Civil Remedies Residential Real Estate

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Equitable Subrogation: “Complete and Perfect Justice” Requires Party To Be Without Fault

Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC v. Summit Bank, N.A. (In re Francis), 750 F.3d 754 (8th Cir. 2014) – A lender that attached the wrong legal description to its recorded mortgage sought equitable subrogation and/or reformation...more

New Jersey Appellate Court Limits Measure of Damages for Contaminated Properties

On August 27, 2014, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Puritan Oil against a New Jersey property owner, finding that where the oil company had already taken steps to remedy contamination it caused on...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

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal Holds “Wrongful Conduct” on Behalf of Insurer is Necessary Prerequisite to an Insured’s...

In Omega Insurance Co. v. Kathy Johnson, 2014 Fla. App. Lexis 13737 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Sept. 5, 2014), the Fifth District reversed a Marion County trial court’s grant of attorneys’ fees based upon Omega’s...more

Ninth Circuit Holds That Loan Purchasers Are Victims Under the MVRA

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a restitution order in favor of both the originator and purchaser of two fraudulently obtained mortgages under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act (MVRA). ...more

Summary of California’s Prompt Payment Laws

The California legislature has enacted a comprehensive series of prompt payment statutes that are designed to ensure the prompt payment of progress payments and retention payments to downstream contractors by imposing harsh...more

FHFA Announces Settlement Of Litigation With Investment Bank

On August 22, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it settled litigation with a major investment bank, other related companies, and several individuals over alleged violations of federal and state...more

Mortgage Holder’s Petition to Set Aside Judicial Tax Sale Rejected

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that the trial court properly denied a mortgage holder’s petition to set aside the judicial tax sale of a property in Lackawanna County due to alleged improper service of notice and...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...more

Arizona Supreme Court to Contractor: Sorry But Equitable Subrogation of a Bank’s Later Deed of Trust Trumps Earlier Mechanics’...

The smoke has finally cleared in a hard and long-fought battle between a bank and contractor both claiming priority to foreclose millions of dollars on a Phoenix condominium project. The project, well-known as Summit at...more

Federal, State Mortgage-Related Investigations Yield Largest Ever Civil Settlement

On August 21, the DOJ announced that a large financial institution agreed to resolve federal and state mortgage-related claims through what the DOJ characterized as the largest ever civil settlement with a single entity....more

City May be Liable for Damage to Residence from Falling Tree Under Inverse Condemnation

When is a tree a “public improvement” for purposes of inverse condemnation? According to one court, when the tree was planted by a city as part of a forestry program and maintained over a period of time. City of Pasadena v....more

Bank of America’s $16.65 Billion Settlement

In what is being reported as the largest settlement ever between the U.S. and a single business entity, Attorney General Eric Holder and Associate Attorney General Tony West announced Thursday that Bank of America Corp....more

Even a Tax Authority May Sometimes Have to Pay

In Clinton County Treasurer v. Wolinsky, 511 B.R. 34 (N.D.N.Y. 2014), a Chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a property tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and then to recover damages from the foreclosing county. The...more

Recent HUD Enforcement Actions Highlight Risks of Loan Discrimination Against Those on Maternity/Paternity Leave

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) recently entered into settlement agreements with two lenders that allegedly discriminated against mortgage loan applicants based on their maternity leave status....more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Only Original Purchasers May Recover Damages for Breach of the Builder’s Implied Warranty of...

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a builder’s implied warranty of habitability extends only to the initial buyer of a home, and not to subsequent purchasers. In Conway v. The Cutler Group, Inc., the Court reversed an...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Contractor May Recover in Quantum Meruit Where Home Improvement Contract Does Not Satisfy...

Homeowners Raymond and Donna Mantia contracted Shafer Electric & Construction (“Shafer”) to build a two-car garage addition onto their house. Shafer’s proposal was extremely detailed as to the work to be completed. Despite...more

Are You Done Yet? Compensation for Impacts of Public Works in Alberta

During the recent resurfacing of Bow Trail there was a message posted on a pylon sign by an adjacent business owner that read “Bow Trail is not Rome. Please Complete” (see “Road Construction Delays Cause Headaches for...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 8

In our eighth issue of The Construction Advantage, we provide you with three new cases, with two of them coming from the Maine courts. We hope that this newsletter has been helpful and informative to you so far in 2014....more

Texas' Progressive Claim Affliction Is Treatable

A case recently considered by Texas' Thirteenth Court of Appeals illustrates a fact pattern becoming all too familiar in Texas first-party property insurance claims. The story goes something like this....more

HUD Announces Disability Income Fair Housing Conciliation Agreement

On August 13, HUD announced that a nonbank mortgage lender agreed to pay $104,000 to resolve allegations that the lender’s underwriting practices resulted in discrimination against mortgage applicants who rely on disability...more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

Servicer’s Error Leads to $16 Million Award

Kate Berry reported in American Banker and SourceMedia’s National Mortgage News on how a $616 servicing error snowballed into a $16 million jury verdict. It was reported that a jury last month awarded $514,000 in compensatory...more

Nuisance Claims Becoming More Than a Mere Nuisance in Texas

Plaintiffs Bob and Lisa Parr obtained a $2.9 million verdict in April 2014 against Aruba Petroleum, Inc. for health problems allegedly related to oil and gas drilling operations and air emissions near their home. The large...more

“California’s Right To Repair Act Is Not A Homeowner’s Exclusive Remedy When Construction Defects Cause Actual Property Damage.”

The California Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (“SB 800”) is not the exclusive remedy for a homeowner seeking damages for construction defects that have also...more

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