Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Denies Request To Certify RESPA Class Over Individual Issues

    LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on June 18 denied a motion to certify a class claiming that Fidelity National Financial Inc. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by engaging in a scheme to collect kickbacks from express document delivery services, finding that individual issues, such as whether the class member's loan was subject to the statute, will predominate over class-wide issues (Keith Turner, et al. v. Fidelity National Financial Inc., No. 14-cv-01240-ODW, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83791).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - GE Capital To Pay $169 Million To Settle Credit Card Allegations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on June 19 announced a settlement to resolve allegations that GE Capital Retail Bank, known as of this month as Synchrony Bank, "engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of discrimination by excluding Hispanic borrowers from two of its credit card debt-repayment programs," the federal government's largest credit card discrimination settlement ever, according to the DOJ (United States of America v. Synchrony Bank, formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank, No. 14-0454, D. Utah).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Magistrate Judge: Consumer Failed To State Claim Against Debt Collector

    FRESNO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on June 16 dismissed a consumer's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDPCA) complaint against a debt collector, ruling that the consumer failed to properly state a claim for relief (Evelyn Chavez v. Access Capital Services Inc., No. 13-1037, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81626).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Fair Credit Reporting Act Claims Against Credit Ratings Agencies

    HONOLULU - A federal judge in Hawaii on June 16 dismissed an amended complaint filed by consumers who alleged that a credit card company and credit ratings agencies violated provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to correct their credit reports to show that timely payments had been made on a credit card, ruling that the consumers failed to state a claim against certain defendants (Norman Katz, et al. v. American Express Co., et al., No. 14-0084, D. Hawaii; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82204).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Gives Property Owner Chance To Replead UCL Allegations

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A California man's claims that a bank's mortgage lending practices violate the state's unfair competition law (UCL) fail because he did not plead any facts to support allegations that the bank engaged in unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business acts or practices, a federal judge held June 13 in granting the bank's motion to dismiss the claims (Edward Lawrence v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 14-1272, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81278).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Trims Claims Against Successor Trustee In Mortgage Loan Suit

    ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on June 13 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by a successor trustee in a lawsuit regarding the allegedly improper foreclosure on real property, ruling that although consumers adequately pleaded their Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), they have failed to plead claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and a claim for negligence (John Stricklin v. Litton Loan Servicing L.P., et al., No. 13-1354, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80670).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - High Court Declines Review Of Rajaratnam Insider Trading Conviction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 16 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling upholding the conviction of hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam on claims that he violated federal securities law for his role in a massive insider trading scheme (Raj Rajaratnam v. United States of America, No. 13-1001, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Supreme Court Remands Mortgage-Backed Securities Lawsuit To 10th Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 16 vacated a lower court ruling denying dismissal of a consolidated National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) lawsuit against several financial institutions over their sale of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to two failed credit unions in violation of federal securities law (Nomura Home Equity Loan, et al. v. National Credit Union Administration, No. 13-576, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses Landlord's Suit Against Failed Frontier Bank

    OPELIKA, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on June 13 dismissed a landlord's complaint alleging that he did not receive rent payments from a tenant in a building mortgaged to the failed Frontier Bank but denied the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s motion to pay interpleaded funds (Wayne Ray v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 13-0375, M.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81465).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Texas Panel Denies Insurer's Motion To Rehear $16M Bank Theft Coverage Suit

    HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on June 12 denied an insurer's motion to reconsider its March 11 ruling that an ATM operator suffered a covered loss under its insurance policy when an armored truck company stole $16 million (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London subscribing to policy number: FINFR0901509 v. Cardtronics Inc., No. 13-0165, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 6398).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Appeals Panel Reverses, Says UCL Claims Against Lender Can Proceed

    SAN FRANCISCO - A homeowner has standing to pursue California unfair competition law (UCL) claims alleging that a lender made misrepresentations about a loan modification under the federal Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) because he properly asserted that he was injured by the lender's actions, a state appellate court held June 12 in reversing a trial court's ruling (Daniel Pestana v. Bank of America, N.A., No. A137566, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge: Consumer's Debt Collection Law Claims Time-Barred

    OCALA, Fla. - Dismissal of a consumer's state and federal debt collection law claims is warranted because they are time-barred under the statute of limitations, a Florida federal judge ruled June 11 (Gregory M. Crossman v. Asset Acceptance LLC, No. 14-115, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79529).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge: Debt Collector's Letter To Consumer Was Not Misleading, Deceptive

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A debt collector's letter to a consumer seeking to settle a debt did not violate provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because its reference to "savings" that would result from the offered settlement was not misleading or deceptive, a federal judge in New York ruled June 11 (Isaac Altman v. J.C. Christensen & Associates Inc., No. 13-6502, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79621).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Claimants Didn't Exhaust FDIC Remedies, Federal Judge Rules

    SAN ANTONIO - A federal judge in Texas on June 11 dismissed a suit alleging breach of contract and other claims against the failed First National Bank,as the manager of an apartment complex, finding that the plaintiffs' failure to file a claim with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. bars the court's jurisdiction over the case (Jimmy Mack, et al. v. First National Bank, et al., No. 13-1104, W.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79583).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Bank's Debt Collection Calls Without Proper Consent Violated Act, Panel Rules

    ATLANTA - A federal district court did not err in granting partial summary judgment in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank N.A. because the bank violated provisions of the act when it contacted a consumer to collect on a debt using an autodialing system without the consent of the "called party," an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in an opinion made available on June 11 (Lynn Breslow v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., doing business as Wachovia Bank N.A., No. 12-14565, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10457).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - High Court Dismisses JPMorgan Chase From Madoff Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 9 granted a stipulation of dismissal of claims against JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries in a securities lawsuit filed by the trustee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS) against a number of parties that failed to properly investigate Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme (Irving H. Picard v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 13-448, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Merchant Agrees To Settle Claims Against Credit Card Processor

    MIAMI - A cruise company has agreed to the settlement of a suit in which it alleged that a bank and credit card processor charged an acquirer support fee (ASF) and chargeback insurance fees that were not included or scheduled in a credit card processing service agreement, according to a document the cruise company filed in a Florida federal court (MSC Cruises [USA] Inc. v. Merrick Bank Corp., et al., No. 13-23462, S.D. Fla.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Certifies Class Of Consumers In ATM Fees Action

    ST. PAUL, Minn. - A federal judge in Minnesota on June 10 certified a class of plaintiffs in a suit in which an ATM operator is alleged to have violated the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) by not placing a prominent fee notice on its machine and denied the operator's motion to dismiss, finding that the pre-amendment version of the EFTA applies to the plaintiffs' claim (Margaret Gawarecki, et al. v. ATM Network Inc., No. 11-1923, D. Minn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78735).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Insurer Has Duty To Defend Against Antitrust Claims, Illinois Panel Affirms

    ELGIN, Ill. - An insurer has a duty to defend its insured and additional insured against an underlying antitrust lawsuit stemming from the insured's adoption of two ordinances requiring the use of radio transmitters, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed June 9 (American Alternative Insurance Co. v. Lisle Woodridge Fire Protection District, et al., No. 2-13-0803, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1174).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Customer's Claims Against Bitcoin Miner Manufacturer Are Plausible, Judge Finds

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on June 6 mostly denied a motion to dismiss by a maker of bitcoin miners, finding that a customer had sufficiently alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation and consumer protection violations to survive dismissal (Martin Meissner v. BF Labs Inc., No. 2:13-cv-02617, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77135).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - N.J. Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Suit Over Failed Mortgage Deal

    TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 6 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insured failed to provide timely notice of an underlying breach of contract claim stemming from a failed real estate transaction and, therefore, coverage is barred (Templo Feunte De Vida Corp., et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No., A-4516-12T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1303).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Man Unable To Show Loan's Terms Were Unconscionable

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on June 9 awarded summary judgment to defendants in a lawsuit stemming from a man's acquisition of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan, finding that the plaintiff was unable to show that the payment of a yield spread premium to a mortgage broker made the terms of the loan unconscionable and, thus, unenforceable (William C. Skibbe v. Residential Credit Solutions Inc., et al., No. 08-cv-01393, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77973).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Upholds Ruling Finding Woman's Lending Law Claim Untimely

    ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 9 affirmed a federal magistrate judge in Alabama's ruling that a woman's lawsuit brought against a bank for alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was barred by the statute's one-year limitations period, ruling that the alleged violation occurred at the time she applied for a home equity line of credit (Alma Barnes v. Compass Bank, No. 13-15918, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10647).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - 5th Circuit: Bank Of America Had Authority To Foreclose On Couple's Home

    NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 6 upheld a federal judge in Texas' decision to award summary judgment to Bank of America N.A. in a wrongful foreclosure suit after finding that a plaintiff couple could not challenge the transfer of their mortgage to the lender (John Svboda, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-50818, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10598).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Redbox Didn't Violate Credit Card Statute, 9th Circuit Holds

    SAN FRANCISCO - Redbox Automated Retail LLC did not violate California's Song-Beverly Act because its collection of customer information fell within an exception where the customer's credit card was used as a deposit to secure payment in the event of loss or late return, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 6, affirming a federal court's dismissal of a putative class action (John Sinibaldi, et al. v. Redbox Automated Retail LLC, No. 12-55234, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10556).