BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on Jan. 13 denied a mortgage loan originator’s request to certify discretionary appeal and stay litigation in a class action lawsuit alleging that the defendant engaged in an illegal kickback scheme with a title and settlement services company in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act (RESPA) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), ruling that none of the four questions the defendant raises in support of its motion is a controlling question of law.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal district court in Texas did not err in adopting a federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that the court dismiss a borrower’s lawsuit she filed against several parties seeking to prevent the foreclosure of her property because the borrower’s lawsuit was barred by res judicata, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 12.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An appeal of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in a discriminatory lending lawsuit against lender Wells Fargo Bank NA will not get U.S. Supreme Court review after the court on Jan. 11 denied the city of Miami Gardens, Fla.’s petition for a writ of certiorari.
HOUSTON — Without providing any further opinion, a federal judge in Texas on Jan. 7 issued an order adopting a magistrate judge’s recommendation that he substantially grant summary judgment in favor of a mortgage lender and two loan servicers in a loan modification lawsuit brought by borrowers who contend that the defendants violated state and federal law in the handling and processing of loan modification program applications for the borrowers after flood damage to their home rendered them unable to make their mortgage payments.
SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 31 declined to weigh in on a force-placed insurance dispute between a borrower and his mortgage loan servicer that asked the panel to determine whether the filed-rate doctrine bars the borrower from suing the loan servicer for overcharging him for the insurance policy in question and instead asked the Washington Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue before the panel issued any opinion on the matter.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California overseeing a predatory lending lawsuit filed by Greek immigrants issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on Dec. 17 barring a lender from selling its borrowers’ home the same day in a foreclosure sale after ruling that the borrowers have shown that “imminent harm looms” if the home is sold (Nikolaos Psarakis, et al. v. World Business Lenders Inc., et al., No. 20-8868, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 237753).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 16 ruled that transfer of a consumer class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Co. and its subsidiary to Virginia federal court is not warranted because a related case pending in the District Court has already been deemed to be nontransferable and, thus, transferring the instant action would not “eliminate the need for duplicative litigation” or risk “inconsistent judgments” (Jose Urista v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 20-1689, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 236733).
ATLANTA — Although a federal district court applied the wrong abstention doctrine in dismissing claims brought in a lawsuit seeking to halt foreclosure proceedings initiated by a mortgage lender, its dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction was still proper, albeit under the abstention doctrine set forth in Younger v. Harris, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 9 (Sandra Shepherd, et al. v. U.S. Bank NA, et al., No. 20-14157, 11th, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 38364).
TAMPA, Fla. — Mortgagees have failed to sufficiently show that they suffered any damages as a result of their loan modification provider’s actions as required to state a valid claim for violation for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and as a result, each of their RESPA claims must fail, a federal judge in Florida ruled Nov. 23 (Sheila Munoz, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 20-2311, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 228278).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 15 ruled that a federal district court in Virginia correctly dismissed a borrower’s claim that a law firm’s initiation of foreclosure proceedings was fraudulent, agreeing with the lower court’s finding that Virginia law did not require the law firm to “produce the note” before filing the proceedings (Nazira Urrego v. Samuel I. White PC, No. 20-1097, 4th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 39319).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Dec. 15 ruled that remand of a borrower’s lawsuit against a loan servicer, foreclosure trustee and financial institution that purchased the borrower’s home in a trustee’s sale is not warranted because the foreclosure trustee was fraudulently joined in the litigation (Estrellita De Venecia v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 20-1330, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 235844).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal district court did not err in dismissing borrowers’ claims against their lender, mortgage loan servicer and title insurer for failure to state a claim for relief because the borrowers failed to sufficiently show that any of their 14 claims for relief were plausible on their face, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 14 in a per curiam opinion (Cline Strickland, et al. v. Bank of New York Mellon, et al., No. 20-10124, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 39067).
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on Nov. 12 dismissed a couple’s lawsuit over Wells Fargo Bank N.A.’s refusal to offer them a loan modification, finding that they were unable to sufficiently allege an injury because the loan servicer had no obligation to offer them a permanent loan modification (Stanford West, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 19-286, E.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212529).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Dismissal of a borrower’s class claims pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) against her mortgage loan servicer is warranted, a federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 15, because although her debt qualifies as a debt, her loan servicer does not qualify as a debt collector and she failed to sufficiently show that the loan servicer committed any acts or omissions in violation of the statute (Tyrana Jones v. New Penn Financial LLC, No. 19-1493, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216988).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court review of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in a discriminatory lending lawsuit is not warranted because the appellate panel’s determination that the city of Miami Gardens, Fla., lacked standing to bring its claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was not in error, Wells Fargo Bank NA and Wells Fargo & Co. (Wells Fargo) argue in a Nov. 30 opposition brief filed in the Supreme Court (Miami Gardens v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, No. 20-405, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal district court did not err in granting a lender’s motion for summary judgment in a mortgage loan modification dispute because a borrower failed to sufficiently show that he suffered an ascertainable loss resulting from any alleged misrepresentations made by the lender or that the lender’s actions resulted in any breach of contract, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 11 in a nonprecedential opinion (Jeffrey B. Broadhurst v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 20-1665, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 38790).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 25 allowed most of a woman’s claims accusing her loan servicer of violating the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to proceed, ruling that only one aspect of her claim is time-barred under the statute’s one-year statute of limitations (Amye Elbert v. RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp., No. 20-250, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221611).
LOS ANGELES — A woman’s lawsuit accusing her mortgage lender of violating California and Florida debt collection and deceptive trade practices laws when charging a $2 convenience fee for monthly payments made over the phone was dismissed with prejudice by a federal judge in California on Nov. 10, after the judge found that the fee does not constitute a debt and that charging the fee is not unconscionable (Sandra E. Lish v. AmeriHome Mortgage Co. LLC, No. 20-7147, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215172).
ORLANDO, Fla. — Dismissal of claims brought against a legal services provider and two of its senior executives for alleged discriminatory loan modification and foreclosure protection services is not warranted because both the U.S. government and intervenors have sufficiently pleaded their claims for violation of the under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), a federal judge in Florida ruled Nov. 24 (United States, et al. v. Advocate Law Groups of Florida PA, et al., No. 18-1836, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220328).
BALTIMORE — A borrower’s class action accusing a mortgage lender of violating state debt collection laws when charging convenience fees for making payments online or over the phone should be dismissed in its entirety because the lender’s imposition of the fees for using an optional service does not violate Maryland law as the borrower contends, the lender argues in a Nov. 20 motion to dismiss filed in Maryland federal court.