Residential Real Estate Bankruptcy

Read Residential Real Estate law updates, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:
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Bankruptcy Court Order Compelling Surrender of Property Upheld on Appeal

On November 23, 2015, in the first appellate decision of its kind, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida affirmed a bankruptcy court order to compel chapter 7 debtors to surrender real property by directing...more

Bank Settles with DOJ for $81.6 Million for Failing to Timely File Payment Change Notices for Homeowners in Bankruptcy

On November 5, the DOJ announced a proposed settlement with a bank for allegedly violating bankruptcy rules by not providing homeowners with required notices that would have allowed them to challenge the accuracy of increased...more

Sixth Circuit Files Win for Bankruptcy Debtors Harassed During Automatic Stay

Creditors of bankruptcy debtors beware: a recent opinion from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals makes clear that creditors cannot circumvent the ban on collection efforts following the petition for bankruptcy by trying to...more

New Case Poses Threat to Mortgage Servicers in Bankruptcies

A new decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit poses a serious threat to mortgage companies that service mortgages of chapter 13 debtors. Mortgage servicers should be aware of the case's implications and...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Barclays and Wachovia Settle with NCUA - On October 19, 2015, Barclays PLC and Wachovia Capital Markets LLC agreed to pay $325 million and $53 million, respectively, to settle claims brought by the National Credit Union...more

Mortgage Acknowledgements: Can A Boo-Boo Be Fixed?

Bank of America, N.A. v. Casey, 517 B.R. 1 (D. Mass. 2015) – A Chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a mortgage using “strong-arm” powers based on a defect in the acknowledgement. The mortgagee contended that the defect was...more

Equitable Liens: No Mortgage Does Not Necessarily Mean No Lien

Marcum v. Marcum (In re Marcum), 508 B.R. 499 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2014) – A creditor made two prepetition loans to a chapter 13 debtor for payment of delinquent real estate taxes. The loans were supposed to be secured by...more

Joint Tenancy: What Happens When a Joint Tenant’s Interest Becomes Part of the Bankruptcy Estate?

Peet v. Checkett (In re Peet), 529 B.R. 718 (8th Cir. BAP 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee proposed to sell real and personal property that was owned by the chapter 7 debtors as joint tenants with parents of one of the...more

Constitutional Clarification for Nevada HOA Super-Priority Foreclosures

Since the Nevada Supreme Court’s infamous decision in SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A. in September 2014, the mortgage community has continued to fight to save senior deeds of trust from extinguishment due to an...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36390 - Folsom v. Zoning Board of Appeals - Trial court properly granted a motion to strike a direct lawsuit by a disgruntled neighbor against the Town Zoning Enforcement...more

Tough News for Lenders - Major NC Supreme Court Decision on Collection of Post-Foreclosure Deficiencies

Fall is football time. And as every football fan knows, not every player on the line of scrimmage is an eligible receiver. Imagine how dramatically it would change the game if the entire offensive line were eligible to catch...more

Property Surrender: Surrender Means Surrender – Really

In re Failla, 529 B.R. 786 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2014) – Individual chapter 7 debtors filed a statement of intention electing to surrender their real estate. The mortgagee contended that they had failed to do so and filed a...more

Bankruptcy Basics – “Will I Lose My House in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?”

Almost daily I meet with families that have avoided filing for bankruptcy because they fear they will lose their home as part of the process. In this article I will discuss how you can know if your house will be put at risk...more

Strong Arm Powers: Does Sovereign Immunity Trump a Claim Based on State Law?

Kohut v. Wayne County Treasurer (In re Lewiston), 528 B.R. 387 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2015) – The debtor made property tax payments on behalf of several real estate projects.  The chapter 7 trustee sought to recover those...more

Settlement Proceeds: When Does Cash Become Quasi Real Estate?

Farmer v. Citizens Nat’l Bank of Athens (In re Davis), 528 B.R. 757 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2015) – A chapter 7 trustee sought a court determination that the trustee had a superior claim to settlement proceeds arising from...more

Title Insurance: When Does a Construction Lender “Create” or “Suffer” a Mechanics Lien?

BB Syndication Services, Inc. v. First American Title Ins. Co., 785 F.3d 825 (7th Cir. 2015) – A construction lender sued a title insurance company seeking defense and indemnification in connection with claims in a...more

Debtors May Want To Take It All Off, But The Supreme Court Says Junior Liens Can’t Be Stripped

It’s not an uncommon sight, especially in light of the burst of the housing bubble in recent years: a debtor in bankruptcy has two mortgages on a property with a fair market value of less than the amount of the senior...more

CFPB: “F” is for “Foreclosure,” “FDCPA”

The CFPB has weighed in on whether a trustee foreclosing on a California home qualifies as a “debt collector” under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In Ho v. ReconTrust, N.A. (9th Cir. Aug. 7, 2015), the Bureau...more

Another Bankruptcy Court Confirms Plan Reference to “Surrender” Means Not Defending a Lender’s Foreclosure

Foreclosure defense and bankruptcy often go hand in hand, but sometimes it seems like the left hand doesn’t talk to the right. This has proven especially common with bankruptcy plans that propose to “surrender” real property...more

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Denies Motion to Sell Free and Clear of Senior Lien

The Delaware bankruptcy court recently denied a debtors’ motion to sell real estate free and clear of a bank’s senior liens on the properties. The court rejected the debtors’ arguments that the bank could be compelled to take...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions - AC36506 - Sidorova v. East Lyme Board of Education - Due to budget cuts, the Board of Education laid off the plaintiff who was a tenured French teacher. She sued for...more

What General Counsel Should Know When a Company's Tenant Files for Bankruptcy

Your tenant files for bankruptcy-what’s your move? Debtors who are lessees under real property leases have certain rights regarding their lease under § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code. Essentially, the debtor has two options: 1)...more

Credit Bidding: Not An Absolute Right (And What Does That Mean?)

In re RML Dev., Inc., 528 B.R. 150 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 2014) – A mortgagee sought to modify a sale order to (1) modify the bid procedures and (2) confirm that it had a right to credit bid. The debtor obtained a court...more

New York Appellate Court Confers Standing on Assignee of Note Previously Discharged in Bankruptcy

A mortgage lender has standing to foreclose even when it obtains assignment of the underlying promissory note after the note has been discharged in bankruptcy, a New York appellate court has ruled. The case arose after the...more

Mistaken Date Reference in Security Agreement Costs Bank its Lien Priority

It’s a common occurrence – a mortgagor or grantor signs the security instrument a day or two in advance of the loan, or perhaps a note is re-signed a couple of days after closing to correct an error in the original note....more

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