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Showing 23 posts in Mortgage.

A Reminder for Borrowers: Post-Discharge Communications by Creditor Must Coerce or Harass in Order to Violate Bankruptcy Law

In Kirby v. 21 Mortg. Corp., the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel examined the Kirbys' claim that the 19 written communications they received from their mortgage holder following their Chapter 7 discharge violated the Bankruptcy Code 524(a)(2)'s injunction. The Kirbys further claimed bankruptcy discharge violations arising from their mortgage holder's delivery of an escrow account disclosure, short sale letter, cash-for-keys letter, and right to cure notice for a total of 26 post-discharge bankruptcy communications. Below, we take a closer look at the decision and its comprehensive review of bankruptcy discharge law along with the process for determining whether a post-discharge correspondence violates the bankruptcy code's injunction. More ›

SCOTUS Determines Foreclosure Firm is Not a Debt Collector Under the FDCPA's Primary Definition

Less than three months after hearing oral arguments in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, Case No. 17-1307, the United States Supreme Court held, in a 9-0 decision, that a business engaged in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings is not a "debt collector" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA, "the Act"), except for the limited prohibitions set forth in 1692(f)(6). The decision provides helpful guidance to law firms and loan servicers who pursue nonjudicial foreclosures. More ›

First Circuit Concludes that "Potentially Deceptive" Language Added to Default Notice May Void Foreclosure Sale in Massachusetts

In Thompson v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held a foreclosure was potentially void where terms in the lender's default notice arguably conflicted with terms in Paragraph 19 of the Mortgage. Although Chase's notice of default provided the Thompsons with the disclosures required under Paragraph 22 of the Mortgage, Chase's default notice further stated that the Thompsons "could still avoid foreclosure by paying the total past-due amount before a foreclosure sale takes place." The First Circuit interpreted this additional language as potentially misleading, because advising borrowers that they could make payment up to the time of the foreclosure sale differed from the Mortgage's Paragraph 19, which only allowed a reinstatement payment five days before the sale of the Property. More ›

SCOTUS to Decide Whether Non-Judicial Mortgage Foreclosures are Subject to the FDCPA

For mortgage servicers and foreclosure firms, yesterday's oral argument before the Supreme Court in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, U.S. Supreme Court, 17-1307 and the upcoming decision, could be a game changer. At issue: a split in the federal circuits over whether the non-judicial foreclosure of a mortgage constitutes debt collection, as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. More ›

New York Court Slams Door on Lender's Revocation of Acceleration of Entire Mortgage Debt by Voluntary Discontinuance—but Leaves Latch Ajar

The State of New York's Appellate Division for the Second Department has now addressed the issue of whether a lender's voluntary discontinuance of a judicial foreclosure action, whether by court order or stipulation of the parties, is sufficient evidence of a lender's intent to revoke the acceleration of the entire mortgage debt. Unfortunately for mortgage lenders, the court determined voluntary discontinuance is not sufficient. More ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

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 ›

Despite Acceleration of Debt Through Prior Dismissed Foreclosure Action, Bankruptcy Petition Tolls Statute of Limitations on Subsequent Action

In Lubonty v. U.S. Bank National Association, a mortgagor sought to void a mortgage loan claiming that the six-year statute of limitations to foreclose had expired. The mortgagor had commenced multiple bankruptcy proceedings that trigged automatic stays and prevented foreclosure from proceeding for approximately four and a half years. New York law, CPLR § 204, extends the statute of limitations "[w]here the commencement of an action has been stayed by a court or by statutory prohibition," and the trial court held that the six-year statute of limitations was extended by the time period during which the foreclosure was stalled through successive bankruptcy petitions. More ›

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