New York Court Denies Summary Judgment in Action to Enforce a Restrictive Covenant

The New York Supreme Court, Kings County, recently denied a property owner’s motion for summary judgment, holding that there were issues of fact as to whether a restrictive covenant applied to the property at issue. See Fenimore Civic Block Ass’n Inc. v. 1919 Bedford Realty LLC, (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Mar 31, 2021). In the case, Defendant purchased a corner lot (the “Property”) with the intent of constructing three, four-story apartment buildings thereon.

New York Court Expands Borrower’s Entitlement to Legal Fees After Foreclosure Action Successfully Defended

The New York Supreme Court, New York County, recently held that a borrower on a mortgage is entitled to recover reasonable legal fees pursuant to Real Property Law § 282(a) so long as a successful defense to foreclosure is asserted, even where it is undisputed that the borrower failed to make their monthly mortgage payments. NRZ Pass-Through Trust IV v. Rouge, 2021 WL 465982 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Feb. 9, 2021).

New York Federal Court Holds “No Obligation to Renew” Language in Collection Letter Does Not Violate Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently held that a debt collector does not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. (“FDCPA”) when it sends a collection letter that, among other things, states that the collector “is not obligated to renew this offer.”  See Rajkumar v. FBCS, Inc.,  2021 WL 949867 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 12, 2021).  

Fifth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Title Insurer on Mechanic’s Lien Issue

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently affirmed a District Court’s decision granting summary judgment to a title insurance company, holding that the insured was not entitled to coverage for loss caused by a mechanic’s lien where the insured agreed to remove Covered Risk 11(a) in the title insurance policy. See Hall CA-NV, L.L.C. v. Old Republic Nat'l Title Ins. Co., 2021 WL 912726 (5th Cir. Mar. 10, 2021).

Arizona Court Holds Insured’s Inability to Subdivide Property Did Not Render It Unmarketable Under Title Policy

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court’s decision granting summary judgment to a title insurance company, among others, holding that an insured did not have coverage under a title insurance policy for losses arising after the insured discovered a covenant that prohibited it from selling the property as individual units.  See VACC LLC v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., et al., 2021 WL 710793 (Ariz. Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2021).

New Jersey Federal Court Holds No Discrimination Claim When Bank Declined to Honor PPP Transactions

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently dismissed a suit for racial discrimination and retaliation brought by a bank account holder against a national bank, holding that the account holder had not sufficiently pled facts alleging racial discrimination when the bank ceased to honor checks and electronic payments related to the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Re Republic Grp. LLC v. Bank of Am., N.A., 2021 WL 321477 (D.N.J. Feb. 1, 2021).

Eighth Circuit Holds Borrower Failed to Demonstrate Alleged Injuries Were Caused by RESPA Violation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed a District Court’s dismissal of a borrower’s claim under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA") and Minnesota Mortgage Originator and Servicer Licensing Act ("MOSLA") when the borrower failed to demonstrate that his alleged injuries were caused by the RESPA violation. See Wirtz v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, 2021 WL 503306 (8th Cir. Feb. 11, 2021).