SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on July 10 dismissed all claims, including claims for violations of California's Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and unfair competition law (UCL) against a financial services company in a class action brought by borrowers alleging that the company’s primary operating subsidiary failed to provide them with loan modifications, finding that the company is not indirectly liable for its subsidiary’s actions (Alicia Hernandez, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 18-07354, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114817).
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS) says in a July 11 filing with the U.S. Supreme Court that it will not file a response brief to a woman’s petition asking the high court to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that upheld the dismissal of her Truth in Lending Act (TILA) lawsuit (Kimberly Cox v. Old Republic National Title Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-1536, U.S. Sup.).
MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on June 19 dismissed a man’s lawsuit accusing a loan servicer of violating Regulation X of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by failing to identify the “master servicer” of his loan, holding that such information does not relate to the servicing of the loan (William Salter v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 19-60304, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103458).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on June 25 affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a loan servicer and the beneficiary under the deed of trust on the plaintiff’s residence, finding that the plaintiff failed to establish that the defendants violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) because the undisputed facts show that they cannot be held liable for violating the Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) (Alfred Awani v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC et al., No. B282732, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4288).
SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel on June 18 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of lenders and/or mortgage servicers in a lawsuit alleging that they wrongfully foreclosed on a property, finding that the defendants did not violate the Homeowners' Bill of Rights (HBOR) because there was no pending completed loan application when the notice of trustee's sale was recorded (Jason Cartaya v. M&T BANK, et al., No. D075105, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4069).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A woman is appealing to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a June 10 ruling by a federal judge in California awarding summary judgment to a lender she accuses of violating the unfair prong of California’s unfair competition law and denying her request for class certification (Lori Solarski v. Stearns Lending LLC, No. 17-1741, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A borrower seeking review of a federal judge’s ruling allowing a lender to foreclose on a property during bankruptcy proceedings asked the U.S. Supreme Court on July 3 to rehear his petition for review, arguing that the obstruction of justice by the lender’s employees and the trial court’s misapplication of the law warrant a rehearing (Mark Anthony Fornesa, et al. v. Fifth Third Mortgage Co., No. 18-1339, U.S. Sup.).
HOUSTON — A Texas appeals panel on July 9 affirmed Nationstar Mortgage LLC’s summary judgment award in a foreclosure action, holding that the lender proved that it had the right to foreclose on a woman’s home after she defaulted on her home equity loan and that she waived her argument that the lender failed to pursue counterclaims against her ex-husband (Linda Allan v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-18-00246-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 5686).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on July 3 granted motions to dismiss filed by a law firm and a mortgage trustee and loan servicer after finding that a man failed to sufficiently allege that the defendants acted wrongfully when foreclosing on his home (William L. Hutchinson v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 18-12443-LTS, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111090).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 2 upheld a ruling awarding summary judgment to a lender and loan servicer after holding that a federal judge in Tennessee did not err when finding that a letter from the loan servicer did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and that the plaintiffs failed to offer any newly discovered evidence to warrant amending or altering the decision (Yvette Woody, et al. v. Aurora Commercial Corp., et al., No. 18-5707, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 19764).
RICHMOND, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia on June 11 refused to remand a man’s lawsuit against his mortgage lender and a substitute trustee, finding that the substitute trustee was fraudulently joined as a defendant because it had not yet initiated foreclosure proceedings against the plaintiff (Joseph O’Carroll III v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., et al., No. 19-cv-115, E.D. Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98437).
OPELIKA, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama on June 20 denied a woman’s motion to remand her fraud and breach of contract lawsuit against Bank of America N.A. and Nationstar Mortgage LLC, doing business as Mr. Cooper, finding that she is seeking damages in excess of the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold because her home has an appraised value of $88,501 (Lavelle Parmer v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. 19-CV-265-WKW, M.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102973).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 5 upheld a federal judge in California’s ruling barring an expert from proffering testimony in support of the criminal lender defense, holding that any error in the decision was harmless (United States v. Vera Kuzmenko, et al., Nos. 16-10129, 16-10419, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 16938).
SEATTLE — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 4 affirmed a federal judge in Washington’s ruling awarding summary judgment to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the receiver for Washington Mutual Bank N.A. (WaMu), finding that a woman failed to present evidence showing that she did not receive disclosures required by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) when she closed on her mortgage loan (Diana Nichols v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 17-35556, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 16791).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on June 28 dismissed without prejudice a woman’s class action lawsuit accusing LoanDepot.com of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) when offering her a forbearance plan on her mortgage loan, finding that the plaintiff’s allegations were based on a conversation that was never documented (Eva Roman v. Loandepot.com, No. 18-cv-1710-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108289).
BOSTON — In addressing a matter of first impression, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 26 ruled that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) is a government instrumentality that is shielded from vicarious liability for the unauthorized acts of its agents pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Fed. Crop Ins. Co. v. Merrill, 332 U.S. 380 (1947), known as the Merrill doctrine (Ralph Faiella v. Federal National Mortgage Association, No. 18-1063, 1st Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 19083).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 26 denied a Texas couple’s request to reopen their action accusing a lender of violating the Texas Constitution by conducting loan closing proceedings in their home, holding that the plaintiffs were unable to show an extraordinary circumstance under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) (John Priester Jr., et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., et al., No. 18-40127, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 19059).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California granted preliminary approval of a $2.4 million to be paid by a bank and mortgage company to end a class complaint accusing them of placing calls for mortgage servicing or debt collection purposes in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (Saber Ahmed, et al. v. HSBC Bank USA, et al., No. 15-2057, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104401).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A borrower on June 3 filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the doctrine established in Rookerv. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923), and District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983), prevented a federal court from holding that a state court’s default judgment for quiet title was void (Timothy J. Johnston v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., No. 18-1532, U.S. Sup., LEXIS 2121).
PHILADELPHIA — Finding a lawsuit brought by homeowners to be untimely, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 19 upheld the dismissal of homeowners’ claims for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and unjust enrichment in their putative class action alleging a captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an affiliated reinsurer (Christopher Blake, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 18-2368, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18370).