WASHINGTON, D.C. — A business engaged in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings is not a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held on March 20 (Dennis Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, No. 17-1307, U.S. Sup.).
TAMPA, Fla. — After holding that a trial court erroneously granted borrowers summary judgment on their statute of limitations defense to a deficiency action brought against them by a debt collector, a Florida appeals court on March 15 reversed the ruling in their favor and remanded the case for further proceedings (Dyck-O’Neal, Inc. v. Teresa Norton, et al., No. 2D17-4968, Fla. App., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 3939).
SAN FRANCISCO — Borrowers on March 12 sued a lender and a trustee in a California court, asserting claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligent misrepresentation and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to the alleged mishandling of the servicing of their home equity line of credit loan (HELOC) (Timothy S. Bostwick, et al. v. First Tennessee Bank, No. 574465, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 11 affirmed the dismissal of a borrower’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims against a loan servicer, holding that the servicer did not engage in unlawful debt collection because none of the requested amounts was barred under a five-year statute of limitations under Florida law (Paul A. Green v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, No. 17-15681, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7066).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on March 8 certified two classes of consumers who accuse Specialized Loan Servicing LLC (SLS) of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by having its agents leave misleading door hangers at their homes (Thomas Quinn, et al. v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, No. 16-2021, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37975).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 6 upheld the dismissal of a woman’s lawsuit accusing her mortgage lender of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (UDTPA), holding that the RESPA claim was barred by the three-year statute of limitations and that Florida’s law does not apply to banks, credit unions and savings and loan associations that are regulated by federal agencies (Maria Del Pilar Nino v. Flagstar Bank FSB, No. 18-1503, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 6697)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After finding that borrowers breached the terms of their mortgage by failing to occupy a property within 60 days of executing their loan, an Alabama federal magistrate judge on March 1 held that a lender and its agents had the authority to enter the property and to secure it and granted summary judgment on claims for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), negligence and other claims asserted against them (Mark Erdberg, et al. v. Five Brothers Mortgage Company Services and Securing, Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-01880, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32870).
PHILADELPHIA — A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 26 affirmed a district court’s dismissal of borrowers’ claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, holding that they failed to show any injury in violation of RICO because monthly payments they made and sums paid to bring their loan current were consistent with the terms of their mortgage agreement (Chita Aliperio, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 17-2393, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 5738).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 27 granted a lender’s motion to certify a question related to whether borrowers’ claims for violations of California law are preempted by the Home Owners Loan Act (HOLA) to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, holding that the question presents a novel and undecided legal issue (McShannock v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 18-01873, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207262).
LAKELAND, Fla. —A divided Florida appeals panel on rehearing on Feb. 27 reversed a foreclosure judgment and clarified the scope of remand in residential mortgage foreclosure appeals, holding that a court has the discretion to further adjudicate cases that warrant additional review but that the well-established law prohibiting multiple attempts at trial should serve as the default standard when determining the scope of remand, but opted to certify a question on the issue to the Florida Supreme Court (Marlyn Tracey v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2D16-5091, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 3018).
PASADENA, Calif. — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 25 partially reversed a summary judgment ruling for a bank on a borrower’s claim for breach of contract related to his application for a loan modification, holding that the bank failed to submit any evidence to show that the borrower’s application was not complete (Jeffrey A. Dickerson v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 18-15261, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 5483).
LOS ANGELES — After finding that a borrower would likely succeed on the merits of his claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against a loan servicer, a California federal judge on Feb. 25 ordered the servicer to show cause as to why a preliminary injunction should not be entered enjoining it from foreclosing on the borrower’s property (Garrett Anderson v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 2:18-cv-08352, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29707).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 25 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a borrower who challenged an appeals court’s decision that affirmed dismissal of his claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against a bank (John M. Barone v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a.k.a., et al., No. 18-783, U.S. Sup.).
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 19 adopted a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that a borrower’s sixth lawsuit related to the foreclosure of his property should be dismissed based on res judicata, dismissing the case and ordering that he be sanctioned by having to obtain leave from the court before filing any additional lawsuits related to the property (Brent Mohlman v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, No. 18-11085, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25937).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Feb. 15 affirmed a trial court’s grant of demurrer on claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), wrongful foreclosure and other causes of action asserted by a borrower against a bank, holding that he failed to show that the bank was not the beneficiary of the deed on his former property (Jim Malone v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. E067966, Calif. App., 4th Cir., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1135).
OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska federal judge on Feb. 15 granted a bank’s motion to dismiss a borrower’s claims against it as barred by res judicata and denied her request for a temporary restraining order, holding that the borrower failed to show that she would suffer any immediate harm that would entitle her to immediate relief (Lisa A. Rabbe v. Wells Fargo, et al., No. 8:18CV561, D. Neb., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25019).
GALVESTON, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 12 granted summary judgment for a loan servicer, holding that it met all of the prerequisites for foreclosing on a property (Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Su Thana Nguyen, et al., No. 3:15-cv-00010, S.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22666).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Feb. 11 granted a motion filed by various mortgage entities to dismiss a borrower’s claim for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), holding that his claim for rescission under TILA was barred by a statute of limitations and that his alternative argument that the loan was never actually consummated failed (Marvin R. Wennekamp v. Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC, et al., No. 1:18-cv-01374, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21963).
PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 6 affirmed a trial court’s decision that a 20-year statute of limitations applied to a bank’s foreclosure and that a borrower failed to show that the bank owed him any duty that went beyond the terms of their mortgage agreement (In Re: James Hartman, No. 17-2162, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3745).
ST. LOUIS — A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 partially reversed a summary judgment ruling on claims asserted by a borrower against a bank, holding that the bank failed to show that the statute of frauds barred claims related to an interest reduction payment plan offered in the borrower’s mortgage agreement (John Calon v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 17-3263, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3778).