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Another Court Refuses Lost Note Status to a Successor Lender

Last year, we reported on a Massachusetts Land Court decision, which interpreted Uniform Commercial Code section 3-309 to conclude that a mortgagee cannot foreclose in reliance upon a lost note affidavit, because the 1990 version of UCC 3-309 requires the party seeking to enforce the note demonstrate possession prior to its loss. 32 states remain under the 1990 version, and recently the Rhode Island Supreme Court joined decisions that prohibit enforcement of a lost note under this outdated version of the UCC. In SMS Fin. v. Corsetti, SMS Financial sued to enforce default on a note that was lost by a prior transferee. Sovereign Bank had loaned the defendants $1 million in exchange for a promissory note and a mortgage on property located at 385 South Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Following default and foreclosure, the defendants issued to Sovereign a new promissory note to repay the $200,000 deficiency on the original loan. Sovereign subsequently assigned its interest in the loan to SMS Financial; but, Sovereign had lost the original note so it delivered to SMS a lost note affidavit and an allonge. SMS filed suit against the defendants to collect on breach of the note, but the Superior Court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants because SMS could not enforce the lost note. More ›

Debt Collection Industry Achieves Important Federal Court Wins

In a recent client alert, Hinshaw's Consumer Financial Services team recounted a series of notable federal court decisions they secured on behalf of debt collector clients in recent months. These included multiple wins at the Third and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, as well federal districts in Florida and Illinois.

The decisions included affirmation of the need to stay within the scope and original intent of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a personal jurisdiction ruling in favor of an officer of a debt collection company, and expiration dates for settlement offers, along with a memorable win via a successful Rule 11 motion that sought attorneys' fees and costs due to bad faith actions by prolific and familiar plaintiff's counsel.

With the kind permission of Hinshaw's clients, the alert describes in detail seven of these decisions, several of which establish important new precedent favorable to the industry.

Read the alert on the Hinshaw website

New York is Split on Whether Notice of Default Letters Trigger the Statute of Limitations

In Milone v. US Bank, N.A., a New York intermediate appellate court held that a letter to a borrower stating that the failure to cure a mortgage loan default "will result in acceleration" does not start the clock on the statute of limitations to foreclose and recover the entire debt. This ruling differs from that of another New York intermediate appellate court, which had ruled otherwise, setting up the possibility of the New York Court of Appeals weighing in on a key issue in New York foreclosure actions. More ›

American Pipe Clarified: Statute of Limitations for Class Actions not tolled by a Prior Motion for Class Certification

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court held on June 11, 2018 that a pending motion for class certification does not toll the statute of limitations for the filing of a new class action lawsuit by a putative class member. Writing for the majority in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly emphasized that the "efficiency and economy of litigation" is not promoted by allowing less than diligent plaintiffs to file a new, but time-barred, class action lawsuit. Clarifying the Court's prior holding in American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), Justice Ginsburg wrote that "[e]ndless tolling is not the result envisioned by American Pipe." More ›

ACA International Continues Setting Precedent Regarding Autodialers: Second and Third Circuits Follow Suit in Adopting a Narrowed Definition

The Second Circuit, in King v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., and the Third Circuit, in Dominguez v. Yahoo!, Inc., relied upon the D.C. Circuit's decision in ACA International v. FCC in limiting the definition of an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Dominguez found that Yahoo's text message system did not fit the definition of autodialer, while King emphasized that only a device that currently has the ability to perform autodialing functions can qualify as an autodialer system. More ›

Mortgage Holder Allowed to Proceed with Second Foreclosure Action after the First was dismissed with Prejudice

In Federal National Mortgage Association v. Thompson, the Wisconsin Supreme Court permitted a lender to pursue a second judicial foreclosure action after the first case was dismissed with prejudice. In the first foreclosure action, the lower court agreed with borrower Cory Thompson that his lender had failed to present evidence that a notice of intent to accelerate was mailed and that the servicer was in possession of the original note. After an unsuccessful appeal of the dismissal, the lender sent Thompson a new notice of intent to accelerate payment of the note and filed a second foreclosure action when no payments were received in response to the letter. Following trial of the second foreclosure action, the lower court granted judgment in favor of the lender. Thompson appealed, asserting that claim preclusion barred the second action. More ›

Governor Cuomo Mandates Compliance by Credit Reporting Agencies with Sweeping New Cybersecurity Requirements

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a final regulation that requires credit reporting agencies doing business in New York to register annually with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and also to comply with accompanying cybersecurity regulations, including the implementation of a cybersecurity program consistent with the requirements already in place for banks, insurance companies and other financial services institutions. The purpose of the new regulation is to protect New Yorkers from data breaches, such as the Equifax breach which exposed the private data of millions of individuals. More ›

Is CFPB's Constitutionality Headed for the U.S. Supreme Court?

At the close of a 108 page decision filed in response to motions to dismiss a CFPB enforcement action, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. RD Legal Funding, LLC, C.A. No. 17-cv-890, Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York (within Second Circuit jurisdiction) granted the motions by concluding the CFPB's structure was unconstitutional. This is significant because the D.C. Circuit had determined en banc earlier this year that the CFPB was constitutional in PHH Corp. v. CFPB. More ›

Mortgage Creditors Confront Five Year Extension of Mandatory Pre-Foreclosure Mediation Process in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Senate recently approved a five-year extension of R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-27-3.2, which had established a mandatory mediation program any out-of-state mortgagee must follow before initiating foreclosure on owner-occupied, residential property. The current law is set to expire on July 1, 2018. If approved by the House, Senate Bill 2270 will extend the expiration date to July 1, 2023. Companion legislation, House Bill 7385, which sought to repeal the sunset clause thereby removing rather than extending the expiration date, has stalled. Rhode Island Banking Regulation 5, which clarifies mortgagees' duties under § 34-27-3.2 and the consequences of a mortgagee's failure to comply with the law and regulation, would likewise cease if the law expires. More ›

Congress Waters Down Dodd-Frank for Small and Regional Banks, Updates Consumer Protections

After much anticipation, Senate bill 2155—which rolls back major aspects of the Dodd-Frank law—was approved by Congress and was signed into law by President Trump.

Among the most notable changes, the legislation waters down regulations for small and regional banks. The threshold for banks "too big to fail" will be raised from $50 billion in assets to $250 billion, so that fewer than ten major U.S. banks will now be subject to Dodd-Frank's strictest regulations, including the Federal Reserve's stress test.

While the bill is widely regarded as regulatory roll back, the legislation also updates certain consumer protections, mostly regarding credit reports and student loans. More ›

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