Florida Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court and Holds Homestead Tax Lien Has Priority Over Earlier Recorded Mortgage

A Florida appellate court recently reversed a trial court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of a mortgagee and instead held that a tax lien originating from improper homestead benefits had priority over the mortgage recorded seven years earlier.  See Miami-Dade Cty. v. Lansdowne Mortg., LLC, 2017 WL 4655060 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Oct. 18, 2017). 

New Jersey Appellate Division Reverses Summary Judgment Decision Regarding the Termination of a Cross-Easement by Estoppel

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently reversed a lower court’s decision granting summary judgment to defendant and instead held that there were issues of fact regarding whether the easement between plaintiff’s and defendant’s neighboring properties was terminated by estoppel.  See 1701 E. Main, LLC v. Wawa, Inc., 2017 WL 4531772 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Oct. 11, 2017).  In the case, plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest owned property on which it operated a gas station, and which was bordered on two sides by defendant’s property on which defendant operated a convenience store.

Nevada Federal Court Reverses Bankruptcy Court and Holds Title Insurance Company May Bring Bankruptcy Claim

The United States District Court for Nevada recently reversed a bankruptcy court’s decision and held that a title insurance company’s bankruptcy claim was not barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion because, among other reasons, it was not a party to the underlying state court action.  See Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co. v. Creditor Grp., 2017 WL 4683968 (D. Nev. Oct. 17, 2017).  In the case, two individuals (the “Owners”) formed two companies (the “Companies”) to purchase and develop property.

New York Federal Court Grants Servicer’s Motion to Dismiss RESPA Claims

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently granted a defendant loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) claim, holding that plaintiff’s alleged injuries were not proximately caused by defendant.  See Galli v. Astoria Bank, 2017 WL 4325824 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 27, 2017).  In the case, plaintiff defaulted on his loan with defendant and defendant foreclosed on the property and scheduled a foreclosure sale.  

New Jersey Federal Court Denies Servicer’s Motion to Dismiss RESPA Claims

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently denied a defendant loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) claim, holding that plaintiff borrowers had adequately pled that defendant had failed to respond to their qualified written request (“QWR”) under RESPA.  See Herrera v. Cent. Loan Admin. & Reporting, 2017 WL 4548268 (D.N.J. Oct. 12, 2017). 

Georgia Federal Court Dismisses Some of the CFPB’s Claims for Willful Discovery Violations

The United State District Court for the Northern District of Georgia recently dismissed some of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) claims against debt collectors because of the CFPB’s willful violations of the Court’s discovery orders.  See Consumer Fin. Prot. Bureau v. Universal Debt Sols., LLC, 2017 WL 3887187 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 25, 2017).  The CFPB brought an action against a number of debt collectors for a “massive debt-collection scheme” through which the defendants “allegedly used the telephone broadcast services of [one defendant] to broadcast millions of threatening and false statements to consumers in telephone calls and messages.” 

New York Federal Court Holds Pre-Foreclosure Notice Is Not Subject to FDCPA

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently held that a mortgagee’s pre-foreclosure notice to a homeowner did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) because it was not an attempt to collect a debt.  See Carbone v. Caliber Home Loans, Inc., 2017 WL 4157265 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 19, 2017).  In the case, plaintiff and her husband fell behind on their mortgage payments and defendant mortgagee sent them a pre-foreclosure notice as required under New York law. 

CFPB Enters Consent Order with Title Agency for Failure to Disclose Affiliated Business Arrangement with Underwriter

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently entered into a consent order with Meridian Title Corporation (“Meridian”) for alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) based on Meridian’s alleged failure to disclose an affiliated business arrangement with a title insurance underwriter.  See In the Matter of Meridian Title Corp., 2017-CFPB-0019 (Sept. 27, 2017).  According to the consent order, Meridian is a settlement agent and title insurance agency that issues title insurance policies and conducts loan closings.

Mississippi Appeals Court Holds Beneficiary of Deed of Trust Has Priority Over Prior Deed of Trust Because the Prior Deed of Trust Lacked a Named Beneficiary

In an action brought by plaintiff, a beneficiary under a subsequent deed of trust, seeking a declaration that it had first priority to property over that of the beneficiaries under a prior deed of trust that originally lacked a named beneficiary, the Court of Appeals of Mississippi recently affirmed the chancery court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of plaintiff, holding that while the prior deed of trust was not void for initially lacking a named beneficiary, plaintiff’s affidavit in support of its motion precluded a fact issue as to whether its predecessor-in-interest had actual notice of defendants’ prior deed of trust.