California Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment for Defendant on TILA, RESPA Claims Holding Loan Was For Business Purposes

The United States District Court for the Central District of California recently granted summary judgment for a defendant in a case asserting violations of the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), finding that the loan to a trust was for a business purpose.  See Gilliam v. Levine, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226814 (C.D. Cal. 2021). 

Pennsylvania Federal Court Holds Debt Collector’s Communication With Vendor Could Violate FDCPA

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently held that a debt collector’s communication with a letter vendor could constitute an FDCPA violation.  See Khimmat v. Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21076 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 7, 2022).  In the case, the defendant was retained to collect plaintiff’s credit card debt.  Before sending a letter, defendant hired a letter vendor and provided the vendor with personal information about plaintiff.

Property Owner Forced to Accept Deed Notice by Good-Faith Remediator?

What happens when a property owner refuses to consent to a deed notice to address historic fill on its property? 

Engineering and institutional controls, often a cap and deed notice, can greatly reduce the cost of environmental remediation.  Where appropriate, engineering and institutional controls can allow remediating parties to avoid costly excavation or treatment of contaminated soil, instead allowing these materials to remain underneath improvements such as parking lots, building foundations, or landscaped areas.  The ability to use controls, however, becomes complicated if the party conducting the remediation does not own the property. 

New Jersey Appellate Court Holds Bank’s Actual Knowledge of Unrecorded Interest in Property Insufficient to Void Sheriff’s Sale

In a decision approved for publication, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently affirmed the dismissal of a potential purchaser’s claim for a constructive trust as to foreclosed land, holding that the potential purchaser’s claim to an interest on foreclosed property cannot be sustained because a foreclosure and sheriff’s sale extinguishes any interest in or unrecorded right to purchase the property. See Woodmont Props. v. Twp. of Westampton, 2022 N.J. Super. LEXIS 13 (App. Div. Feb. 7, 2022). 

Ninth Circuit Holds Letter May Violate FDCPA for Stating Dispute Must Be in Writing

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently reversed in part and affirmed in part a District Court’s decision, holding that a letter may have violated the FDCPA by failing to clearly convey the dispute process, but that it did not violate the FDCPA by including fees incurred by a paralegal as “attorneys’ fees.”  See Almada v. Krieger Law Firm, A.P.C., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 1946 (9th Cir. Jan. 24, 2022).

NJ Law Requires Creditors to Notify Municipal Officials Regarding Commercial Property Foreclosures

Legislation (A2877) just signed by the Governor will now require a creditor to notify municipal officials regarding its foreclosure of commercial properties, maintain the exterior of the commercial properties and register commercial properties under an ordinance creating a property registration program in the municipality. P.L. 2021, c. (chapter law citation pending).  

Georgia Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for Title Insurer in Agreement Not to Sue Case

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for a title insurance company in a dispute regarding an easement’s beneficiaries, holding that the insured released any claims against the title insurer and could not bring a later suit, even for claims assigned to it by another party. See ALR Oglethorpe, LLC v. Fid. Nat'l Title Ins. Co., 863 S.E.2d 568 (Ga. Ct. App. 2021).