LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses RESPA Claim Against Wells Fargo For Failure To Respond

MIAMI - After a former property owner failed to respond to a bank's motion for summary judgment on his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on June 12 entered a default ruling against him and entered judgment in favor of the bank (Francisco Urdaneta v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 1:16-cv-22987, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90693).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Grants Dismissal, Finds 25-Acre Property Was Exempt From RESPA

DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on June 5 dismissed a former property owner's claims against loan servicers for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that the property was exempt from RESPA requirements because it was more than 25 acres and that the court lacked jurisdiction over his breach of contract claims (Michael Hoy v. Aurora Loan Services LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-502, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85999).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Amendment To Mortgage Insurance Reinsurance Scheme Suit

PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, a Pennsylvania federal judge on June 6 denied leave to a putative class of mortgagors to file a third amended complaint based on their new theory under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) because it is time-barred and reliance on any equitable tolling doctrine has been disavowed (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86380).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Amendment To Mortgage Insurance Reinsurance Scheme Suit

PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, a Pennsylvania federal judge on June 6 denied leave to a putative class of mortgagors to file a third amended complaint based on their new theory under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) because it is time-barred and reliance on any equitable tolling doctrine has been disavowed (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86380).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Zillow Removes Class Suit Over Housing Value Estimates To Federal Court

CHICAGO - Zillow Inc. and Zillow Group Inc. (collectively, Zillow) on May 25 removed to federal court a class complaint accusing the real estate website of providing inaccurate home value estimates in violation of Illinois state laws (Vipul B. Patel, et al. v. Zillow, Inc., et al., No. 17-4008, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Court Vacates Damages Awarded To Couple For Alleged Construction Defects

SEATTLE - A Washington appeals panel on May 22 vacated a trial court judge's decision to award $9,772.50 in damages to a couple who accused their home builder of defective construction, holding that the builder's failure to complete a cedar fence and issues with the kitchen cabinets and trim and the exterior stone veneer of the garage did not breach the terms of the real estate purchase and sale agreement (REPSA) (Ian Schumacher, et al. v. T. Garrett Construction, Inc., No. 76022-0-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 1226).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Finds Florida Is Improper Venue For RESPA Claim

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a borrower's claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) against a loan-servicing company, finding that Florida was the improper venue for the case (Robert Crenshaw v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, No. 16-16201, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8502).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses RESPA Claim Against Ocwen Without Leave To Amend

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 2 decided that claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) against a loan servicer failed because a borrower failed to show that it did not respond to her request for information (Shelisa Todd v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 17-cv-60454, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66541).

Mealey's Insurance - Wisconsin Majority: Appeal Of Misrepresentation Dispute 'Improvidently Granted'

MADISON, Wis. - A majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 27 dismissed as "improvidently granted" a review of an appeals court's finding that a business owner's liability insurer had no duty to defend an allegation of misrepresentation against its contractor insured (Maya Elaine Smith v. Jeff Anderson, d/b/a Anderson Real Estate Services v. 4th Dimension Design, Inc., No. 2015AP79, Wis. Sup., 2017 Wisc. LEXIS 234).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Captive Reinsurance Scheme Is A Continuing Violation Of Real Estate Act

PHILADELPHIA - An alleged captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an insurer constitutes a continuing violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), each time an "illegal kickback, fee, or referral was given or received," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled April 26, finding that the statute of limitations ran from the date of the last violation rather than the first based upon the continuing violations doctrine (Christopher Blake and James Orkis v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-6433, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64392).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Captive Reinsurance Scheme Is A Continuing Violation Of Real Estate Act

PHILADELPHIA - An alleged captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an insurer constitutes a continuing violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), each time an "illegal kickback, fee, or referral was given or received," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled April 26, finding that the statute of limitations ran from the date of the last violation rather than the first based upon the continuing violations doctrine (Christopher Blake and James Orkis v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-6433, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64392).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Claims Related To Modification Request Can Proceed

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on April 20 partially granted a motion filed by a loan management company to dismiss numerous claims asserted against it in relation to the denial of a loan modification, but found that claims for violation of the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation X of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) can proceed (Douglas and Serenity Boedicker v. Rushmore Loan Management Services, LLC, No. 2:16-cv-02798, D. Kan., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60597).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Court Reinstates Association's Warranty Claim Against Developer

MINNEAPOLIS - An appellate court panel in Minnesota on April 17 overturned a trial court judge's ruling finding that a building association's breach of express warranty claim arising from water intrusion caused by a lack of proper caulking was untimely, ruling that the judge applied the wrong statute of limitations period (Town Center Office Plaza Association, Inc. v. Carlson Real Estate Ventures, LLC, et al., No. A16-1230, Minn. App., 2017 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 349).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Panel: Insurer Breached Duty To Defend Claims Of Suspicious 'Flip' Transactions

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 10 found that an errors and omissions liability insurer has a duty to defend against underlying claims that its title insurance agency insured executed real estate "flip" transactions "contrary to the spirit and purpose" of its agency contract (Title Industry Assurance Co. v. First American Title Ins. Co., et al., No. 15-3310, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6092).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insurer Breached Duty To Defend Claims Of Suspicious 'Flip' Transactions

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 10 found that an errors and omissions liability insurer has a duty to defend against underlying claims that its title insurance agency insured executed real estate "flip" transactions "contrary to the spirit and purpose" of its agency contract (Title Industry Assurance Co. v. First American Title Ins. Co., et al., No. 15-3310, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6092).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Finds No Facts Showing Loan Transfer Was Void

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 5 dismissed numerous claims asserted by a property owner, including causes of action for violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that he failed to plead the claims with the required specificity (Fernando D. Lopez v. Wells Fargo, N.A., et al., No. 16-cv-0811, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52527).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds No Facts Showing Loan Transfer Was Void

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 5 dismissed numerous claims asserted by a property owner, including causes of action for violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that he failed to plead the claims with the required specificity (Fernando D. Lopez v. Wells Fargo, N.A., et al., No. 16-cv-0811, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52527).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Magistrate Judge Refuses To Exclude Real Estate Appraisal Testimony

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on April 4 declined to bar testimony from real estate appraisers in a dispute over a lease's purchase option between a gasoline retailer and a landlord because excluding either appraisal would upset the current balance (Buchanan Energy [N] LLC v. Lake Bluff Holdings LLC, No. 15-3851, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51403).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL Claims Related To Allegedly Unfair Rental Late Fees

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 31 granted a real estate company's motion to dismiss claims that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) when it charged a tenant a late fee, finding that the tenant failed to show that the fees were not practicable (Jordan Kohler v. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, No. 15-cv-02195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49762).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Purchase Of Retirement Home Is Relevant To Claim For Disability Benefits, Judge Says

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Because certain circumstances regarding a disability claimant's move to Florida may be relevant to a claim for total disability benefits, a Florida federal judge on March 29 determined that a disability insurer is entitled to information regarding the claimant's real estate transactions (Mark Goodman v. Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, No. 16-81742, S.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45966).

Mealey's Insurance - Purchase Of Retirement Home Is Relevant To Claim For Disability Benefits, Judge Says

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Because certain circumstances regarding a disability claimant's move to Florida may be relevant to a claim for total disability benefits, a Florida federal judge on March 29 determined that a disability insurer is entitled to information regarding the claimant's real estate transactions (Mark Goodman v. Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, No. 16-81742, S.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45966).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds RESPA Claim Related To Loss Mitigation Fails

FLORENCE, S.C. - A Michigan federal judge on March 21 found that a borrower failed to allege a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to the denial of her loan modification application, finding that even if her claims against the lenders were true, she failed to state a RESPA claim against them (Alice M. Mangum v. First Reliance Bank, et al., No. 4:16-CV-02214, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40103).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Finds Lack Of Standing, Affirms Dismissal Of RESPA Claim

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss a borrower's claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to a written request for information, finding that he failed to show that he had standing to assert a claim for statutory damages (Charles Meeks v. Ocwen Servicing LLC, No. 16-15536, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3677).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge: Suit Arises Out Of Exclusion For 'Insufficiency In The Amount Of Proceeds'

BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Feb. 17 found that coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that an insured was negligent in the provision of settlement services for the sale of a home is barred by a professional liability insurance policy's exclusion for "insufficiency in the amount of the proceeds" (Resource Real Estate Services, LLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 16-168, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22920).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Suit Arises Out Of Exclusion For 'Insufficiency In The Amount Of Proceeds'

BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Feb. 17 found that coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that an insured was negligent in the provision of settlement services for the sale of a home is barred by a professional liability insurance policy's exclusion for "insufficiency in the amount of the proceeds" (Resource Real Estate Services, LLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 16-168, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22920).