One of the more surprising developments in the law of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act is the fledgling success of the continuing-violations doctrine, which allows claims to be brought long after the initial statute of limitations has expired. A new decision from a Pennsylvania federal court suggests that the doctrine isn’t going away any time soon. Continue Reading Continuing-Violations Doctrine Survives Though Underlying RESPA Case Dismissed

For years, ambitious class-action lawyers have tried to criminalize the business of captive reinsurance, with varying degrees of success. Recent decisions from federal courts in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia suggest that these lawsuits’ heyday might finally be over. Continue Reading Captive-Reinsurance Lawsuits Face Bleak Future

Mortgage servicers and lenders have spent years fending off class-action lawsuits involving lender-placed insurance. A recent lawsuit introduced a novel twist to those cases: going after the force-placed insurer itself. Moving to dismiss, the insurer succeeded only in partially defeating the claims. Continue Reading Lender-Placed Insurer Dodges RESPA Allegations

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?

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

Earlier this month, a federal court awarded $11 million to a class of West Virginia mortgage borrowers who accuse Quicken Loans, Inc., and Title Source, Inc., of cheating them on home appraisals. The lawsuit completes a perfect storm of troublesome factors that culminated in massive liability for Quicken and Title Source. Continue Reading Quicken Loans and Title Source Hit with $11 Million Penalty in Appraisal Class Action

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

Companies 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