultaneously rescind a prior acceleration and re-accelerate a loan.

  • February 23, 2024

    Loan Servicer Prevails In California Trial Over Foreclosure

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A loan servicer did not violate the California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) by failing to provide a single point of contact or written receipt of a loan modification application and its resulting foreclosure was not improper, a federal jury in California found in returning a verdict for the company.

  • February 22, 2024

    5th Circuit Affirms Judgment For Bank In Foreclosure Suit, Finds Notice Adequate

    NEW ORLEANS — A bank did not “demonstrate a clear and unequivocal intent to abandon acceleration of” a couple’s loan, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled, affirming a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to the bank in a mortgage foreclosure suit.

  • February 22, 2024

    Property Loan Servicer Denied Summary Judgment In Late Payment Notation Dispute

    TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington man may proceed to trial with claims that the servicer of a property loan taken out in his name failed to properly investigate his disputes concerning late payments and provided “incomplete” or “misleading” information to credit reporting agencies when it failed to include a notation with the report of the late payments that the loan had been the responsibility of his ex-wife pursuant to their divorce decree, a federal judge in Washington ruled, denying the servicer’s motion for summary judgment.

  • February 22, 2024

    RESPA Claims Concerning QWR Letters Dismissed From Class Suit Over Unpaid Taxes

    BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland ruling on a partial motion to dismiss a putative class complaint by homeowners who accuse their mortgage servicer of failing to properly handle the payment of their property taxes granted the motion as to two Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claims concerning failure to respond to the homeowners’ qualified written request (QWR) letters but left in place the homeowners’ RESPA claim for failure to pay taxes from the plaintiffs’ escrow accounts.

  • February 21, 2024

    Magistrate Judge Cites History Of Deficient Filings In Denying Foreclosure Motion

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A lender’s history of defective court filings again reared its head, as notice of its foreclosure and default judgment action appears to have occurred at the wrong address under New York law, a federal magistrate judge said in recommending denial of the company’s motion.

  • February 16, 2024

    Judge Won’t Reconsider Summary Judgment Ruling For Borrowers In ‘Pay-To-Pay’ Case

    HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas denied a mortgage servicer and subservicer’s motion to reconsider his ruling adopting a magistrate judge’s recommendation to grant summary judgment to two classes of mortgagers with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans who sued over “pay-to-pay fees,” stating, “Reconsideration isn’t for do-overs.”

  • February 15, 2024

    Judge Dismisses But Leaves Room To Amend RICO Lending Case

    SACRAMENTO, Calif — Conclusory allegations that lender defendants in California undertook interstate activities are insufficient, but because it appears possible that borrowers could adequately plead a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claim, dismissal is with leave to amend, a federal judge in California said.

  • February 15, 2024

    Panel: Reversal Of Foreclosure ‘Required’ Due To No Legal Representative Of Estate

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appellate court on Feb. 14 reversed and remanded a lower court’s judgment of foreclosure on a decedent’s property, finding that because the judgment was entered “without the presence of the deceased mortgagor’s legal representative, the final summary judgment of foreclosure is a nullity.”

  • February 13, 2024

    Rhode Island High Court: Non-Signee Listed Borrower Retained Interest In Property

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A trial court properly granted a lender summary judgment because a daughter listed as a borrower but who did not sign a promissory note retained an interest in the property at which she lived even after the death of her father, the lone signee, the Rhode Island Supreme Court said in affirming judgment in favor of the lender.

  • February 12, 2024

    Dismissal Recommended In Class Suit Accusing Mortgage Lender Of Restraining Trade

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge in Florida issued a report and recommendation stating that all claims in a putative class complaint accusing a wholesale mortgage lender of violating the Sherman Act by refusing to do business with mortgage brokers who also do business with two other lenders should be dismissed, finding in part that there was no showing that there was “harm to competition within the overall mortgage market or the wholesale retail mortgage market.”

  • February 08, 2024

    Borrower’s Fee Claims In Foreclosure Case Deemed Duplicative Of Prior Case

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington dismissed the remaining claims and counterclaims by a borrower who alleges that the assignee and servicer of his mortgage violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act (WCPA) when rolling attorney fees from the borrower’s earlier Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) case into his loan payoff amount, finding that claims were “duplicative of relief available and properly sought” in an earlier action; the judge directed the clerk to reopen the earlier action “for that limited purpose.”

  • February 08, 2024

    U.S. High Court Affirms: No FCRA Immunity Exists For Government Agencies

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 8 upheld an August 2022 determination by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — and any other federal agency — can be sued for supplying false information to credit reporting entities.

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