Articles Posted in Banking

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Plaintiffs took out a loan to buy a property in Massachusetts. Plaintiffs executed a mortgage naming the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) as the mortgagee and executed a promissory note to Chevy Chase Bank, FSB. Plaintiffs later fell behind on their mortgage. U.S. Bank, which was assigned the mortgage and came into physical possession of the note, conducted a foreclosure sale of the property and purchased the property. Plaintiffs filed suit against U.S. Bank, MERS and other defendants, alleging, inter alia, a claim for a declaratory judgment that the foreclosure was invalid. The district court disposed of the complaint by (1) granting Defendants’ partial motion to dismiss several counts for failure to state a claim; (2) granting summary judgment to U.S. Bank on its counterclaim for possession; and (3) granting summary judgment to Defendants on Plaintiffs’ remaining claims and to U.S. Bank on its counterclaim for deficiency. The First Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding (1) the entry of judgment in favor of U.S. Bank on its deficiency claim was in error because U.S. Bank did not comply with Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 244, 17B; and (2) the judgment of the district court was otherwise without prejudicial error. View "Galvin v. U.S. Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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After Appellants went bankrupt, Appellees foreclosed on their home. Appellants each received an IRS Form 1099-A in the mail at the end of the tax year stating that the foreclosure might have tax consequences. The mortgage debt, however, was discharged during Appellants’ Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Appellants sued Appellees, claiming that the Forms were a coercive attempt to collect on the mortgage debt, which Appellees had no right to collect. The bankruptcy court found the Forms gave Appellants “no objective basis” to believe Appellees were trying to collect the discharged mortgage debt. The district court affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the evidence in the record showed that the Forms were not objectively coercive. View "Bates v. CitiMortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

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The underlying dispute in this case concerned a mortgage purported granted by Andrew and Maureen DeMore to the predecessor in interest to HSBC Bank, USA, N.A. on a parcel of property owned by the DeMores. This appeal came by way of bankruptcy court after each of the DeMores filed separate voluntary petitions for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Donald Lassman, as trustee for the DeMores’ bankruptcy cases, filed adversary actions against HSBC to avoid the mortgage, arguing that the mortgage on the DeMores’ property was voidable under Massachusetts state law because the certificate of acknowledgment was “materially defective.” Specifically, Lassman asserted that the certificate failed to make clear that the DeMores executed the mortgage as their free act and deed. The Bankruptcy Court granted summary judgment to Lassman. The district court reversed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the certificate of acknowledgment was not materially defective because it made clear that the DeMores had executed the mortgage as their free act and deed. View "HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Lassman" on Justia Law

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Edythe Dyer executed a promissory note to Dreamhouse Mortgage Corporation and granted a mortgage on her property in Boston, Massachusetts to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). MERS assigned the mortgage to U.S. Bank. Wells Fargo was U.S. Bank’s servicer of the loan. U.S. Bank later notified Dyer that it intended to foreclose on the property by utilizing the statutory power of sale provided for in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 183, 21. Dyer filed suit naming U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo as defendants, arguing, inter alia, that U.S. Bank was not a proper party to utilize the statutory power of sale. The case was removed to federal court, where the parties consented to a proceeding before a magistrate judge. The magistrate judge granted Defendants’ motion for judgment of the pleadings and dismissed all of Dyer’s claims. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) U.S. Bank was authorized to exercise the statutory power of sale; and (2) the magistrate judge correctly dismissed Dyer’s Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A claim against Wells Fargo. View "Dyer v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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After seeking a mortgage modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program Plaintiff filed a complaint against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Homeward Residential Inc., claiming breach of contract, unfair debt collection under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, and derivative equitable relief. A federal district court dismissed Plaintiff’s action in its entirety. The First Circuit vacated and remanded, holding that Plaintiff’s complaint sufficiently alleged that Defendants failed to offer her a mortgage modification in a timely manner and that Plaintiff had sufficiently pled damages for her Chapter 93A claim. On remand, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiff’s breach of contract and Chapter 93A claims failed, and therefore, her derivative claim for equitable relief failed as well. View "Young v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Thomas and Frances Frangos (Plaintiffs) secured a loan and pledged their home as collateral to secure a promissory note issued to the lender. Plaintiffs defaulted on the mortgage twice. A foreclosure sale was scheduled, but on the eve of the sale, Plaintiffs filed suit. Plaintiffs sought an injunction permanently barring Bank of America, N.A. and New Penn Financial, LLC (Defendants) from foreclosing, as well as damages premised on an alleged breached of a provision in the mortgage agreement. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in its judgment. View "Frangos v. Bank of America, N.A." on Justia Law

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In 2011, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (Bank), a federally-chartered entity pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1432(a), filed suit against multiple defendants, including Moody’s Corporation and Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (collectively, Moody’s), in Massachusetts state court alleging that various rating agencies falsely gave out triple-A ratings to mortgage-backed securities that were riskier than indicated by their ratings. Some of the defendants, but not Moody’s, removed the case to the Massachusetts federal district court on the grounds that the Bank was federally chartered. Moody’s then moved to dismiss on the ground that the Massachusetts district court lacked personal jurisdiction over it. The district judge ultimately granted the motion, concluding that personal jurisdiction was lacking after Daimler AG v. Bauman, and entered separate and final judgment in favor of Moody’s. The district judge also denied the Bank’s motion to sever its claims against Moody’s from those against the other defendants and transfer them to the Southern District of New York. The First Circuit vacated the district court’s dismissal order, holding that the district court erred in concluding that it lacked statutory power to transfer the claims against Moody’s to the Southern District of New York. Remanded. View "Fed. Home Loan Bank of Bost v. Moody's Corp." on Justia Law

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Mark Galvin was the guarantor of a defaulted promissory note on a loan secured by an interest in a Cessna 421C aircraft. The note and security agreement were assigned to Harley-Davidson Credit Corp. After the borrower defaulted on the note, Harley-Davidson repossessed and sold the aircraft through a third-party dealer for $155,000 and then sought to collect $108,681 from Galvin. Galvin did not pay. Harley-Davidson subsequently filed a breach of contract action against Galvin to collect the deficiency. The district court entered partial summary judgment in favor of Harley-Davidson, concluding that there was no dispute of material fact that the sale was “commercially reasonable.” The First Circuit reversed, holding that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the sale was “commercially reasonable,” and therefore, summary judgment should have been denied. Remanded. View "Harley-Davidson Credit Corp. v. Galvin" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Contracts

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In 2004, Laura Sheedy refinanced property she owned. For the transaction, Sheedy executed a promissory note and mortgage in favor of Washington Mutual Bank (WAMU). The mortgage was eventually assigned to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company. JPMorgan Chase National Association (Chase) serviced the loan. Deutsche Bank subsequently commenced foreclosure proceedings. Thereafter, in 2010, Sheedy filed for protection under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. As part of her plan, Sheedy raised a series of allegations of lender liability. In 2011, Sheedy filed this adversary proceeding to have the bankruptcy court resolve her lender liability claims, adding that Deutsche Bank and Chase (together, the Secured Creditors) were liable for fraud deceit, and misrepresentation on the basis that WAMU provided her with inaccurate or false information concerning the terms of the note and the mortgage. The bankruptcy court granted summary judgment in favor of the Secured Creditors. The district court affirmed. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that all of Sheedy’s claims were either time-barred or without merit. View "Sheedy v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co." on Justia Law

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Appellants Heang Ouch and Morcos Hanna sought to represent a putative class of borrowers who had not kept up with their mortgage loan payments. The borrowers’ loan servicers made a number of contractually-mandated advances (dubbed “delinquency advances”) of funds to the holders of the notes. The loan servicers also, as agents of the holders of the notes, initiated foreclosure proceedings against the borrowers. The borrowers filed separate suits arguing that, despite their non-payment, the servicers’ delinquency advances constituted payments on the borrowers’ debts, that their mortgages were not in default and, accordingly, that the mortgage-holders lacked the power to foreclose. The district court concluded that the services’ payments were not made “on behalf of” the borrowers. The First Circuit consolidated Ouch’s and Hanna’s appeals and affirmed the district court’s rulings denying an amendment to Ouch’s complaint and dismissing Hanna’s complaint with prejudice, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that the payments were not made “on behalf of” the borrowers. View "Ouch v. Fed. Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n" on Justia Law