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Ohio’s Sixth District Reverses Order Granting Class Certification

In Gordon v. Erie Islands Resort & Marina, 6th Dist. No. OT-13-040, 2014-Ohio-4970, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth District of Ohio reversed an order granting class certification on the grounds that the trial court failed...more

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...more

Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute

Eastman v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14cv0703, 2014 WL 5355036 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2014) - Southern District of California denies motion to dismiss bad faith claim in connection with coverage dispute under homeowners...more

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms the Importance of a Reasonable Claim Investigation Prior to Denial

In Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, Inc., 2014 WL 5870429 (Nov. 13, 2014), the 5th Circuit allowed a policyholder to pursue a claim for common law and statutory bad faith even though the policyholder repaired the alleged...more

Beware of Civil Copycat Suits Following Agency Enforcement Actions

Why it matters - Over the years, companies and individuals that have been the subject of enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, or other agencies have often found themselves on...more

JPMorgan Sued Over $959 Million RMBS Trust

On October 10, the Bank of New York Mellon, suing as trustee for the J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust, Series 2006-WMC3 trust, filed a summons with notice in the Supreme Court for the State of New York against WMC...more

Attack on Citizens’ Bad Faith Immunity Receives a Chilly Reception at Florida Supreme Court

In 2002, the Florida Legislature created Citizens Property Insurance Company Corporation (Citizens) to make affordable insurance available to Florida citizens who were not otherwise able to obtain property insurance. In...more

Editorial: Court Gives Nod to 1932 Florida Supreme Court Case, Blocking Developers’ Ability to Avoid Additional Payments

We are often asked when representing a client in defense of a claim whether the client could avoid the liability asserted by the claimant by potentially buying the cause of action out from under the claimant. The most common...more

Florida District Court of Appeal: Insurer’s Liability For Breach Of Contract Need Not Be Determined Before Bad Faith Claim Ripens

Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, No. 4D13-185 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2014) (en banc). Clarifying recent conflicting precedents, the Florida District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District held...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania: State Farm Cannot Refuse Appraisal of Superstorm Sandy Damage

Currie v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. CIV.A. 13-6713, 2014 WL 4081051 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 19, 2014). After Superstorm Sandy damaged the insureds’ house, they and their insurer came to markedly different assessments of...more

Florida and Connecticut AGs file lawsuit asserting Dodd-Frank enforcement authority

On July 29, 2014, another Section 1042 lawsuit was filed jointly by the Attorneys General of Florida and Connecticut in a Florida federal court. The lawsuit alleges that four individuals and their four businesses formulated...more

Merchandising 101: Missouri Supreme Court Addresses Applicability of State’s Merchandising Practices Act to Mortgage Loan...

Two new en banc opinions from the Supreme Court of Missouri, both released on August 19, 2014, may be of interest to mortgage loan servicers with borrowers in this state. The opinions — Conway v. CitiMortgage, Inc., ---...more

Class Action Alleging Mortgage Kickback Captive Reinsurance Survives Dismissal Pending Discovery On Tolling Of Limitations

A court denied dismissal of a putative class action involving claims against Suntrust Bank subsidiaries and a captive reinsurer for an alleged illegal kickback scheme arising out of captive reinsurance covering Suntrust’s...more

Feds, States Sweep Country for Mortgage Relief Scams

In an enforcement sweep dubbed “Operation Mis-Modification,” the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and 15 state Attorneys General have targeted “foreclosure relief scammers that have...more

Bank Must Face Homeowner’s Negligence Claim Because It Owes A Duty To Use Reasonable Care In Processing Loan Modification

In Alvarez v. BAC Home Loans Servicing L.P. (August 7, 2014, A138443) --- Cal.App. 4th ---, the First District Court of Appeal reversed a judgment entered in favor of Defendants as to fraud, unfair competition and negligence...more

Public Adjusters Do Not Have Free Pass To The Stand

In Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, the Western District of Texas reminded litigants that licensed public adjusters are not immune from expert witness qualification requirements. Namely, a public adjuster’s license does not...more

SDNY Orders Bank To Pay $1.3 Billion Following Verdict In GSE Civil Fraud Case

On July 30, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered a bank to pay a nearly $1.3 billion civil penalty after a jury found the bank liable in October 2013 on one civil mortgage fraud charge arising...more

Claimant Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies Provided For In The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of...

After defaulting on his Hawaii home mortgage with Washington Mutual Bank ("Wamu") and facing nonjudicial foreclosure, Todd Rundgren (Hello It's Me) and his wife, Michelle (collectively the "Rundgrens"), sued Wamu and JP...more

Citigroup Settles with DOJ for $7 Billion

Citigroup announced last week that it will pay $7 billion to end an investigation by the U.S Department of Justice into misconduct related to its mortgage securitization practices. The blockbuster settlement came days before...more

Better Keep Your Opinions to Yourselves for Now: Second Circuit Doubles Down in Deutsche Bank Ruling in Advance of Supreme Court...

On July 16, 2014, a three-judge Second Circuit panel affirmed the dismissal of a securities class action against Deutsche Bank AG and several underwriters. The case was brought on behalf of investors who purchased...more

Sixth Circuit Blurs Line Between Primary and Excess

The Sixth Circuit recently addressed the question of whether an excess insurer must provide a defense when the primary insurer fails to do so. In IMG Worldwide v. Westchester Fire Insurance Company, No. 3836 (6th Cir. July...more

Lack Of Predominance, Superiority, And Ascertainability Foreclose Mortgagors’ Proposed Class Action Alleging Kickbacks In...

The Central District of California denied certification of a putative nationwide class of mortgagors, holding that numerous individualized issues precludeda finding of predominance, superiority, or ascertainability. In...more

Court Awards Sanctions Against Buyer and Attorney for Meritless Claims Against Sellers’ Agent

Plaintiff Joanne Peake purchased a home from the Underwoods, who were represented by a real estate agent, John Ferrell. Two years after close of escrow, she discovered that subfloors had been damaged and not repaired by the...more

Tenth Circuit (Applying Colorado Law) Upholds Summary Judgment In Favor Of Insurer On Earth Movement And Water Damage Exclusions

Wagner v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., No.: 13-1438, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11526 (10th Cir. June 19, 2014) arose from a claim by a property owner under a homeowner’s insurance policy issued to her by American Family Mutual...more

SEC Obtains Settlement for Investment Adviser’s Real Estate Investment Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced a settlement with an investment adviser based on alleged fraud in a real estate investment offering....more

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