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Showing 4 posts from September 2017.

Overshadowed and Contradicted: Third Circuit Rules Second Demand Letter Violated FDCPA's "Validation Notice" Requirement

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently reiterated how a debt collector may run afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") by sending a misleading follow-up, even if it served a compliant demand letter weeks earlier. More ›

Mortgages or milk - do you need to check your expiration date?

There are borrowers out there who believe that the Massachusetts Obsolete Mortgage Statute, M.G.L. c. 260 sec. 33, relieves them of their repayment obligations. This statute, amended back in 2006, provides that five years after a mortgage reaches its term (or 35 years after the time the mortgage is recorded where a maturity date is not specified) it will be discharged by operation of law absent the timely recording of an extension or affidavit. The 2006 amendment specifically applied to all existing mortgages. The law is supposed to provide clarity in conveyancing and protect borrowers if their mortgagee or servicer failed to issue a discharge of the mortgage after the mortgage reaches its term.

In Hayden v. HSBC Mortgage, the borrowers alleged that the statute should apply to their loan and the loan should be discharged by operation of law because five years had passed from the time the servicer had accelerated the loan. Mortgagees and servicers can rest easy, however, because the First Circuit rejected this theory outright. In a succinct and emphatic rejection, the court held that "[n]othing in the text of the statute supports the Haydens' assertion that the acceleration of the maturity date of a note affects the five-year limitations period for the related mortgage." Thus, a borrower's milk will undoubtedly expire well before his mortgage.

No Surrender: Massachusetts Appeals Court Preserves Foreclosure Challenges for Bankruptcy Petitioner

Like Bruce Springsteen, a Massachusetts bankruptcy debtor said "no surrender" when it came to his home. In EverBank v. Chacon, a panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued a non-binding decision that a debtor's "surrender" of real property in a bankruptcy petition does not waive defenses to an eventual foreclosure. EverBank had foreclosed on Mr. Chacon's home mortgage, acquired the property at the sale, and then sought to evict him through summary process action filed in Massachusetts state court. Mr. Chacon claimed that that EverBank did not comply with a HUD regulation that requires a face to face meeting prior to foreclosure rendering the foreclosure void. More ›

Take Note: Employers are Helping Pay Student Loans and Consumer Advocates are Watching Closely

A growing number of employers are offering student loan repayment assistance as a means of attracting and retaining talent. Industries like tech, financial services, and health services are among the early adopters, offering variations of the same general benefit:  the employer agrees to pay a certain amount—either a set figure or a percentage of salary—toward their employee’s student loan debt. Since student loan repayment benefits are relatively novel, the rules for both employers offering the benefit, and the student loan servicers administering it, are not yet explicit. More ›

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