In a putative class action, the court’s decision about whether to certify the class is always one of the case’s most important rulings—if not the most important ruling. The right to appeal that decision is limited. Some clever plaintiffs’ lawyers had found a way around that limitation, but the U.S. Supreme Court recently blocked their route. Continue Reading Supreme Court Outlaws Class-Action Trick

militaryplanningCompanies facing potential class-action liability often have limited means of defeating class certification. Last month, a federal appellate court approved a class defense that other jurisdictions typically reject. The ruling, if adopted by other courts, could protect many businesses from class threats. Continue Reading Federal Court Revives Nearly Forgotten Strategy for Defending Against Class Actions

boxingglovesLast year, the U.S. Supreme Court answered an important constitutional question: Can Congress authorize a lawsuit in which the plaintiff suffered no financial injury? The court’s disappointing answer (“it depends”) has perplexed courts across the nation. That confusion has spread to an area of vital interest to the real estate industry, the timely recording of satisfactions of mortgages. Continue Reading Federal Judges Spar Over Mortgage-Satisfaction Lawsuit

shoulderWhat sports team would decline the chance to peek at their opponent’s playbook? Very few, I imagine. Yet anyone being investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now has that opportunity—by studying the bureau’s policies and procedures manual, recently made public through a Freedom of Information Act request. Continue Reading CFPB Forced to Divulge Internal Enforcement Guidelines

congressSince 2008, the two government-sponsored enterprises charged with cultivating the secondary mortgage market have been under public conservatorship. The Mortgage Bankers Association has proposed an ambitious plan for transitioning those entities to a long-term structure that would retain—as a last resort—the option of a taxpayer bailout. MBA’s plan, while appearing solid on paper, would benefit from support from non-financial sectors. Continue Reading MBA Urges Reform for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

computercrashYesterday, the Florida Attorney General and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hit Ocwen Financial Corporation with twin lawsuits for the company’s allegedly improper mortgage-servicing practices. Regulators from nearly two dozen states are either issuing cease-and-desist orders against Ocwen or yanking its licensing. At the heart of the company’s problems lies a vexing issue: its software platform, which it developed itself, is supposedly junk. Continue Reading Faulty Software Lands Mortgage Servicer in Regulatory Nightmare

payingmoneyOne of the popular buzzwords these days is disruption. For example, Zillow came along and, through the aggressive marketing of leads, disrupted the ways in which many mortgages were originated. According to some reports, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now disrupting Zillow’s tactics. Lead purchasers can protect themselves in several ways. Continue Reading Federal Regulators Reported to Have Started Crackdown on Zillow Leads