Residential Real Estate Constitutional Law

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Florida Federal District Court Dismisses Miami’s Fair Housing Act Cases

On July 10, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed with prejudice the Fair Housing Act claims in three suits filed by the City of Miami against mortgage lenders. City of Miami v. Bank of Am.,...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC35632- U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Foote - Second time is the charm. Defendant succeeded in getting plaintiff’s foreclosure action dismissed for lack of standing due to the inability of the witnesses to establish that the...more

Maine Supreme Court Decision Limits Scope of MERS' Ability to Assign Mortgages

On July 3, 2014, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling in Bank of America, N.A. v. Greenleaf, 2014 ME 89 (Me. July 3, 2014), significantly affecting the ability of Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc....more

Where Subdivision Access Is Uncertain, Approval of the Subdivision Must Be Contingent Upon Judicial Resolution

In the case of Shinn v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Clearwater Cnty., released June 17, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court covered some new ground and revisited some old ground....more

Property Reserve on Hold: Supreme Court to Review Eminent Domain Right of Entry Statutes

Just a few months ago, the California Court of Appeal handed down a significant decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court which nearly eviscerated public agencies' ability to make use of the statutory "right of entry"...more

Tax Injunction Act Bars Challenge to Local Demolition Tax

Recently, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied a challenge to a municipal tax on the demolition of real estate based on the strict enforcement of the Tax Injunction Act. This decision reinforces long-standing...more

Contamination, Underwater Mortgages, and the IRWA Annual Education Conference

Along with my colleagues Brad Kuhn, Ben Rubin, and Katherine Contreras, I'm here in Hartford at the IRWA Annual Education Conference. It's been an interesting few days as we discuss eminent domain issues in the shadow of New...more

California Investment Firm and City Team Up to Erase Mortgages Through Eminent Domain

If a California investment firm and the City of Richmond, California have their way, the mortgage industry may face a new threat: a plan to use government’s eminent domain power to seize homes where homeowners owe more than...more

City of Adelanto Halts Eminent Domain Efforts After Adopting Resolution of Necessity

Eminent domain litigation can be expensive. Not just the cost of acquiring the property (which is valued based on its highest and best use, and the "highest price" a willing buyer would pay), but the attorneys' fees, expert...more

Community Banking Excellence - Issue 2, 2014

In This Issue: - Another Perspective: Robert T. Braswell, President and Chief Executive Officer Carolina Bank: Mr. Robert T. Braswell is President and Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Bank. He has served in...more

Recent Cases Support Foreclosing Lenders against Challenges to Standing

The Florida Second District Court of Appeals recently ruled on yet another challenge to a note holder’s standing to foreclose based on lack of ownership of the mortgage. In OneWest Bank, F.S.B. v. Bauer (May 30, 2014), the...more

“Predatory Lending” Claims by Cities and Counties Against Financial Institutions Escalate in 2014

Cities and counties that have experienced increased foreclosure and vacancy rates in the aftermath of the housing market crash of 2007-2008, perhaps emboldened by recent court decisions, have recently filed several new...more

High Court Will Hear Religious Exemption Case

As reported in an earlier post, entitled New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal, the Third Department recently held that the Town of Catskill improperly denied a pagan religious group a real...more

Another insurance industry trade association group challenges the HUD disparate impact rule

We have been following the lawsuit in federal district court in D.C. in which two insurance industry trade associations have challenged the HUD disparate impact rule. The complaint in the D.C. action, which was commenced in...more

Another Supreme Court disparate impact case?

The U.S. Supreme Court could have its third opportunity since 2012 to provide clarity with respect to disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act and (by analogy) the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. After losing on...more

Federal Court of Appeals Rejects ‘Show-Me-the-Note’ Defense to Foreclosure under Michigan Law

A federal appellate court recently confirmed that, in Michigan, a foreclosing party does not need to hold the mortgage note to have "standing" to foreclose. In the recent case, an individual borrower faced with...more

California Federal Court Allows City’s Fair Housing Case To Proceed

On May 28, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held, without addressing the merits, that the City of Los Angeles has standing to pursue Fair Housing Act and restitution claims against a mortgage...more

Entry Barred: California Precondemnation Entry Statutes Declared Unconstitutional in Some Circumstances

Provisions of California’s Eminent Domain law known as the “entry statutes” have for decades provided a mechanism for a condemnor, prior to initiating condemnation proceedings, to obtain a court order allowing it to enter...more

Texas Supreme Court Allows Capitalization Of Interest, Fees, Escrow Items For Home Equity Loan Modifications

On May 16, The Texas Supreme Court held that the state constitution does not prohibit the restructuring of a home equity loan as long as the original loan met constitutional requirements and terms of the original extension of...more

Multiculturalism Within Condo Communities

Choosing a condominium means living in a community in close proximity to hundreds of people. In Canada’s multicultural society, this condominium community will likely be ethnically, culturally, religiously and politically...more

Legal Update: Government Precondemnation Entry and Inspection – A Review of Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court (2014)

There are four ways the government can enter onto private property: - It has permission of the property owner. - In an emergency (Tenth Amendment/police power). - It has a search warrant, based on...more

Trails-to-Rails-to-?: The Brandt Case and its Potential Impact on the Nation’s Trails

A recent Supreme Court case may have a far-reaching impact on many of the United States’ “rails-to-trails” biking and jogging paths. In March, the Supreme Court held in an 8-1 decision that rights of way granted to railroad...more

Indiana homeowner failed to prove lack of uniformity in the assessment of his property

Indiana’s burden-shifting statute doesn’t apply to uniformity claims, the Tax Court ruled in a recent decision in which it also held the Owner failed to show that the assessment of his home was non-uniform with those of other...more

Court Upholds Constitutionality of Pennsylvania Recording Statute

A class action suit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) in Pennsylvania will go forward after a federal district court ruled that the state recording statute is constitutional. The court ruled that the...more

When the Project Matters

Eminent domain presupposes that the government desires to acquire a property interest for a public project. The public project can be a road or a school or something far more exotic (think acquisition of an NFL team, as in...more

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