MINNEAPOLIS - Interlocutory appeal in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit is not proper because the defendants in the action failed to show how an immediate appeal "would materially advance the termination of this litigation," a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Dec. 12 (Keith Hartley v. Suburban Radiologic Consultants Ltd., et al., No. 11-2664, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174943).
ST. LOUIS - A federal magistrate judge in Missouri on Dec. 13 sustained a debt collector's motion for summary judgment in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit against a consumer, ruling that the consumer has failed to show that any FDCPA violation occurred (Joyce Hipps v. LVNV Funding LLC, No. 12-1297, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175092).
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A provision in a plaintiff couple's deed of trust (DOT) allows Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to obtain attorney fees after successfully defending a wrongful foreclosure suit because the couple's lawsuit could have "significantly affected" the lender's interest in the property, a federal judge in Missouri ruled Dec. 12 (Kenneth D. Wivell, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 12-03457-DGK, W.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175501).
CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 affirmed a district court's ruling that the convictions of three people who ran a fraud scheme involving residential mortgages and bankruptcies were appropriate given all the evidence (United States of America v. Charles White, et al., No. 11-3240, Chapter 7, 7th Cir.; 2013. U.S. App. LEXIS 24809).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 12 ordered the federal judge in Arizona presiding over the multidistrict litigation court for claims challenging the formation and operation of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS) to decide if an order dismissing a portion of a man's lawsuit is appealable (Dustin Rollins, et al. v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., et al., No. 12-16261, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24703).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 16 denied review of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling vacating denial of class certification to retirement plans' participants on their claims that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset (Lockheed Martin Corp., et al. v. Anthony Abbott, et al., No. 13-447, U.S. Sup.).
NEWNAN, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Dec. 11 dismissed as untimely claims related to certain loans in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s suit against former directors of Southern Community Bank (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. James S. Cameron, et al., No. 13-0102, N.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173806).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 13 granted final approval to the $7.25 billion class action settlement between approximately 12 million merchants and Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks that the proposed class alleges fixed the prices of interchange fees paid by merchants when customers use Visa and MasterCard credit cards (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation $(All Cases$), No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Dec. 11 refused to certify a class for nationwide borrowers and subclasses for California and New York consumers over SunTrust Mortgage Inc.'s purchase of force-placed hazard and flood insurance policies, finding that calculating the replacement value of each class member's homes was an individual issue that predominated over classwide issues (Shelia Gooden, et al. v. SunTrust Mortgage Inc., No. 11-cv-02595-JAM-DAD, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173511).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 13 ruled that the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) could appeal a ruling that granted the City of San Bernardino, Calif., permission to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. However, the judge said a direct appeal to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was not warranted (California Public Employees' Retirement System v. City of San Bernardino, Calif. $(In Re: City of San Bernardino, Calif.$), No. 13-01952, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - More than 250 Georgia cities and counties failed to prove that online travel companies (OTCs) collected excess taxes and now owe the localities back taxes, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13, also upholding a district court's sanctions ruling against the class of localities (City of Rome, et al. v. Hotels.com, L.P., et al., No. 12-14588, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24745).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on Dec. 12 refused to dismiss a suit in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. alleges that former officers and directors of the failed Frontier Bank breached their fiduciary duties and violated the bank's loan policy and attempts to recover more than $46 million in damages as the bank's receiver (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Michael J. Clementz, et al., No. 13-0737, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174289).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The law firm that represented the Official Committee of Equity Security Interest Holders in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Rotech Healthcare Inc. on Dec. 13 moved for a protective order, contending that Rotech should not be permitted to depose members of the firm (In Re: Rotech Healthcare Inc., No. 13-10741, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 13 agreed to review a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Fifth Third Bancorp and its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) trustees breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by continuing to offer company stock as a retirement plan investment option at a time when the bank was engaged in subprime lending (Fifth Third Bancorp, et al. v. John Dudenhoeffer, et al., No. 12-751, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Residential Capital LLC (ResCap) on Dec. 13 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that the Bankruptcy Court should not permit various claims valued at $2,878,000 because the creditors failed to provide sufficient documentation of their claims and the claims are barred by the doctrine of res judicata (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
DETROIT - The bankrupt City of Detroit on Dec. 12 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan contending that the union representing city employees cannot appeal the Bankruptcy Court's eligibility ruling because it is not a final judgment, order or decree. However, if the Bankruptcy Court were to decide that an appeal was proper, it should certify the matter for direct appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the city says (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 ruled that an individual debtor lacked standing to appeal a bankruptcy court's decision regarding fraudulent transfers because he was not sued as an individual (Clovis Prince v. Michelle H. Chow [In Re: Clovis Prince], No. 13-40130, Chapter 7, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24733).
NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 reversed and remanded a case, ruling that an affiliate of a company that filed for bankruptcy in Australia was a debtor under the meaning of the Bankruptcy Code in a Chapter 15 proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund v. Katherine Elizabeth Barnet [In Re: Katherine Elizabeth Barnet], No. 13-612, Chapter 15, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24585).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 12 announced that Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. has agreed to pay $131.8 million to settle claims that it made "faulty disclosures about collateral selection for two collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that it structured and marketed to investors, and [maintained] inaccurate books and records for a third CDO" in violation of federal securities laws (In the Matter of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., No. 3-15642, SEC).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 reversed and remanded a case in which it said a bankruptcy court did not properly quantify the amount of money that constituted fraudulent conveyances in a bankruptcy proceeding (Gary Farrar v. Warda & Yonano [In Re: Bella Vista by Paramount LLC], No. 11-60022, Chapter 7, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24629).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 11 ruled that dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit against Bank of America Corp. (BofA) and its former CEO is proper because shareholders' state-law claims regarding BofA's acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. are precluded by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA) (In re Bank of America Corp. Securities, Derivative and ERISA Litigation, No. 09-2058; [Melgen, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 12-5210], S.D. N.Y.).
DETROIT - The Official Committee of Retirees in the Chapter 9 bankruptcy case of the City of Detroit on Dec. 11 asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to certify for direct appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the Bankruptcy Court's opinion declaring that the city is eligible to file for bankruptcy (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 ruled that a federal court properly determined that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over a foreclosure proceeding because borrowers failed to file a timely administrative claim with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) (Steven Waltner, et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 11-35726, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24642).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of Highway Technologies Inc. (HTI) on Dec. 11 ordered that a class of claimants asserting claims under the Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act (WARN) be certified for the purposes of approving a $2,022,060 settlement (In Re: Highway Technologies Inc., No. 13-11326, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
MINNEAPOLIS - U.S. Bancorp will pay $53 million in cash to Freddie Mac as part of an agreement between the parties to resolve "substantially all repurchase obligations related to representations and warranties made on loans sold to Freddie Mac between 2000 and 2008," the bank announced Dec. 10 in a press release.