Residential Real Estate Civil Procedure Bankruptcy

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Mortgage Recording Requirements: Tiny Technical Defect Strikes Again

Rogan v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (In re Partin), 517 B.R. 770 (Bankr. E.D. Ky. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid mortgages on three properties using his “strong arm” powers, arguing that they were improperly recorded...more

Bankruptcy Court Finds Debtor Entitled to a "Free House" Because Mortgage Foreclosure Complaint Barred by New Jersey Statute of...

Mortgage lenders should be aware of the New Jersey statute of limitations on mortgage foreclosure complaints. In In re Washington, 2014 Bankr. LEXIS 4649 (Bankr. D.N.J. Nov. 5, 2014), the United States Bankruptcy Court for...more

How Borrower Got 'Free House' In NJ Bankruptcy Case

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey recently held in In re Washington, No. 14-14573-TBA, (Bankr. D.N.J. Nov. 5, 2014) that the mortgagee and mortgage servicer (“the creditors”) are time-barred...more

HAMP and Section 75-1.1, Part 2

In yesterday’s post, we discussed when a lender’s failure to comply with guidelines under the federal Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) might violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 as well. We analyzed a very recent federal...more

BofA Underwater Mortgage Cases Hit Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by Bank of America regarding whether a second mortgage on an underwater property can be voided during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Both cases involve Florida homeowners who sued to...more

An Appeal of a Bankruptcy Sale Order May Be Moot Regardless of Whether the Seller Actually Had the Authority to Sell the Assets

A pair of recent decisions by the Ninth Circuit in In re Mortgages Ltd. underscore the power of the equitable mootness doctrine and the importance of obtaining stays of bankruptcy court orders to avoid having appeals of the...more

New Jersey Bankruptcy Court Holds That Mortgage Was No Longer Enforceable and Borrower Was Entitled to a “Free House”

Action Item: In light of this decision, lenders should ensure that foreclosures in New Jersey are filed within six years of the date of default. Failure to file a foreclosure within six years may cause the action to be barred...more

Cramdown Hurdles: How to Play the Classification Game (Or Not)

In re New Bride Missionary Baptist Church, 509 B.R. 85 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2014) – After the bankruptcy court denied confirmation of a debtor’s proposed chapter 11 plan of reorganization because there was no accepting...more

Automatic Stay: What Happens When a Case is Reopened?

U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Brumfiel (In re Brumfiel), 514 B.R. 637 (Bankr. D. Colo. 2014) – After a debtor reopened her chapter 7 bankruptcy case, a lender moved for relief from the automatic stay in order to continue with a...more

Proposed Changes to Proof of Claim Procedure Require Mortgagees to Provide More Information in Less Time

On August 15, 2014, the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure published a preliminary draft of proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Official Forms. If...more

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

Strong Arm Powers: What Can Be Done With An Avoided Lien?

DeGiacomo v. Traverse (In re Traverse), 753 F.3d 19 (1st Cir. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid an unrecorded first mortgage and to preserve the lien for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. In response, the...more

Fraudulent Transfer: A Case Where Strong Arm Powers Were “An Inch Too Short”

A Chapter 11 trustee sought to avoid a transfer of property under Section 544 of the Bankruptcy Code that occurred after (1) the bankruptcy petition was filed and (2) a chapter 11 plan of reorganization was confirmed. ...more

Nevada Supreme Court Clarifies Mechanic and Materialman Lien Issues

On August 7, 2014, the Nevada Supreme Court issued two opinions dealing with the priority of mechanics’ liens and the proof required for a materialman to establish a lien. These cases provide valuable guidance to lenders,...more

Affiliate Transfer: Fraudulent Conveyance or Unwinding Resulting Trust?

A chapter 7 trustee sought to set aside as a debtor’s transfer of her interest in property held jointly with her husband to her husband’s corporation as a constructive fraudulent conveyance. The bankruptcy court agreed that...more

Bankruptcy Beat: Connecticut District Court Suggests Automatic Stay May Apply To Non-debtor Junior Lienholders In Foreclosure...

On July 22, 2014, the Connecticut District Court issued an opinion, Eastern Savings Bank FSB v. St. Germain, et al, 2014 WL 3687740 (D. Conn. 2014), which could impact the applicability of the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C....more

Bankruptcy Sales and Leases: “Free And Clear” May Not Be So “Free And Clear”

In approving the sale of a Chapter 11 debtor’s assets, a bankruptcy court found that a tenant of the debtor was entitled to continue in possession of the leased portion of the sold property for the remainder of its lease. ...more

Remedies Against Receiver Must Be Exhausted Before Claim Against Assignee

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims brought by singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren and his wife Michelle Rundgren against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Chase). Since the Rundgrens’ claims...more

United States Bankruptcy Court Rejects Creditor’s Cost Claim Because of Defective Notice

Lenders should be aware of a recent Bankruptcy Court decision that barred a lender from obtaining certain costs when it did not comply with a notice requirement in a mortgage....more

Real Property, Financial Services, & Title Insurance Update

Foreclosure: reservation of jurisdiction in final judgment to determine amount of attorneys’ fees renders that portion of judgment non-final and non-appealable – BAC Home Loans Servicing LP v. Ridgway, No. 1D13-3853 (Fla. 1st...more

Section 75-1.1 and Mortgage Servicing: Lessons From a Federal Bankruptcy Court in New York

Claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 can turn up in unexpected places—including a bankruptcy court in Manhattan. Recently, a section 75-1.1 claim made its way from Hyde County, North Carolina, to the Big Apple, courtesy of...more

Eleventh Circuit Doubles Down on Lien Stripping

When the Fourth Circuit handed down its opinion in the case of In re Davis, which permitted lien stripping in “Chapter 20” proceedings, the stage was set for the Eleventh Circuit to expand debtor’s ability to escape from...more

Navigating Foreclosure in States with 'One Action Rules'

Late last year, the New York Supreme Court decided 172 Madison (NY) LLC v. NMP Grp., LLC, in which it examined New York’s one-action rule, a complex and often misunderstood rule that can have huge implications for lenders...more

Fourth Circuit Clarifies that Bankruptcy Proceedings Need Not Defeat Your Unperfected Mechanics Lien

The statutory mechanics lien is a powerful tool for contractors and suppliers aggrieved by an owner or prime contractor who fails or refuses to pay. Before a mechanics lien may be enforced, the Code of Virginia mandates that...more

Potpourri Of Issues In Foremost Building Bankruptcy Sale

In In re Scimeca Foundation Inc., 497 B.R. 783 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2013), a Chapter 7 trustee sought court approval for a sale of the debtor’s property and resolution of related issues over the objections of the debtor. In...more

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