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Joint Tenancy: What Happens When a Joint Tenant’s Interest Becomes Part of the Bankruptcy Estate?

Peet v. Checkett (In re Peet), 529 B.R. 718 (8th Cir. BAP 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee proposed to sell real and personal property that was owned by the chapter 7 debtors as joint tenants with parents of one of the...more

Constitutional Clarification for Nevada HOA Super-Priority Foreclosures

Since the Nevada Supreme Court’s infamous decision in SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A. in September 2014, the mortgage community has continued to fight to save senior deeds of trust from extinguishment due to an...more

Tough News for Lenders - Major NC Supreme Court Decision on Collection of Post-Foreclosure Deficiencies

Fall is football time. And as every football fan knows, not every player on the line of scrimmage is an eligible receiver. Imagine how dramatically it would change the game if the entire offensive line were eligible to catch...more

Property Surrender: Surrender Means Surrender – Really

In re Failla, 529 B.R. 786 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2014) – Individual chapter 7 debtors filed a statement of intention electing to surrender their real estate. The mortgagee contended that they had failed to do so and filed a...more

Bankruptcy Basics – “Will I Lose My House in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”

Almost daily I meet with families that have avoided filing for bankruptcy because they fear they will lose their home as part of the process. In this article I will discuss how you can know if your house will be put at risk...more

Strong Arm Powers: Does Sovereign Immunity Trump a Claim Based on State Law?

Kohut v. Wayne County Treasurer (In re Lewiston), 528 B.R. 387 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2015) – The debtor made property tax payments on behalf of several real estate projects.  The chapter 7 trustee sought to recover those...more

Settlement Proceeds: When Does Cash Become Quasi Real Estate?

Farmer v. Citizens Nat’l Bank of Athens (In re Davis), 528 B.R. 757 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee sought a court determination that the trustee had a superior claim to settlement proceeds arising from...more

Title Insurance: When Does a Construction Lender “Create” or “Suffer” a Mechanics Lien?

BB Syndication Services, Inc. v. First American Title Ins. Co., 785 F.3d 825 (7th Cir. 2015) – A construction lender sued a title insurance company seeking defense and indemnification in connection with claims in a...more

Debtors May Want To Take It All Off, But The Supreme Court Says Junior Liens Can’t Be Stripped

It’s not an uncommon sight, especially in light of the burst of the housing bubble in recent years: a debtor in bankruptcy has two mortgages on a property with a fair market value of less than the amount of the senior...more

CFPB: “F” is for “Foreclosure,” “FDCPA”

The CFPB has weighed in on whether a trustee foreclosing on a California home qualifies as a “debt collector” under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In Ho v. ReconTrust, N.A. (9th Cir. Aug. 7, 2015), the Bureau...more

Another Bankruptcy Court Confirms Plan Reference to “Surrender” Means Not Defending a Lender’s Foreclosure

Foreclosure defense and bankruptcy often go hand in hand, but sometimes it seems like the left hand doesn’t talk to the right. This has proven especially common with bankruptcy plans that propose to “surrender” real property...more

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Denies Motion to Sell Free and Clear of Senior Lien

The Delaware bankruptcy court recently denied a debtors’ motion to sell real estate free and clear of a bank’s senior liens on the properties. The court rejected the debtors’ arguments that the bank could be compelled to take...more

Credit Bidding: Not An Absolute Right (And What Does That Mean?)

In re RML Dev., Inc., 528 B.R. 150 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 2014) – A mortgagee sought to modify a sale order to (1) modify the bid procedures and (2) confirm that it had a right to credit bid. The debtor obtained a court...more

New York Appellate Court Confers Standing on Assignee of Note Previously Discharged in Bankruptcy

A mortgage lender has standing to foreclose even when it obtains assignment of the underlying promissory note after the note has been discharged in bankruptcy, a New York appellate court has ruled. The case arose after the...more

Mistaken Date Reference in Security Agreement Costs Bank its Lien Priority

It’s a common occurrence – a mortgagor or grantor signs the security instrument a day or two in advance of the loan, or perhaps a note is re-signed a couple of days after closing to correct an error in the original note....more

HOA Super Priority Legal Battles Continue in the Silver State: What Senate Bill 306 Means for Nevada HOAs, Lenders and Homeowners

In 1991, the Nevada Legislature enacted the Uniform Common-Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) which had been promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) (the Statute). This law provides...more

Naked Liens – Stripping Prohibited

In June, the US Supreme Court decided the case of debtors in bankruptcy desirous of stripping off a lender’s real estate lien that was fully in excess of the fair market value of the real estate. The Supreme Court unanimously...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

RMBS Suit Against WMC Mortgage LLC Dismissed as Time-Barred - On July 10, 2015, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York granted defendant WMC Mortgage LLC's motion for judgment on the pleadings in an...more

Claim Amount: It Pays To Pay Attention

In re Walker, 526 B.R. 187 (E.D. La. 2015) – The bankruptcy court (1) denied a mortgage lender’s request to file a late amendment to a proof of claim that had been filed on its behalf by the debtor and (2) confirmed the...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Homeowner's Wrongful Foreclosure Claims

On July 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review of Boyce v. T.D. Service Company (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 429. (Supreme Court Case No. S226267.) In Boyce, the Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff's wrongful...more

Home Sweet Homestead

Suppose a debtor denies owning a home and then gives a false address so creditors don’t find out about the home. Can the debtor still claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy?...more

Florida Court Rules Borrowers Who Surrender Property in Bankruptcy Can't Later Take it Back

Thanks to several recent United States Bankruptcy Court decisions in Florida, mortgage servicers should now expect borrowers who surrender their real property in bankruptcy to not contest foreclosure later. Since the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Resolves Uncertainty Regarding Junior Mortgage Liens in Chapter 7 Proceedings

A recent U.S. Supreme Court case resolves uncertainty as to whether Bankruptcy Code Section 506(d) allows Chapter 7 Bankruptcy debtors to "strip off" (void) junior mortgage liens that are wholly underwater. That uncertainty...more

Foreclosed Property: Related Rights May Be Tricky

Cooper v. WPD Polar Ridge, LLC (In re Poplar Ridge, LLC), 526 B.R. 147 (W.D. N.C. 2015) – After a developer defaulted, the trustee under a deed of trust held a pre-petition foreclosure sale.  The issue was whether the...more

US Supreme Court Decision in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett

In a 9-0 decision released on June 1, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled, in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, 135 S. Ct. 1995 (2015), that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien...more

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