Chapter 7 Mortgages

News & Analysis as of

Eleventh Circuit Holds that a Debtor who Elects to “Surrender” Real Property Cannot Oppose the Lender’s Foreclosure Case

In In re Failla, 838 F.3d 1170 (11th Cir. Oct. 4, 2016), the Eleventh Circuit resolved a split among Florida bankruptcy judges by ruling that a debtor who elects to "surrender" real property during its bankruptcy case cannot...more

Client Alert: Federal Appeals Court Rules That Bankrupt Debtors’ Choice to "Surrender" Real Property Waives Their Right to Contest...

Under Section 521(a)(2)(A) of the federal bankruptcy code, a debtor in a chapter 7 bankruptcy must file a statement within 30 days of the bankruptcy filing notifying the court, creditors and the trustee whether the debtor...more

Surrendering Your Property in Bankruptcy Means You Must Actually Surrender It

The title of this article seems self-evident. Lenders, servicers, and others active in the foreclosure arena these past few years know that it has been anything but. Borrowers surrender property in bankruptcy but,...more

Eleventh Circuit Rules that Debtors Who Surrender Real Property in Bankruptcy Cannot Oppose Foreclosure

On October 4, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that chapter 7 debtors who file a statement of intention to surrender real property in bankruptcy cannot later contest a foreclosure action, and bankruptcy...more

Ch. 7 Trustee Avoids Maine Mortgage Due to Incomplete Acknowledgment

Chapter 7 trustees’ success in avoiding mortgages with defective certificates of acknowledgement occurs with some regularity in Massachusetts. See e.g. In re Giroux, 2009 WL 1458173 (D. Ma. Bankr. Jul. 27, 2011). But it has...more

Helpful Cases for Mortgage Servicers Attempting to Comply with Mortgage Servicing Regulations After a Bankruptcy Discharge

Mortgage lenders and servicers face several regulations in servicing residential mortgages. There are requirements under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), the Equal Credit...more

Purely “Compensatory” Debts Owed by Attorneys to Clients (Which Are Not Disciplinary or Punitive Fees Imposed by the State Bar)...

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Scheer v. The State Bar of California (4/14/16 – Case no. 2:14-cv-04829-JFW) reversed the district court’s affirmance of the bankruptcy court’s decision that a...more

Lack of Reaffirmation Agreement Results in Finding That Bank Violated Discharge Injunction by Enforcing Post-Bankruptcy Loan...

In Venture Bank v. Lapides, 800 F.3d 442 (8th Cir. 2015), the Eighth Circuit found that a bank could not recover from its borrower and, in fact, had violated the post-discharge injunction by relying on change in terms...more

How Long Is Too Long To Reopen A Bankruptcy Case?

In a per curiam opinion that is not precedential but of interest to lenders who take mortgages as security, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided that the Debtor’s effort to reopen her bankruptcy case was too...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supreme Court Reaffirms a Chapter 7 Debtor's Inability to Strip a Lien Against Real Property

Reaffirming its 1992 decision in Dewsnup v. Timm, on June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bank of America v. Caulkett, No. 13-1421, once again ruled that a chapter 7 debtor may not void a junior lien under Bankruptcy Code...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

SEC Provides Additional Analysis Related to Proposed Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules - On June 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission provided additional analysis related to its proposed rules for pay ratio disclosure. The...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Out of the Money Mortgages Cannot be Stripped Off in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court held that a secured creditor in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is protected from having its lien “stripped off” even if the collateral securing its claim is worth less than the claims asserted by a senior...more

Supreme Court Update: Elonis V. United States (13-983), Taylor V. Barkes (14-939) And Bank Of America V. Caulkett (13-1421)

The Court handed down four opinions and a summary reversal to kick off the busiest month of the term. This update will cover Elonis v. United States (13-983), the much anticipated "Facebook threats" case, along with Taylor v....more

The Supreme Court Continues Stability In The Secondary Mortgage Market

On Monday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that junior “underwater” residential mortgage liens can “pass through” a bankruptcy case unaffected. In Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, the Supreme Court held...more

Wholly Underwater Junior Liens May Not Be Stripped Off in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Proceedings

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien when the debt owed on a senior mortgage lien exceeds the current value of the collateral, provided that...more

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