SHERMAN, Texas — Bifurcation of punitive and/or exemplary damages claims in a lawsuit brought by a borrower alleging that his loan servicer and others violated the terms of Chapter 13 bankruptcy orders by continuing to report inaccurate mortgage loan debt to credit reporting agencies (CRAs) is warranted because not doing so would be prejudicial to the holder of the borrower’s note and his loan servicer, a federal magistrate judge in Texas ruled April 26 in granting the motion.
SAN FRANCISCO — A borrower and mortgage loan servicer Ocwen Loans Servicing LLC have agreed to settle class claims brought by the borrower alleging that Ocwen violated state debt collection and unfair competition laws by charging “pay-to-pay” convenience fees for processing the borrower’s loan payments online, Ocwen, the borrower and another defendant say in a joint notice filed in California federal court on May 16.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Dismissal of a borrower’s class claims against his mortgage loan servicer for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is necessary because the borrower has failed to sufficiently plead that the loan servicer charged him any improper or unauthorized charges stemming from his default on his mortgage loan, a federal judge in Florida ruled May 10 in granting the loan servicer’s motion to dismiss
MIAMI — A Florida trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting a motion for involuntary dismissal filed by borrowers in a foreclosure action based on a note holder’s failure to file necessary documentation in the lawsuit, but the trial court’s refusal to reopen the case to admit the evidence was a reversable error, a Florida appellate panel ruled May 18 in affirming in part and reversing and remanding.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A federal magistrate judge in New York on May 13 recommended that a note holder be awarded $646,135.92 in damages, fees and costs associated with the foreclosure on certain property, minus nearly $10,000 in deductions based on credits, as well as the appointment of a referee to conduct a foreclosure on the property, stemming from a borrower’s default on a mortgage loan.
HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas did not err in denying a borrower’s motion for a new trial on claims that her home equity loan note holder and loan servicer failed to provide the jury with sufficient evidence that their alleged contractual breach pertaining to closing on the loan is immaterial and excused under the doctrine of equitable estoppel because although a provision of the Texas Constitution protects homeowners from “forced, coercive sales at their homes,” the provision does not “serve as a weapon for refinancing homeowners who are not in default or threat of foreclosure to get a free loan,” a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 16 in affirming.
DENVER — A borrower’s motion to certify two questions to the Utah Supreme Court in an appeal of a federal district court’s dismissal of her state consumer sales practices law claim against her mortgage loan servicer for charging the borrower pay-to-pay convenience fees for making her mortgage payments by telephone should be denied because the motion is untimely and the questions have already been decided by the Utah Supreme Court and the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the lender argues in an April 25 opposition brief filed in the 10th Circuit.
PASADENA, Calif. — A federal district court properly ruled that a letter a homeowners association (HOA) sent to a holder of a deed of trust in preparation for the foreclosure sale stemming from borrowers’ failure to pay their HOA fees falsely represented that the HOA’s lien was junior to the deed of trust and that a limited liability company’s purchase price for the property was inadequate, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 29 in affirming.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 16 declined review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling affirming a federal district court’s denial of a request to withdraw as counsel filed by a borrower’s attorney and subsequent dismissal of the borrower’s state law claims filed in connection with his loan servicers’ attempts to foreclose on the borrower’s property after a mortgage default.
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on May 6 ruled that dismissal of a borrower’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claim against a bank over its failure to remove inaccurate dispute marks from her credit report, which eventually led to her inability to obtain or refinance a mortgage loan, is necessary because the borrower failed to sufficiently plead that the bank’s inaction was a willful or negligent violation of the statute.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In a May 5 order mostly granting dismissal of claims in a putative class suit over home mortgage loan servicing and a reinsurance program, a California federal judge allowed 20 days to file an amended complaint but issued a reminder that “the purpose of a complaint is not to see how many claims can be constructed out of a single set of facts, but to plead only such claims as may improve plaintiff’s prospects of prevailing at trial.”
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on May 4 dismissed a state fair debt collection practices law claim brought by borrowers in their capacities as trustees and beneficiaries of their living trust stemming from their lender and loan servicer’s alleged failure to properly account for payments the borrowers made on a mortgage loan, ruling that dismissal of the trust was necessary because it was not a party to the loan.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to a lender and mortgage loan servicer in a lawsuit alleging that the defendants violated state law in denying a borrower’s request for a loan modification because the two state statutory provisions the defendants allegedly violated are inapplicable to the borrower’s mortgage or were insufficiently shown to have been violated, a Massachusetts Court of Appeals panel ruled May 6 in affirming.
SPOKANE, Wash. — A Washington trial court correctly ruled that a lender’s attempt to foreclose on a mortgage loan based on the borrower’s failure to cure her default on the loan was not barred by the statute of limitations because prior elections to accelerate the borrower’s promissory note were not final based on the fact that the borrower was provided with an opportunity to reinstate the loan by paying off her default, a divided Division III Washington Court of Appeals panel ruled April 28 in affirming.
ATLANTA — A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of a commercial mortgage lender in a breach of contract dispute with its borrower over the borrower’s failure to remit rent payments from the commercial property subject to the loan as required under a guaranty agreement because no genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the borrower engaged in willful misconduct, thus breaching the terms of the agreement, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 26 in affirming in a per curiam opinion.
INDIANAPOLIS — A borrower’s motion to compel a mortgage loan servicer to provide certain discovery responses sought in a lawsuit alleging that the loan servicer and a mortgage lender violated state and federal lending laws by seeking to foreclose on the borrower’s home even though she had made all necessary loan payments should be dismissed because the borrower’s arguments are meritless and “ignore the simple fact that she has received full responses to the disputed interrogatories,” the loan servicer argues in an April 19 opposition brief filed in Indiana federal court.
SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge in Texas on April 19 granted a mortgage lender’s motion to dismiss in a breach of contract lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiff in the action — the son and lone heir of the borrowers of the mortgage loan — was not a party to the loan and, thus, the lender had no duty to provide the plaintiff with a notice of default, acceleration of the loan or impending foreclosure.
CAMDEN, N.J. — Two credit reporting agencies (CRAs), a mortgage loan servicer and a mortgage lender violated provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by improperly reporting a borrower’s mortgage debt as active, even though she had filed for and completed Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and failed to sufficiently investigate or correct the errors once notified, the borrower alleges in an April 13 complaint filed in New Jersey federal court.
ST. LOUIS — A bank and two of its employees did not act with the required malice in fully releasing a deed of trust on a mortgage loan because their release of the deed was based on an innocent mistake made by the employees, and the entity that received the release failed to provide sufficient evidence to the contrary, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 20 in affirming.
CHICAGO — A federal district court did not err in dismissing Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims brought by members of a limited liability company that defaulted on a mortgage loan because the claims were time-barred pursuant to the statute’s four-year statute of limitations, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in affirming on April 4.