Federal mortgage-servicing regulations are complex and fraught with traps for the unwary. A recent court decision involving Bank of America, N.A., shows how easy it is for borrowers to sue over alleged mortgage-servicing violations—and how difficult those lawsuits are to defeat. Continue Reading Bank of America Can’t Shake Mortgage-Servicing Lawsuit

Companies that are sued in class actions often face two options, neither of which is pleasant: pay money to settle a baseless lawsuit or continue fighting until the court acknowledges the flaws in the case and dismisses it. First American Home Buyers Protection Company recently chose the fight option and won—but only after a years-long battle. Continue Reading First American Defeats Home-Warranty Class Action

At any informal gathering of real estate professionals these days the discussion often turns to the same topic: cyber scams. Home sales are a lucrative target for fraudsters because large sums of money are involved and the financial transfers are not done in person. So it is well worth your time to protect your company in advance. Here are four tips for doing that. Continue Reading Four Tips to Help Your Real Estate Business Avoid Cyber Scams

Complying with the mortgage-servicing requirements in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act is hard enough. Complicating the matter is the ease with which mortgage-servicing lawsuits can thrive in court. A recent decision from an Ohio federal court significantly shifts the balance of authority in favor of suing borrowers. Continue Reading Federal Court Lowers Bar on Mortgage-Servicing Lawsuits

The truth about many class actions is that, when actually tested, they often fail, whether due to lack of evidence or faulty legal theories. That means a plaintiff’s attorney will have doggedly pursued a losing case. Mortgage servicer Homeward Residential, Inc., recently defeated a class action by repeatedly putting the plaintiff’s claims to test. Continue Reading Mortgage Servicer Prevails in Force-Placed Insurance Class Action

Most prospective home buyers begin their search on the internet, probably landing on Zillow.com at some point. That website gives possible values—called “Zestimates”—for nearly all houses in the country. Problems can arise if a property’s listing price and the corresponding Zestimate differ by a lot. Can a seller sue Zillow in that situation? A federal court in Illinois recently said “no,” but that might not be the end of the story. Continue Reading Are Zestimates Illegal?

Many real estate businesses accused of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act have invoked the statute’s exemptions for “services actually performed.” But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has long rejected those efforts, reading the exemptions as narrowly as possible. The bureau’s hardballing continued last week, when it penalized an Indiana title company for its shared ownership interests with an affiliated title insurer. Continue Reading CFPB Continues Its War Against RESPA Safe-Harbors

The damage caused by Genuine Title, LLC, a now-defunct title company from Maryland, continues unabated. A federal court in Ohio recently certified a class action against the Ohio-based Emery Federal Credit Union for that company’s alleged participation in a kickback scheme with Genuine Title. The class-certification decision is so broad in its reasoning that all real estate business should be concerned. Continue Reading Fallout from Genuine Title Mars Ohio Credit Union