Justia Banking Opinion Summaries

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court determining that Arthur and Jerilyn Gregg were not estopped from asserting that their son-in-law, Tyler McGregor, had no rights in their cattle, and therefore, First Dakota National Bank did not have a security interest in the Greggs' cattle, holding that the circuit court did not err.Tyler and Rebecca McGregor operated a cattle feedlot, and First Dakota was their lender. In 2015, Tyler agreed to feed 289 head of cattle owned by the Greggs. When First Dakota conducted an inspection of the McGregors' cattle operation, Tyler misled the bank into believing that he owned the Greggs' cattle. First Dakota later filed this declaratory judgment action seeking a judgment against the Greggs for the value of the cattle returned to the Greggs. The court held that the Greggs were not estopped from asserting that the McGregor had no rights in the Greggs' cattle, and therefore, First Dakota could not claim a security interest in them. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence did not support the first inquiry necessary to establish an estoppel claim. View "First Dakota National Bank v. Gregg" on Justia Law

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In 2006, the borrowers concealed, from their lender, their lack of equity in four Chicago properties. All defaulted and the lender went into receivership. As receiver for that bank, the FDIC sued the title insurance company that conducted the closings and an appraisal company that aided the transactions. The FDIC settled with the appraisal company and went to trial against the title insurance company, winning a $1,450,000 verdict, less than the $3,790,695 the FDIC wanted. The court granted deducted $500,000 from the verdict to account for the money the FDIC received from its settlement with the appraisal company.The Seventh Circuit affirmed but remanded with instructions to add the setoff amount back into the judgment. A statute telling courts to award “appropriate” prejudgment interest in FDIC receivership cases that blend federal and state law, 12 U.S.C. 1821(l), gave the district court authority to exercise its discretion and to look to state law for guidance. There was no legal error or abuse of discretion in denying prejudgment interest. Because of difficult causation issues, the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to amend the jury verdict to add more damages. The district court erred in giving the title company a $500,000 setoff. View "Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Chicago Title Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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In 2013, Nike and its subsidiary, Converse, brought a trademark infringement action under the Lanham Act against hundreds of participants in Chinese counterfeiting networks. The district court entered five prejudgment orders, a default judgment, and one postjudgment order against defendants, who never appeared in court. Each order enjoined defendants and all persons acting in concert or in participation with any of them from transferring, withdrawing or disposing of any money or other assets into or out of defendants' accounts regardless of whether such money or assets are held in the U.S. or abroad. In 2019, Nike's successor-in-interest, Next, moved to hold appellees—six nonparty Chinese banks—in contempt for failure to implement the asset restraints and for failure to produce certain documents sought in discovery.The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Next's motion for contempt sanctions against the Banks because (1) until the contempt motion, Nike and Next never sought to enforce the asset restraints against the Banks; (2) there is a fair ground of doubt as to whether, in light of New York's separate entity rule and principles of international comity, the orders could reach assets held at foreign bank branches; (3) there is a fair ground of doubt as to whether the Banks' activities amounted to "active concert or participation" in defendants' violation of the asset restraints that could be enjoined under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d); and (4) Next failed to provide clear and convincing proof of a discovery violation. View "Next Investments, LLC v. Bank of China" on Justia Law

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In this case questioning whether the addition of a definition of "lender" to the Maryland Usury Law during code revision effected a significant change in that law that lay latent for four decades before this case arose, the Court of Appeals held that code revision did not change Maryland law applicable to assignees of mortgage loans.Donna Kemp entered into a mortgage loan secured by a deed of trust on her home. The loan was later assigned to Fannie Mae, which contracted with the predecessor of Nationstar Mortgage, LLC to service the loan. Nationstar later declared Kemp to be in default. Kemp, Fannie Mae, and Nationstar entered into a loan modification agreement to resolve the default, but Kemp objected to the assessment of property inspection fees. Kemp filed a complaint, which the circuit court dismissed for failure to state a cause of action. The Court of Appeals held (1) the prohibition on property inspection fees applied to Nationstar as the agent of Fannie Mae; and (2) Kemp's complaint adequately stated a claim under the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act. View "Nationstar Mortgage v. Kemp" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiff in a quiet title action regarding a property subject to a mortgage held by the bank. The district court, relying on a statement in Milone v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 164 A.D.3d 145 (2d Dep't 2018), held that U.S. Bank's purported de-acceleration was motivated only by a desire to avoid the expiration of the limitations period and was therefore insufficient to de-accelerate. While this appeal was pending, the New York Court of Appeals, in Freedom Mortgage Corp. v. Engel, 37 N.Y.3d 1 (2021), abrogated the proposition of Milone on which the district court relied. Therefore, this intervening decision undermined the reasoning of the district court. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "53rd Street, LLC v. U.S. Bank National Ass'n" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the FDIC receiver (FDIC-R) and the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) dismissal of Lexon's Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) claim against the FDIC in its corporate capacity. In this case, Lexon filed suit against the FDIC-R alleging violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA).The court concluded that the district court did not err in sua sponte granting summary judgment. Although the district court erred in failing to notify the parties, that error was harmless. The court held that letters of credit are repudiable contracts for the purposes of 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(1); the FDIC-R repudiated the letters of credit within a "reasonable period" under section 1821(e)(2); and Lexon lacks "actual direct compensatory damages" under FIRREA. The court also concluded that Lexon failed to establish an analogous private liability and the district court correctly dismissed Lexon's FTCA claim for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. View "Lexon Insurance Co., Inc. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of the government against defendants as co-executors of the estate of Harold Kahn, in the principal penalty amount of $4,264,728, plus statutory additions and interest, for Kahn's undisputedly willful failure, in violation of 31 U.S.C. 5314, to file in 2009 a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts ("FBAR") for his two foreign bank accounts whose balances, at the time of his failure to file, totaled $8,529,456. The Estate contends that the district court erred in refusing to limit the per-willful-violation maximum penalty for failure to file an FBAR to the $100,000-per-account maximum set by the 1987 Treasury Department Regulation, 31 C.F.R. 1010.820(g)(2).The court concluded that the district court correctly ruled that the penalty limitation provided in the 1987 regulation, which had tracked the penalty provision enacted in a prior version of the statute, was superseded by the 2004 statutory amendment to 31 U.S.C. 5321 increasing the penalty maximum. View "United States v. Kahn" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against PNC Bank and PNC Investments for mishandling an investment account that belonged to plaintiff and her deceased mother. The district court sua sponte ordered briefing on the probate exception to federal diversity jurisdiction, concluded that plaintiff was "attempting to circumvent the normal probate process by bringing an individual claim against PNC Bank," and dismissed the case. The district court also held that plaintiff had no standing to sue.The Eleventh Circuit reversed, concluding that neither the probate exception nor standing doctrine divests the district court of jurisdiction over this lawsuit. The court concluded that the district court erred in dismissing the case under the probate exception because it can adjudicate her claims for damages against PNC without probating her mother's will, administering the estate, or disposing of the estate's property. The court also concluded that plaintiff is the real party in interest and has standing to bring her claims. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Fisher v. PNC Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the 732 Hardy Way trust, the denial of summary judgment to the Bank, and the dismissal of the Bank's claims against the HOA in a quiet title action brought by the Bank, concerning title to real property in Nevada that was subject to a HOA nonjudicial foreclosure sale. At issue is whether the Bank, as the first deed of trust lienholder, may set aside a completed superpriority lien foreclosure sale on the grounds that the sale occurred in violation of the automatic stay in bankruptcy proceedings.The panel concluded that the Bank may raise the HOA's violation of the automatic stay provision and that the Bank has superior title. The panel explained that the Bank has standing under Nevada's quiet title statute, Nevada Revised Statute 40.010, and established case authority confirms that any HOA foreclosure sale made in violation of the bankruptcy stay—like the foreclosure sale here—is void, not merely voidable, Schwartz v. United States, 954 F.2d 569, 571–72 (9th Cir. 1992). Therefore, the district court erred in holding that the Bank lacked standing to pursue its quiet title claim in federal court. The panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Bank of New York Mellon v. Enchantment at Sunset Bay Condominium Ass'n" on Justia Law

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In this case concerning the admissibility and evidentiary weight of documents and declarations in a foreclosure proceeding the Supreme Court affirmed the amended judgment and order of the circuit court granting Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and for interlocutory decree of foreclosure, holding that promissory notes are not hearsay.Plaintiff, U.S. Bank, brought this foreclosure action. The circuit court granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, but the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) remanded the case. At issue on remand was whether U.S. Bank possessed the promissory note when it filed its complaint. The circuit court concluded that U.S. Bank possessed the promissory note at the time it brought suit. The ICA vacated the circuit court's judgment, concluding that U.S. Bank lacked standing because it had not established it possessed the promissory note at the time it filed the foreclosure action. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA's judgment and affirmed the judgment of the circuit court, holding (1) promissory notes are not hearsay; (2) copies of promissory notes are not self-authenticating under Haw. R. Evid. 902(9); (3) under the incorporated records doctrine, business records may be admissible even absent testimony concerning the business practices or records of their creator; and (4) U.S. Bank was entitled to summary judgment. View "U.S. Bank Trust, N.A. v. Verhagen" on Justia Law