Justia Banking Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Rhode Island Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court confirming the judicial foreclosure of Defendant's home in favor of Plaintiff, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, holding that the superior court did not err.On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial justice erred by confirming the foreclosure sale because she had not been provided a copy of a notice of foreclosure counseling at least forty-five days prior to receiving the certified letter and that Plaintiff foreclosed the property without holding the note or the mortgage. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial justice did not err in confirming the judicial foreclosure sale; and (2) because Plaintiff had been assigned the mortgage prior to the foreclosure sale it did not need to hold the note in order to foreclose on the property. View "Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Medina" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Citizens Bank, N.A. arising from two delinquent student loans, holding that the superior court did not err.In 2007, Defendant entered into two separate student loan agreements, one of which Defendant received from Charter One Bank, which later changed its name to Citizens Bank, N.A. In 2007, Citizens Bank filed this action seeking damages for the remaining amount due on the loans. After a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Citizens Bank. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant's arguments on appeal were without merit. View "Citizens Bank, N.A. v. Palermo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff, Bank of America, in this consolidated appeal, holding that the hearing justice did not err.Defendants were the sole principles of an LLC. The LLC executed a promissory note to Plaintiff secured by a first-position mortgage on the property. On the same day, Defendants executed a guaranty of the loan agreement. When the LLC failed to pay the note, Plaintiff filed complaints in Connecticut Superior Court and in Rhode Island Superior Court seeking to foreclose on the property and arguing that Defendants were jointly and severally liable for the indebtedness due under their guaranty. In both actions, final judgment was entered in favor of Plaintiff. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the hearing justice did not err when he (1) granted Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment as to Defendants' liability on the guaranty; (2) found that Defendants were bound by the Connecticut Superior Court's deficiency calculation; and (3) denied Defendant's motion to amend his answer without holding a hearing. View "Bank of America, N.A. v. Fay" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the order of the superior court authorizing a permanent receiver to distribute the proceeds from the sale of 25 Burnside Avenue in Narragansett in accordance with the receiver's recommendations, holding that the order is vacated to the extent that it deducted the entire balance of an outstanding mortgage from Kevin Hunt's share of the proceeds.The property in this case was owned by Kevin and Alice Hunt as tenants by the entirety. After the family court dissolved the Hunts' marriage, Bank scheduled a sale of the property to foreclose upon the mortgage. Alice filed a petition for receivership to protect her equity interests in the property, and the property was placed into temporary judicial receivership. The receiver eventually sold the property and filed a final report and a recommendation on allowance of claims. The superior court entered an order adopting the receiver's recommendations. The Supreme Court held that the superior court justice (1) did not err when he concluded that the net proceeds were to be distributed equally between Kevin and Alice; (2) erred when he attributed the mortgage wholly to Kevin; and (3) did not err by ordering Kevin to pay rent retroactively. View "In re 25 Burnside Avenue, Narragansett, R.I." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court granting the motions to dismiss filed by Defendants, Bank of America, N.A. (BOA) and EverBank Mortgage (EverBank), on Plaintiff’s complaint seeking monetary damages for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, as well as a preliminary injunction to stop a foreclosure.Plaintiff executed a mortgage on his property in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). The mortgage was later assigned to BOA. After the BOA informed Plaintiff that his mortgage was in foreclosure he filed a complaint alleging, inter alia, that the assignment of the mortgage was void and that Defendants had no standing to foreclose on his property. A federal court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss. Thereafter, Plaintiff brought this complaint. Defendants filed motions to dismiss. The superior court found that res judicata warranted the granting of Defendants’ motions to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that res judicata applied. View "Goodrow v. Bank of America, N.A." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Santander Bank, N.A. in this complaint challenging Santander’s foreclosure of Plaintiff’s property.In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Santander had failed to comply with the statutory notice requirements before it conducted the foreclosure sale. A justice of the superior court granted Santander’s motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that summary judgment was appropriate because there was no genuine issue of material fact with respect to whether Santander complied with the notice requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws 34-27-4(a) and 34-27-4)b. View "Adams v. Santander Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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After Wells Fargo foreclosed upon Plaintiff’s home, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Wells Fargo, asserting six causes of action. The superior court granted Wells Fargo’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on all six counts. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff’s claim that Wells Fargo breached federal guidelines regarding loan modification review and improperly foreclosed on her home while her loan modification request was pending was not properly preserved for appeal; (2) Wells Fargo did not breach the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (3) the superior court justice did not err in finding that Plaintiff failed to meet the burden of proof on her claim that her reliance on the federal regulations should not have estopped Wells Fargo from foreclosing on the property. View "Miller v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff purchased certain property at a tax sale and then filed a petition to foreclose tax lien seeking to foreclose Bank’s right of redemption with respect to the property. Bank did not timely file an answer after its receipt of the petition. Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for entry of default and final decree and a motion for decree pro confesso. Thereafter, Bank filed a motion to file a late answer and its response to the petition, which contained an offer to redeem. The trial justice granted Bank’s motion to file a late answer and Bank’s request for redemption. The court then entered judgment allowing Bank and redeem the property and setting forth the amount of redemption. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court, holding (1) Bank’s motion to file a late answer should have been denied because there was no good cause shown for Bank’s failure to comply with the deadline set out in the petition; and (2) accordingly, Bank was in default and should not have been permitted to redeem the property. View "Conley v. Fontaine" on Justia Law

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The dispute in this receivership action centered on the receiver’s sale of commercial property owned by P.T.A. Realty, LLC to NMLM Realty, LLC. NMLM’s agent, Liberty Title & Escrow Company, failed to list all the municipal taxes owed on the property, resulting in an overpayment of funds to Bank of America, N.A. NMLM filed a petition for restitution against the Bank, which Liberty incorporated in its own petition for restitution against the Bank. The Bank argued that it was insulated from a restitution claim as a third-party creditor that received the payment in good faith and without notice of Liberty’s error. A hearing justice ruled in favor of the Bank. NMLM and Liberty filed a joint notice of appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no evidence that, at the time the proceeds from the sale were disbursed, the Bank knew that it was receiving an overpayment of funds; and (2) therefore, the Bank received the excess funds in good faith, and NMLM and Liberty could not seek the return of their erroneous payment predicated on the theory of unjust enrichment. View "Bank of America, N.A. v. P.T.A. Realty, LLC, et al." on Justia Law

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In 2011, Plaintiff purchased a condominium unit at a condominium association lien foreclosure sale. In 2013, Plaintiff filed suit seeking to quiet title to the unit in his name. Plaintiff also sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent a foreclosure by Defendant, the prior owner’s first mortgage holder. The superior court dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint for failure to state a claim, concluding that Plaintiff took title to the property subject to Defendant’s mortgage. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a condominium foreclosure sale conducted pursuant to the Rhode Island Condominium Act extinguishes a prior-recorded first mortgage on the unit following the mortgagee’s failure to exercise the right of redemption provided for in R.I. Gen. Laws 34-36.1-3.21(c). Remanded. View "Twenty Eleven, LLC v. Botelho" on Justia Law