CHICAGO - FirstMerit Bank NA, as the successor to the failed Midwest Bank and Trust Co., is entitled to payments from people who breached their personal guarantees on a commercial loan, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Oct. 22 (FirstMerit Bank, NA v. Albert L. Grasso, et al., No. 11-08986, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151211).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal court improperly vacated an arbitration panel's award in favor of investors that alleged a Ponzi scheme, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 23, finding that the award was not procured by fraud and the arbitration panel did not exceed its authority (Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. v. John Garrett, et al., No. 11-20736, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22057).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on Oct. 19 granted final approval of a $12.5 million securities class action settlement against the world's largest gaming company and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that a class member's objection to the settlement agreement has failed to show that the settlement is inadequate or unreasonable (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 Pension Fund v. International Game Technology Inc., et al., No. 09-0419, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151498).
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BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Oct. 22 denied dismissal of a putative class action alleging that under an indenture with failed subprime mortgage lender KH Funding, Wells Fargo Bank N.A. breached its duties as indenture trustee, finding that the complaint "contains multiple, plausible assertions that events of default were continuing well before Wells Fargo took action to address them" (Anne Gresser v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 12-00987, D. Md.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44074.
CHICAGO - A class action suit accusing OneWest Bank FSB of mishandling applications for loan modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) can proceed, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Oct. 22, after finding that the lead plaintiff had standing and sufficiently alleged claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA) (Stacey Fletcher, et al. v. OneWest Bank FSB, No. 10-cv-4682, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151541).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder told a Delaware federal court on Oct. 19 that she adequately pleaded that presuit demand upon a company's board of directors would have been futile because certain alleged misstatements by the board were not protected by the business judgment rule (Ruth Abrams v. James L. Wainscott, et al., No. 11-cv-00297, D. Del.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121425.
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Oct. 22 dismissed most of a putative class action alleging that JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A./Chase Auto Finance (Chase) sold repossessed cars without providing proper notice, finding that the plaintiff failed to show damages (Donna Epps v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A./Chase Auto Finance, No. 10-1504, D. Md.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 6841.
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Oct. 18 denied a cellular phone company's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that its bill collection efforts violated theTelephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C.S. § 227, disagreeing with Verizon that a Federal Communications Commission statement regarding the TCPA does not apply to the suit (Nicholas M. Martin v. Cellco Partnership, et al., No. 12-05147, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149891).
NEW YORK - Merchants moved on Oct. 19 for preliminary approval of a class action settlement with 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, for $6.05 billion, an eight-month reduction in interchange fees worth $1.2 billion and modifications of the Visa and MasterCard rules (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation [All Cases], No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.). View related prior history, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89275.
PHILADELPHIA - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to plead their federal securities law claims with the requisite scienter or failed to show that the misrepresentations they allege were made were not nonactionable, forward-looking statements, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 17 in a nonprecedential opinion (In re: Anadigics Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 11-4009, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21601).
ATLANTA - An evenly divided en banc 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 19 affirmed a district court ruling that hedge funds that purchased promissory notes from CompuCredit Holdings Corp. did not violate federal antitrust law by making a collective demand on CompuCredit to pay above-market prices to redeem its notes early (CompuCredit Holdings Corporation v. Akanthos Capital Management, LLC, et al., No. 11-13254, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21909).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 18 declined to dismiss a suit in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver for the failed BankUnited F.S.B., alleges that appraisers negligently inflated the value of residential properties, that the bank relied on the appraisals to purchase loans and that the misrepresentations, failures and deficiencies in the appraisals caused the bank damage (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Farah Gulparast, et al., No. 12-02528, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150417).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Oct. 19 ruled that a couple failed to state a claim against JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq. because the lender is not a debt collector under the statute and ordered the plaintiffs to submit an amended complaint to cure deficiencies in their pleadings (April D. Dagley, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. H-12-1080, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150782).
CLEVELAND - A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 17 ruled that dismissal of a borrower's claims against her lender is not proper because the claims are not preempted under the National Bank Act (NBA) and the implementing regulations promulgated by the Office of the Comptroller Currency (OCC) (Laneeka A. White v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, No. 12-943, N.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149233).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on Oct. 17 granted JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.'s (Chase) motion to dismiss a suit in which borrowers brought slander of title allegations pursuant to a loan Chase acquired after Washington Mutual Bank's (WaMu) failure, determining that the borrowers did not meet all of the elements to state a slander of title claim (Son T. Nguyen, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 12-04183, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149680).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 17 dismissed a couple's lawsuit against Bank of America N.A. after finding that they failed to state claims against the lender over its conduct during their attempts to modify loans on two properties (Kim Carson, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 12-cv-01487-MCE-CMK, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149805).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 17 affirmed the dismissal of a suit in which a borrower alleges that One West Bank FSB is incapable of foreclosing on his property, agreeing with the underlying ruling that the borrower had failed to allege facts sufficient to support his argument that OneWest holds no valid security deed and power of sale (Fred Milani v. One West Bank FSB, et al., No. 11-15378, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21559).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 15 dismissed consumers' state and federal complaint against The Bank of New York Mellon (BONY) and others with prejudice, ruling that the consumers failed to plead any of their claims (Darryl Munson, et al. v. The Bank of New York Mellon fka the Bank of New York, et al., No. 12-1546, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148154).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 16 dismissed a putative class action alleging that Lloyds Banking Group PLC and its executives concealed information regarding its 2008 acquisition of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS), ruling that the Lloyds investor that brought the suit did not plausibly allege that the defendants are liable for material misstatements or omissions and failed to raise an inference of scienter (Albert A. Ross v. Lloyds Banking Group PLC, et al., No. 11-08530, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148984).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Dismissal of state and federal debt collection law claims against a defendant is not proper because the consumer who brought the complaint has not used allegations that are too vague or conclusory, a federal judge in Florida ruled Oct. 16 in denying the defendant's motion to dismiss (Marlene Beaudin v. Chase Home Finance LLC, et al., No. 12-1084, M.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148425).
RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge did not err in dismissing a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claim against a law firm and one of the firm's attorneys because the defendants' obtaining of a background check on the plaintiff and their use of the information contained in the check was not for employment or credit determination purposes, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 15 (Charles Benzing v, Tharrington-Smith LLP, et al., No. 12-1536, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21554).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Alternative energy company Satcon Technology Corp. (STC) on Oct. 17 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, listing debts greater than $121.9 million (In Re: Satcon Technology Corporation, No. 12-12869, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the petition available within the full article.
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 17 held that the forum selection clause of a shareholders' agreement does not pertain to shareholder derivative claims brought on behalf of a company (Bretton J. Bolt v. Francis P. Kirley, et al., No. 12-cv-00583, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the memorandum and order available within the full article.
NEW YORK - The Chapter 11 trustee of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) on Oct. 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to a claim filed by an individual creditor on grounds that the claim had already been expunged in a separate bankruptcy proceeding (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 15 granted in part and denied in part a consumer's motion to strike 14 defenses that were part of a debt collector's answer to the consumer's complaint that alleges that the debt collector's attempt to collect on a mortgage debt violated state and federal debt collection laws (Kristen Nicole Bruce v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 12-1561, M.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147897).