Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Hawaii

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This appeal arose from a judicial decree of foreclosure granted in favor of U.S. Bank N.A. (Plaintiff) and against Joseph and Chanelle Meneses (Defendants). The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirmed the judgment of the circuit court, concluding that the circuit court properly granted Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and decree of foreclosure. Defendants appealed, arguing that Plaintiff lacked standing to foreclose. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment on appeal and the circuit court’s order granting Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and decree of foreclosure, holding (1) there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC had the authority to sign a second assignment of mortgage to Plaintiff; and (2) in the judicial foreclosure context, a third party unrelated to a mortgage securitization pooling and servicing agreement lacks standing to enforce an alleged violation of its terms unless the violation renders the mortgage assignment void, rather than voidable. View "U.S. Bank N.A. v. Mattos" on Justia Law

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Bank of America, N.A. filed a complaint seeking to foreclose on Homeowner’s property. Homeowner asserted numerous defenses, including that the Bank was not the lawful holder of the note and mortgage and therefore was not entitled to foreclosure. Homeowner also asserted four counterclaims. The circuit court granted Bank of America’s motion to dismiss Homeowner’s counterclaims. Thereafter, the court granted Bank of America’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the Bank was the “current holder” of the note and mortgage and was therefore entitled to foreclosure of the mortgage and sale of the property. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirmed. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA’s judgment on appeal and vacated the circuit court’s judgment to the extent it granted summary judgment to Bank of America, holding (1) the circuit court erred in granting Bank of America’s motion for summary judgment; and (2) the ICA erred in determining that it did not have jurisdiction over the circuit court’s order granting the Bank’s motion to dismiss Homeowner’s counterclaims. Because the ICA did not reach the merits of Homeowner’s appeal with respect to the dismissal of her counterclaims, the case must be remanded to address the merits of Homeowner’s appeal of the dismissal of her counterclaims. View "Bank of America, N.A. v. Reyes-Toledo" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was a non-judicial foreclosure conducted pursuant to Haw. Rev. Stat. Chapter 667 Part I, which was repealed by the legislature by Act 182. Russell Hungate, the property owner, filed a complaint and first amended complaint alleging that Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (Deutsche Bank) and David B. Rosen and his law office (collectively, Rosen), the attorney hired by Deutsche Bank to conduct the foreclosure of Hungate’s property, violated statutory, contractual, and common law duties and committed unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The circuit court granted Rosen’s motion to dismiss and then granted Deutsche Bank’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court vacated in part the circuit court’s orders, holding (1) the circuit court erred in dismissing the majority to Hungate’s claims alleging Haw. Rev. Stat. Chapter 667 Part I violations against Deutsche Bank; (2) Duetsche Bank must use reasonable means to obtain the best price for a foreclosed property; and (3) the circuit court erred in dismissing Hungate’s unfair or deceptive acts or practices claim against Deutsche Bank, but property dismissed Hungate’s claim against Rosen. View "Hungate v. Rosen" on Justia Law