Residential Real Estate Bankruptcy

Read Residential Real Estate law updates, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:
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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

HOA Super Priority Legal Battles Continue in the Silver State: What Senate Bill 306 Means for Nevada HOAs, Lenders and Homeowners

In 1991, the Nevada Legislature enacted the Uniform Common-Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) which had been promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) (the Statute). This law provides...more

Naked Liens – Stripping Prohibited

In June, the US Supreme Court decided the case of debtors in bankruptcy desirous of stripping off a lender’s real estate lien that was fully in excess of the fair market value of the real estate. The Supreme Court unanimously...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

RMBS Suit Against WMC Mortgage LLC Dismissed as Time-Barred - On July 10, 2015, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York granted defendant WMC Mortgage LLC's motion for judgment on the pleadings in an...more

Claim Amount: It Pays To Pay Attention

In re Walker, 526 B.R. 187 (E.D. La. 2015) – The bankruptcy court (1) denied a mortgage lender’s request to file a late amendment to a proof of claim that had been filed on its behalf by the debtor and (2) confirmed the...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Homeowner's Wrongful Foreclosure Claims

On July 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review of Boyce v. T.D. Service Company (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 429. (Supreme Court Case No. S226267.) In Boyce, the Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff's wrongful...more

Home Sweet Homestead

Suppose a debtor denies owning a home and then gives a false address so creditors don’t find out about the home. Can the debtor still claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy?...more

Florida Court Rules Borrowers Who Surrender Property in Bankruptcy Can't Later Take it Back

Thanks to several recent United States Bankruptcy Court decisions in Florida, mortgage servicers should now expect borrowers who surrender their real property in bankruptcy to not contest foreclosure later. Since the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Resolves Uncertainty Regarding Junior Mortgage Liens in Chapter 7 Proceedings

A recent U.S. Supreme Court case resolves uncertainty as to whether Bankruptcy Code Section 506(d) allows Chapter 7 Bankruptcy debtors to "strip off" (void) junior mortgage liens that are wholly underwater. That uncertainty...more

Foreclosed Property: Related Rights May Be Tricky

Cooper v. WPD Polar Ridge, LLC (In re Poplar Ridge, LLC), 526 B.R. 147 (W.D. N.C. 2015) – After a developer defaulted, the trustee under a deed of trust held a pre-petition foreclosure sale.  The issue was whether the...more

US Supreme Court Decision in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett

In a 9-0 decision released on June 1, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled, in Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, 135 S. Ct. 1995 (2015), that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien...more

Recording Errors: A Typo Is Not Always Fatal

Deirdra Renee Gause v. Citifinancial Services, Inc. (In re Deirdra Renee Gause), 525 B.R. 35 (Bankr. M.D. N.C. 2014) – A chapter 13 debtor sought a court determination that a mortgage loan was unsecured because there was...more

Recent Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Holds That Underwater Mortgages in a Chapter 7 Cannot be “Stripped off"

The Issue and Background - Debtors David Caulkett and Edelmiro Toledo-Cardona (“Debtors”) each filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief with “underwater” junior mortgages held by Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank”). In other...more

Distressed Downloads - June 2015

A Battle in the Making in the Oil and Gas Sector: Second Lien vs. High Yield Debt - In the oil and gas industry, there is a storm brewing between holders of second lien debt and unsecured high yield bonds. These...more

Cramdown Hurdles Round 3: Try, Try Again

In re Ramz Real Estate Co., LLC, 510 B.R. 712 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2013) – An undersecured mortgagee objected to a debtor’s proposed plan of reorganization on several grounds, including that (1) the plan was not approved by...more

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