Tag: foreclosure

1
COVID-19: Impact on Consumer Financial Service Providers
2
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Considers the Effect of a State-Mandated Default Notice on the Validity of Non-Judicial Foreclosures
3
Ninth Circuit Clarifies Amount in Controversy Standard Where Borrower Seeks Only “Temporary” Foreclosure Stay Pending Loan Modification Review
4
Massachusetts Title Clearing Act To Take Effect December 31, 2016 – Are you Ready?
5
Leave the “Tow Truck Guy” Alone: The Ninth Circuit Rules Foreclosure of a Deed of Trust Is Not Debt Collection
6
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. FHFA: Fremont Meets The Federal Government
7
HUD Extends Foreclosure Timeframes with Mortgagee Letter 2013-38
8
FHA and RHS Respond to Hurricane Sandy
9
Is It Illegal Under Federal Law to Opt Out Of Jurisdictions Exercising Eminent Domain?
10
CFPB Legislates Loss Mitigation Through Proposed Servicing Regulations

COVID-19: Impact on Consumer Financial Service Providers

A Summary of Federal and State Statutes, Rules and Orders

By David E. FialkowBrian M. Forbes, and Jeffrey S. Patterson

The coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic has been and will continue to be a major business disrupter that will have a substantial impact on the consumer financial services industry in the weeks and months to come. Notably, federal, state and local governments and agencies are acting swiftly and changing the rules by which consumer financial services companies are to do business in the short and long term. K&L Gates LLP (“K&L Gates”) has developed a COVID-19 Task Force to closely monitor these developments and is tracking them in several jurisdictions across the firm’s footprint. Below is a summary, current as of March 30, 2020, of key new and proposed statutes, rules, and orders that are likely to impact consumer financial services companies. Keeping track of these almost daily developments to foreclosure, eviction, debt collection, student loans and other business lines, which vary state to state, is critical for consumer financial services companies to respond to their customers. As with previous nationwide crises, how these companies implement and apply these changes will have a substantial impact on post-pandemic compliance, litigation, and risks. K&L Gates has team members assigned to each of the states listed below who are able to help answer your questions and help companies address ongoing issues associated with the pandemic. Please click on a jurisdiction below for more information:

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Considers the Effect of a State-Mandated Default Notice on the Validity of Non-Judicial Foreclosures

By Andrew C. GlassGregory N. BlaseJeremy M. McLaughlin, and Hollee M. Boudreau

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) heard argument on February 13, 2020, on whether compliance with a state-mandated default notice could, nevertheless, void foreclosure sales in Massachusetts. Specifically, the SJC examined whether the provision of the state-mandated notice has the potential to deceive a borrower where it describes a period for reinstating a loan that varies (to the benefit of the borrower) from the period contained in the mortgage.

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Ninth Circuit Clarifies Amount in Controversy Standard Where Borrower Seeks Only “Temporary” Foreclosure Stay Pending Loan Modification Review

By David D. Christensen and Matthew N. Lowe

The Ninth Circuit recently limited the availability of diversity jurisdiction for certain cases with claims involving mortgage loan modifications. Specifically, in Corral v. Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., the Ninth Circuit held that, where the plaintiff-borrower “seeks only a temporary stay of foreclosure pending review of a loan modification application … the value of the property or amount of indebtedness are not the amounts in controversy.” — F.3d —-, 2017 WL 6601872, at *1 (9th Cir. Dec. 27, 2017). Rather, to satisfy the amount in controversy requirement in such cases, parties must demonstrate that the value of the temporary delay in foreclosure exceeds $75,000, “such as the transactional costs to the lender of delaying foreclosure or a fair rental value of the property during pendency of the injunction” (in addition to any compensatory damages plaintiffs may be seeking). Id. at *5.

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Massachusetts Title Clearing Act To Take Effect December 31, 2016 – Are you Ready?

On December 31, 2016, the remedial provisions of “An Act Clearing Titles to Foreclosed Properties” (the “Act”) will take effect in Massachusetts. The Act is designed to clear legal title for Massachusetts homeowners who purchased homes with a prior foreclosure, by limiting the time period that former homeowners can challenge the foreclosure sale.  The Act should be seen as welcome relief to the industry, but as detailed below, the Act still has some limitations.  Indeed, like most rules governing foreclosure-related litigation, attorneys representing individuals that are the subject of a foreclosure action will inevitably try to find ways to challenge the Act and seek to avoid its intended and desired results.

To read the full alert, click here.

Leave the “Tow Truck Guy” Alone: The Ninth Circuit Rules Foreclosure of a Deed of Trust Is Not Debt Collection

By Andrew C. Glass, Gregory N. Blase, Roger L. Smerage, and Joshua Butera

The Ninth Circuit recently clarified when a trustee of a deed of trust acts as a debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). In a break from other courts of appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that when a trustee carries out the contractual and statutory requirements for foreclosing property subject to the deed of trust, the trustee does not act as a debt collector. The Ninth Circuit reasoned that in so acting, the trustee does not seek to collect monetary debt from the debtor. In so holding, the court broke with other courts of appeals.

To read the full alert, click here.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. FHFA: Fremont Meets The Federal Government

By: Irene C. Freidel

On June 2, 2014, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sued the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac in state court, under Massachusetts’ consumer protection statute (“Chapter 93A”) to force them to sell foreclosed properties to non-profit organizations at fair market value, so that the properties can then be re-sold or leased back to the former homeowner. See Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al., C.A. No. 14-1763 (June 2, 2014). Among other things, the lawsuit seeks a declaration that the GSEs’ current anti-fraud guidelines violate Massachusetts foreclosure law (M.G.L. c. 244, § 35C(h)), an order requiring property sales to non-profits in specific transactions, an injunction to prevent the GSEs from refusing to adhere to Massachusetts law, and an award of penalties of up to $5,000 for each transaction that the court determines constituted an unfair and deceptive practice under state law. The lawsuit follows a series of communications between the Massachusetts Attorney General and FHFA beginning in 2012 in which the state has demanded that FHFA direct the GSEs to change their anti-fraud “arms-length” requirements that apply to short sales and REO transactions. Read More

HUD Extends Foreclosure Timeframes with Mortgagee Letter 2013-38

By: Krista Cooley, Kathryn M. Baugher

On October 28, 2013, with the publication of Mortgagee Letter 2013-38, HUD provided a much-needed update to the schedule of claimable attorney fees and reasonable diligence timeframes for prosecuting a foreclosure on loans insured by the FHA. These updates expressly apply to both forward mortgages and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (“HECMs”).

As FHA servicers are aware, with respect to foreclosure on FHA-insured loans, HUD sets limits on the attorney fees that servicers can claim and requires servicers to prosecute foreclosure in a specific amount of time, referred to as the “reasonable diligence timeframe.” In light of the substantial changes in state foreclosure requirements in recent years, HUD’s guidance on fees and reasonable diligence timeframes, which was last updated in 2005, presented significant challenges for FHA servicers striving to meet reasonable diligence timeframes and recoup actual attorney fees expended in prosecuting foreclosures in connection with FHA-insured loans. The updates announced in Mortgagee Letter 2013-38 bring welcome increases for both claimable attorney fees and reasonable diligence timeframes in many jurisdictions.

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FHA and RHS Respond to Hurricane Sandy

By: Holly Spencer Bunting , Kathryn M. Baugher

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and the Rural Housing Service (“RHS”) have issued guidance intended to help homeowners with government insured or guaranteed loans who were affected by the storm. With regard to loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), the guidance is a combination of reminders about existing relief or insurance programs available to assist disaster victims and new policies designed to aid borrowers in the process of obtaining FHA financing for properties impacted by natural disasters. With regard to RHS-guaranteed loans, the guidance focuses on foreclosure and loss mitigation relief available to borrowers impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Read More

Is It Illegal Under Federal Law to Opt Out Of Jurisdictions Exercising Eminent Domain?

By: Laurence E. Platt

Is a refusal to make or buy residential mortgage loans from jurisdictions that seize loans through eminent domain a federal crime or a reasoned response to excessive government intervention? That’s the question that people are asking today in light of the comments of Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsom. Yesterday, he asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute those in the industry who advocate staying away from jurisdictions exercising eminent domain. Did he expect the industry instead to send thank you notes? Read More

CFPB Legislates Loss Mitigation Through Proposed Servicing Regulations

By: Laurence E. Platt

For those who wondered how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) would seek to convert portions of the global foreclosure settlement into federal law, last Friday’s proposed servicing rules provide an answer. The Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) amended the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) in several ways to address discrete loan servicing issues, such as escrow accounts, flood insurance, and qualified written requests. What it did not do, however, is address loss mitigation or foreclosure. Many thought that the Bureau would use its general authority to issue regulations prohibiting unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices to craft loss mitigation requirements, but that authority would not afford consumers with a federal private right of action. Read More

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