Civil Remedies Residential Real Estate

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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

CFPB Fines Online Mortgage Company And Its Owner For Alleged Deceptive Rate Advertising

On August 12, the CFPB announced a consent order with a nonbank mortgage lender, its affiliated appraisal management company (AMC), and the individual owner of both companies to resolve allegations that the lender deceptively...more

Federal Court Determines Low Levels of Carcinogens PCE and TCE Insufficient to Establish Private RCRA Cause of Action Absent...

Further underscoring the importance of expert testimony to support environmental claims, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in Leese v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. 11-5091 (JBS/AMD), 2014...more

CO2 is Good

In French vs. Occidental Permian, Ltd. the Texas Supreme Court held that costs associated with injection of carbon dioxide into a reservoir in a tertiary recovery operation were properly deducted from royalties. This...more

Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions?

Much was written by law school professors and property rights groups following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013), which found that land-use permit...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19162 - C & H Electric, Inc. v. Bethel - Congratulations to our own Rick Robinson and Joshua Hawks-Ladds on this victory for our client, the Town of Bethel! Electrical contractor agreed to perform work on school...more

Full Credit Bid Rule Bars Recovery for Wrongfully Enjoined Lender

On June 30, 2014, Judge James A. Teilborg, a Senior District Judge in Arizona, ruled that Tri City National Bank (“TCNB”) was not entitled to bond money posted by the plaintiffs after TCNB was wrongfully enjoined from...more

Getting Paid On Time: The Prompt Pay Act

Contractors in Maryland have available statutory remedies for non-payment. The Maryland Code contains a Prompt Pay Act (the “Act”). Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § 9-301 et seq. (Repl. Vol. 2010). The Act entitles a contractor...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Connecticut District Court Suggests Automatic Stay May Apply To Non-debtor Junior Lienholders In Foreclosure...

On July 22, 2014, the Connecticut District Court issued an opinion, Eastern Savings Bank FSB v. St. Germain, et al, 2014 WL 3687740 (D. Conn. 2014), which could impact the applicability of the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C....more

District Court Figures Out What The Hail Is Going On

Seeing a significant increase in the number of hail damage lawsuits in her courtroom, it appears Judge Jane Boyle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas has figured out "What the Hail is Going...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

N.C. Court of Appeals Reviews Commercial and Residential Summary Ejectment Cases

This week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals waded in waters it doesn't often visit: the back pools of summary ejectment....more

Alabama Joins Recent Trend of States Finding Defective Work May Be Covered Under a Commercial General Liability Policy

The Supreme Court of Alabama recently held in Owners Ins. Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder, LLC that a contractor’s commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy provided coverage for property damage caused by the defective work of...more

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