NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 14 affirmed a summary judgment ruling for lenders and a loan servicer, holding that no valid contract for a loan modification existed with borrowers and that a bank did not commit common-law fraud (Harold W. Criswell, et al. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., et al., No. 18-40428, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 1221).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A borrower of a reverse mortgage on Dec. 21 filed a proposed class action in a New York federal court against lenders and a loan servicer, asserting claims for breach of contract, violation of New York law and other claims in relation to their alleged improper prepayment of taxes on reverse mortgages (Margaret Shakespeare v. Live Well Financial, Inc., et al., No. 2:18cv7299, E.D. N.Y.).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 11 granted a motion filed by lenders to dismiss a lawsuit filed by borrowers in relation to nonjudicial foreclosure of their property, holding that their claims were conclusory (Glenn W. Bever, et al. v. CitiMortgage, Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-1561, E.D. Calif.).
FRESNO, Calif. — The purchaser of a property at a trustee’s sale on Jan. 10 sued a title company and beneficiary of the deed in a California state court asserting claims for negligence, violation of the unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action, alleging that they knew or should have known that the property was subject to a bankruptcy automatic stay (Gary Toor vs. Ajit Gill, No. 19CECG00132, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 11 affirmed a court’s dismissal of a borrower’s constitutional claims against the United States in relation to the foreclosure of her property, holding that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case (Flordeliza A. Hawkins v. United States, No. 2018-2210, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 996).
SAN FRANCISCO — A divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 9 held that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) is not a consumer reporting agency that is subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), reversing a ruling for borrowers who alleged that Fannie Mae violated the FCRA by falsely communicated with lenders about their mortgages through its Desktop Underwriter (DU) platform (Richard Zabriskie, et al. v. Federal National Mortgage Association, No. 17-15807, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 642).
FORT WORTH, Texas — After finding that a borrower failed to state a plausible claim for violations of Texas law and breach of contract, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 8 granted a lender’s motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim (Deborah Prather v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 4:18-CV-668, N.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3121).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Supreme Court of Florida on Jan. 4 quashed an appeals court’s ruling that Florida law precluded an award of fees for a borrower, holding that a reverse mortgage agreement existed between the parties, even if the bank failed to show that it was the successor in interest of the disputed loan (Marie Ann Glass v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, et al., No. SC17-1387, Fla. Sup., 2019 Fla. LEXIS 30).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 7 heard oral arguments submitted by a borrower and a law firm in which the parties disputed whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, applies to nonjudicial foreclosure actions (Dennis Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, No. 17-1307, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — After holding that it was premature for a district court to hold that a loan servicer was entitled to summary judgment on its counterclaim for foreclosure in a borrower’s lawsuit, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 4 vacated the decision on that claim and remanded the case for further proceedings (Michael Wease v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, L.L.C., No. 17-10574, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 265).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 2 held that a borrower failed to assert required elements to support his claim against a bank for violations of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and, therefore, the HBOR cause of action and a claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) must be dismissed with leave to amend (Samir Ibrahim Marcoss v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 1:18-cv-00489, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218025).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — After finding that an attorney failed to show that numerous defendants engaged in unlawful or fraudulent business acts or practices in relation to investigations seeking to disbar her or that she sufficiently alleged a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a California federal judge on Jan. 2 dismissed her claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), RICO and other causes of action against all remaining defendants in the case (Lenore Albert v. Anthony Troy Williams, et al., No. 18-00448, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 490).
BOSTON — A borrower on Dec. 28 filed a class action lawsuit against various lenders in a Massachusetts federal court, asserting that they violated her due process rights by wrongfully foreclosing on her property (Kimberly Yargeau v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al., No. 1:18cv12652, D. Mass.).
SAN DIEGO — After a borrower voluntarily dismissed the only federal law claims asserted against a bank, a California federal judge on Dec. 27 refused to exercise jurisdiction over her remaining state law claims against other lenders, including causes of action for wrongful foreclosure and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Kathy Westfall v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-01403, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216867).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Dec. 28 dismissed claims asserted by a borrower for violations of California’s Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (HBOR), unfair competition law (UCL) and Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA) with partial leave to amend, holding that he failed to show causation as to the UCL claim and that he failed to plead sufficient facts to support his claims against lenders (John Batieste Greene, Jr. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 18-cv-06689, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 217597).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 21 affirmed a district court’s order dismissing claims for wrongful foreclosure, violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action against a bank, holding that they failed to state sufficient facts to state plausible claims for relief (Robert E. Hall, et al. v. Bank of New York Mellon, et al., No. 18-15801, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 36176).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After holding that a borrower failed to submit any medical records to support her claim that she suffers serious medical problems that warrant a stay of her lawsuit against a lender, a Missouri federal judge on Dec. 18 held that she has had ample time to respond to a motion for sanctions and refused to stay the case (Gwendolyn Gill Caranchini v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 4:17-CV-00775, W.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212630).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rico federal judge on Dec. 14 granted summary judgment in favor of an asset company, holding that a borrower breached his loan agreement by failing to make monthly payments and to cure his default on the mortgage (Bautista Cayman Asset Company v. Jose Luis Martinez Gonzalez, No. 17-2337, D. Puerto Rico, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211405).
PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 13 held that a district court improperly relied on a permanent modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) when deciding to dismiss a breach of contract claim asserted by borrowers, reversing dismissal of the claim in favor of a bank (Stephen Bukowski, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 17-3253, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35034).
ATLANTA — After holding that a borrower failed to show that a judge was biased in making an adverse ruling and that he failed to cure the deficiencies in his complaint, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 affirmed a district court’s decision to grant a bank’s motion to dismiss the case (John M. Barone v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a.k.a., et al., No. 18-11272, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34589).