For decades, federal courts have slowly freed class-action plaintiffs from the burdens of statutes of limitations, which bar the filing of lawsuits after a specified period of time. A recent decision from a federal appellate court shows that we have likely reached the logical conclusion of those efforts, one in which related class actions can be filed one after another, with no real time limit. Continue Reading Serial Class Actions Are Fine, Ninth Circuit Holds

The real estate industry, being rooted in practices developed over generations, is slow to change. In today’s business climate, inflexibility can prove disastrous. But, last month, the South Carolina Supreme Court moved its real estate industry toward modernity by endorsing a national lender’s internet-refinancing process, which the court found satisfies the state’s existing requirements for attorney involvement. Continue Reading Internet Refinancings Take Critical Step Forward

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

Like it said it would do, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week issued a final rule that would ban contractual arbitration clauses that prohibit class actions. The rule, if it becomes law, would affect most consumer financial contracts, including some in the real estate industry. Continue Reading CFPB Arbitration Rule Selectively Targets Real Estate Professionals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau not only brings enforcement actions against companies it believes broke the law. It also supervises and examines the business operations of entities that are not suspected of illegal activity. If your operation gets hit with a CFPB exam, there is one thing you must do to prepare: review the bureau’s Supervision and Examination Manual. Continue Reading Ace Your CFPB Examination With This Handy Study Guide

For over 40 years, putative class members have escaped some of the curbs against late-filed lawsuits that apply to normal cases. Last week, the United States Supreme Court brought back some of those curbs, threatening to reduce the number of spin-off cases that often result from class actions. Lawsuits under the Truth in Lending Act are directly affected. Continue Reading SCOTUS Resolves Dispute Over Class-Action Timing, TILA Cases Affected

A favorite strategy among class-action lawyers is to find a consumer-friendly jurisdiction and then file as many lawsuits there as possible. The new cases often involve consumers from around the country. In a recent decision, the United States Supreme Court all but ended that tactic. Continue Reading High Court Limits Nationwide Class Actions

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