New York Federal Court Holds Insured Not Entitled to Coverage Under Title Policy When Statute of Limitations for Potential Challenge to Title Had Run

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted the defendant title insurance companies’ motion for summary judgment and found that the insured was not entitled to coverage when the action giving rise to the alleged title defect occurred in 1982 and the statute of limitations for a challenge to title had run.  See Morris Builders, L.P. et al. v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, et al., 2021 WL 4066725 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 7, 2021). 

Washington Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Homeowner’s Prescriptive Easement and Nuisance Claims Regarding Septic Drainfield System

The Court of Appeals of Washington, Division Two, recently affirmed the dismissal of a homeowner’s prescriptive easement and nuisance claims, finding instead that there was an implied easement that allowed both the homeowner and an adjoining property owner to share use of a septic drainfield system.  See Conklin v Bentz, 2021 WL 2229818 (Wash. Ct. App. June 2, 2021). 

Fifth Circuit Holds Individual Guarantor Waived His Right to Challenge Guaranty in Forbearance Agreements

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently rejected an individual guarantor’s (“Lockwood”) fraudulent inducement and duress claims and held that the guaranty he entered was enforceable and that he waived any defenses to the same in subsequent forbearance agreements. See Lockwood Int’l, Inc. v. Wells Fargo, Nat’l Ass’n,, 2021 WL 3624748 (5th Cir. Aug. 16, 2021). 

California Appellate Court Affirms Order Granting Anti-SLAPP Motion in Quiet Title Action

The Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, recently affirmed a trial court’s decision striking claims for quiet title and declaratory relief under California's anti-SLAPP statute, finding that recording a judgment constitutes a protected activity which is privileged under Civil Code § 47(b)(2). See Reynolds v. Palmbaum, 2021 WL 3184943 (Cal. Ct. App. July 28, 2021).  

Illinois Federal Court Grants Title Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Breach of Contract and Consumer Fraud Claims

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted a title insurance company’s motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract and consumer fraud, finding that the plaintiff failed to allege any loss and that his claim under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act was barred by the statute of limitations. See Steward v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., et. al., 2021 WL 3142042 (N.D. Ill. July 26, 2021). 

New York Federal Court Finds Notation of Loan Suspension on Credit Report Insufficient to Demonstrate Concrete Injury under FCRA

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently dismissed a consumer’s claim under § 1681e(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”), finding that the notation of a loan suspension on the consumer’s credit report and the resulting diminution in his credit score were insufficient, standing alone, to demonstrate a concrete reputational or financial injury. See Grauman v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 2021 WL 3239865 (E.D.N.Y. July 16, 2021).

New Jersey Trial Court Finds No Affirmative Cause of Action Against Banks under New Jersey Uniform Fiduciaries Law

A New Jersey trial court recently granted summary judgment in favor of a national bank, finding that the New Jersey Uniform Fiduciaries Law (“UFL”) does not permit an affirmative cause of action against a bank and that the bank had no legal obligation to investigate alleged improper transfers made pursuant to a Power of Attorney. See Estate of Ralph Sandor v. Wells Fargo Clearing Services, et al., Docket No. BER-C-54-21. 

8th Circuit: No Automatic FDCPA Protection for Boilerplate Disclosures

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of a mortgage loan servicer, finding that the communications from the mortgage loan servicer were not communications “in connection with the collection of a debt,” as required under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). See Heinz v. Carrington Mortg. Servs., LLC, 2021 WL 2878322 (8th Cir. July 9, 2021).