Mealey's Mortgage Lending

  • June 21, 2024

    10th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment For Servicers Over Disputed Mortgage Status

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment to loan servicers in a dispute related to the ownership status of a home, rejecting a Kansas couple’s claims that the trial court in a pretrial order incorrectly limited their Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) claim to one pertaining to the release of their mortgage and finding that the couple “did not present sufficient evidence to create a genuine dispute of material fact” for that claim or their claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

  • June 20, 2024

    CFPB, Freedom Mortgage Settle Mortgage Violation Claims, Move For Judgment

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Freedom Mortgage Corp. jointly moved a federal court in Florida to enter a stipulated final judgment in the bureau’s suit alleging that the lender has continued to violate the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) by failing to make the necessary changes to halt its misreporting of data regarding borrowers after reaching a settlement in which the lender agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3.95 million, not to violate the law and to take affirmative action to ensure compliance.

  • June 20, 2024

    Mortgage Discrimination Case Against Navy Federal Credit Union Partially Dismissed

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Virginia federal judge has granted partial dismissal of a racial discrimination loan case against the Navy Federal Credit Unition by nine individuals and struck their motion to certify the case as a class action.

  • June 17, 2024

    Decedent’s Heir Seeks Florida High Court Review Of Ruling Affirming Foreclosure

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — An heir to a man who died during foreclosure proceedings against his property seeks discretionary review from the Florida Supreme Court of a Florida appellate court’s ruling affirming a foreclosure judgment on the decedent’s homestead, asserting that review is warranted because the ruling conflicts with other rulings of the Florida Supreme Court and Florida appellate and trial courts.

  • June 14, 2024

    Borrower’s Motion To File Amended Complaint Seeking To Halt Foreclosure Denied

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas has denied a borrower’s motion to file an amended complaint against her loan servicer seeking to halt foreclosure of her home, finding that the motion was “filed with a dilatory motive and would unduly prejudice” the servicer and that amendment would be futile.

  • June 14, 2024

    Mortgagor Seeks Roughly $61M Settlement For Lender’s ‘Junk Fees’

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A mortgagor moved in California federal court for final approval of a proposed settlement worth more than $53 million to reimburse more than 330,000 class members charged “hidden junk fees” in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and separately moved for more than $8 million in attorney fees and costs.

  • June 14, 2024

    Complaint Against Servicer Dismissed After Denial Of TRO Barring Foreclosure

    LOS ANGELES — A borrower voluntarily dismissed his complaint against the servicer of his loan days after a federal judge in California denied his application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the foreclosure sale of his home, finding it unlikely that he would succeed on his claims that the servicer violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misinforming him about his ability to obtain a COVID-19 forbearance plan.

  • June 14, 2024

    Mortgage Lender Did Not Violate Maryland Law By Receiving Commission From Insurer

    BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland has held that a mortgage lender did not violate the Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Provisions (CLEC) by receiving a commission from a third-party insurer because the CLEC is inapplicable to the lender’s receipt of a commission, granting the lender’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a putative class action challenging its charge and collection of the insurance premiums.

  • June 10, 2024

    High Court Vacates Judgment, Remands National Bank Act Case, Citing Cantero

    WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court in its June 10 order list granted certiorari in a case dealing with whether the National Bank Act (NBA) preempts state laws, vacated the judgment and remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals “for further consideration in light of Cantero v. Bank of America, N.A.

  • June 10, 2024

    Hawaii High Court Reinstates Ruling For Bank In Mortgage Default, Ejectment Case

    HONOLULU — The Hawaii Supreme Court reversed an Intermediate Court of Appeals ruling involving a foreclosure on a defaulted mortgage and an ejectment of persons residing in the property.

  • June 07, 2024

    Putative Class Sues Mortgage Servicer For ‘Release Cost’ Fee For Payoff Statements

    MIAMI — The $22.50 “release cost” charge a mortgage servicer includes on its uniform payoff statements violates the Fair Debt Collection Act (FDCA) and Florida law, two borrowers allege in a putative class action filed in a federal court in that state.

  • June 04, 2024

    Mortgage Servicer Wins Summary Judgment On All But 1 Claim In Fee Class Suit

    GREENBELT, Md. — Finding that “there is no dispute as to any material fact as to whether” a mortgage servicer improperly imposed fees in violation of Maryland state law other than a July 2018 property inspection fee that allegedly violated the state’s usury statute, a federal magistrate judge in Maryland granted the servicer’s motion for summary judgment on all claims in the class action except the claim relating to that inspection fee.

  • May 30, 2024

    U.S. High Court: 2nd Circuit’s N.Y. Escrow Law Analysis Must Follow Dodd-Frank

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in analyzing a New York interest-on-escrow law and potential preemption by the National Bank Act (NBA) as its analysis must be consistent with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Barnett Bank of Marion County, N.A. v. Nelson, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 30.

  • May 23, 2024

    Judge: Consolidation Needed To Address Settlement In Related Mortgage Class Suits

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — In an order filed in the wake of a status hearing on a joint motion for preliminary approval of a $185 million settlement to resolve two related suits accusing Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wells Fargo and Co. (together, Wells Fargo) of violating state and federal law by engaging in a scheme to place borrowers into a forbearance program during the COVID-19 pandemic, a federal judge in Ohio on May 22 notified the parties that unless they filed a brief in opposition within seven days, the court “will sua sponte consolidate these cases into a single case for settlement purposes only, appoint both counsel as interim class counsel for settlement purposes only, and consider the pending motion for preliminary approval.”

  • May 22, 2024

    Judge Finds Servicers’ Conduct Falls Short Of RESPA

    CINCINNATI — A mortgage servicer failed to properly investigate borrowers’ claims about misapplied payments and fees, but even if an appropriate investigation occurred, the servicer fell short of its regulatory duty under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by failing to fully inform the borrowers of the results, a federal judge in Ohio said in granting summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a case complicated and delayed by the coronavirus and the death of both borrowers during the litigation.

  • May 21, 2024

    Judge Preliminarily OKs $2.4 Million Settlement Of Suit Over Lender’s Data Breach

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Less than three months after consolidating six lawsuits over a financial services firm’s November data breach, a Connecticut federal judge granted preliminary approval to a settlement that establishes a $2.45 million fund to settle negligence and contractual claims against the lender.

  • May 20, 2024

    Judge Denies TRO Barring Foreclosure Sale By Servicer Accused Of Violating UCL

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 17 denied a borrower’s application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the imminent foreclosure sale of his home, finding it unlikely that he will succeed on his claims against a borrower for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly misinforming him about his ability to obtain a COVID-19 forbearance plan.

  • May 16, 2024

    Split High Court Leaves Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Funding Untouched

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) funding mechanism that permits “reasonably necessary” withdrawals from the Federal Reserve System subject to an inflation-adjusted cap complies with the U.S. Constitution’s appropriations clause, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 16.

  • May 15, 2024

    Freedom Mortgage Denied Dismissal Of CFPB’s Claims Of More Mortgage Violations

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida denied a mortgage lender’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) alleging that the lender has continued to violate the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) by failing to make the necessary changes to halt its misreporting of data regarding borrowers; the lawsuit was filed several years after a 2019 consent order under which the lender paid a civil penalty for misreporting data and agreed to fix its reporting procedures.

  • May 15, 2024

    Class Suit Claims PHH Mortgage ‘Final Letters’ Misrepresent Terms For Late Payments

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York homeowner has filed a consumer protection class action complaint in a New York federal court against PHH Mortgage Corp. and PHH Mortgage Services, alleging that the mortgage service company violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending “final letters” to borrowers to “scare and intimidate” them into paying off late mortgage payments sooner than allowed by law.

  • May 13, 2024

    Conn. High Court Reverses Judgment For Bank In Forced Insurance, ‘Kickbacks’ Case

    HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s judgment for a lender in a foreclosure case in which there were disputes over forced insurance and allegations of “kickbacks” by the insurance provider, finding that the mortgagor’s special defenses of unclean hands and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing were improperly struck.

  • May 10, 2024

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Borrowers’ Claims Against Loan Servicer

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of borrowers’ suit against their mortgage loan servicer, finding that a breach of contract claim and a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing are time-barred and that the couple failed to state claims for violations of the California unfair competition law (UCL) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

  • May 09, 2024

    Florida Panel Reverses Prior Ruling And Affirms Foreclosure On Decedent’s Property

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appellate court on May 8 withdrew its opinion that reversed a lower court’s judgment of foreclosure on the property of a decedent who died during foreclosure proceedings without a personal representative being appointed after his death, finding that because a homestead is not considered part of the probated estate, appointing a personal representative was not required.

  • May 06, 2024

    Mortgagors Appeal Finding That Broker Price Opinion Was Not An Inspection Fee

    GREENBELT, Md. — A couple who filed a putative class complaint against their lenders over a broker price opinion (BPO) fee that appeared on their account after their mortgage was identified as being in active loss mitigation and a putative class member who attempted to intervene filed a notice of appeal on May 4 after a federal magistrate judge in Maryland granted the lenders summary judgment and ruled that the BPO fee at issue was not an inspection fee prohibited by Maryland’s usury statute.

  • May 03, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Borrower’s RESPA Action After Parties Reach Settlement

    COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — A federal judge in Idaho on May 2 ordered the dismissal with prejudice of a homeowner’s suit against a bank and a loan servicer alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) after the parties filed a joint stipulation of dismissal.