Litigation Developments

South Carolina Ruling Gives Lenders Flexibility on When to Foreclose in Face of Borrower LitigationIn a ruling that will provide guidance on when lenders must raise a foreclosure counterclaim in a borrower lawsuit, the South Carolina Court of Appeals in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Estate of Patricia Ann Owens Houck has held that foreclosure was not a compulsory counterclaim in a borrower’s suit alleging errors in origination.

Does the Eleventh Circuit’s Hunstein Decision Mean that the FDCPA Violates the First Amendment?The Eleventh Circuit’s far-reaching decision in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc. — which we previously covered on this blog — continues to raise questions for the wide range of industries that fall within the FDCPA’s definition of “debt collectors.” To put it briefly, the Eleventh Circuit held that a debt collector violates

On April 21, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision that threatens significant consequences for a variety of loan servicing and debt collection industries. The upshot of the court’s holding is that anyone falling within the FDCPA’s broad definition of “debt collector” violates the FDCPA when it communicates with

New York Clarifies Mortgage Loan Acceleration and De-Acceleration: Starting and Stopping the Limitations ClockOn February 18, 2021, the New York Court of Appeals’ consolidated resolution of four cases that answered two critical questions concerning the application of the statute of limitations in New York mortgage foreclosure actions: What constitutes a valid acceleration such that the six-year “clock” is started and what actions constitute a valid “de-acceleration” of a

CFPB Files Suit Against Payment Processor for Its Customers’ Alleged ScamsOn March 3, 2021, the CFPB filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against BrightSpeed Solutions, Inc., a third-party payment processor, and Kevin Howard, BrightSpeed’s founder and former chief executive officer. In its complaint, the CFPB alleges that between 2016 and 2018, Howard and BrightSpeed knew or

Why Your Cannabis Contracts May Be Unenforceable Even if State Law Says OtherwiseFew industries promise rapid growth equal to that of the cannabis industry, with one study projecting the industry could reach $30 billion in annual sales by 2025. This growth continues to accelerate as more states legalize cannabis for medical or adult use. But until federal cannabis laws are reformed, the illegality of cannabis at

Continued Payments by the VA Won’t Stop Qui Tam When It Comes to Purported Fraud on Veterans

In the latest instance of courts interpreting the Supreme Court’s landmark False Claims Act ruling in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. Escobar, the Eleventh Circuit recently departed from the trend of giving great weight in the analysis of whether a violation was material to the fact that the government continued payment, finding that other

Supreme Court Holds Mere Retention of Bankruptcy Debtor’s Property Is Not a Violation of the Automatic Stay but More Questions RemainFor the past few years, the federal circuit courts have struggled with the issue of whether a creditor retaining possession of bankruptcy estate property violates the automatic stay. For example, is a creditor required to automatically turn over a vehicle as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed, or can the creditor retain possession of

COVID-19 Mortgage Servicing Trends Report: 2020 Year-End ReviewOh what a year it has been in the mortgage servicing world! In 2020, our COVID-19 Compliance Roundtable met weekly to discuss emerging compliance issues under the CARES Act, federal agency guidance, state laws and orders, and the many operational hurdles regarding residential mortgage loans that servicers are facing. We’ve summarized the key trends and

Untouchable No More: Reinforcements Arrive for TCPA Defendants Battling the FCC’s Aggressive Expansion of the StatuteThe Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was signed into law almost 30 years ago when around 3% of the population owned cellular telephones and no one had heard of – let alone sent – a text message. Since that time, the legislature has substantively amended the TCPA only once to create a government debt exception.