The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently reversed a lower court and held that a dunning letter stating that the forgiveness of debt might be reported to the IRS may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) when there is no chance of such a reporting. See Schultz v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc., 2018 WL 4558595 (3d Cir. Sept. 24, 2018).
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently held that a title insurance company did not breach its policy when it denied an insured’s claim regarding coverage for a litigation about a wall that encroached on a neighbor’s property. See 631 N. Broad St., LP v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co., 2018 WL 4051798 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 23, 2018).
The Florida Court of Appeals recently held that an attorney was not entitled to summary judgment dismissing a legal malpractice claim brought by a lender regarding an erroneous legal description on a mortgage, despite the fact that the attorney had not prepared the legal description himself. See JBJ Inv. of S. Fla., Inc. v. S. Title Grp., Inc., 2018 WL 3301673 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. July 5, 2018).
New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently affirmed the dismissal of a foreclosure complaint when the lender’s predecessor mistakenly discharged the mortgage at issue and the property subsequently was encumbered with a new mortgage. See U.S. Bank National Association, v. Wishnia, et al.., 2018 WL 4262061 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Sept. 7, 2018).
In a precedential opinion issued on September 10, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the District Court and held that, under Pennsylvania law, an insurer’s duty to defend turned on allegations within the four corners of the complaint, and a title insurer is only bound to defend claims in the complaint that it specifically covered. See Lupu v. Loan City, LLC, et. al., v. Stewart Title Guaranty Company, 2018 WL 4290048 (3d Cir. Sep. 10, 2018).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed a district court’s decision granting a debtor’s motion for summary judgment and held that the defendant debt collector did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) by sending motion papers directly to the debtor when the debtor was represented by an attorney who had not filed a notice of appearance. See Holcomb v. Freedman Anselmo Lindberg, LLC, 2018 WL 3984544 (7th Cir. Aug. 21, 2018).
The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently dismissed a borrower’s complaint against a lender, finding that the lender did not wrongfully foreclose on the borrower or engage in predatory lending. See Healy v. U.S. Bank, N.A. for LSF9 Master Participation Tr., 2018 WL 3733934 (D. Mass. Aug. 3, 2018). In the case, the borrower executed a loan agreement secured by a mortgage on his house in 2004. In 2013, he defaulted on the loan, and the note and mortgage were assigned to the defendant lender thereafter.
In a decision approved for publication, New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently held that the business judgment rule protected the actions of a common-interest community’s board of trustees in rejecting certain residents’ requests to elevate their homes higher than the board’s regulations allowed after Superstorm Sandy. See Alloco v. Ocean Beach & Bay Club, 2018 WL 3999039 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Aug. 22, 2018). The decision is significant in limiting challenges to a board’s action to grounds of fraud, self-dealing or unconscionability.
The United States District Court for the Western District of New York recently reversed a Bankruptcy Court’s dismissal of an action and held that sales arising from tax foreclosures may be avoidable as fraudulent transfers. See Hampton v. Ontario Cty., New York, 2018 WL 3454688 (W.D.N.Y. July 18, 2018). The case involves two adversary proceedings commenced by homeowners against the County of Ontario (the “County”). In each matter, the County foreclosed on plaintiffs’ homes after plaintiffs failed to pay property taxes.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently affirmed the granting of a lender’s motion for summary judgment, holding that a settlement agent’s defalcation of loan funds was outside the scope of his agency and that the lender could not be held liable for the same. See Pineda v. Chase Bank USA, N.A., 186 A.3d 1054 (R.I. 2018). In 2008, the plaintiff borrower entered into a refinancing agreement with the defendant lender whereby the lender agreed to issue two loans that would pay off existing mortgages on the borrower’s properties.