Articles Posted in Banking

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A trustee's acts in recording a notice of default, a notice of sale, and a trustee's deed upon sale in the course of a nonjudicial foreclosure are privileged under Civil Code section 47. The Court of Appeal held that plaintiff did not state a cause of action for slander of title based on the recording of those documents. Therefore, the court affirmed the trial court's order sustaining a demurrer to plaintiff's slander of title claim without leave to amend. View "Schep v. Capital One" on Justia Law

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From 1999-2010, Wilcox made loans to Hardwick. In 2013, Hardwick filed suit to recover usurious interest and prevent Wilcox from foreclosing on the property securing his loans. Wilcox countersued for breach of contract and judicial foreclosure. The trial court entered judgment in favor of Hardwick, finding that usurious interest payments made over the course of the relationship offset the principal debt and that Hardwick could recover $227,235.83 in interest payments he made during the two years before the filing of the lawsuit. Under California law, when a loan is usurious, the creditor is entitled to repayment of the principal sum only. He is entitled to no interest whatsoever. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting Wilcox’s arguments that, in a forbearance agreement, Hardwick waived his usury claim with respect to any loan payment he made before April 2012 and that the statute of limitations barred Hardwick’s claim with respect to any loan that was paid off more than two years before the lawsuit was filed.The court reasoned that the payments made before the two-year limitations period were applied to offset principal, so only the later payments were subject to recovery. View "Hardwick v. Wilcox" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Business Law

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When defendant HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (HSBC) notified plaintiff Stanley P. Berman in writing that HSBC was denying his application for a loan modification, HSBC told him he had 15 days to appeal the denial. Under the law, however, Berman actually had 30 days to appeal. Berman brought this action for injunctive relief under Civil Code section 2924.12 on the theory that “the denial letter . . . [wa]s a material violation of sub[division] (d) [of section 2923.6] in that [the letter] only provide[d] fifteen days for appeal.” The trial court sustained HSBC’s demurrer to Berman’s complaint without leave to amend based on the conclusion that Berman had not alleged a violation of section 2923.6. On Berman’s appeal, the Court of Appeal concluded the trial court erred: the denial letter constituted a material violation of section 2923.6 because it substantially misstated the time Berman was allowed by the law to appeal HSBC’s denial of his application for a loan modification. Moreover, the Court found no merit in any of HSBC’s alternate arguments for affirming the trial court. View "Berman v. HSBC Bank" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the Bank, alleging violations of the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq., and California's unfair competition law (UCL), Bus. & Prof. Code, 17200 et seq., fraudulent omission/concealment, and injunctive relief. The trial court dismissed the complaint with prejudice. The trial court applied the doctrines of res judicata (claim preclusion) and collateral estoppel (issue preclusion) based on plaintiff's prior unsuccessful lawsuit against the Bank for breach of contract. The court concluded that the Bank's demurrer was properly sustained without leave to amend where the TILA claim was not subject to claim preclusion or issue preclusion, but was time-barred; plaintiff adequately alleged injury in fact and had standing to pursue a UCL claim, but the UCL claim was time-barred; the fraudulent omission/concealment claim was likewise time-barred; plaintiff's request for injunctive relief necessarily failed as well; and the Bank's demurrer was properly sustained without leave to amend. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Ivanoff v. Bank of America" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Consumer Law

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This case stems from the simultaneous refinancing of a home equity line of credit by two different lenders in 2006, which resulted in a dispute over the priority of their recorded deeds of trust. On appeal, Bank of New York Melon challenged the dismissal of its suit against Citibank. The court reversed the judgment sustaining Citibank's demurrers to Bank of New York Melon's first and second amended complaints, that alleged all of Bank of New York Melon's causes of action were barred by the three-year statute of limitations in Code of Civil Procedure section 338. The court concluded, however, that Bank of New York Melon has stated a claim for equitable subrogation, which is not subject to the statute. The court considered all other theories in the first and second amended complaint to be variations of that cause of action, rather than independent causes of action, as they assert no independent right for which relief may be granted under California law. The court explained that the claim for equitable subrogation is not subject to the statute and is not time-barred. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded. View "Bank of New York Mellon v. Citibank" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs Andrew and Kathi Kalnoki (the Kalnokis) appealed a judgment dismissing their second amended complaint for wrongful foreclosure-related causes of action after the trial court sustained the defendants’ demurrers without leave to amend (case No. C073207, the foreclosure appeal). They separately appealed an order after judgment awarding attorney fees to defendants (case No. C075062, the attorney fees appeal), and an order disbursing funds the Kalnokis deposited with the court under Code of Civil Procedure section 1170.5 to delay the trial in an unlawful detainer action filed against them regarding the residential property at issue here (case No. C079144, the rental disbursement appeal). The Court of Appeal consolidated all three appellate cases for argument and decision. Finding that the Kalnokis failed to allege a cause of action on any theory, the Court affirmed the judgments dismissing the second amended complaint with prejudice. The Court also concluded the trial court properly awarded attorney fees. The Court found, however, that the court erred in disbursing to Wells Fargo the rental funds on deposit with the court. The Court therefore reversed the rental disbursement order and order that the funds be returned to the Kalnokis. View "Kalnoki v. First American" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a series of lawsuits challenging Chase's efforts to foreclose upon his real property. In this appeal, plaintiff challenges a judgment of dismissal entered after the trial court sustained the demurrer of Chase. The court concluded that plaintiff failed to state a cause of action for violation of the Homeowners Bill of Rights, lack of standing to foreclose, illegal substitution of trustee, and fraud. The court also concluded that the trial court properly considered the declaration of Chase's counsel, among other things, before denying plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. Finally, the court explained that principles of res judicata are fatal to the present lawsuit and theoretical future lawsuits seeking to vindicate the same primary right. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Gillies v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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The California Supreme Court's narrow ruling on a borrower's standing to challenge the validity of the chain of assignments involved in the securitization of her loans in "Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corp." (62 Cal.4th 919 (2016)) clarified what was the dispositive issue in this appeal, but expressly did not decide how to resolve it. In "Yvanova," the Court held a borrower had standing to allege that an assignment of the promissory note and deed of trust to the foreclosing party is void, not voidable; yet it did not decide whether a post-closing date transfer into a New York securitized trust is void or voidable. New York law, as interpreted by an overwhelming majority of New York, California, and federal courts, however, provided that defects in the securitization of loans can be ratified by the beneficiaries of the trusts established to hold the mortgage-backed securities and, as a result, the assignments are voidable. Following this precedent, the Court of Appeal concluded plaintiff Maria Mendoza did not have standing to challenge the alleged irregularities in the securitization of her loan. Therefore, the trial court's dismissal of the second amended complaint for wrongful foreclosure, declaratory relief, and quiet title was affirmed. View "Mendoza v. JPMorgan Chase Bank" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a borrower of a home loan, filed suit against lending banks, seeking an injunction to prevent a foreclosure. The trial court sustained the lenders’ demurrers and entered a judgment of dismissal. The court held that the availability of injunctive relief under the 2013 Homeowner's Bill of Rights (HBOR) is governed exclusively by its two provisions - Civil Code, sections 2924.12, subdivision (a)(1) and 2924.19, subdivision (a)(1) - in which the Legislature authorized the courts to interpose such relief into the nonjudicial foreclosure scheme. Neither provision authorizes a court to enjoin a violation of section 2924(a)(6). Thus, no injunctive relief is available for a violation of that section. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment. Furthermore, plaintiff failed to show a reasonable possibility of amending his complaint to plead any of the grounds for injunctive relief that the HBOR authorizes. The court also affirmed the trial court’s order sustaining without leave to amend a demurrer to a separate breach of contract cause of action. View "Lucioni v. Bank of America" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against his lender, Impac, and others, alleging causes of action arising from the nonjudicial foreclosure sale of his residence. The trial court sustained defendants' demurrer to the entire pleading without leave to amend, and thereafter entered a judgment of dismissal. The court concluded that plaintiff offered no citation to federal or California authority (other than Glaski v. Bank of America, which the court declined to follow) to support his assertion that a 2009 assignment is void because it was made after the ISA Trust’s closing date; plaintiff has the burden to prove that the nonjudicial foreclosure was wrongful; even if language in the deed of trust might have provided plaintiff with standing to assert a defense to prevent a foreclosure, it does not help him in this instance; the problem with plaintiff's claims is not that the deed of trust precludes him from alleging an invalid assignment, but that he has not sufficiently alleged an invalid assignment; and, because he has not alleged sufficient facts to establish that critical allegation, the proposed new cause of action would also fail as a matter of law. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Yhudai v. Impac Funding Corp." on Justia Law