Category Archives: Litigation Developments

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Stay of Litigation and Compliance Date Continued in Payday Lending Rule Lawsuit

Following the status report filed last week by the parties involved in the lawsuit challenging the CFPB’s Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule, the Texas district court faced with the case ordered that the stay of litigation and the stay of the compliance date for the rule’s payment provisions are continued. The … Continue Reading

Big Picture Loans Lands Big Win for Tribal Lenders in Sovereign Immunity Case

In a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit, Big Picture Loans, LLC, an online lender owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe (“Tribe”), and Ascension Technologies, LLC, the Tribe’s management and consultant company successfully established that they are each arms of the Tribe … Continue Reading

The City Has My Vehicle. What Now?

Chicagoans have found a new avenue through which to regain possession of their vehicle after it has been impounded by the City:  file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case. In 2018, 17,603 new chapter 13 bankruptcy cases were filed in the Northern District of Illinois. By comparison, in 2018, the Middle District of Florida, one of … Continue Reading

Student Loan Servicers’ Fight over Federal Preemption of State Regulation May End Up in the Supreme Court

In courts across the country, servicers are facing off against states and borrowers over the extent to which federal laws preempt state regulation of federal student loan servicers. Numerous states have stepped up their enforcement activity against student loan servicers and begun enacting new laws aimed at regulating student loan servicing, partially in response to … Continue Reading

First Federal Legislation Proposed Relating to Protection of Biometrics

Amidst privacy concerns and booming technological innovation, Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) have introduced a bill proposed as the “Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act of 2019” (CFRPA) targeting arguably the most “personal” biometric identifier—our face. While several states have enacted legislation relating to protection of biometric identifiers, this is the first federal … Continue Reading

Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper Provides Good News, Bad News, and Instructions to the Cannabis Industry and the Financial Institutions Serving It

For years, the “legal” cannabis industry – operating in states that have legalized cannabis under state law despite its long-standing prohibition under federal law – and the financial institutions that serve the industry have closely watched Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper. In Hickenlooper, Safe Streets Alliance, a “nonprofit organization devoted to reducing crime and illegal … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Rules Reverse Mortgage Companies Not Prohibited from Foreclosing on Non-Borrowing Spouses

Mortgagees of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (“HECMs,” more commonly known as reverse mortgages) obtained a significant victory in an important federal appellate court, which ruled last month that non-borrowing spouses are not protected from foreclosure by the statute authorizing the HECM program. In Estate of Jones v. Live Well Financial, Inc., the United States Court … Continue Reading

Florida Third District Court of Appeal’s Ruling in Favor of Reverse Mortgage Lender Signals New Positive Outlook for Non-Borrowing Spouse Issue

Reverse mortgage lenders received a significant victory in Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal last week when the court issued its decision in OneWest Bank, FSB v. Palmero. After previously ruling in Smith v. Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Inc. and Edwards v. Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Inc. that the surviving spouses of borrowers who had taken out reverse mortgage … Continue Reading

New Decision from the D.C. Court of Appeals Recognizes Additional Defenses to HOA Super-Priority Lien Statute

As we noted in last week’s blog post, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued a decision on March 1, 2018, that created a new wave of uncertainty for lenders with loans secured by deeds of trust on condominium units in the District of Columbia. In the Liu decision, the court held that a … Continue Reading

HOA Super-Priority Lien Law Preempted by Federal Statute

Given the significant role Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have in the national housing market, it is unsurprising that both have become embroiled in the Nevada HOA super-priority lien litigation. Since July 2008 – well before the Nevada Supreme Court held that an HOA’s foreclosure on its super-priority lien could extinguish a first deed of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets “Whistleblower” under Dodd-Frank, Foreclosing Protections for Those Who Fail to Report Issues to SEC

The Supreme Court has resolved a circuit split on whether Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protections apply only to employees who report their concerns to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On Wednesday, in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of limiting the Dodd-Frank Act’s definition of whistleblower to those who … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Asked to Rule on Whether Mortgage Retroactively Incorporates Federal Servicing Requirements

A recent appeal to the Fourth Circuit may shed light on whether Virginia borrowers can assert federal mortgage servicing requirements as a defense to foreclosure when the mortgage instrument pre-dates the federal requirement. In Stansbury v. Federal National Mortgage Association, borrower Hollie Stansbury argues that a 2011 consent order between her mortgage servicer and the … Continue Reading

Would the 7th Circuit Have Changed Its FCA Standard but for Peer Pressure?

The Seventh Circuit finally abandoned its “but-for” causation standard for False Claims Act (FCA) damages. The decision comes 25 years after the Seventh Circuit first adopted its controversial standard requiring only a showing that an injury would not have occurred if not for the conduct. The Seventh Circuit has long been the lone outlier among … Continue Reading

Jury Verdict Expands to $298 Million in False Claims Act/FIRREA Case as Court Assesses Treble Damages and Penalties

A federal court in Texas recently entered a massive judgment against a mortgage originator for financial crisis conduct, transforming an already severe $93 million jury verdict into a $298 million punishment, and issuing one of the first judicial opinions regarding how to assess penalties under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrows Application of Implied Certification under the False Claims Act and Establishes a Demanding Materiality Standard

The Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar reframes when falsity may be implied under the False Claims Act (FCA) and raises the bar for materiality under the statute. Though the Court upholds the controversial theory of implied false certification, Escobar limits it to situations where both (1) a claim … Continue Reading

In a Major FIRREA Victory for the Banks, the Second Circuit Overturns $1.27 Billion Jury Verdict

On Monday, the Second Circuit overturned a jury verdict and $1.27 billion penalty against Bank of America imposed under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C. § 1833a. Because the Government failed to demonstrate that Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (Countrywide) intended at the time of contracting to defraud Fannie … Continue Reading

Leaving Real Estate Investment Trusts in the Cold: How the Americold Case Could Preclude Establishing Diversity Jurisdiction in Federal Court

The Supreme Court’s most recent citizenship opinion, Americold Realty Trust v. Conagra Foods, Inc., could make removing or keeping a case in federal court based on diversity more difficult for a statutory trust with a proprietary or complex ownership structure. With Americold, the Supreme Court clarified a circuit split regarding the citizenship of statutory trusts. … Continue Reading
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