Justia Banking Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Maryland Court of Appeals
Nickens v. Mt. Vernon Realty
At issue in this case was whether Respondents, a property management company, law firm, and mortgage servicer, committed an impermissible forcible entry when they enforced, through lock-out, the foreclosure purchaser's lawful possessory interest in a dwelling by the means of the common law remedy of self-help, as opposed to receiving first the issuance of a statutory writ of possession from the circuit court. The circuit court granted Respondents' motions to dismiss, and the intermediate appellate court affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the common law right of peaceable self-help permits a foreclosure purchaser to surreptitiously enter a residential property and change the locks while the resident is out; and (2) the court of special appeals erred in dismissing Plaintiff's conversion claim and in holding that Plaintiff had abandoned all personal property in the residence, as there was no adequate basis from which to conclude that Plaintiff abandoned his personalty or that Respondents acted reasonably in disposing of his belongings. View "Nickens v. Mt. Vernon Realty" on Justia Law
Hastings v. PNC Bank, NA
Petitioners were beneficiaries of a testamentary trust who sued the trustee, Respondent PNC Bank. Petitioners alleged that PNC improperly demanded that each beneficiary execute a broad release agreement prior to distribution and misapplied the provisions of the Maryland Code, Tax-General Article in calculating the amount of inheritance tax owed on the trust's assets and the amount of commission to which PNC was entitled as trustee. The circuit court granted summary judgment in PNC's favor, finding no legal impropriety in PNC's distribution plan or its calculation of the tax and commission. The court of special appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that PNC's actions were in accord with Maryland law. View "Hastings v. PNC Bank, NA" on Justia Law
Shepherd v. Burson
In 2008, the General Assembly enacted a statute to require that a foreclosing lender provide advance written notice to the borrower of its intention to foreclosure. Among the information to be provided in that notice is the identity of the "secured party," although the statute does not specifically define that phrase. In this case, there was more than one entity that qualified as a "secured party" under the commonly understood meaning of the phrase. At issue before the Court of Appeals was whether, in such a situation, a foreclosing party was obligated to identify all secured parties in the advance written notice to the borrower. The Court held (1) a foreclosing party should ordinarily identify, in the notice of intent to foreclose, each entity that is a "secured party" with respect to the deed of trust in question; (2) however, a failure to disclose every secured party is not a basis for dismissing a foreclosure action when certain conditions are met; and (3) under the circumstances of the instant case, because many of the enumerated conditions were met even though the notice failed to disclose every secured party, the dismissal of the foreclosure action was not required. View "Shepherd v. Burson" on Justia Law
Curtis v. US Bank Nat’l Ass’n
Tenant rented her residence from Landlord, who defaulted on the mortgage on that property. U.S. Bank National Association (USBNA), as trustee for a mortgage-backed security that owned that debt, foreclosed on Landlord's deed of trust and terminated Tenant's lease. In doing so, it sent conflicting notices to Tenant about her right under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) to remain on the property temporarily and filed a premature motion for immediate possession of the property. The circuit court granted USBNA's motion for possession. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) misleading and contradictory notices concerning a tenant's right to remain in a residence temporarily are ineffective to satisfy the purchaser's obligation under the PTFA; and (2) a motion for possession is premature when it is filed prior to the expiration of the period that the PTFA permits a bona fide tenant to remain in a residential property subject to foreclosure. Remanded. View "Curtis v. US Bank Nat'l Ass'n" on Justia Law
Thomas v. Nadel
In the recent decision in Bates v. Cohn, the Court of Appeals reiterated that a borrower challenging a foreclosure action must ordinarily assert known and ripe defenses to the conduct of the foreclosure sale in advance of the sale. After the sale, the borrower is ordinarily limited to raising procedural irregulatories in the conduct of the sale, although the Court left open the possibility that a borrower could assert a post-sale exception that the deed of trust was itself the product of fraud. This case arose out of the foreclosure of a deed of trust for the residence of Darnella and Charles Thomas by Jeffrey Nadel and others. In apparent hope of fitting their post-sale exceptions within the question left open in Bates, the Thomases alleged certain defects in the chain of title of the note evidencing their debt and characterized them as a "fraud on the judicial system." The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the alleged defects did not establish that the Thomases' deed of trust was the product of fraud. View "Thomas v. Nadel" on Justia Law
Gomez v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc.
At issue in this appeal was whether the Maryland Credit Services Businesses Act (CSBA) applies to a tax preparer who receives payment from a lending bank for facilitating a consumer's obtention of a refund anticipation loan (RAL) where the tax preparer receives no direct payment from the consumer for this service. In this case, the circuit court dismissed Consumer's CSBA claim for failure to state a claim, concluding that the General Assembly enacted the CSBA to regulate credit repair agencies and not RAL facilitators. The court of special appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the plain language of the CSBA most logically is understood as reflecting the legislative intent that the "payment of money or other valuable consideration" in return for credit services flow directly from the consumer to the credit service business; and (2) therefore, under the CSBA, Tax Preparer in this case was not a "credit services business" nor a "consumer"; and (3) accordingly, the CSBA did not apply in this case. View "Gomez v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc." on Justia Law
Polek v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank
The claims in these consolidated cases were largely identical in that they shared similar allegations of violations of the Maryland Secondary Mortgage Loan Law (SMLL), the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (CPA), and common law breach of contract. Appellees in these cases were mortgage companies, who were assignees of the original lenders, and Appellants were individual borrowers. The Supreme Court affirmed the dismissals of each of the cases by the circuit courts, holding (1) the SMLL does not restrict a lender to a single loan origination fee, as long as the aggregate fees charged and collected do not exceed the statutory maximum; (2) Appellees were not required by the SMLL to provide borrowers, who did not intend to use the proceeds of their secondary mortgage loans for commercial purposes, a disclosure form designed expressly to advise commercial borrowers only under the SMLL; and (3) certain Appellants failed to support sufficiently their allegations of breach of contract, CPA violations, and claims in accounting with specific facts.
Anderson v. Burson
Petitioners defaulted on their refinanced home mortgage because of financial hardships. Faced with foreclosure, Petitioners initiated a request to enjoin the foreclosure action filed by Respondents. Respondents, the substitute trustees under the mortgage and Deutsche Bank, possessed and sought to enforce an under-indorsed mortgage note, which, prior to coming into their possession, was transferred three times intermediately, bundled with a multitude of other mortgages, securitized, lost, and then discovered before the ultimate evidentiary hearing leading to the foreclosure sale. The trial court denied injunctive relief to Petitioners, and the court of special appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Respondents were nonholders in possession and entitled to enforce the note and deed of trust through foreclosure.