LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No Coverage For Claims That Insured Participated In Bank Fraud Scheme

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 23 that a real estate errors and omissions insurer has no duty to defend its insured against allegations that it actively participated in a scheme to defraud banks by intentionally preparing inflated appraisals (General Star National Insurance Co. v. Adams Valuation Corporation, et al., No. 14 C 1821, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133223P).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses Homeowners' RESPA And RICO Claims

GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Sept. 4 granted a motion to dismiss filed by Bank of America N.A. and others in relation to a property foreclosure, finding that the claimants failed to establish their claims for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Gail B. Sparrow, et al. v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. 14-0388, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123011).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses Wrongful Foreclosure And RESPA Claims Against Bank

ATLANTA - After finding that a homeowner's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and wrongful foreclosure failed, a Georgia federal judge on Sept. 2 granted a bank's request to dismiss his complaint (Nicholas N. Johnson v. MidFirst Bank, No. 1:14-CV-0573, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121786).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 11th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Cybersquatting Claims

ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge did not err in dismissing, on three separate occasions, allegations that myriad defendants violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and Lanham Act, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 28 (Synergy Real Estate of SW Florida Inc. v. Premier Property Management of SW Florida LLC, et al., No. 13-15406, 11th Cir.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Allows Property Owner's TILA And RESPA Claims To Proceed

GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Aug. 29 denied motions to dismiss and for summary judgment filed by various banks and mortgage entities in relation to the foreclosure of a property, finding that he sufficiently pleaded numerous claims, including causes of action for violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (Ronald Cezair v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., et al., No. 13-2928, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120645).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 1st Circuit Finds Federal Entities Are Exempt From Paying Real Estate Tax

BOSTON - After finding that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) are excused from paying state and local taxes, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 27 affirmed decisions issued by two federal courts to dismiss actions filed by municipalities that sought unpaid real estate transfer taxes (Town of Johnston v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al., No. 13-2034, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16576).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Orders Amerisave To Pay $20.8 Million

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Aug. 12 found that Amerisave Mortgage Corp. and others violated the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), ordering them to pay $20,892,234 in penalties (In re In the Matter of: Amerisave Mortgage Corporation; Novo Appraisal Management Corp. and Patrick Markert, No. 2014-CFPB-0010, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 4th Circuit Finds Court Properly Denied New Trial On Class's RESPA Claims

RICHMOND, Va. - After finding that due to a group of class claimants' failure to move for judgment before a jury rendered a verdict in favor of a bank and real estate firm on their claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 found that a trial court did not err when it refused to grant them a new trial (Denise Minter, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 13-2131, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15041).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Affirms $27,334 In Sanctions Imposed Against Attorney In E&O Coverage Suit

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Aug. 4 found that a lower court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $27,334 in sanctions against an attorney representing insureds in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a real estate agents and brokers errors and omissions insurance policy (1st American Warehouse Mortgage, Inc., et al v. Topa Insurance Co., et al., No. B246716, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5497).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms $27,334 In Sanctions Imposed Against Attorney In E&O Coverage Suit

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Aug. 4 found that a lower court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $27,334 in sanctions against an attorney representing insureds in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a real estate agents and brokers errors and omissions insurance policy (1st American Warehouse Mortgage, Inc., et al v. Topa Insurance Co., et al., No. B246716, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5497).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 4th Circuit Finds Court Properly Denied New Trial On Class's RESPA Claims

RICHMOND, Va. - After finding that due to a group of class claimants' failure to move for judgment before a jury rendered a verdict in favor of a bank and real estate firm on their claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 found that a trial court did not err when it refused to grant them a new trial (Denise Minter, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 13-2131, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15041).

Mealey"s Banking & Finance - Panel: Claims Triggered Coverage Under Real Estate Errors And Omissions Policy

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 18 affirmed a lower federal court"s ruling that an underlying complaint contained allegations of "real estate services" related to the sale of property and, therefore, were sufficient to trigger an insurer"s duty to defend under a real estate errors and omission insurance policy (Greenwich Insurance Co. v. Sharon Bankofier, et al., No. 13-35127, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13770).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Claims Triggered Coverage Under Real Estate Errors And Omissions Policy

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 18 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an underlying complaint contained allegations of "real estate services" related to the sale of property and, therefore, were sufficient to trigger an insurer's duty to defend under a real estate errors and omission insurance policy (Greenwich Insurance Co. v. Sharon Bankofier, et al., No. 13-35127, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13770).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Adopts Report, Finds RESPA Claim Can Proceed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on July 15 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, finding that a property owner could proceed against a bank solely on his claim under the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA) in relation to the foreclosure of his home (Rodney Griffin v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 2:14-cv-02335, W.D. Tenn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95952).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Excess Insurer Has Duty To Defend, Owes Insured Nearly $8M In Defense Costs

CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 found that an excess commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying claims arising from a failed real estate project in Orlando, Fla., after the primary insurer wrongfully denied coverage, reversing and remanding a lower federal court's ruling in part (IMG Worldwide Inc., et al. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., Nos. 13-3832/13-3837, 6th Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice Finds Credibility Of Realtor's Product ID A Question For Jury

NEW YORK - A boiler maker's challenges to product identification by a woman allegedly exposed to asbestos as a social worker and real estate agent goes to credibility and does not warrant judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 8 (Harriet Noble and Robert Berger v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No 190074/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Finds Credibility Of Realtor's Product ID A Question For Jury

NEW YORK - A boiler maker's challenges to product identification by a woman allegedly exposed to asbestos as a social worker and real estate agent goes to credibility and does not warrant judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 8 (Harriet Noble and Robert Berger v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No 190074/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Massachusetts Federal Judge Denies Relief In Trademark Case

BOSTON - A request by RE/MAX LLC for a temporary restraining order barring a former franchise and two real estate agents from operating under the "RE/MAX" trademark was denied July 7 by a Massachusetts federal judge (RE/MAX of New England Inc. and RE/MAX LLC v. Prestige Real Estate Inc. et al., No. 14-12121, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses RESPA / TILA Claims Over Information Requests

MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on June 30 granted motions to dismiss filed by a lender and others in relation to the foreclosure of a home, finding that the claims asserted under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) failed (Johnnie Hayes, et al. v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 13-80610, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88708).

Mealey's Insurance - Negligent Construction Claims Were Known Prior To Policy Dates, Panel Says

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Homeowners' claims for negligent misrepresentation, negligent construction and fraud against village communities occurred and were known prior to the insurance policy dates and are therefore excluded from coverage, an Ohio appeals panel affirmed June 30 (Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. v. Village Communities Real Estate Inc., et al., No. 14AP-35, Ohio App., 10th Dist.; 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 2855).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit: Letters Sent To Wrong Address Did Not Trigger RESPA Duties

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 24 affirmed the dismissal of a woman's class action lawsuit against CitiMortgage Inc., finding that her attorney's submission of three letters described as qualified written requests (QWRs) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the wrong address did not trigger the loan servicer's duties to respond under the act (Patricia Roth, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 13-3839-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11854).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit: Letters Sent To Wrong Address Did Not Trigger RESPA Duties

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 24 affirmed the dismissal of a woman's class action lawsuit against CitiMortgage Inc., finding that her attorney's submission of three letters described as qualified written requests (QWRs) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the wrong address did not trigger the loan servicer's duties to respond under the act (Patricia Roth, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 13-3839-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11854).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 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 - 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 - 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).