Civil Remedies Residential Real Estate

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When Your General Contractor Files Bankruptcy

The case is Branch Banking & Trust Co. v. Construction Supervision Services Inc. (In re Construction Supervision Services Inc.), 753 F.3d 124 (4th Cir. 2014). After a general contractor filed bankruptcy, several of its...more

Louisiana Court Finds In Favor Of Insurer On Standard Flood Insurance Policy Claim

In Parr v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146372 (E.D. La., October 14, 2014), the court analyzed the amount payable on a flood insurance claim sustained by Rickey Parr to his house during Hurricane Isaac. Parr had...more

Nevada and D.C. Courts Give Priority of Position to HOA Assessment "Superliens" Over First Mortgages

Mortgage lenders beware. - In late August, the D.C. Court of Appeals rendered a decision in Chase Plaza Condominium Association, Inc. v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., CA-5826-10 (August 28, 2014) determining that a...more

Faulty Property Description Haunts Louisiana Servitude

Halloween is approaching, so let’s talk poltergeists – troublesome spirits that haunt a specific location. Where do they come from? In Quality Environmental Processes, Inc. v I.P. Petroleum Company, Inc., it was from a faulty...more

Florida Appeals Court: In First-party Coverage Dispute, Ruling That Insurer Breached Contract Is Not Prerequisite to Insured’s...

Under Florida law, must a policyholder first prevail on a breach of contract action against the insurer before a bad faith claim may be filed? No, said a majority of the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, en banc (the...more

CFPB RESPA Enforcement Action Targets Marketing Services Agreements

On September 30, the CFPB announced a consent order with a Michigan-based title insurance company to address allegations that the company’s marketing services agreements (MSAs) with several real estate brokers violated the...more

Usury in Florida: Penalties

There are two “tiers” of penalties for violation of the Florida usury statutes, one civil and the other criminal, and both are severe. Civil penalties usually involve forfeiture of the entire interest charged (or contracted...more

CFPB Issues First Enforcement Action for Servicing Rules Violations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced a consent order with Flagstar Bank, F.S.B., alleging unfair acts and practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) and violations of the CFPB's...more

Creditors Beware: Married Couples Claiming Homestead Protection on Two Residences May Avoid a Forced Sale

Florida’s homestead exemption protects a married couple’s primary residence from forced sale to satisfy a judgment lien, but what happens when spouses retain two properties as their individual primary residences, claiming...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Economic Loss Rule No Bar to Condo Trustees’ Claim for Damages to Common Areas Caused By...

Wyman v. Ayer Properties, LLC, 469 Mass. 64, 2014 Mass. LEXIS 524 (July 10, 2014) - The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the economic loss rule, which bars recovery of tort damages from the negligent supplier of...more

Editorial: Banks Can Fight Buyback Claims with a Little Help from BofA

Bank of America took a big hit when it reached a record-breaking $16.65 billion mortgage settlement with the United States Department of Justice in August. The company is likely to attempt to recoup as much of the penalty as...more

Shadow Regulation: A Call For Judicial Oversight To DPA’s Or NPA’s

On August 21, 2014, the United States Department of Justice announced a record 16.65 billion dollar agreement to resolve civil claims alleged against Bank of America for improperly concealing the risks of mortgage-related...more

How Much Are Your Trees Worth?

In Texas, more than your dog. Gilbert Wheeler, Inc. v. Enbridge Pipelines (East Texas), L.P. is good news for landowners. The Texas Supreme recognized the intrinsic-value-of-trees exception to the general rule for damages to...more

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

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