SHERMAN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Sept. 9 denied JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.’s motion for summary judgment in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit accusing the lender of submitting false information about loan modifications it provided to borrowers under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), holding that the relators are original sources of information and that their allegations are not based solely on public information (United States, ex rel. Michael J. Fisher, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 16-CV-00395, E.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152655).
ST. LOUIS — A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 6 denied in part a loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a man’s class action suit accusing it of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), ruling that he had standing to bring his action because he sufficiently alleged that he suffered anxiety as a result of a default letter that stated that the maturity date on his mortgage would be accelerated if he did not fully pay the amount he was behind on the loan by a certain date (Michael Spehr, et al. v. Seterus Inc., No. 18CV1922, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152021).
GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 9 granted in part a motion to certify a nationwide and statewide class for borrowers claiming that Nationstar Mortgage LLC violated Regulation X of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) when failing to acknowledge receipt of a borrower’s loan modification application within five days and limited the claims brought by the class based on his ruling on the loan servicer’s motion for summary judgment (Demetrius Robinson v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-cv-3667, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153526).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 10 reversed a lower court’s order that sustained a demurrer without leave to amend a borrower’s claim alleging violation of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) but affirmed the court’s order sustaining the demurrer as to the unfair competition law (UCL) claim and seven other causes of action (Ronell D. Elwin v. Bank Of America, N.A. et al., No. H044007, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6031).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 4 denied the majority of Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC’s motion for summary judgment in a couple’s suit accusing the company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), finding only in favor of the loan servicer on its argument that its system for making calls to borrowers is not an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) under the TCPA (Bonnie Brown, et al. v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 18-cv-136-T-60AEP, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151236).
SAN DIEGO — A majority of a California appeals panel on Sept. 5 found that a lower court properly sustained without leave to amend a mortgage servicer and loan beneficiary’s demurrer to a plaintiff’s third amended complaint alleging that the defendants conducted a "massive scheme" of wrongful and fraudulent business practices in connection with foreclosure proceedings on a residential property (Angelica Perales v. Select Portfolio Servicing, N.A., et al., No. D075087, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 59190).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 30 dismissed without leave to amend borrowers’ third amended complaint alleging that Wells Fargo Bank violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), California's unfair competition law (UCL) and California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), finding that the borrower has failed to cure the second amended complaint's deficiencies (Ronnie L. Townsend, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 18-07382, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148821).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Aug. 27 denied a loan servicer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on a couple’s claim for negligent misrepresentation, finding that the couple sufficiently alleged that they were confused by statements made by the servicer debt validation notices about who held their loan (Larry Pifer, et al. v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. 18-CV-606-RSL, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145730).
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Supreme Court on Aug. 22 overturned a trial court judge’s decision dismissing a woman’s lawsuit against the servicer of her mortgage loan, a substitute trustee and a man who bought her home during a foreclosure sale based on the doctrine of res judicata, holding that an earlier lawsuit she filed against a law firm that handled the foreclosure did not involve the same issues (Gloria B. Lane v. Bayview Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 180979, Va. Sup., 2019 Va. 94).
TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on Aug. 16 dismissed an estate’s claim that a credit union violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) when allegedly reneging on a loan modification agreement offered by a sub-servicer to a mortgage loan, holding that the estate did not sufficiently show how the violations caused it to suffer damages (Estate of Carrie Andrea Coineandubh v. Boeing Employees Credit Union, No. 19-cv-05527-RBL, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139154).
PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on Aug. 14 overturned an earlier ruling awarding $15,237.88 in costs to Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) after it obtained a judgment in its favor in a class action suit brought over an underwriting system that allegedly prevented borrowers from obtaining mortgage loans after they sold their homes in short sales, ruling that economic disparity between the parties and public interest favor vacating the award (Brandon M. Walsh v. Federal National Mortgage Association, No. 15-00761, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137302).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Aug. 20 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation to deny Wells Fargo Bank N.A.’s motion to dismiss a class action suit accusing the lender of misrepresenting how it applies funds from buydown deposits after overruling the bank’s objections that the magistrate judge erred in finding that the plaintiff sufficiently stated claims for breach of contract and violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and New York’s consumer protection law (Alejandro Carillo, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 18-CV-3095, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141227).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 22 denied a motion to dismiss the city of Sacramento’s lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. of engaging in discriminatory lending, finding that the city sufficiently stated claims against the lender and that it should be allowed to amend its claim that it suffered lost revenue from the increased expenditure on municipal services as a result of the lender’s actions (Sacramento v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al, No. 18-cv-00416, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143296).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 21 affirmed the dismissal of a couple’s wrongful foreclosure suit against their mortgage lender, holding that the complaint failed to sufficiently allege a causal connection between the lender’s conduct and an injury (Leanne Robinson, et al. v. SunTrust Mortgage Inc., et al., No. 18-13650, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24854).
TOPEKA, Kan. — A federal judge in Kansas on Aug. 13 barred a couple’s expert’s opinions regarding the legality of prepayment penalties under Kanas law and usurious interest rates, holding that the testimony is no longer relevant to their claims against a lender who refinanced the mortgage on their home (Randall A. Schneider, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-4094-HLT, D. Kan., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136250).
SEATTLE — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 upheld a ruling awarding summary judgment to Chase Home Finance LLC (CHF), finding that a federal judge did not err when finding that a man’s loan was a residential mortgage transaction that could not be rescinded pursuant to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (Timothy Barnes v. Chase Home Finance LLC, et al., No. 18-35616, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24171).
INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge in Indiana on Aug. 12 formally approved a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and First Merchants Bank to resolve allegations that the lender engaged in discriminatory lending practices in predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Indianapolis, holding that the terms of the agreement are reasonable and fair (United States v. First Merchants Bank, No. 1:19-cv-02365, S.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135703).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 affirmed a ruling awarding a borrower summary judgment on her quiet title claim against the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac), after finding that it was not entitled to contractual subrogation on a loan it obtained from another lender that did not comply with the Texas Constitution because the lender did not sign a form that stated the home’s fair market value (Sylvia Zepeda v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., No. 18-20336, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24330).
TRENTON, N.J. — The filed-rate doctrine precludes homeowners’ claims against a reinsurance broker, an insurer and a mortgage company over alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act based on a lender-placed insurance (LPI) scheme involving kickbacks, including reinsurance premiums, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Aug. 15 (Edward Leo v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC of Delaware, et al., No. 17-05839, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137824).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 8 affirmed the allowance of expert testimony in a mortgage fraud case that resulted in a nearly $300 million judgment against a businessman and his companies after finding that the trial judge properly vetted the experts’ opinions and sufficiently explained his rationale for doing so (United States v. Jim C. Hodge, et al., No. 17-20720, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23715).