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New Class Action Claims Non-Compliance with Mortgage Forbearance Mandates

Millions of homeowners have signed up for a forbearance under the CARES Act, which gives homeowners with a federally-backed mortgage loan the right to obtain a temporary reduction or suspension of mortgage payments by way of a forbearance.  During the forbearance period, the financial institution cannot charge fees, penalties, or interest beyond the amounts included … Continue Reading

Mortgage Brokers File Class Action Against Leading Wholesale Mortgage Lender

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the nation’s largest wholesale mortgage lender, announced on March 4, 2021, that it would no longer do business with mortgage brokers who also worked with Rocket Mortgage (the online loan shopping and application tool offered by Quicken Loans) or with Fairway Independent Mortgage Company, claiming that those two rival companies “are … Continue Reading

The Fed Raises Concerns about Corporate Debt

We have previously written about the possible economic and litigation implications of mushrooming corporate debt. Now, the Federal Reserve has flagged some of those same concerns. In its semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress last Friday, the Fed expressed anxiety regarding the amount of debt taken on by American companies. Even “before the outbreak of … Continue Reading

ViacomCBS Seeks to Recover COVID-19-Related Losses from Insurer

Business interruption insurance claims keep coming, cutting across a broad array of industries. The entertainment and media sectors are certainly not immune from pandemic-related losses. Last month, ViacomCBS became the latest entertainment entity to file such a claim, suing its insurer, Great Divide Insurance Co., for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant … Continue Reading

Still Litigating the 2007-08 Financial Crisis: The Claims Keep Coming

One would think that, as we approach 2021, litigation related to residential mortgage loans originated and sold well over a decade ago would be ancient history. Nevertheless, some suits filed years ago remain active, and, even more surprisingly (and disturbingly), new lawsuits related to loans sold prior to 2008 may be on the way. Here … Continue Reading

What RMBS Litigation Might Tell Us about Future CMBS Lawsuits

When mortgage-related litigation, including residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) lawsuits, erupted after the last financial crisis (the Great Recession of 2008), the litigants recognized that some of their disputes presented issues of “first impression.” That is, the parties’ arguments required judicial analysis and interpretation of contractual provisions and other issues that had not been litigated in … Continue Reading

Legal Challenges Greet New Moratorium on Residential Evictions, Foreclosures

On September 4, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) imposed a moratorium on residential foreclosures and evictions through the end of this year. The move quickly followed comments by the Trump administration that it would take steps to keep renters from being evicted during the current pandemic. The administration described the steps as necessary to … Continue Reading

Minor League Baseball Teams Seek Major Victories In Suits Against Insurance Companies

Major League Baseball (MLB) is scheduled to begin its COVID-delayed season on July 23, but the MLB teams’ Minor League counterparts will have no 2020 campaign. Their season has been canceled. Many Minor League teams are now seeking victories in court, suing their insurers for denying them coverage under their insurance policies for business interruption … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Sparks Rapid Rise in “Cancellation” and “Refund” Litigation

A proposed class action filed in federal court in California on April 20 demands refunds for all fans who purchased tickets to Major League Baseball (MLB) games that have been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The suit, filed against MLB and online ticket sellers StubHub, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and Last Minute Transactions, may … Continue Reading

A Glut of “Opportunistic” Margin Calls: Are Creditors Moving Too Quickly to Seize Assets?

What can companies expect from their funding sources as COVID-19 does damage to the economy? In at least some instances, perhaps, opportunistic attempts by lenders to illegally take control of business assets. A real estate investment trust (REIT) in New York alleges in a new lawsuit that it has already fallen victim to that type … Continue Reading

RMBS Litigation Relating to Loans Sold Prior to 2008: Are We Finally Nearing The End?

The years since the 2007–2008 financial crisis have been marked with milestone settlements of claims against the major mortgage “aggregators” (sometimes also known as “investors” in the mortgage purchasing context), who then became “securitizers” or “sponsors” with respect to the loans that they purchased. In the years immediately following the crisis, aggregators often first faced … Continue Reading

With Consumer Protection Class Actions On the Rise, Is the Financial Services Industry in the Crosshairs?

Lawyers or business people who feel they have been hearing about a lot more consumer protection class actions lately have good reason for that feeling. A recent report by Lex Machina, part of LexisNexis, highlights an extraordinary increase in federal consumer protection class actions over the last decade. The number of such class actions almost … Continue Reading

Jurisdictional Lessons from Mt. Gox Cryptocurrency Litigation

Last week, on the heels of a significant decline in Bitcoin prices, Forbes reported that China’s Central Bank is set to launch the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency will be made available initially to seven of China’s largest financial institutions, including three banks and two financial technology companies (including Alibaba).  It is planned to … Continue Reading

Jury, Not Judge, Must Decide Meaning of Representations

Last month, New York’s intermediate appellate court reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of plaintiff MBIA Ins. Corp.[1] MBIA, an insurer of RMBS trusts and a common plaintiff in this type of litigation, had sued Credit Suisse, the sponsor of the trusts. The trial court had ruled as a matter of law that … Continue Reading

Lehman Brothers Seeks to Expand Lawsuits Against Loan Originators

Last week, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (“LBHI”) filed two new motions in its ongoing Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court litigation against approximately 130 loan originators and brokers: (1) an Omnibus Motion for Leave to File Third Amended Complaints Pursuant to Rule 7015 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (“Motion for Leave to … Continue Reading

A Decade on, Crisis-Era Litigation Still Bedevils Banks

Banks and other financial institutions might reasonably have expected that, 10 years after the collapse of Bear Stearns and the demise of Lehman Brothers, they would finally be free and clear of lawsuits spawned by the financial crisis. That has not come to pass. Nor does freedom from legal actions rooted in the events of … Continue Reading

Lehman RMBS Settlement Likely to Spur Additional Claims

On March 8, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York concluded a lengthy “claims estimation” trial to determine the appropriate final settlement price for a resolution of lawsuits filed on behalf of investors in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) created by Lehman Brothers Holdings prior to its bankruptcy in September 2008. The judge … Continue Reading

The Eighth Circuit Raises the Bar for Would-Be Indemnitees

Here is a situation that comes up quite a bit in the world of business contracts containing indemnification provisions, and in the insurance industry as well. First, a party (“Party A”) gets sued, or threatened with a suit, and settles the claims against it.  Party A then seeks indemnification from another party (“Party B”) for … Continue Reading

CFPB Arbitration Rule Eliminated by Congress and President

On November 1, President Trump formally did away with a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) arbitration rule that would have given consumers the opportunity to file class actions against banks and other companies in the financial services industry. The CFPB rule was released in July 2017. It sought to prohibit and eliminate bans against class … Continue Reading

New Wave of Lehman Litigation Appears to Be Imminent

Thousands of mortgage lenders across the country either recently received, or will soon be receiving, this document from Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. (LBHI). It is a notice of a motion to approve a proposed settlement of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) claims asserted by trustees and investors against LBHI over the last few years. The notice … Continue Reading

Minnesota State Court Defendants Win Partial Summary Judgment Over RFC and ResCap

Wednesday, February 1 brought a welcome development for the many correspondent lenders currently defending against claims filed by (or threatened with future lawsuits by) Residential Funding Company (“RFC”) and its successor-in-interest, the ResCap Liquidating Trust (“ResCap”). There have been three venues in which RFC and ResCap have been litigating, for years now, against correspondent lenders. … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Sides With AmEx, Reversing Lower Court Victory for DOJ

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, a highly influential appellate court sitting in New York, on September 26 issued a unanimous ruling with major implications for antitrust and unfair competition laws, the payment card industry, and merchants that accept payments by credit card. The Second Circuit reversed a district court win … Continue Reading
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