Articles Posted in Ohio Supreme Court

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After Countrywide Home Loans Servicing filed a complaint in foreclosure against Appellants, the trial court granted default judgment in favor of Countrywide, and the property was sold at a sheriff's sale. Countrywide subsequently filed a notice of voluntary dismissal and then refiled its complaint in foreclosure. The trial court granted the order of foreclosure, rejecting Appellants' claim that the action was precluded by res judicata. The appellate court affirmed, concluding that until the order confirming the sheriff's sale is entered, the plaintiff may terminate the case without prejudice by filing a notice of voluntary dismissal. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a judgment of foreclosure cannot be dissolved by the filing of a notice of voluntary dismissal after a trial court has entered judgment on the underlying note. Remanded. View "Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, L.P. v. Nichpor" on Justia Law

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Defendant in the underlying action was a "mortgage servicer" that engaged in the business of serving residential mortgages of individuals. Plaintiff in the underlying proceeding contended that mortgage servicing is a "consumer transaction" as defined in the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA), Ohio Rev. Code 1345.01. Defendant countered that mortgage servicers perform services for financial institutions, not for borrowers, and therefore the transactions are commercial in nature and are not covered by the CSPA. The Supreme Court accepted certification of state-law questions from the federal district court concerning the proper interpretation of Ohio Rev. Code 1345.01(A) and (C). The Supreme Court held that the CSPA does not apply to the servicing of residential mortgage loans because mortgage servicing is not a consumer transaction under the CSPA, and an entity that services a residential mortgage loan is not a "supplier" that engages "in the business of effecting or soliciting consumer transactions" within the meaning of the CSPA. View "Anderson v. BarclayÂ's Capital Real Estate, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this appeal, the Supreme Court resolved a conflict between decisions of the Ninth District Court of Appeals and the Second District Court of Appeals concerning the effect of an individual retirement account custodian's filing of an interpleader action against competing claimants. The Court held that when the custodian of an individual retirement account filed an interpleader action against the parties claiming to be the beneficiaries of the account, the custodian waives its contractual change-of-beneficiary procedures, and a person who proves that the owner of the account clearly intended to designate him or her as the beneficiary does not also need to prove that the owner substantially complied with the change-of-beneficiary procedures in order to recover. Instead, the account owner's clearly expressed intent controls. Because this holding rejected the analysis adopted by the Second District Court of Appeals in this case and because there existed a genuine issue of fact as to the intent of the account owner, the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals' judgment and remanded to the common pleas court for trial. View "LeBlanc v. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC" on Justia Law

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Appellant (Bank) loaned money to Appellee (LLC). LLC later filed a putative class action, alleging that Bank had breached its contract by charging interest in excess of the rate stated in the promissory note. LLC claimed Bank was charging more interest than was agreed to by LLC as expressed in the note by charging a rate calculated by a 365/360 method rather than an annual rate. Bank contended the note fixed the interest rate according to the 365/360 method. The trial court granted summary judgment to Bank. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to which interest rate was imposed by the note. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated the trial court's grant of summary judgment, holding that the clause in the promissory note imposing the interest rate was not ambiguous, and fixed the interest rate according to the 365/360 method. View "JNT Props., LLC v. KeyBank Nat'l Ass'n" on Justia Law

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Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation commenced this foreclosure action before it obtained an assignment of the promissory note and mortgage securing the Plaintiffs' loan. Plaintiffs maintained that Federal Home Loan lacked standing to sue. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Federal Home Loan and entered a decree of foreclosure. The appellate court affirmed, holding that Federal Home Loan had remedied its lack of standing when it obtained an assignment from the real party in interest. The Supreme Court reversed and dismissed the cause, holding (1) standing is required to invoke the jurisdiction of the common pleas court, and therefore it is determined as of the filing of the complaint; and (2) thus, receiving an assignment of a promissory note and mortgage from the real party in interest subsequent to the filing of an action but prior to the entry of judgment does not cure a lack of standing to file a foreclosure action. View "Fed. Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Schwartzwald" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether a county sheriff can meet the constitutional obligation of providing notice of a sheriff's sale to a plaintiff by letter directing the plaintiff's attorney to monitor a website for a listing of the date, time, and location of sale. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court in denying plaintiff's motion to set aside the sheriff's sale. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that constructive notice by publication to a party with a property interest in a foreclosure proceeding via a sheriff's office website is insufficient to constitute due process when that party's address is known or easily ascertainable. Remanded. View "PHH Mtge. Corp. v. Prater" on Justia Law