NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 7 upheld a federal judge in Texas’ ruling awarding summary judgment to Bank of New York Mellon (BONYM) on a couple’s claims for promissory estoppel and fraud after finding that the appellants failed to provide sufficient evidence that a lender promised to modify their home loan (Enrique Valenzuela, et al. v. Bank of New York Mellon, No. 19-40591, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 21118).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 2 agreed with two loan servicers accused of violating the Dragonetti Act when initiating a judicial foreclosure action against a couple that an attorney proffered as an expert on the statute should not be allowed to offer his opinion because he is not qualified and because his report is essentially a legal brief in support of the plaintiffs’ claims (Christopher Bainbridge, et al. v. U.S. Bank N.A., et al., No. 16-411, M.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115879).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 1 affirmed the dismissal of a suit filed by New Jersey and North Carolina borrowers who contended that the lender of their reverse mortgages, an insurer and an insurance agent engaged in a kickback scheme that involved charging borrowers excessive rates for force-placed insurance policies, finding that the filed-rate doctrine bars the plaintiffs’ claims (Edward Leo, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC of Delaware, et al., No. 19-3111, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20526).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by service members who asserted that a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel erred when affirming the dismissal of their class action lawsuit accusing their mortgage lenders of violating the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) when foreclosing on their properties claim (Steven Fodge, et al. v. Trustmark National Bank, et al., No. 19-1270, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 denied a woman’s petition seeking review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming summary judgment in favor of a lender and loan servicer that concluded that their counterclaim for judicial foreclosure was timely because it was tolled by the plaintiff’s filing for bankruptcy (ShaRon D. Rose v. Select Portfolio Servicing LP, et al., No. 19-1035, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on June 24 denied dismissal of a pro se plaintiff’s lawsuit accusing a mortgage lender and loan servicer of breaching the mortgage by failing to meet face to face before initiating foreclosure proceedings, holding that he would not consider disputed documents submitted by the defendants (Cherly Thevenin v. M&T Bank Corp., et al., No. 19-11570-NMG, D. Mass., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111104).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 25 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a loan servicer and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) in a quiet title action over the foreclosure sale of Las Vegas property, holding that the cause of action was subject to the Federal Foreclosure Bar’s six-year statute of limitations because the claim sounds in contract (M&T Bank, et al. v. SFR Investments Pool 1 LLC, et al., No. 18-17395, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19935).
PHOENIX — A federal magistrate judge in Arizona on June 16 recommended denying a loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a class action suit accusing it of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by failing to timely pay property taxes and using a borrower’s escrow funds to pay the penalty, finding that the suit sufficiently states claims for relief and that striking the class allegations would be premature (Richard J. Labrecque v. NewRez LLC, No. CV-19-00465-TUC-RCC, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105623).
AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on June 22 stayed a woman’s lawsuit against her mortgage lender and loan servicer that accuses them of violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), ruling that proceedings in a state court foreclosure action brought by the loan servicer years before the present suit was filed should reach its final disposition before the federal case should proceed (Magda Firestone v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 19-cv-1539, N.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108592).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 24 overturned rulings denying remand of a couple’s third-party lawsuit against their mortgage lender and loan servicers and granting the third-party counterdefendants’ motion for summary judgment after finding that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. v. Jackson, 139 S. Ct. 1743, 204 L. Ed. 2d 34 (2019), replaced the precedent that allowed the lender and loan servicers to remove the action (Philip Bowling, et al. v. U.S. Bank N.A., et al., No. 17-11953, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19435).
LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Nevada on June 12 granted a motion for summary judgment filed by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and U.S. Bank N.A., holding that the lenders provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a borrower who claimed that his home was uninhabitable as a result of Chinese-made drywall and construction defects was twice assigned a single point of contact (SPOC) to help him with foreclosure prevention options (Michael Hill v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. 18-cv-1350-MMD-BNW, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104073).
SHERMAN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on June 17 denied JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.’s motion to compel production of disclosure statements submitted to the government by four relators in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit accusing the lender of falsely certifying compliance with the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), holding that the documents are protected by the work product doctrine and that the bank failed to show that it has substantial need for the information (United States, ex rel. Michael Fisher, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 16-cv-395, E.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106564).
DALLAS — A federal judge in Texas on June 15 adopted a magistrate judge’s May 21 recommendation to grant a loan servicer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that a man failed to sufficiently allege that he sustained damages for breach of contract and violation of the implementing regulation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) as a result of the servicers’ denial of his request for a loan modification (Eddie Mitchell Jr. v. Money Source Inc., No. 20-cv-277-M-BN, N.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104855).
LYNCHBURG, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia on June 10 dismissed federal causes of action against a loan servicer and substitute trustee saying their foreclosure activities breached the terms of the deed of trust because they did not comply with the Reals Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and its implementing regulation, Regulation X, holding that the regulations were not incorporated into the deed (Josh McMichael, et al. v. Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., et al., No. 20-cv-00004, W.D. Va., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102133).
GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on June 10 dismissed a class action accusing Caliber Home Loans Inc. of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by reporting negative information to credit agencies within 60 days of receiving a qualified written request (QWR) from two borrowers, finding that the plaintiffs’ letters did not qualify as QWRs under the statute (Rogers Morgan, et al. v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., No. 19-cv-2797-PX, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101648).
SAN DIEGO — A California appeals court panel on May 26 reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a borrower’s lawsuit against banks over their right to sell her house to recover on a delinquent mortgage loan, finding that her complaint asserts facts that could support a legal theory of recovery if leave to amend was granted (Nora Masoud v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. D075582, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3224).
PORTLAND, Maine — A federal magistrate judge in Maine on June 3 recommended certifying a class for borrowers who claim that a loan servicer violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by attempting to collect payments on defaulted mortgage loans after the borrowers discharged the debt in bankruptcy, finding that het proposed class satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (James F. Miller v. Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, No. 19-cv-00016-JDL, D. Maine, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97524).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on May 26 dismissed a couple’s lawsuit against Bank of America N.A. and Bank of New York Mellon, holding that the plaintiffs’ claims stemming from denials of their requests for a loan modification were untimely under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) and because the couple could not establish an agency relationship between Bank of America and two other loan servicers (Timothy R. Tyler, et al. v. Bank of New York Mellon, et al., No. 19 CV 7863, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91267).
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on May 21 certified a class for borrowers who claim that a title services company and a loan servicer violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by engaging in a kickback scheme that resulted in the overpayment for settlement services, finding that the class representative established standing to sue under Article III of the U.S. Constitution and that individual issues did not predominate over classwide allegations (Mary Edmondson, et al. v. Eagle National Bank, et al., No. SAG-16-3938, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89690).
BALTIMORE — A class comprising borrowers who claim that they were overcharged for settlement and title services provided by Genuine Title LLC as a result of a kickback arrangement with Acre Mortgage & Financial Inc. in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was certified by a federal judge in Maryland on June 2 after the judge found that individual questions did not predominate over classwide issues (Renita James v. Acre Mortgage & Financial Inc., No. SAG-17-1734, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96633).