Articles Posted in Banking

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In 2009, the SEC initiated the Nadel action following the collapse of a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Arthur Nadel. In 2010, the district court entered an order establishing a claims administration process by which potential claimants could file proof of their claims against the receivership. Wells Fargo submitted a Proof of Claim as to its loan that secured one receivership property within the set claim bar date, but did not submit a Proof of Claim detailing its secured interest in the other two receivership properties. In 2012, Wells Fargo submitted a motion seeking a determination that the filing of Proofs of Claim was unnecessary to preserve its security interests in, and claims against, collateral in the Receiver's possession. In the alternative, Wells Fargo sought leave to file belated claims. The district court granted the Receiver's motion seeking a determination that Wells Fargo's failure to submit Proofs of Claim for the loans secured by two properties extinguished its interests in those properties, and the release of the proceeds from the sale of one of the properties for which Wells Fargo did not file a Proof of Claim. Determining that Wells Fargo's appeal was timely, the court concluded that the district court erred when it terminated Wells Fargo's security interest in the properties at issue. The court found bankruptcy law was both analogous and instructive here. The court reasoned that, in the bankruptcy context, a secured creditor’s lien remains intact through the bankruptcy, regardless of whether the creditor files a proof of claim. In this case, the court concluded that Wells Fargo's security interests remained intact as to the two properties for which it did not file a Proof of Claim in the district court. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded. View "SEC v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appeals the district court’s denial of his motion for reconsideration of its earlier order denying on futility grounds plaintiff's motion for leave to amend his complaint. Plaintiff asserted in his motion that he had developed facts in discovery which showed that (1) a Bank employee knew that Charles Gordon, the chief executive officer of OPT Title and Escrow, Inc., had assisted Gordon in opening a bank account called an “escrow account” into which funds were to be wired by third parties with the expectation that the funds would be held in escrow by OPT Title; (2) the Bank employee knew that Gordon was stealing from the account; (3) the Bank employee assisted Gordon in committing the fraud; and (4) the Bank received at least a short-term financial benefit from allowing Gordon to use OPT Title’s account as a vehicle for his fraud. The court held that the district court erred in denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration on the basis that even considering his new allegations set forth in his motion for reconsideration, he failed to state claims for relief. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Hsi Chang v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Under Regulation X, 12 C.F. R. part 1024, which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., a loan servicer’s duty to evaluate a borrower’s loss mitigation application is triggered only when the borrower submits the application more than 37 days before the foreclosure sale. At issue is whether Ocwen, a loan servicer, had a duty to evaluate an application for loss mitigation options submitted by the Borrowers when, at the time the application was submitted, a foreclosure sale of the Borrowers’ property was scheduled to occur in two days. The court concluded that Regulation X requires the court to measure the timeliness of the Borrowers’ application using the date the foreclosure sale was scheduled to occur when they submitted their complete application. Because the Borrowers’ application was untimely, the court agreed with the district court that Ocwen had no duty to evaluate the Borrowers’ loss mitigation application. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Ocwen on the Borrowers’ claim seeking to hold Ocwen liable for failing to evaluate their loss mitigation application. The court also affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment with respect to the Borrowers’ claim based on Ocwen’s inadequate response to their notice of error. The court agreed with the district court that to survive summary judgment the Borrowers had to present evidence that they suffered actual damages or were entitled to statutory damages and that they failed to do so. View "Lage v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC" on Justia Law

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New York law required CitiMortgage to file within 30 days a certificate of discharge with the county clerk to record that plaintiff had satisfied his mortgage. N.Y. Real Prop. Law 275; N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law 1921. When CitiMortgage failed to record the satisfaction of the mortgage until more than 90 days after the date of satisfaction, plaintiff filed a putative class action against CitiMortgage. The district court dismissed plaintiff's complaint. The court agreed with CitiMortgage that plaintiff lacks standing to maintain this action. The court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because plaintiff has not alleged that CitiMortgage's violation of New York law caused or could cause him any harm. View "Nicklaw v. CitiMortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the assignee of his mortgage after his servicer failed to provide a payoff balance. The Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1641(e)(1)(A), creates a cause of action against an assignee for a violation that is “apparent on the face of the disclosure statement provided in connection with [a mortgage] transaction pursuant to this subchapter.” The court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's amended complaint because the failure to provide a payoff balance is not a violation apparent on the face of the disclosure statement. View "Evanto v. Federal National Mortgage Ass'n" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Consumer Law

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The City filed three separate fair housing lawsuits against Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup, alleging that each bank had engaged in a decade-long pattern of discriminatory lending by targeting minorities for predatory loans. Each complaint contained the same two causes of action: one claim arising under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq., as well as an unjust enrichment claim under Florida law. The district court dismissed the City's FHA claim. The court found that the City has constitutional standing to pursue its FHA claims; under controlling Supreme Court precedent, the “zone of interests” for the FHA extends as broadly as permitted under Article III of the Constitution, and therefore encompasses the City’s claim; while the court agreed with the district court that the FHA contains a proximate cause requirement, the court found that this analysis is based on principles drawn from the law of tort, and that the City has adequately alleged proximate cause; and the court concluded that the “continuing violation doctrine” can apply to the City’s claims, if they are adequately pled. The court concluded that the district court erred in dismissing the City’s federal claims with prejudice and in denying the City’s motion for leave to amend on the grounds of futility because the district court imposed too stringent a zone of interests test and wrongly applied the proximate cause analysis. The court affirmed the dismissal of the state law claim because the benefits the City allegedly conferred on the defendants were not sufficiently direct to plead an unjust enrichment claim under Florida law. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "City of Miami v. CitiGroup Inc." on Justia Law

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The City filed three separate fair housing lawsuits against Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup, alleging that each bank had engaged in a decade-long pattern of discriminatory lending by targeting minorities for predatory loans. Each complaint contained the same two causes of action: one claim arising under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq., as well as an unjust enrichment claim under Florida law. The district court dismissed the City's FHA claim. The court found that the City has constitutional standing to pursue its FHA claims; under controlling Supreme Court precedent, the “zone of interests” for the FHA extends as broadly as permitted under Article III of the Constitution, and therefore encompasses the City’s claim; while the court agreed with the district court that the FHA contains a proximate cause requirement, the court found that this analysis is based on principles drawn from the law of tort, and that the City has adequately alleged proximate cause; and the court concluded that the “continuing violation doctrine” can apply to the City’s claims, if they are adequately pled. The court concluded that the district court erred in dismissing the City’s federal claims with prejudice and in denying the City’s motion for leave to amend on the grounds of futility because the district court imposed too stringent a zone of interests test and wrongly applied the proximate cause analysis. The court affirmed the dismissal of the state law claim because the benefits the City allegedly conferred on the defendants were not sufficiently direct to plead an unjust enrichment claim under Florida law. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "City of Miami v. Wells Fargo & Co." on Justia Law

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The City filed suit against the Bank, alleging that the Bank engaged in a decade-long pattern of discriminatory lending in the residential housing market that caused the City economic harm. The City asserts a claim arising under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq., as well as an unjust enrichment claim under Florida law. The district court dismissed the City's FHA claim with prejudice. The court found that the City has constitutional standing to pursue its FHA claims; under controlling Supreme Court precedent, the “zone of interests” for the FHA extends as broadly as permitted under Article III of the Constitution, and therefore encompasses the City’s claim; while the court agreed with the district court that the FHA contains a proximate cause requirement, the court found that this analysis is based on principles drawn from the law of tort, and that the City has adequately alleged proximate cause; and the court concluded that the “continuing violation doctrine” can apply to the City’s claims, if they are adequately pled. The court concluded that the district court erred in dismissing the City’s federal claims with prejudice and in denying the City’s motion for leave to amend on the grounds of futility because the district court imposed too stringent a zone of interests test and wrongly applied the proximate cause analysis. The court affirmed the dismissal of the state law claim because the benefits the City allegedly conferred on the defendants were not sufficiently direct to plead an unjust enrichment claim under Florida law. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "City of Miami v. Bank of America Corp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit on behalf of himself and a class of similarly situated individuals, alleging that Capital One violated certain provisions of the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692–1692p, by attempting to collect on defaulted or delinquent credit card accounts that Capital One had acquired from HSBC. The district court dismissed plaintiff's amended complaint. The court concluded that it need look no further than the statutory text to conclude that, under the plain language of the FDCPA, a bank (or any person or entity) does not qualify as a “debt collector” where the bank does not regularly collect or attempt to collect on debts “owed or due another” and where “the collection of any debts” is not “the principal purpose” of the bank’s business, even where the consumer’s debt was in default at the time the bank acquired it. In this case, the amended complaint’s factual matter establishes that Capital One’s collection efforts in this case related only to debts owed to it and that debt collection is only some part of, and not the principal purpose of, Capital One’s business. Therefore, Capital One's activity, as alleged by plaintiff, is not the activity of a “debt collector” under the FDCPA, and plaintiff cannot state a claim under the Act. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Davidson v. Capital One Bank (USA), N.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Consumer Law

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The court previously affirmed the district court’s affirmance of the bankruptcy court’s order granting debtor’s motion to strip Bank of America’s junior mortgage lien. The Supreme Court vacated the opinion and remanded the case for consideration in light of Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett. In Caulkett, the Supreme Court held “a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien under 11 U.S.C. 506(d) when the debt owed on a senior mortgage lien exceeds the current value of the collateral.” Consequently, in light of Caulkett, the court's own holding in In re McNeal and Folendore v. United States Small Business Administration are overruled. Accordingly, the district court erred in affirming the bankruptcy court’s grant of debtor’s motion to strip off Bank of America’s junior lien. The court denied Bank of America’s motion for summary reversal, vacated the district court’s judgment affirming the bankruptcy court, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Bank of America v. Waits" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Bankruptcy