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Florida, Georgia And Texas Appraisal Update: Is Causation A Coverage Question For The Court Or A Damages Question For The Panel?

In most jurisdictions, underlying coverage issues must be resolved prior to invoking appraisal in a first-party property claim. The question of what constitutes a coverage issue (typically reserved for a court’s judicial...more

SDNY Certifies Interlocutory Appeal In Lender-Placed Insurance Dispute

On April 3, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York certified an interlocutory appeal of an order denying a motion to dismiss filed by a group of insurers facing class allegations of unlawful...more

New York State To Require Title Agents To Be Licensed

With the passage of the New York 2014-15 budget, New York becomes one of the last states in the country to license title agents. The budget includes measures that authorize the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to...more

Insurance Recovery Law

Suit Alleging Drug Distributor Was a “Pill Mill” Requires Defense - Why it matters: A Kentucky federal court held that the claimed impact in a suit brought by the West Virginia Attorney General – alleging that...more

Construction E-Note - April 9, 2014

In This Issue: - Ongoing Or Completed Operations? Fifth Circuit Finds No Duty To Defend Contractor Under Additional Insured Endorsement - Your Venue, My Bond Claim: A Florida Law Primer - The Condominium Form Of...more

Must Claims Severed From A CAFA Class Action Be Remanded To State Court? The Fifth Circuit Says No.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the State of Louisiana filed a class action to recover under homeowners’ insurance policies that the state had received by assignment through a disaster relief program. The insurers successfully...more

Storing Heating Oil In Residential Tank Is Not An Abnormally Dangerous Activity In New Jersey

The Appellate Division recent held that the storage of home heating oil in an underground storage tank is not an abnormally dangerous activity. In Ross v. Lowitz, the plaintiffs, John and Pamela Ross, owned property that was...more

New Jersey Legislature Passes Superstorm Sandy Bill of Rights

We previously reported on the New Jersey legislature’s attempt to pass reform bills as a response to Superstorm Sandy. Although New Jersey Assembly Bill A3710 died when referred to the Financial Institutions and Insurance...more

President Signs Flood Insurance Bill

On March 21, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, which includes several provisions impacting previously enacted mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements. The bill, among...more

Indiana Changes Course on Application of Intentional Acts Exclusion in Homeowners Policies

In Deeter v. Ind. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 999 N.E.2d 82 (Ind. App. 2013), the Indiana appellate court denied property damage proceeds to a husband when his wife admitted to intentionally causing the fire that burned down their...more

Freddie Mac Requires Lender-Placed Insurance Compliance Certification, Updates Foreclosure And Transfer Tax Policies

On March 17, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2014-3, which requires servicers to provide a certification that they are or will be in compliance with new lender-placed insurance requirements announced in Bulletin 2013-27. With...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Update: Weeks Ending March 14 & March 21, 2014

I. FLORIDA STATE CASES – SCOTT FEATHER & JOURDAN HAYNES - - Summary Judgment: reversal of summary final judgment of foreclosure because of disputed issues of fact concerning amount of rents received from property that...more

5 Things Every CMBA Member Should Know

A Loan Policy Of Title Insurance. It is required as part of every loan originated by members of the California Mortgage Bankers Association – or at least it should be. Title insurance is supposed to protect lenders and...more

Rumble in the Construction Defect Jungle

Lately, reading the advance sheets of construction defect cases has been like watching one of the Rocky movies. There’s the punches (owww!). Then there’s the counter-punches (ohhh!). And on and on it goes with blow meeting...more

Federal Court Refuses To Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Putative Class Action In Captive Reinsurance Case

On their third attempt to state a claim for mortgage services fraud pursuant to the Real Estate Services Settlement and Procedures Act (“RESPA”), Plaintiffs in a putative class action overcame defendants’ motion to dismiss on...more

Lender’s Title Insurance: When Should Courts Measure the Fair Market Value of Property Affected by a Title Defect?*

Title insurance is designed to pay for damages caused by any defects to title that the title company should have discovered but did not. Lender’s title insurance protects lenders who lose money due to a title defect, which...more

Shamrock Shake: St. Patrick’s Day Earthquake in Los Angeles Is a Reminder to Check Your Property Insurance Policy

Los Angeles residents didn’t need to go to McDonald’s for their “Shamrock Shake” on St. Patrick’s Day 2014. At 6:25 a.m., a 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook L.A. County out of bed. Monday’s shake serves as a reminder to be...more

Flood Insurance Reform Bill with Escrow Amendments Awaits President’s Signature

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate recently passed, and the President is expected to sign into law, amendments to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (the Act). The legislation seeks to address...more

Clarity May Finally Arrive in the District of Columbia for Lenders and Title Insurers

In response to the concerns of lenders and title insurers, the District of Columbia recently enacted clarifying legislation to amend the Saving D.C. Homes from Foreclosure Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (the Act). The Act...more

Homeowners Beware: Fraud in Claims Process Can Lead to Judicial Sanctions in Bad Faith Action

A federal court for the Southern District of Texas has sanctioned a pro se litigant for making fraudulent misrepresentations to his homeowner’s insurer following a fire, and for bringing a bad faith action against the...more

New Ruling Permits Lenders to Require Flood Insurance Coverage in Excess of Loan Amount

Recent events have been highlighted in the press, regarding the redrawing of federal flood hazard maps and proposed increases in premium rates for flood insurance for property owners within special flood hazard zones, which...more

Additional California Rulings on Right to Repair Act Defense

In August 2013, we reported that Christmas had come early for the California subrogation community due to a recent decision from the Court of Appeals which found that the “Right to Repair Act” (SB 800) did not apply to cases...more

Court Denies Motions To Dismiss Putative Class Action Alleging Unlawful Reinsurance Arrangement

A federal court in Pennsylvania denied defendants’ motion to dismiss in a putative class action based on purported mortgage services fraud. Defendants Fifth Third Bank, Fifth Third Mortgage Company, Fifth Third Mortgage...more

“FAIR” is Fair: California Policyholders Not Entitled to Recovery Beyond Specified Policy Limits for Fire Losses

Recently, the California Court of Appeal held that recovery under a standard California fire policy is limited to the specified policy limits, even if the actual cash value of the loss exceeds those limits....more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Update: Weeks Ending February 21 And 28, 2014

I. FLORIDA STATE CASES – JOURDAN HAYNES & ILAN NIEUCHOWICZ - Relation-Back: amended complaint naming third-party defendant as defendant relates back to filing of third-party complaint where (a) third-party complaint...more

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