Litigation

Arbitration Clauses Cannot be Used as a Vehicle to Evade Liability Under Federal Consumer Protection Statutes

On March 1, 2016, the Fourth Circuit refused to re-hear a February 2, 2016, decision in Hayes v. Delbert Services Corporation (Docket No. 15-1170).  In that decision, the Fourth Circuit reversed an Eastern District of Virginia’s decision upholding an arbitration clause on the ground that the clause was, in actuality,…

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Spokeo Scenarios: With Scalia's death, Additional Possibilities Cloud Resolution of the Standing Question

As an ongoing update to our coverage of the Spokeo case, today we look at what could happen in the case where, with Justice Scalia’s recent death coming after oral argument but before an opinion was issued, the court’s new composition has created some ambiguity regarding the outcome.  Given that there is an eight person…

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California Supreme Court Rules in Yvanova That Borrowers May Have Standing To Allege Certain Defects In Assignments

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This blog post was written by Steven Ellis, a partner in Goodwin’s Consumer Financial Services Litigation Practice Group.  Steve was one of the authors of an amicus brief filed in the Yvanova case on behalf of the California Bankers Association. Do borrowers have standing to challenge a non-judicial…

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Connecticut Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Statute Targeting MERS Documents For Increased Recording Fees

States have long imposed fees for recording land records documents, and until recently they have generally done so uniformly, without regard to who the parties to the document might be.  The Connecticut Supreme Court has, however, just upheld a statute imposing dramatically higher filing fees for MERS-related documents. In 2013,…

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Update Campbell-Ewald: SCOTUS Rules Against Defendant’s Ability to Moot Cases with Settlement Offers, But Provides a Roadmap for the Future

We have an update on Campbell-Ewald, one of the Supreme Court cases we were monitoring last fall.  While, contrary to our prediction, the majority decision in Campbell-Ewald, 577 U.S. ___ (2016) appears to deal a blow to companies seeking a mechanism to settle class actions effectively by offering complete relief to…

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Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Approves Settlement Agreement with Foreclosing Lender Over Objections of the Debtor

Often overlooked by lenders and servicers, sometimes striking a deal with the Chapter 7 Trustee in bankruptcy court, is the more prudent and cost effective approach to resolving frivolous lawsuits filed by defaulting borrowers in state court.  In Brumfiel v. Lewis, Chapter 7 Trustee, et al. (In re Lisa Kay…

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Permut to Speak at ACI’s 19th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement in San Francisco – January 14-15, 2016

David Permut, a partner in Goodwin Procter’s Consumer Financial Services Litigation Practice will speak on the panel ” Focus on Class Actions: New Trends in Certification Motions; the Latest on Early Resolution and Settlement Strategy; Recent CAFA and Removal Developments; and Reviewing Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez on Rule 68, Offering Relief…

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Supreme Court Again Confirms That Class Action Arbitration Waivers Are Valid, Even In California

Facing yet another issue involving the arbitration of consumer disputes, the United States Supreme Court on December 14, 2015 held that a class action waiver clause was valid even when the contract incorporated state law standards that would have voided the waiver. The decision continued the Court’s trend toward enforcement…

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Anticipating Decisions In Three Supreme Court Cases With Potential To Impact Class Action Litigation

The US Supreme Court’s October 2015 term includes three cases that may have important implications for class action litigation: Spokeo Inc. v. Robins et al., 13-1339, Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 14-857, and Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 14-1146.   In each case, the Court will consider a procedural question whose answer…

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Recent Class Actions Challenge Property Inspection Charges

From origination through final payoff, plaintiffs’ counsel look for claims in just about every aspect of the relationship between borrowers and their mortgage lenders.  Recently, scrutiny has turned to property inspections carried out during default servicing.  Plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed several class-action suits alleging that inspection fees violate mortgage terms, state…

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Potential PMI Pitfall: Recalculating PMI Termination Date After Loan Modification May Lead to Litigation Exposure

In August, the CFPB issued a compliance bulletin to clarify lenders’ obligations to terminate Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) charges under 12 U.S.C. § 4902.  One subject that the bulletin did not address—but which is somewhat ambiguous—is how to calculate when PMI must be terminated after a loan is modified. Unless a borrower…

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Class Action Scrutiny Of New York Loan Satisfactions Increases

**EDITOR’S NOTE:  This post was guest-authored by Goodwin Procter partner Joe Yenouskas and associate Alyssa Sussman.  Both are members of Goodwin Procter’s Consumer Financial Services Litigation Group.** A series of putative class actions have been filed recently in New York federal courts by borrowers alleging that their mortgage satisfactions were not timely…

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In Well-Reasoned Decision, Sixth Circuit Joins Eleventh Circuit On TCPA Prior Express Consent

On August 21, 2015, the Sixth Circuit issued its widely anticipated decision in Hill v. Homeward Residential, Inc., No. 14-4168 (6th Cir. August 21, 2015), which affirmed a jury verdict that found Homeward Residential, Inc. had plaintiff Hill’s prior express consent to call him using an auto-dialer.  The case is significant because plaintiff Hill…

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Servicers Beware: RESPA Transfer of Servicing Letter May Trigger FDCPA Initial Debtor Communication Disclosure Requirement

In Hart v. FCI Lender Services, Inc., the Second Circuit made it clear that servicers should pay close attention to initial communications with borrowers upon commencing loan servicing when it determined in an August 12, 2015 ruling that FCI Lender Services, Inc.’s (FCI) initial communication with a borrower was not merely…

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