Florida Appellate Court Holds Lender Not Entitled to Summary Judgment on Bona Fide Lender Claim Because of “Series of Suspicious Documents” in Records

A Florida appellate court reversed a trial court and held that a reverse mortgage lender was not entitled to summary judgment on the claim that it was a bona fide lender for value because there was a series of irregularities in the public records.  See CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Porter, 261 So. 3d 739 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2018).  In 2005, the borrower executed a mortgage on his property that eventually was assigned to CitiMortgage.  In 2010, CitiMortgage initiated a foreclosure action and filed a notice of lis pendens. 

Tenth Circuit Holds Title Insurance Company Had No Duty to Defend or Indemnify Insured Lender in Fraudulent Conveyance Action

In a decision approved for publication, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently reversed a District Court and found that a title insurance company did not have a duty to defend an insured lender in an action alleging that the borrower’s conveyance of deeds of trust to the lender was fraudulent.  See Banner Bank v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 2019 WL 924792 (10th Cir. Feb. 26, 2019). 

New York Appellate Court Holds Judgment Creditor Can Recover from Jointly-Rented Safe Deposit Box

New York’s First Department Appellate Division recently affirmed a lower court decision and held that a judgment creditor can recover property from a safe deposit box on which the debtor and his wife are joint tenants, despite the claim that the box’s property was solely owned by the wife.   See New York Cmty. Bank v. Bank of Am., N.A., 169 A.D.3d 35 (1st Dept. 2019).  In 2012, New York Community Bank (“NYCB”) obtained a judgment against a debtor. 

Third Circuit Holds Purchaser of Defaulted Debt Could Be a Debt Collector Under the FDCPA

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently affirmed a lower court decision and held that an entity who purchases a defaulted debt and engages in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts can be a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  See Barbato v. Greystone Alliance, LLC, 2019 WL 847920 (3d Cir. Feb. 22, 2019).  

Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Negligent Misrepresentation Claim Against Title Insurance Company

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently dismissed an insured owner’s negligent misrepresentation claim against a title insurance company arising out of a title commitment and policy that omitted liens and contained an incorrect legal description.  See Wheaton Theatre, LLC v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 2018 WL 6573222 (N.D. Ill. 2018).  

California Appellate Court Dismisses Claim Against Title Insurer for Violating Elder Abuse Statute

A California appellate court recently affirmed a decision dismissing a complaint against a title insurance company, finding that that title insurance company owed no duty to a third-party landowner and could not be liable to the landowner for issuing a title insurance policy on the landowner’s property after the property was wrongfully conveyed from the landowner.  See Carr v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., 2018 WL 6521029 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018).  

Florida Court Applying New York Law Holds Purchase & Sale Agreement of Future Receivables Not Usurious Loan Despite Personal Guarantees

A Florida court recently applied New York law and held that a purchase & sale agreement of a pharmacy’s future receivables could not be voided as a usurious loan even though the pharmacy’s principals signed personal guarantees securing the agreement.  See EBF Partners, LLC v Burklow Pharmacy, Inc., 2018 WL 6620582 (Fla.Cir.Ct. 2018).  In the case, plaintiff paid the defendant pharmacy $425,000 to purchase $586,500 of future receivables.  In connection with the agreement, the pharmacy’s principals signed personal guarantees.

New York Court Denies Motion to Extend Lapsed Notice of Pendency

The New York Supreme Court, Kings County, recently denied a party’s motion to extend a notice of pendency, finding that the party had let a prior notice expire and the party was barred from filing a new notice despite the fact that there had been a substitution of parties in the action.  See 25-35 Bridge St. LLC v. Excel Auto. Tech Ctr. Inc., 62 Misc. 3d 1210(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2019). 

New Jersey Appellate Court Holds County Recorders Are Not Authorized to Charge a Convenience Fee for Electronic Recording

In a decision approved for publication, New Jersey’s Appellate Division held on February 11, 2019 that county registers or clerks may not “charge a ‘convenience fee’ for the electronic filing of documents concerning real property.”  See New Jersey Land Title Ass’n v. Rone, 2019 WL 508858 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Feb. 11, 2019). 

Virginia Federal Court Denies Title Agent’s Motion to Dismiss Title Insurer’s Action

The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia recently denied a title agent’s motion to dismiss a claim brought by Stewart Title Guaranty Company (“Stewart”) for the breach of an agency agreement and, in doing so, did not accept the agent’s argument that the underlying claims should have been excluded under Exclusion 3(a).  See Stewart Title Guar. Co. v. Closure Title & Settlement Co., LLC, 2019 WL 97045 (W.D. Va. Jan. 3, 2019).  In the case, the agent issued two title insurance policies for the same lender to secure first priority deeds of trusts on two properties.