FRESNO, Calif. — A class of mortgagers on April 1 saw their efforts to have an alleged “successor in interest” to a mortgage company joined to their lawsuit alleging anti-kickback violations tied to the requirement of having private mortgage insurers enter into captive reinsurance agreements with the mortgage company’s affiliated “reinsurer” denied (Efrain Munoz, et al. v. PHH Mortgage Corp., et al., No. 08-759, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57575).
PHILADELPHIA — A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 30 ruled that the claims in a man’s lawsuit seeking to prevent foreclosure on his home were subject to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and that the merits of the case were subject to dismissal under New Jersey’s entire controversy claim preclusion doctrine (Ajay Kajla v. U.S. Bank N.A., et al., No. 18-1718, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9783).
NEW ORLEANS — A ruling by a federal judge in Texas that dismissed a man’s quiet title and anticipatory breach of contract suit against his mortgage lender was upheld by a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 2 after it found that a copy of the loan note produced by the lender was authenticated (Benny Daneshjou v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 19-50503, 5th Cir.).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 13 vacated a ruling awarding summary judgment to a title service company and a real estate brokerage firm and ordered a federal judge in Maryland to dismiss a class action suit with prejudice, holding that a couple failed to allege that they suffered harm as a result of the defendants’ alleged violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by engaging in a scheme for the payment of kickbacks for settlement services (Patrick Baehr, et al v. The Creig Northrop Team PC, et al., No. 19-1024, 4th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 8117).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice announced March 31 that Finance of America Reverse (FAR) has agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve allegations that its predecessor violated the False Claims Act when originating and underwriting Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loans for senior homeowners age 62 and older that were insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
MINNEAPOLIS — A couple is not judicially estopped from bringing claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) against their loan servicer, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled March 16, holding that their failure to mention the claims until the end of their bankruptcy proceedings was inadvertent and lacked motive (Michael Nowling, et al. v. SN Servicing Corp., et al., No. 19-cv-1605, D. Minn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45090).
INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge in Indiana on March 12 ordered a relator in a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit against a mortgage lender accused of fraudulently approving insurance for Federal Housing Authority Administration (FHA) loans that did not meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD) requirements to submit evidence for every allegedly fraudulent loan, finding that each loan constitutes a violation of the act (United States, ex rel. Michelle Calderon v. Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, No. 16-cv-00920-RLY-MJD, S.D. Ind., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50191).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on March 16 denied Bank of America’s motion to dismiss a woman’s lawsuit accusing it of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), finding that she successfully alleged that the lender did not sufficiently investigate reported disputes to a credit reporting agency (CRA) about a 2006 mortgage loan the lender purportedly discharged (Jeanette Logan v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. 19-cv-11483, D. Mass., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45006).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 6 affirmed the dismissal of a woman’s lawsuit accusing her mortgage lender of failing to properly provide her with notice of changes about her loan’s interest rate that were contractually required to include title and telephone number information, holding that she failed to sufficiently allege that she suffered any damages as a result of the missing information (Linda Moravec Varga v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. 18-56572, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 7659).
MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on March 24 denied a loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a couple’s causes of action for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Florida Consumer Collection Practice Act (FCCPA) after finding that the plaintiffs’ allegations that the loan servicer sent payoff statements with different amounts sufficiently stated claims under the statutes (Francisco Roche, et al. v. Rushmore Loan Management Services LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-24872, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53889).
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on March 23 dismissed the majority of a couple’s lawsuit over their mortgage lender’s refusal to resend an allegedly undelivered final loan modification agreement, finding that the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege that their reliance on statements that the agreement would be resent caused them to file for the wrong type of bankruptcy protection (Peter Maggio, et al. v. Cenlar FSB, No. CCB-19-1939, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49821).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced March 18 that it directed the Federal National Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) to suspend foreclosure and evictions for 60 days against borrowers due to the coronavirus national emergency and that it would provide payment forbearance for up to 12 months to borrowers affected by the pandemic.
SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge in Texas on March 17 remanded a man’s lawsuit against an employee of a loan originator, the loan originator and the holder of his mortgage, finding that the plaintiff sufficiently alleged a reasonable basis of recovery against the in-state defendant (Sean Christopher Kinnie v. Freedom Mortgage Corp., et al., No. SA-20-CV-178, W.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46373).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 12 vacated in part a ruling awarding summary judgment to Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in a suit accusing the lender of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), finding that a genuine dispute exists as to whether the plaintiff opted out of a class action settlement (Joanna Pruitt Lester v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 18-30422, 5th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 9 denied a borrower’s petition to rehear arguments that it should review an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that affirmed the dismissal of her Truth in Lending Act (TILA) lawsuit based on the Rooker-Feldman doctrine (Gail Zamore v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., et al., No. 19-125, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 9 denied a borrower’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that he could not rescind a mortgage loan under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) because it was a residential mortgage transaction that was not subject to the statute (Timothy Barnes v. Chase Home Finance LLC, et al., No. 19-923, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on March 2 dismissed a homeowner’s claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., and Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR), finding that the amended complaint asserting a nonjudicial mortgage foreclosure does not allege any actual damages (Donald Catherine v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 19-1487, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36774).
NEW YORK — A loan servicer’s state court foreclosure action does not bar a man’s claims accusing it of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by failing to provide him with an explanation as to why it denied a loss mitigation application and rendering a decision on his second application within 30 days of receipt, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 28, finding that the claims were not addressed in the state court proceeding (James St. Louis v. Selene Finance LP, No. 18-CV-6182, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33858).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on March 2 refused to dismiss a woman’s lawsuit accusing her loan servicer of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when charging a Speedpay fee for making payments on her mortgage loan over the phone or online, finding that the charging of the fees is not permitted by law (Sheryl Glover v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 20-cv-80053, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38701).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Feb. 24 remanded a man’s wrongful foreclosure action after he withdrew his claim under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), finding that although complete diversity exists between the parties, the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000 (Syed Ahmed v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. SA CV 19-2027-DOC-JDE, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31733).