Articles Posted in U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiffs filed suit in state court alleging that Quicken Loans originated unlawful loans in West Virginia and that Defendant Appraisers, which included both the named appraisers and the unnamed class of appraisers, were complicit in the scheme. Quicken Loans removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. 1332(d). The district court then granted plaintiffs' motion to remand to state court under the local controversy exception. Quicken Loans appealed. The court vacated and remanded for a determination by the district court as to whether the named defendant appraisers satisfied the "at least 1 defendant" requirement of the local controversy exception. View "Quicken Loans Inc. v. Alig" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the Bank, alleging that the Bank violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691, by requiring her to serve as her husband's guarantor. Plaintiff sought equitable and injunctive relief, asserting a claim for unjust enrichment and seeking a declaratory judgment. The district court dismissed the complaint with prejudice because plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and, in any event, waiver and limitation barred her claims. The court concluded that the Bank may have violated ECOA by requiring plaintiff to sign as an unlimited guarantor. However, the court concluded that plaintiff's claim failed where, in exchange for the Bank's restructuring of the loan at issue, she executed waivers to all claims against the Bank on four separate occasions over a period of more than two years. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal. View "Ballard v. Bank of America, NA" on Justia Law

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The FDIC, acting receiver for the Bank, filed an action to recover the deficiency owed on a promissory note executed by defendant and payable to the bank. On appeal, defendant challenged the district court's judgment in favor of the FDIC. The court concluded that the district court did not err in determining that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to the FDIC's status as holder of the Note; the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the motion to strike defendant's surreply and an affidavit; the court concluded that filing a Form 1099-C was a creditor's required means of satisfying a reporting obligation to the IRS, not a means of accomplishing an actual discharge of debt, nor is it required only where an actual discharge had already occurred; and, in this case, the district court did not err in granting the FDIC's motion for summary judgment because defendant had not come forward with evidence that created a genuine issue of material as to whether the Note had been cancelled or assigned. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "FDIC v. Cashion, III" on Justia Law

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This is an adversary proceeding arising out of the bankruptcy of debtor (Derivium). Plaintiff (Grayson), assignee of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, appealed from a district court judgment affirming the bankruptcy court's decision to grant summary judgment for defendants (Wachovia). The court concluded that the district court did not err in affirming the grant of summary judgment for Wachovia on Grayson's Customer Transfers claim; summary judgment for Wachovia on Grayson's Cash Transfers claim; the bankruptcy court's determinations that the stockbroker defense applied to commissions; and the bankruptcy court's ruling that in pari delicto barred Grayson's tort claims against Wachovia. View "Grayson Consulting, Inc. v. Wachovia Securities, LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs commenced this putative class action alleging that defendants participated in a global Internet conspiracy to sell illegal prescription drugs, in violation of the laws of the United States and Virginia. At issue on appeal was whether the district court erred in dismissing the complaint against four foreign banks for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court concluded that Rule 4(k)(2) did not justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the banks because exercising jurisdiction over them would not, in the circumstances here, be consistent with the United States Constitution and laws. Subjecting the banks to the coercive power of the court in the United States, in the absence of minimum contacts, would constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's orders dismissing the complaint against the banks. View "Unspam Technologies v. Chernuk" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against Wells Fargo after plaintiffs' application for a mortgage modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was denied. The district court concluded that plaintiffs had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and therefore granted Wells Fargo's motion to dismiss. The court concluded that plaintiffs have not plausibly stated a breach of contract claim; plaintiffs' negligence claim failed because there was no express or implied contract and therefore, no tort duty could arise as a matter of law; plaintiffs' Maryland Consumer Protection Act, Md. Code Ann., Com. Law 13-301(1), claim failed because Wells Fargo did not make misrepresentations when it stated that it needed more information to process plaintiffs' HAMP application; and the district court court properly dismissed the negligent misrepresentation and common law fraud claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Spaulding v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs brought this civil enforcement action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., alleging that defendants, the Bank, and individual members of the Bank's Corporate Benefits Committee, engaged in prohibited transactions and breached their fiduciary duties by selecting and maintaining Bank-affiliated mutual funds in the investment menu for the Bank's 401(k) Plan and the Bank's separate but related Pension Plan (collectively, the Plans). The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the Pension Plan claims in the Second Amended Complaint on the basis that plaintiffs lacked Article III standing. The district court correctly determined that plaintiffs' remaining claims were time-barred under the limitations period in 29 U.S.C. 1113(1)(A). Finally, the district court's dismissal of the Third Amended Complaint with prejudice did not constitute an abuse of discretion where plaintiffs failed to file a motion to amend and had already amended their original complaint three times. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "David v. Alphin" on Justia Law

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The Trustee filed this action against former directors and officers of Bancshares. The directors also all formerly served as the officers and directors of the Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bancshares. The court held that the Trustee could pursue her claims only as to the directors' alleged improper subordination of Bancshares' LLC interest. Therefore, the court reversed and remanded the district court's judgment as to that claim, but affirmed its judgment in all other respects. Accordingly, the court held that the district court did not err in granting the directors' motion to dismiss except as to the claim for subordination of the LLC interest of Bancshares. View "Beach First National Bancshare v. Anderson" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed this action, asserting claims for, inter alia, breach of contract and violation of the Maryland Credit Grantor Closed End Provisions (CLEC), Md. Code Ann., Com. Law 12-1001 et seq. The district court was persuaded that the National Bank Act (NBA), 12 U.S.C. 24, 484(A), and federal regulations preempted the CLEC, and that plaintiff failed to state a claim for breach of contract. The court held that the district court erred in deeming plaintiff's CLEC claim against Capital One preempted by federal law and regulations where Capital One was subject to the terms of the CLEC in loans it acquired through assignment. The court also held that a breach of contract claim had been adequately pleaded and therefore, the district court erred in dismissing the claim. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded for further proceedings. View "Decohen v. Capital One N.A." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs David McCorkle and William Pender appealed a district court order dismissing two of their class action claims against Bank of America Corporation for alleged violations of certain provisions of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Their claims centered on the Bank's use of a normal retirement age (NRA) that allegedly violated ERISA in calculating lump sum distributions and further ran afoul of ERISA's prohibition of "backloading" the calculation of benefit accrual. Upon review, the Fourth Circuit agreed with the district court's conclusion that Plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, and it affirmed the district court's judgment to dismiss those claims. View "Pender v. Bank of America Corp." on Justia Law