SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 7 dismissed a woman's lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and HSBC Bank USA, finding that she lacked standing to challenge the assignment of her mortgage loan in 2007 and that she was unable to show how Wells Fargo's alleged violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) caused her to suffer an injury (Marialuz A. Barnares v. wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. C-13-4896, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29909).
CHICAGO - A federal judge on Feb. 24 awarded summary judgment to defendants in a lawsuit brought by a couple claiming that the lender, loan servicer and nominee to their mortgage loan violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA), after finding that the plaintiffs were unable to produce sufficient evidence to support their allegations (David Cocroft, et al. v. HSBC Bank USA N.A., et al., No. 10 C 3408, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22680).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 14 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a professional liability insurance policy's prior acts exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying lawsuit against insureds arising from a real estate closing (American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co. v. The Abram Law Group, LLC, et al., No. 13-13134, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2784).
NEW YORK - UBS Real Estate Securities Inc., a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Residential Capital LLC (ResCap), on Feb. 13 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that it has a valid claim against the bankruptcy estate for $56,451,603 (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
ST. LOUIS - After finding that a consent to removal of a case filed by homeowners who allege that a real estate company and agents concealed mold and other defects was not timely filed, a Missouri federal judge on Dec. 30 granted a motion to remand the case to a state court (Jered Gruszka, et al. v. Keylien Corporation, et al., No. 4:13-CV-1532, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181320).
JACKSON, Miss. - An additional insured endorsement only covered liability that arose from "ongoing operations," the Mississippi Court of Appeals held Nov. 19, finding that homeowners' damage did not arise until well after the additional insured had completed its operations and, thus, the homeowners' claims did not trigger coverage under the endorsement (Arthur H. Noble, individually and Noble Real Estate Inc. v. Wellington Associates Inc., et al., No. 2012-CA-01269, Miss. App.; 2013 Miss. App. LEXIS 783).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois dismissed a shareholder suit against a company and certain of its directors and officers on Nov. 18, holding that the directors' and officers' actions did not amount to a breach of their fiduciary duty (James Becker, et al. v. Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-03128, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163878).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 18 dismissed a class action suit accusing Bank of America Corp. of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by engaging in a scheme to collect kickbacks and referral fees from private mortgage insurers after finding that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the statute's one-year limitations period (Thomas J. Riddle, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 12-1740, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163526).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 19 reinstated a pro se plaintiff's claims against a title services company brought under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), after finding that a federal judge in Delaware erred when dismissing the suit sua sponte (La Mar Gunn v. First American Financial Corp., et al., No. 13-2884, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23261).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Nov. 13 denied Adams Bank & Trust's motions to alter an order dismissing three consolidated suits against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. related to a $17 million real estate loan (FirsTier Bank, Kimball, Nebraska v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 11-3231, Adams Bank & Trust v. FirsTier Bank, Louisville, Colorado, et al., No. 12-0240, Adams Bank & Trust v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. [FirsTier Bank], et al., No. 11-3404, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161667).
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 8 dismissed a borrower's suit alleging Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) violations against OneWest Bank FSB, which acquired his mortgage after the failure of IndyMac Bank F.S.B., finding that actual damages have not been alleged nor has a causal connection between any damages and a RESPA violation been shown (Richard Renner v. IndyMac Bank F.S.B., No. 13-2539, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160098).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A unanimous District III Michigan Court of Appeals panel affirmed an award of $483,195 for a couple who discovered that a condominium they purchased was contaminated with trichloroethylene and that the seller and real estate agent committed fraud by not disclosing the contamination before the sale (Gary L. Bowman, et uxor v. Merly Greene, et al., No. 308282, Mich. App., Dist. III; 2013 Mich. App. LEXIS 1781).
WHEELING, W.Va. - Despite the existence of a parallel proceeding in state court, a West Virginia federal judge on Oct. 25 declined to abstain or remand a real estate firm's declaratory and contractual claims against its insurer, finding no indication of "exceptional circumstances" to warrant such an action (Paull Associates Realty LLC v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 5:13-cv-00080, N.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153534).
NEW YORK - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Oct. 24 refused to sanction a trustee bank over its failure to implement a litigation hold in a timely fashion, ruling that while the failure to do so was negligent, the bank presented sufficient evidence showing that no relevant information was destroyed or lost (Mastr Adjustable Rate Mortgage Trust 2006-0A2, et al. v. UBS Real Estate Securities Inc., No. 12 Civ. 7322, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152441).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on Oct. 17 dismissed a couple's claims that a bank and a loan servicer violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when obtaining force-placed flood insurance for their property after finding that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Reginald Rex Davis Jr., et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-cv-231-WC, M.D. Ala.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149228).
BOSTON - A trial court erred in allowing a damages expert to provide unreliable calculations of hedonic and other damages suffered by a schizophrenic trash truck driver who was induced into a fraudulent scheme by a group of lenders, brokers and closing agents to be a straw buyer for two homes that later went into foreclosure, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 15 (Robert Smith, et al. v. Dorchester Real Estate, et al., Nos. 11-2349; 11-2378; 11-2389, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20785).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on Oct. 1 dismissed a suit disputing JP Morgan Chase Bank NA's (Chase) ownership of a Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) loan following WaMu's closure, finding that the borrowers "fail to provide even minimal factual support for their assertion that their loan was one of many acquired by a REMIC $(Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit$) prior to the receivership; thus, it could not have been acquired by the defendants" (Bernard Feldman LP, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, et al., No. 13-1229, E.D. Mo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141457).
BALTIMORE - A proposed class's claim under Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) against a real estate settlement services company was dismissed by a federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 25 after holding that Maryland law applies to the claim because it is the location where the plaintiffs' alleged economic injury occurred when closing on a loan refinancing their mortgage (Lisa Garland, et al. v. ServiceLink L.P., et al., No. GLR-13-1472, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137143).
SEATTLE - A patent dispute suit between dueling real estate websites will proceed, thanks to a Sept. 6 ruling by a Washington federal judge (Zillow Inc. v. Trulia Inc., No. 12-1549, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Residential Capital LLC (ResCap) on Sept. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York contending that a $10 billion claim filed by a real estate investor in connection with a residential mortgage serviced by ResCap's affiliate GMAC Mortgage (GMACM) should be expunged (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Aug. 28 denied a request for a new trial from a class claiming that Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and its co-defendants engaged in a scheme to kick back referral fees for settlement services in violation of the Section 8(c) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that the plaintiffs should have acted sooner after a statement made by defense counsel during closing arguments (Denise Minter, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. WMN-07-3442, D. Md.).
INDIANAPOLIS - Information on similar hail damage claims made by other insureds is relevant to a property owner's bad faith and breach of contract claims against its insurer, an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 15, upholding a lower court's order to compel, while stating that the information might ultimately not be admissible (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. C & J Real Estate Inc., No. 49A04-1209-PL-477, Ind. App.; 2013 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1060).
NEW YORK - The chief financial officer (CFO) of bankrupt Old HB Inc., formerly known as Hostess Brands Inc., on Aug. 19 filed a declaration in support of the sale of real estate and equipment assets free and clear of all liens and encumbrances for $64.25 million (In Re: Old HB Inc. f/k/a Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A professional and executive liability insurance policy's automatic extended reporting period (AERP) does not apply to a claim against an investor and lender stemming from a purported failed real estate development, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 13, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in finding that the claim was untimely (PCCP LLC, et al. v. Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co., No. 12-CV-0447 YGR, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114400).