Archive for February 2017

Ninth Circuit Torpedoes FDCPA Class Settlement as ‘Worthless’

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a class action settlement as “worthless” for absent class members in a recent federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case. The decision represents another addition to the growing list of FDCPA and other consumer-related class action settlements facing tough scrutiny where absent class members receive minimal or no

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Fla. App. Court (3rd DCA) Holds Non-English Speakers Could Not Avoid English Language Contract Terms

The Third District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida recently reversed a trial court’s denial of a car dealership’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that because there was no evidence that the buyers, who did not read or speak English, attempted to learn or have explained to them what they were signing, or

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2nd Cir. Reverses Judgment in Favor of Bank Employer on ‘Remote Work’ Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

In a case involving allegations that a bank employer violated state and federal laws by not allowing an employee to work remotely from home when she became pregnant, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently vacated in part the trial court’s judgment adopting the jury’s verdict in the bank’s favor and the

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Fla. App. Court (3rd DCA) Holds Guarantors Not Joined in Prior Foreclosure Not Estopped, Equitable Defense Available in Guaranty Action

The Third District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida recently reversed a summary judgment award in favor of two noteholders seeking a deficiency judgment against the note guarantors who were not joined in a prior foreclosure action as to the collateral, holding that: (a) the guarantors were not estopped from challenging the amounts

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Should ‘Possible’ Changes in a Debtor’s Financial Condition Allow Modification of a Confirmed Chapter 13 Plan?

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recently allowed a debtor to modify his confirmed Chapter 13 plan based upon a mistake by the debtor’s counsel. The result of the modification was to reduce the plan to 36 months from 60 and reduce the repayment to unsecured creditors by 80 percent.

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9th Cir. Holds TCPA Revocation of Consent Must Be Clearly Expressed

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that under Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 194 L. Ed. 2d 635 (2016), a consumer alleged a concrete injury sufficient to confer Article III standing to pursue a Telephone Consumer Protection Act claim for alleged nonconsensual text messages. In so ruling,

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Fla. App. Court (2nd DCA) Rules Florida’s Notice of Assignment of Debt Does Not Apply to Deficiency Actions

The District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District, recently held that section 559.715 of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) does not create a condition precedent that an assignee of a mortgage loan debt must give notice to the consumer 30 days before filing an action seeking a deficiency judgment. A copy of

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8th Cir. Holds Trial Court Did Not Err in Using ‘Percentage of the Benefit’ Over ‘Lodestar’ in TCPA Class Fee Award Dispute

In an appeal involving the settlement of four separate class actions under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by electing to use the “percentage-of-the-benefit” method to calculate class counsel’s fee award, as opposed to

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8th Cir. Upholds Class Settlement in ‘Excessive Property Inspection’ Case, Rejects Attempt to Add Trespass Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s approval of a proposed class settlement in an action arising from a mortgage loan servicer’s practice of automatically ordering and charging for drive-by property inspections on delinquent borrowers, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion. In so ruling,

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7th Cir. Upholds Dismissal of Unlawful Data Retention Claim Under Spokeo

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that although a consumer’s suit against a cable service provider for failing to destroy his personal information was a substantive violation of the federal Cable Communications Policy Act, it failed to allege a concrete injury sufficient to confer standing. A copy of the opinion

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4th Cir. Holds Escrow, Other Principal Residence Mortgage Loan Items Not Subject to Chapter 13 Bifurcation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that “escrow funds, insurance proceeds, or miscellaneous proceeds” are protected by the anti-modification provisions for Chapter 13 bankruptcies as “incidental property” under the definition of “debtor’s principal residence” in the federal Bankruptcy Code. A copy of the opinion in In re Birmingham is available

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Calif. App. Court Rejects Borrower’s HBOR ‘Dual Tracking,’ SPOC Allegations

The Court of Appeals of California, Second Appellate District, recently held that a borrower failed to state a cause of action for alleged violations of the “dual tracking” and “single point of contact” provisions of California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR), Calif. Civ. Code, §§ 2923.6, 2923.7, because: (1) the borrower did not allege acceptance

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