Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of RESPA and TILA Claims Regarding Escrow Account, Holding There Was No RESPA Private Right of Action and TILA Claim Was Time-Barred

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) claim and a Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) claim against a lender, finding that the particular RESPA provision cited by plaintiff did not provide a private right of action, and that the TILA claim was time-barred.  See Greene v. Intuit Inc., 2019 WL 6321043 (11th Cir. Nov. 26, 2019).  Plaintiff purchased her home in 2015 and obtained a cash-out refinance loan that is the subject of this action in 2016.  In 2018 and after defaulting on the loan, she filed this action, making claims under RESPA, TILA, and Georgia state law.  She first alleged that the lender improperly calculated the amount plaintiff was required to deposit in her escrow account because it based the calculation on the property tax assessment of the prior owner of the property in violation of §10 of RESPA.  See 12 U.S.C. 2609.  She then alleged that the lender failed to provide her with the proper disclosures regarding her escrow deposits at the time of the closing, in violation of TILA.  See 15 U.S.C. 1639d.  The lender filed a motion to dismiss the RESPA and TILA claims, and the District Court granted the motion.

On appeal, the 11th Circuit affirmed.  First, it found that §10 of RESPA does not have a private right of action and that “it is the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who assesses civil penalties for violations of that section.”  Second, the Court found that TILA has a one-year statute of limitations and that the alleged failure to disclose occurred at the time of the closing (i.e., 2016).  Thus, the 2018 complaint was not timely and the District Court properly dismissed the complaint.

For a copy of the decision, please contact Michael O’Donnell at modonnell@riker.com, Michael Crowley at mcrowley@riker.com, or Anthony Lombardo at alombardo@riker.com.