LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Louisiana Federal Judge: Area Of Use, Secondary Meaning Questions Preclude Ruling

BATON ROUGE, La. - A declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for summary judgment that it did not infringe the "Audobon" trademark when it adopted a nearly identical name was denied Aug. 22 by a Louisiana federal judge, who cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that are yet to be resolved (Audubon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111437).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Chase's Obligation To Respond Under RESPA Was Not Triggered

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After finding that a bank's obligation to respond to a borrower's qualified written request (QWR) was never triggered under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on July 29 granted its motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Ricardo Basora v. MPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 16-civ-60999, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99635).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit: Online Loan-Processing Patents Are Ineligible Under Section 101

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A North Carolina federal judge erroneously denied the real estate website Zillow Inc. summary judgment on allegations that it infringed two patents directed to a process for coordinating loans on a loan-processing computer over the Internet, because both patents are directed to ineligible subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 26 (LendingTree LLC v. Zillow Inc., Nos. 14-1435, -1531, 15-1186, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13462).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Allows Borrower To Amend RESPA Claim Against Loan Servicer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on July 14 dismissed claims asserted by a borrower against a loan servicer but granted him leave to amend his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and to pursue a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Frank Malifrando v. Real Time Resolutions Inc., et. al., No. 2:16-cv-0223, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91739).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows Borrower To Amend RESPA Claim Against Loan Servicer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on July 14 dismissed claims asserted by a borrower against a loan servicer but granted him leave to amend his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and to pursue a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Frank Malifrando v. Real Time Resolutions Inc., et. al., No. 2:16-cv-0223, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91739).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Allows RESPA Claim To Proceed Against Bank

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 28 refused to dismiss a borrower's claim against a bank for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to her request for a loan modification and reserved judgment on various state law claims pending the outcome of her request for an injunction (Edyta Rojecki v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 15-8160, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83434).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Georgia High Court: Real Estate Appraisal Testimony Establishes Nuisance Injuries

ATLANTA - Homeowners presented sufficient real estate appraisal testimony to show that past discomfort and annoyance caused by a nuisance and the diminution in their property's market value constitute two separate injuries, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled June 6, finding that they may recover damages for both their injuries (Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing, Inc. v. Lynn Davis and Duron Davis, No. S15G1804, Ga. Sup.; 2016 Ga. LEXIS 402).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Borrowers May Be Entitled To Damages Under TILA And RESPA

TROY, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on May 31 granted a motion for judgment in favor of a bank on certain claims related to an alleged wrongful foreclosure, but allowed claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to proceed (Charles J. Beard v. HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 1:15-CV-1232, W.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70489).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Reinstates RESPA Suit Over Mortgage Payment Increase

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 12 reinstated a suit filed by a borrower against her mortgage servicer under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) after the borrower's loan payments were increased without an explanation (Margaret C. Renfroe v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, No. 15-10582, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8707).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Borrower's RESPA Claim Over Foreclosed Property Mostly Survives Dismissal

TAMPA, Fla. - Although a Florida federal judge expressed his doubts as to the ultimate success of a borrower's complaint against her lender under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), he found in a March 9 ruling that, as pleaded, her complaint has facial plausibility that allowed it to mostly survive the lender's motion to dismiss (Matilde Amarchand v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 8:15-cv-02051, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30463).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Borrower's TILA And FDCPA Claims Time-Barred

BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on March 2 partially granted a motion filed by a loan servicer to dismiss claims asserted by a property owner in relation to her mortgage, allowing her to amend her claims for violation of the Maryland Consumer Debt Collections Act (MCDCA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (Chineme C. Aghazu v. Severn Savings Bank, FSB, et al., No. 15-1529, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25685).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Managing Member's Motion To Dismiss Trademark Claims Denied

BATON ROUGE, La. - Citing Ogea v. Merritt (130 So. 3d 888, 894-95 [2013]), a Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 24 denied dismissal of a counterclaim that accuses a corporate declaratory judgment plaintiff's manager of being personally liable for common-law trademark infringement, as well as unfair competition under the Lanham Act (Audobon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22387).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurers Were Prejudiced By Developer's Untimely Notice, 4th Circuit Affirms

RICHMOND, Va. - A real estate developer's untimely notice of a claim over alleged defective soil settlement issues prejudiced its commercial general liability insurers, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 23, upholding summary judgment to the insurers (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. and National Surety Corp. v. THF Clarksburg Development Two, LLC, et al., No. 15-1453, 4th Cir.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 3rd Circuit Affirms Decision Finding RESPA Claims Are Time-Barred

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 19 affirmed a district court's ruling that a proposed class's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) were time-barred, finding that the plaintiffs were not entitled to equitable tolling (Judith Cuningham, et al. v. M&T Bank Corp., et al., No. 15-1412, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2851).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Damages' Claims Are Not Actionable Under RESPA

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 16 granted a lender's motion to dismiss a property owner's claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that certain claims for damages were not actionable under RESPA (Amelia Giordano v. MGC Mortgage Inc., No. 15-4399, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18283).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Affirms Order Lifting Stay Of Employee's Claims Against Remax

LOS ANGELES - After finding that an order lifting a stay of a case in which a former employee of a real estate company asserted claims for harassment and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was not an appealable order, a California appellate court on Feb. 11 affirmed the decision (Amparo Gastelum v. Remax International, Inc., et al., No. B263213, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 101).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - New Jersey High Court Affirms Insurer Not Required To Show It Suffered Prejudice

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurer was not required to demonstrate that it suffered prejudice before denying coverage based on the insured's failure to give timely notice of an underlying claim stemming from a failed real estate transaction, finding that the "claims made" policy was "not a contract of adhesion but was agreed to by sophisticated parties" (Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. and Fuente Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No. A-18 September Term 2014, 074572, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 144).

Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey High Court Affirms Insurer Not Required To Show It Suffered Prejudice

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurer was not required to demonstrate that it suffered prejudice before denying coverage based on the insured's failure to give timely notice of an underlying claim stemming from a failed real estate transaction, finding that the "claims made" policy was "not a contract of adhesion but was agreed to by sophisticated parties" (Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. and Fuente Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No. A-18 September Term 2014, 074572, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 144).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Affirms Ruling Awarding Nothing To Parties To Real Estate Agreement

SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Feb. 8 affirmed a trial court's decision that a party to a real estate purchase agreement who asserted causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and declaratory relief was pari delicto and not entitled to damages and affirmed an order that refused to award a party to the agreement attorney fees (Milton Righetti, et al. v. Braddock & Logan Group III L.P., No. A136930, 1st Cir., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 980).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Appeals Court Orders Judge To Reinstate $168,000 Verdict In Defects Suit

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 5 ordered a trial court judge to reinstate a jury's $168,000 verdict in favor of a woman who claims that the defective construction of her home rendered it worthless, finding that the opinions of a general contractor, a real estate agent and a structural engineer that the home should be demolished showed that the home was valueless (Angela M. Gray v. Mark Hall Homes Inc., et al., No. 2D15-616, Fla. App,. 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 1578).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Reserves Ruling On RESPA Claim, Partially Grants Dismissal

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 22 granted a bank's motion to dismiss a former property owner's claims for violation of federal mortgage guidelines and wrongful foreclosure but reserved its decision on his claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in consideration of a recent court ruling on a similar claim (Walter W. Lawson Jr. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 15-11287, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7386).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Claims For Violation Of RESPA And FDCPA For Lack of Standing

ST LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 25 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), finding that the plaintiff was not a party to the underlying loan and lacked standing (Jasan Sayles v. BSI Financial Services, No. 4:15-CV-612, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8134).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Borrower Lacks Standing, Dismisses RESPA Claims

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 19 granted a bank's motion to dismiss claims asserted against it in relation to the foreclosure of a property, finding that the former homeowner lacked standing to sue and that he had no private right of action under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (David J. Pauley v. Bank of America N.A., No. 15-12405, D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5693).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Qualified Written Request Triggers Duty Under RESPA

CINCINNATI - After finding that borrowers have stated plausible claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to its provisions on qualified written requests (QWRs) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), an Ohio federal judge on Jan. 5 found that a loan servicer was not entitled to judgment on the pleadings at this time (William H. Schatzman, et al. v. Partners for Payment Relief LLC, No. 1:15-cv-302, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 462).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 6th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of RESPA Claims Against Chase

CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of a bank, finding that former property owners failed to show that it violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) when it failed to respond to their letters (Martin Martini, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-1423, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21504).