1st Circuit Rejects Homeowners’ Challenge to MERS Assignment and Claim Under Obsolete Mortgage Statute

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a complaint filed by plaintiff homeowners and held that plaintiffs could not challenge the assignment of their mortgage by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”), and held that their mortgage was not obsolete under Massachusetts law despite having been accelerated more than five years earlier.  See Hayden v. HSBC Bank USA, Nat’l Ass'n, as Tr. for Wells Fargo Asset Sec. Corp. Mortg. Asset-Backed Pass Through Certificates Series 2007-PA3, 956 F.3d 69 (1st Cir. 2020).

Idaho Supreme Court Reverses Trial Court, Remands on Issue of Whether Purchaser of Property Was a Bona Fide Purchaser Without Notice of Government’s Unrecorded Right-Of-Way Along Public Road

The Idaho Supreme Court recently reversed a trial court’s decision in favor of a highway district and found that there were issues of fact as to whether a purchaser of a property along a public road was a bona fide purchaser without knowledge of a right-of-way.  See Nampa Highway Dist. No. 1 v. Knight, 166 Idaho 609 (2020).  The case concerned a right-of-way along a 22-foot wide public road.

Third Circuit Holds Creditor Has Standing to Bring Post-Bankruptcy Claims

In a precedential decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held this week that a creditor had the ability to bring post-bankruptcy claims against a debtor if the bankruptcy trustee abandoned those claims. See In re Wilton Armetale, Inc., 2020 WL 4460000 (3d Cir. Aug. 4, 2020). Artesanias was a creditor of Wilton, and obtained a judgment of around $900,000 against it. 

California Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Claim Against Title Company and Title Agent, Holds That They Had No Duty to Inform Insured Purchaser of Seller’s Involvement in Other Lawsuits

The California Court of Appeals recently held that a title insurance company and title agent had no duty to inform their insured purchaser that the individual selling the property, and who was going to act as the insured’s property manager, was involved in multiple other lawsuits.  See Ukoha v. Provident Title Co., 2020 WL 3467817 (Cal. Ct. App. June 25, 2020), reh’g denied (July 15, 2020). 

New Mexico Bankruptcy Court Holds Claim Regarding Prior Mortgage Barred by Exclusion 3(a)

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico recently found that an insured’s claim regarding a prior mortgage was barred by the title insurance policy’s Exclusion 3(a) and the fact that the insured could not prove any damages.  See In re: Lamey, 2020 WL 4045254 (Bankr. D.N.M. July 17, 2020).  Plaintiff is an LLC and the insured owner of a property, and defendant issued a title insurance policy on the property.

Michigan Appellate Court Holds Title Insurer and Agent Not Liable for Negligent Misrepresentation and Breach of Contract

The Court of Appeals of Michigan recently affirmed a decision finding that a title insurance company and title agent were not liable to an insured for negligent misrepresentation or breach of contract for an issue with a disputed portion of property that fell outside the policy’s legal description.  See Shower Curtain Sols. Ltd., LLC v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., 2020 WL 3393467 (Mich. Ct. App. June 18, 2020). 

New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Vacation of Judgment and Dismissal of Action Eight Years After Final Judgment, Finds Plaintiff Violated FDCPA

New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently affirmed a trial court decision vacating a final judgment and dismissing a complaint despite the fact that the defendant waited eight years to bring the motion, finding that the plaintiff brought the action outside the limitations period and violated the FDCPA.  See LVNV Funding, LLC v. Deangelo, 2020 WL 3163668 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. June 15, 2020).

New York’s Fourth Department Holds Title Insurer Not Liable for Attorneys’ Fees in Action Brought by Insured Against Neighbor

New York’s Appellate Division, Fourth Department, recently dismissed an action brought by an insured property owner against its title insurer, finding that the title insurer was not obligated to bring an action against the insured’s neighbor over a disputed portion of property, and therefore that the insurer was not obligated to pay the insured’s attorneys’ fees when the insured brought the action against the neighbor.