Articles Posted in Banking

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A Bank provided loans to owners of eight condominium units. All eight owners became delinquent on their loans to the Bank and failed to make timely payments on the property owners’ association’s (POA) assessments. The Bank foreclosed on its deeds of trust and purchased all eight properties. The POA demanded payment from the Bank for all new assessments on the properties it purchased and demanded that the Bank pay past due assessments. The Bank sought relief by filing a declaratory judgment action and an action for monetary damages caused by the POA’s alder of the Bank’s title to the properties. The trial court entered partial summary judgment in favor of the Bank, declaring that the Bank was not obligated to pay past due assessments by the POA on properties the Bank purchased at a foreclosure sale. The trial court certified its order for immediate appeal and reserved judgment on Bank’s slander of title count. The POA appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that it lacked the authority to review the trial court’s partial judgment because the judgment did not dispose of a distinct judicial unit, and therefore, it was not a final judgment for purposes of Mo. Rev. Stat. 512.020(5). View "First National Bank of Dieterich v. Pointe Royale Property Owners' Association, Inc." on Justia Law

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David and Crystal Holm filed a wrongful foreclosure action against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. for allegedly foreclosing on their home without right. The Holms also filed a quiet title action against Freddie Mac, which took title to the property after the foreclosure sale. After a jury-waived trial, the trial court entered judgment in favor of the Holms on their wrongful foreclosure claim, awarded them actual and punitive damages, and quieted title to the house in the Holms. The mortgage companies appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sanctioning the mortgage companies for their discovery violations; (2) substantial evidence supported the trial court’s conclusion that Wells Fargo wrongfully foreclosed on the Holms’ house; but (3) the trial court erred in awarding damages and quieting title to the house in the Holms because the mortgage companies had a constitutional right to have a jury determine the extent of the Holms’ actual and punitive damages on the wrongful foreclosure claim. Remanded for a new trial before a jury on the Holms’ damages for wrongful foreclosure. View "Holm v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

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In 2012, St. Louis County adopted an ordinance that implemented a foreclosure mediation program requiring lenders to provide residential borrowers an opportunity to mediate prior to foreclosure. Two bankers filed suit against the County seeking a declaratory judgment establishing that the ordinance was invalid. The circuit court sustained the County’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the County possessed the charter authority to enact the ordinance, the ordinance was a valid exercise of the County’s police power, the ordinance was not preempted by state law, and the fees associated with the ordinance did not violate the Hancock Amendment. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the ordinance was void and unenforceable ab initio because the County exceeded its charter authority in enacting the ordinance. View "Mo. Bankers Ass’n, Inc. v. St. Louis County, Mo." on Justia Law

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Property Owners filed a lawsuit against a Mortgage Company, claiming that, by preparing deeds of trust and promissory notes for the Property Owners, the Mortgage Company (1) violated Mo. Rev. Stat. 484.010.2 and 484.020 by engaging in the "law business"; (2) committed an unlawful practice in violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act; and (3) was unjustly enriched because it charged for services it did not perform or did not perform lawfully. The trial court granted summary judgment for the Mortgage Company. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the Property Owners did not dispute that the Mortgage Company did not charge a separate fee or vary its customary charges for preparation of legal documents, there were no disputed material facts, entitling the Mortgage Company to summary judgment as a matter of law. View "Binkley v. Am. Equity Mortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

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Appellant filed a claim against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), alleging that Wells Fargo engaged in bad faith negotiations of a loan modification and wrongfully foreclosed on a deed of trust. The trial court entered judgment for Wells Fargo, concluding that because Wells Fargo’s actions were not taken before or at time of the extension of credit in the original loan, and because Wells Fargo was not a party to the transaction when Appellant first obtained the loan, Wells Fargo’s actions were not “in connection with” the sale of the original loan. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) to the extent Appellant’s allegations related to the wrongful foreclosure, summary judgment was not appropriate pursuant to Conway v. CitiMortgage, Inc., also decided today; and (2) because Wells Fargo was not enforcing the terms of the original loan when it negotiated the loan modification, its actions were not “in connection with” the sale of the original loan and thus did not violate the MMPA. Remanded. View "Watson v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

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Homeowners filed a claim against Fannie Mae and CitiMortgage (collectively, Defendants) under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), alleging wrongful foreclosure of a deed of trust. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the basis that the alleged wrongful foreclosure of the deed of trust was not “in connection with” the mortgage loan. The trial court dismissed the complaint, concluding that the MMPA did not apply because Defendants were not parties to the original loan transaction and that the MMPA does not apply to post-sale activities that are unrelated to claims or representations made before or at the time of the transaction. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether Homeowners sufficiently pleaded that Defendants’ alleged wrongful foreclosure of the deed of trust was “in connection with” the loan so as to state a claim under the MMPA. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the sale of a loan lasts as long as the agreed upon services are being performed, Homeowners’ allegations of fraud and deception must have occurred “in connection with” the “sale” of their loan. Remanded. View "Conway v. CitiMortgage, Inc." on Justia Law

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Trish Carcopa purchased a unit in Parkway Towers, a condominium, and later executed a quit claim deed conveying the unit to herself and Nicole Carcopa. Nicole subsequently executed an adjustable rate note that was a refinancing of the original purchase-money lien. The note was secured by a deed of trust that was held by Appellant at the time of this dispute. Parkway Towers brought a petition to judicially foreclose on its lien, alleging that Trish and Nicole failed to pay their assessments and dues and asserting it had a first and prior lien on the unit. The trial court found Parkway Towers' lien was superior to Appellant's deed of trust and ordered Parkway Towers' lien to be judicially foreclosed. Appellant appealed, claiming Mo. Rev. Stat. 448.3-116 was unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous with respect to its application to determine priority between a refinancing deed of trust and a delinquent condominium association assessment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the statute was not vague and ambiguous and that Appellant's lien did not receive priority.View "Bd. of Managers of Parkway Towers Condo. Ass'n v. Carcopa" on Justia Law

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Appellants lost their home in a foreclosure sale. When Appellants failed to vacate the home, Wells Fargo Bank, the foreclosure purchaser, sued for unlawful detainer. Appellants raised equitable defenses and counterclaims concerning the validity of Wells Fargo's title. Wells Fargo successfully moved to dismiss the defenses and counterclaims on the ground that they exceeded the statutory scope of issues that may be litigated in an unlawful detainer action under Mo. Rev. Stat. 534.210. The circuit court then granted summary judgment to Wells Fargo. Appellants appealed, arguing that section 534.210, which prohibits a defendant from raising equitable defenses and/or challenges to the validity of the plaintiff's title in an unlawful detainer action, was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) statutory limitations on the scope of unlawful detainer actions are not unconstitutional; and (2) Appellants failed to raise a genuine issue of fact concerning Wells Fargo's right to possession. View "Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Smith" on Justia Law

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Hawthorn Bank appealed the trial court's entry of summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on Hawthorn Bank's claim that its purchase-money deed of trust being recorded after the mechanics' liens attached to the property. Hawthorn Bank asserted that purchase-money deeds of trust are always superior in priority to mechanics' liens under Missouri law and that the recording statutes, Mo. Rev. Stat. 442.380 and 442.400, do not govern the relative priority of a purchase-money deed of trust over a mechanic's lien. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, holding that because sections 442.380 and 442.400 provided that Hawthorn Bank's purchase-money deed of trust was not valid until recorded and because the mechanics' liens attached before it was recorded, the purchase-money deed of trust was a subsequent encumbrance that was inferior in priority to the mechanics' liens. View "Bob DeGeorge Assocs., Inc. v. Hawthorn Bank" on Justia Law

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David and Glenette Nothum sought a writ prohibiting the circuit court from compelling them to testify in a judgment debtor's examination conducted pursuant to Mo. Rev. Stat. 513.380. The court ordered the Nothums to testify despite their assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination and held them in contempt when they refused to do so, finding that the immunity granted to the Nothums pursuant to section 513.380.2 was coextensive with their constitutional privilege. The Supreme Court granted a permanent writ of prohibition, holding that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering the Nothums to testify, as the immunity in this case did not include derivative use immunity and, so, was not coextensive with the Nothums' constitutional privilege. View "State ex rel. Nothum v. Circuit Court (Walsh) " on Justia Law