Military Residential Real Estate

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Public Information Session Held on the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption

We recently posted about the Legislature’s recent amendment to the RPTL 458-a Alternative Veterans’ Exemption. From what we have seen and heard, most school districts statewide have determined not to pass the law by March 1,...more

The SCRA can be a Minefield: Recent Ninth Circuit Opinion Addresses Foreclosure Protection

On February 7, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Brewster v. Sun Trust Mortgage, Inc. The decision stands as a stark reminder to mortgage lenders and servicers of the importance of verifying a...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Attempted Collection of Foreclosure Related Fees Violates SCRA

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision granting defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claim that defendant violated section 533 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act...more

GAO Issues Report On SCRA Mortgage Protections

On January 28, the GAO issued a report on SCRA mortgage protections required by the 2012 legislation that extended those protections. Using data from three large mortgage servicers and a large credit union, the GAO examined...more

VA Issues Statement On ATR/QM Rule

On January 9, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-14-1, which clarifies lender requirements for home loans guaranteed by the VA under the TILA and the CFPB’s Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage...more

School Districts: New York State Allows School Districts The Option To Offer Significant Real Property Tax Exemption To Veterans...

In December of 2013, the New York State Legislature expanded Real Property Tax Law ("RPTL") Section 458-a. As originally enacted in the 1980s, RPTL Section 458-a provided a partial exemption from county, city, town and...more

Another Court Affirms DOJ Financial Fraud Strategy

On Sept. 24, 2013, Judge Jesse Furman in the Southern District of New York released his widely anticipated decision allowing the U.S. Department of Justice’s False Claims Act and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and...more

Freddie Mac Updates SCRA Servicing Requirements

On August 15, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2013-05, which, among other things, revises requirements relating to the SCRA and similar state laws and explains servicer responsibilities to effectively implement military relief...more

FTC Obtains Settlement Regarding Marketing Of Mortgage Refinancing Services To Servicemembers; Announces First Settlements In...

On June 27, the FTC announced that a mortgage broker will pay a $7.5 million civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Rule (MAP...more

Real Estate Title Review: Don’t Miss These Stealth Restrictions

In many cities, urban growth now fills the farmland that once surrounded Navy and Air Force airfields. Real estate development and finance near Navy and Air Force runways, however, requires special attention to a special set...more

Spotlight On The SCRA (Part 3 Of 3): Federal vs. State

Thus far SCRA enforcement activity has focused on the federal act, leaving the states overlooked....more

Spotlight On The SCRA (Part 1 of 3): Increased Enforcement Activity

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is designed to provide protection for military members as they enter active duty. The Act has origins dating back to the Civil War, but was first solidified in 1940 with the passage...more

CFPB issues report on servicemember complaints

The CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs has issued a report on complaints submitted by servicemembers, veterans or their spouses and dependents (“servicemember complaints”) over the period from January 1, 2012 through...more

Mortgagee and Mortgagor Standing and the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Trustee v. Jodi B. Matt, No. 11101 (Jan. 14, 2013), recently clarified the issue of standing for both plaintiffs and defendants in actions under the...more

TBTF Servicing: Another Issue for Originators to Consider

As widely reported recently, close to 1.2 million borrowers (about 30% of the more than 3.9 million households that faced foreclosure proceedings by the 11 leading financial institutions in 2009 and 2010), had to battle...more

DOJ Announces Payments Under 2011 SCRA Settlements

On April 4, the DOJ announced that two mortgage servicers will pay a combined $39 million to 316 servicemembers pursuant to SCRA settlements from 2011. Those settlement agreements resolved allegations that the mortgage...more

Fannie Mae Announces Numerous Servicing Policy Changes

On April 3, Fannie Mae issued Servicing Guide Announcement SVC-2013-07, which outlines policy updates regarding (i) lender-placed property insurance requirements, (ii) military indulgence reporting and reimbursement...more

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: Provisions Affecting Banking Institutions

According to December 2012 data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Gulf War Era veterans, hovering around eight percent, remains higher than the national rate. Over the last decade, more...more

Levick Weekly - February 15, 2013: S&P’S Ordeal IS There Life After Eric Holder?

In This Issue: - S&P’S Ordeal Is There Life After Eric Holder? - The PR problem the Pentagon & VA Share - Change.Org A powerful adversary for brands - Blogs worth following - Levick in the news - Excerpt...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Standing In Servicemember Proceeding Requires Evidence Of Mortgagee Status

On January 14, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) reversed a Land Court decision and held that a trustee lacked standing to bring a servicemember proceeding because the trustee was not the clear holder of either...more

CFPB Fair Lending Updates – Expectations for Enforcement and Regulation in 2013

Signaling that 2013 will be another eventful year in the fair lending world, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) issued two items this month that reveal an ambitious agenda for fair lending...more

Dismissal of Putative Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged Violations of the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act

In a putative class action handled by Robert Maddox, Mike Pennington, and Keith Anderson, the Northern District of Alabama recently dismissed a lawsuit for alleged violations of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”)....more

OCC Issues Bulletin Regarding Extended SCRA Protections

On November 19, the OCC issued Bulletin 2012-37, which advises all national banks and federal savings associations of the extension of certain servicemember protections afforded by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)....more

National Mortgage Settlement Monitor Seeks Servicemember Complaints

On November 12, National Mortgage Settlement Monitor Joseph Smith, Jr. launched a military-specific outreach program to encourage servicemembers to report mortgage servicing complaints using an online form. The Monitor...more

Federal Regulators Host Webinar on SCRA Compliance

On September 10, federal banking regulators, the CFPB, and the FHFA conducted a webinar on federal servicemember financial protections, recent changes to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA), and recent changes to...more

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