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Padgett Wins in Federal Court, Obtains Sanctions Against Pro Se Litigant in Bankruptcy Case
Padgett Law Group (“PLG”) through its attorney, Seth J. Greenhill, Esq., successfully obtained a rare win for creditors in Federal Court by obtaining sanctions against a pro se litigant who filed a frivolous appeal. This aggressive advocacy on behalf of PLG’s client was necessary to put an end to this vexatious litigation and contributes to building case law that will assist other creditors’ rights attorneys in defense of their clients.
“The key takeaway is that it is critical to establish the record in the original litigation. This provides notice to the pro se appellant,” said Mr. Greenhill. He continued, “This is a requirement in order to have sanctions imposed. In addition, it is vital to review the appellant brief in order to determine if the issues have already been disposed of.”
Since the ruling in In re Nazario Hernandez, et al v. Franklin Credit Mgmt. Corp., et al, 19-35719 (9th Cir. 2020), there have been several attempts to unwind the devastation that the interpretation by the Federal Courts of Edmundson v. Bank of America, 378 P.3d 272, 278 (Wash. Ct. App. 2016) created. This was nearly achieved in Brown v. Deutsch Bank N.A. (In re Plastino), Nos. 17-11760-MLB, 20-01012-MLB, 20-01013-MLB, 20 Bankr. LEXIS 3597, at *6-7 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. Dec. 29, 2020). However, the matter settled prior to a ruling on the appeal.
Eastern District of Pennsylvania Rules that Third-Party Vendors of Law Firms are Debt Collectors
In Khimmat v. Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently held that the transmission of information to a vendor who completes a mailing is deemed a “communication” to a “person” in connection with the “collection of a debt” under section 1692c(b) of the FDCPA.
The law firm in this case, considered a debt collector in this circuit, used a third-party vendor to mail correspondence to the Borrower, which included the Borrower’s name, address, and information about the nature of the debt. The Court rejected an argument from the law firm that the mail vendor is an “agent” of the law firm, noting that the FDCPA does not explicitly carve out an exception for agents of debt collectors.
Not all circuits follow this logic in considering whether debt collectors can rely on letter vendors, so it is important to consult with legal counsel in the appropriate jurisdiction to determine whether use of these types of vendors is permissible under the FDCPA. Click here to read the full decision.
Questions? Contact us.
Contact us regarding this decision or other servicing issues in Pennsylvania. PLG's Managing Attorney of Foreclosure Operations, Jacqueline F. McNally, Esq., is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, and the District of Columbia. Click the button below to connect with Jackie.
Today, the Fourth District Court of Appeal for Florida in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Tan, Case No. 4D20-613, held that Fla. Stat. 702.036 barred the Court from granting relief as it related to a Senior Mortgagee seeking to vacate a judgment that was entered against them by a Junior Mortgagee. For a little more background on this holding, “a non-party purchased the real property at issue and executed a mortgage in favor of Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corporation. Bear Stearns assigned the mortgage to Wells Fargo. The non-party later sold the property to Chi Peng Tan, who executed a mortgage in favor of First Magnus Financial Corporation.
First Magnus filed a foreclosure complaint against multiple defendants, including Tan and Wells Fargo. A judgment was entered that foreclosed all interests, including the interest held by Wells Fargo. The record shows that Wells Fargo recorded its mortgage before First Magnus recorded its mortgage.”
This is case is not yet final.
Skyworks, Ltd. v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, No. 5:20-CV-2407, 2021 WL 911720 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 10, 2021) is a case of first impression for Ohio. While the Eastern District of Texas in Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 6:20-CV-00564, 2021 WL 742877 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 25, 2021), found that the CDC Order to be unconstitutional, Skyworks holds that the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's orders—Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, 85 Fed. Reg. 55,292 (Sept. 4, 2020) and Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, 86 Fed. Reg. 8020 (Feb. 3, 2021)—exceed the agency's statutory authority provided in Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 264(a), and the regulation at 42 C.F.R. § 70.2 promulgated pursuant to the statute, and are, therefore, invalid.” The Ohio case focuses on statutory authority, while the Texas case focuses on constitutionality.
The Supreme Court of Texas, in PNC Mortgage v. Howard, recently held that the holder of a deed of trust was entitled to foreclose through equitable subrogation, even after the four-year foreclosure statute of limitations had lapsed. Click here to read the opinion.
In 2003, the borrowers purchased a home with loans secured by two purchase-money liens on their property. Two years later, the borrowers refinanced the mortgages with a new loan and paid off the purchase-money mortgages. The note and deed of trust securing the loan were subsequently assigned to and acquired by a new lending entity (“mortgagee”).
In January 2009, the mortgagee notified the borrowers of their default and intent to accelerate the loan, and five months later, accelerated the note. Concurrently, the original lender initiated foreclosure proceedings against the borrowers despite having assigned the loan to the mortgagee, which resulted in a sale of the property.
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