BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge granted summary judgment to Donald Trump on Feb. 28 related to the real estate and reality television mogul's counterclaims against a purported cybersquatter, finding that domains incorporating Trump's trademark were registered in bad faith (Web-Adviso, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, No. 1:11-cv-01413, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28174).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge erred in finding that a defendant had not infringed an asserted claim in a since-expired patent covering an online zoom feature, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 3 (Move Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance Ltd., No. 12-1342, Fed. Cir.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Feb. 15 dismissed a couple's lawsuit claiming that BAC Home Loans Servicing LP (BAC) violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by failing to notify them that it had changed its name from Countrywide Home Loans Inc., after finding that the name change did not result in any alterations to the plaintiffs' account or to the address where payments are sent (Peter Yakowicz, et al. v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, et al., No. 12-1180, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20586).
NEW YORK - Real estate mogul Sheldon H. Solow sued 16 banks and certain of their subsidiaries in New York federal court on Feb. 13, arguing that the banks manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), causing a portfolio of more than $450 million in municipal bonds he purchased as collateral for LIBOR-denominated loans to default, costing him nearly $100 million in losses (7 West 57th Street Realty Co. LLC v. Citigroup Inc., et al., No. 13-0981, S.D. N.Y.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS), a Florida-based company that offers integrated technology and services to the mortgage and real estate industries, on Jan. 31 announced that it had reached a $127 million settlement with attorneys general in 46 states and the District of Columbia to resolve claims over its document preparation, which included the practice of robo-signing documents used in foreclosure proceedings.
ATLANTA - Concluding that a couple did not qualify as "real estate managers" under a lessors liability policy covering the property where they lived, a Georgia federal judge on Jan. 25 found that an insurer did not have a duty to defend them in an underlying negligence suit over an accidental drowning (Shawn Moon, et al. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-03112, N.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10090).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on Jan. 25 dismissed a man's claims for declaratory judgment and violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) after finding that the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) cannot be held liable for a loan servicer's failure to pay the borrower's insurance premium, thus requiring the acquisition of a force-placed insurance policy (Joel Johnson v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, No. C12-1712 TSZ, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10485).
BRONX, N.Y. - A New York trial justice on Jan. 17 dismissed an insured's complaint against its insurance broker regarding its duty to procure or advise on insurance coverage because no special relationship was alleged (AGCS Marine Insurance Co. v. Bayview Real Estate Consultants Inc., et al., No. 69093/11, N.Y. Sup., Bronx Co.; 2013 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 174).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A federal bankruptcy judge in Florida on Jan. 18 refused to dismiss bankrupt insurers' claims for aiding and abetting and breach of fiduciary duty against companies regarding real estate investments; however, the judge did dismiss the insurers' rescission claim under the claim preclusion doctrine (In re: British American Insurance Co. Ltd., No. 09-31881 & 09-35888, In re: British American Isle of Venice $(BVI$) Ltd., No. 10-21627, British American Isle of Venice $(BVI$) and British American Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Robert Fullerton, et al., Adv. Proc. No. 11-03117, British American Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Robert Fullerton, et al., Adv. Proc. No. 11-03118, Chapter 15, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.; 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 217).
INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge in Indiana on Dec. 18 ruled that Chase Home Finance LLC violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by insufficiently responding to three qualified written requests (QWRs) it received from a borrower and that a jury should determine the amount of actual damages she sustained as a result of the violations (Deborah Walton v. Chase Home Finance LLC, No. 11-cv-00417-JMS-MJD, S.D. Ind.).
PASADENA, Calif. - A couple's loan servicer was not required to respond to three letters sent by their counsel challenging an increase in their monthly mortgage payment because the communications did not constitute qualified written requests (QWRs) for information under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C.S. § 2605, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 11 in affirming dismissal of the claim (Jaime Medrano, et al. v. Flagstar Bank FSB, et al., No. 11-55412, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 25274). View a complimentary copy of the complete Mealey's article in the pdf attached below.
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on Dec. 5 dismissed an insurer's equitable indemnity claim against an insurance broker regarding its role in the procurement of insurance (Homeland Insurance Company of New York v. Southwest Real Estate Purchasing Group Inc., et al., No. 12-00856, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172450).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 20 affirmed the dismissal of a woman's wrongful foreclosure action against her loan servicer and the director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) but ordered a federal judge in Michigan to determine the amount in damages the plaintiff sustained as a result of the loan servicer's admitted violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C.S. § 2605. (Marilyn Houston v. U.S Bank Home Mortgage Wisconsin Servicing, et al., No. 11-2444, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24196).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Nov. 16 dismissed the case after the town and a real estate developer resolved a dispute that had led to a $43 million court judgment against the town and was the cause of the bankruptcy in the first place (In Re: Town of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., No.12-32463, Chapter 9, E.D. Calif. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi appeals court on Nov. 13 affirmed a ruling that refused to compel arbitration of certain claims asserted by the purchasers of a home that allegedly contained defects but found that their infliction of emotional distress and misrepresentation claims were subject to arbitration (Noble Real Estate Inc. v. Robert C. Seder, et al., No. 2011-CA-00838., Miss. App.; 2012 Miss. App. LEXIS 694).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Nov. 7 granted First Tennessee Bank NA Inc.'s motion to dismiss a suit real estate developers filed after they incurred losses from interest-rate swap agreements (AGEM Management Services LLC, et al. v. First Tennessee Bank NA Inc., No. 12-01370, E.D. La.). Subscribers may view the minute order available within the full article.
NEW YORK - Bankrupt commercial real estate company Grubb & Ellis Co. on Oct. 31 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that a former agent with the company is not entitled to file a claim for a commission he earned after the company filed its bankruptcy petition (In Re: Grubb & Ellis Company, No. 12-10685, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
INDIANPOLIS - An Indiana federal magistrate judge on Oct. 29 held that the defendants in a flood insurance dispute were permitted to assert an affirmative defense naming the plaintiff's real estate agent as a nonparty whose fault caused or contributed to the claimed injury under Indiana's Comparative Fault Act (CFA) (Michael Benbenek v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-0591, S.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154565).
NEW YORK - A creditor of bankrupt real estate company Grubb & Ellis Co. on Oct. 5 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking to have the automatic stay lifted so he can pursue a tort action in a Washington appellate court (In Re: Grubb & Ellis Company, No. 12-10685, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 denied a couple's petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that affirmed the dismissal of their suit accusing a loan servicer of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) 12 USCS § 2607. (Jenara Steele, et al. v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, et al., No. 11-1288, U.S. Sup.).
Follow this link to view a complimentary copy of the complete Mealey's article.
ATLANTA - In dismissing an amended shareholder class action and derivative complaint, a federal judge in Georgia on Sept. 26 ruled that a retirement system failed to show any economic loss in making its federal securities law claims against a commercial real estate acquisition and ownership company, certain of its officers and directors and its adviser because the economic loss was suffered by the company and not its shareholders (In re: Wells Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-862, N.D. Ga.). View related prior history, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143057.
LOS ANGELES - A real estate investor lacks a causal connection between a lender's allegedly deceptive conduct in the neighborhood and the resulting decrease in his property values, a California appeals court held Sept. 26 in affirming dismissal of an unfair competition law (UCL) claim (Zeev Levavi v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. B234760, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7070).
MINNEAPOLIS - The Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota Inc. (RMLS) persuaded a Minnesota federal judge on Sept. 27 that it is entitled to a preliminary injunction against a private realty service (Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota Inc. v. American Home Realty Network Inc., No. 12-965, D. Minn.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Sept. 25 dismissed a couple's lawsuit claiming that CitiMortgage Inc. engaged in fraud and violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) over a second mortgage the plaintiffs claim does not exist (Gerald C. Merriweather, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 11-15515, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137303).
SEATTLE - Finding misrepresentations on an errors and omissions (E&O) policy application to be material and made with an intent to deceive, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 held that an insurer was within its rights to rescind the policy, affirming summary judgment to the insurer on bad faith and breach of contract counterclaims against it (Tudor Insurance Co. v. Hellickson Real Estate, No. 11-35753, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19904).