New York’s Second Department Appellate Division recently affirmed that an insured owner was not entitled to coverage under its title insurance policy for an action in which the insured was accused of fraudulently altering the deed. See Queens Org., LLC v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 2019 WL 2030322 (2nd Dept. May 8, 2019).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently found that the United States of America could foreclose on a tax lien despite the fact that it had misspelled the debtor’s name in the lien and, due to this misspelling, the purchaser of the property was unaware of the lien. See United States v. Z Inv. Properties, LLC, 921 F.3d 696 (7th Cir. 2019).
On April 29, 2019, Governor Murphy signed a package of bills into law relating to the residential foreclosure process. These bills represent a sweeping reform to how lenders must prosecute residential foreclosures going forward. The bills include:
In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held on April 24, 2019 that an employment agreement that was ambiguous about class arbitration could not be used to compel class arbitration. See Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 2019 WL 1780275 (U.S. Apr. 24, 2019). In 2016, a hacker obtained tax information for about 1,300 of defendant’s employees. After someone filed a fraudulent income tax return for plaintiff, one of defendant’s employees, plaintiff brought a class action lawsuit against defendant. Plaintiff’s employment agreement contained an arbitration agreement that required that “any and all disputes, claims or controversies” be arbitrated.
On April 22, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a condominium association’s gender-segregated pool schedule policy discriminated against women at a predominantly Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood, New Jersey. See Curto v. A Country Place Condo. Ass'n, Inc., 2019 WL 1758320 (3d Cir. Apr. 22, 2019). The plaintiffs, Maria Curto, Steve Lusardi and Diana Lusardi (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), brought an action against A Country Place Condominium Association, Inc. (the “Association”), alleging that the Association’s policy of gender-segregated swimming hours at a community pool violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b) (“FHA”).
The New Jersey Appellate Division recently held that a lender’s deficiency action was barred because the Notice of Proposed Deficiency Action was not recorded by the county clerk until five days after the lender’s deficiency complaint was filed, even though the lender had mailed the Notice to the clerk two weeks earlier. See Foreclosed Assets Sales & Transfer P’ship v. Strauss, 2019 WL 1092703 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Mar. 8, 2019).
The New York Supreme Court, Kings County recently dismissed a lender’s foreclosure action against a church and determined that the mortgage was invalid because the mortgage did not comply with the Religious Corporations Law (“RCL”). See John T. Walsh Enterprises, LLC v. Grace Christian Church, 62 Misc. 3d 1224(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2019).
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently denied a lender’s motion to dismiss a putative class action complaint in which plaintiffs alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) arising out of an alleged kickback scheme between the lender and the title agent. See Conover v. Patriot Land Transfer, LLC, 2019 WL 397978 (D.N.J. Jan. 31, 2019).
A California appellate court recently affirmed that an insured property owner was not entitled to coverage for a neighbor’s easement running across the insured property because the policy excepted “matters contained in” a Shared Road Maintenance Agreement, and this Agreement described the easement rights. See Beaudin v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 2019 WL 422208 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 4, 2019), reh’g denied (Feb. 21, 2019), review filed (Mar. 13, 2019).
A Wisconsin appellate court recently reversed a trial court’s order granting summary judgment for the homeowners and held that a lender’s foreclosure claim could proceed, despite the fact that the lender’s predecessor previously had filed a stipulation dismissing a foreclosure “due to payoff of the loan.” See Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, v. Buboltz, et al., 2019 WL 549771 (Wis. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2019).