Articles Posted in Banking

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Sue Walters filed a lawsuit against Quicken Loans, Inc., alleging that Quicken Loans violated the “illegal loan” provision of the West Virginia Residential Mortgage Lender, Broker and Servicer Act, W. Va. Code 31-17-8(m)(8), in originating a primary mortgage loan for her. A jury found in favor of Walters and awarded her damages in the amount of $27,000. Walters sued additional defendants - an appraiser and the entity that serviced the loan - with whom she settled. In total, the court offset $59,500 of the $98,000 paid by the settling defendants against the total damages, costs and fees awarded against Quicken Loans. The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded, holding that the circuit court (1) did not err in allowing the illegal loan claim to go to the jury, as section 31-17-8(m)(8) applies to a single primary mortgage loan; (2) did not err in ruling that Walters was a prevailing party and thus entitled to an award of fees and costs; (3) erred in offsetting only a portion of the settlement monies received from the settling defendants against the total compensatory damages received by Walters. View "Quicken Loans, Inc. v. Walters" on Justia Law

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Robert Perry was issued a Citibank MasterCard account in 1998. The terms and conditions of the Citibank Card Agreement governing Perry’s account included an arbitration agreement. In 2010, Citibank filed a debt collection action against Perry seek to recover the balance owed on Perry’s account. In 2015, Perry filed an answer to Citibank’s complaint and a class counterclaim alleging that Citibank had violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. Thereafter, Citibank filed a motion asking the court to compel arbitration of the parties’ claims. The circuit court concluded that Citibank had implicitly waived its right to arbitration by filing suit in circuit court and waiting nearly five years before seeking to invoke its contractual right to arbitrate. Citibank appealed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Citibank did not waive its right to compel arbitration in this matter. Remanded. View "Citibank, N.A. v. Perry" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a bank, filed suit against Respondent seeking the outstanding balance remaining on a loan it made to him in 2012. Rather than litigate the matter, Respondent entered into an “Agreed Order Confessing Judgment” with the Bank for the full amount. The circuit court entered the order and dismissed the matter. Thereafter, the Bank’s vice president, who also arranged Respondent’s loan, pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Respondent subsequently filed a motion for relief from the confessed judgment pursuant to W. Va. R. Civ. P. 60(b), claiming that after he learned of the vice president’s conviction, he suspected there were improprieties regarding his loan. The circuit court concluded that relief from judgment was justified, finding that the circumstances surrounding the loan made the loan questionable and that a decision on the merits was favored. Petitioner subsequently filed this action seeking a writ of prohibition asking the Supreme Court to prevent the circuit court from enforcing its order granting Respondent’s motion for relief from judgment. The Supreme Court denied the writ, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in granting Respondent’s motion to vacate the judgment. View "State ex rel. First State Bank v. Hon. F. Jane Hustead" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking

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Respondent obtained a home mortgage loan from Lender. Lender obtained a mortgage lender bond from Petitioner and later filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Code. Respondent subsequently filed a complaint naming Petitioner as defendant solely as surety for Lender. At the time this suit was filed, Lender was bankrupt and judgment proof. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the bond conditions had not been satisfied because Respondent had not obtained a judgment against the bond principal, Lender. The circuit court certified a question of law to the Supreme Court, which answered that the bond at issue was a judgment bond and that the unambiguous bond language requires an aggrieved party to obtain a judgment against the principal before maintaining an action against the surety of the bond. View "Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Md. v. James" on Justia Law

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Edwin Miller Investments, LLC ("EMI") owned twelve acres of real estate used to secure a loan from BCBank, which assigned the note and deed of trust to CGP Development Co. ("CGP"). The State became the legal owner of eight acres of EMI's property after it paid $241,000 into court following a condemnation action. EMI defaulted on its loan, and CGP purchased the remaining four acres at a foreclosure sale. The circuit court ordered release of the $241,000 paid into court to CGP in partial satisfaction of CGP's lien. EMI and CGP disagreed as to which party was entitled to additional proceeds paid as damages to the four-acre residue as well as additional sums resulting from the condemnation of the eight acres. The circuit court concluded that CGP was entitled to all of the condemnation proceeds and dismissed EMI from the condemnation proceeding. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the circuit court's finding that CGP was entitled to all sums awarded for damage to the four-acre residue purchase by CGP; but (2) reversed the circuit court's finding that CPG was entitled to any additional sums resulting from the condemnation of the eight-acre tract and the court's dismissal of EMI from the condemnation proceedings. Remanded.View "Edwin Miller Invs. v. CGP Dev. Co., Inc." on Justia Law

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Respondent refinanced the mortgage on his home with a loan he obtained from Petitioner. Because Respondent failed to make his monthly loan payments in accordance with the parties' agreement, Petitioner invoked its right to initiate a foreclosure sale of the house. After the foreclosure sale, the property was sold to Petitioner. Because Respondent refused to vacate the house, Petitioner filed an unlawful detainer action. In response, Respondent asserted various counterclaims against Petitioner alleging violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. The circuit court conditionally granted Petitioner's motion to dismiss Respondent's counterclaims and additionally certified two questions for the Supreme Court's consideration regarding whether Respondent timely asserted his counterclaims. The Supreme Court concluded that the counterclaims were not timely. View "Tribeca Lending Corp. v. McCormick" on Justia Law

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These two consolidated cases involved a bond for which Hartford Fire Insurance Company (Hartford) was the surety. Each bond principal was sued, and both cases resulted in the entry of default judgments. Hartford was not given notice of either lawsuit against its principals or notice that default judgments were being sought. Hartford learned of the default judgments only after the plaintiffs in those cases sought payment on the bonds. In each case, Hartford ultimately was found liable on the bond. Hartford appealed, asserting that the circuit courts erred in finding the bonds to be judgment bonds and in holding Hartford liable on the bonds under the circumstances. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the two bonds at issue were judgment bonds, and therefore, the circuit courts correctly found that default judgments entered against the bond principals were conclusive and binding against Hartford. View "Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Curtis" on Justia Law

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In 1996, Terri Cole and her husband financed the purchase of a home through a loan secured by a deed of trust on the home and the underlying property. In 2005, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. became the servicer of the loan. Code defaulted on her loan in 2010. Vanderbilt foreclosed and purchased the home and real property at a trustee's sale. Thereafter, Cole refused to vacate the home. Vanderbilt filed an unlawful detainer action. Cole counterclaimed, alleging that Vanderbilt had violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (WVCCPA). Regarding the unlawful detainer claim, the circuit court found in favor of Vanderbilt. As to the remaining issues, the jury found Vanderbilt engaged in several violations of the WVCCPA. The circuit court subsequently awarded civil penalties to Cole totaling $32,125, and, some weeks later, granted Cole's motion for attorney fees and costs. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's civil penalties order and award of attorney fees, holding that the circuit court did not commit error with regard to either the civil penalties order or the attorney fees order. View "Vanderbilt Mortgage & Fin., Inc. v. Cole" on Justia Law

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Quicken Loans, Inc., a Michigan corporation and a large national mortgage lender doing business in West Virginia, appealed an order of the circuit court denying post-trial motions for amendment of the circuit court's findings of fact and/or conclusions of law and for offset following a verdict which found it liable for common law fraud and various claims under the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act in connection with a subprime loan made to Plaintiff. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the circuit court, holding (1) the elements of fraud were not met with regard to Quicken's misrepresentation of loan discount points, but the other acts of fraud were proven by clear and convincing evidence; (2) the circuit court correctly found that, given the particular facts of this case, the terms of the loan and the loan product were unconscionable; (3) the circuit court incorrectly cancelled Plaintiff's obligation to repay the loan principal; and (4) because the circuit court's order in punitive damages lacked the necessary analysis and findings, the Court was unable to conduct an adequate review of the punitive damages award. Remanded. View "Quicken Loans, Inc. v. Brown" on Justia Law

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Defendant and Plaintiffs were co-guarantors of a promissory note signed to obtain a bank loan to pay the debts of the parties' failed corporation. Plaintiffs paid the note from their personal funds. Plaintiffs then filed an action against Defendant seeking contribution for the amounts paid from their personal funds. The circuit court determined Defendant was liable to Plaintiffs for one half the amount they paid from their personal funds and entered a judgment order against Defendant in the amount of $24,081. Defendant subsequently filed a motion for a new trial or, in the alternative, to amend the judgment. The circuit court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court properly determined that Defendant should pay Plaintiffs $24,081. View "Beverly v. Kent" on Justia Law