Borrowers Fight Foreclosures, Servicer Sues City

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MORTGAGE EXPERT
3 · 31 · 10

As borrowers continue to challenge foreclosures in court, servicers are fighting back — though some more successfully than others. One servicer is suing a city over its foreclosure procedures, while another is accused of profiting from foreclosures.

On March 9, the Court of Appeals of California, Second Appellate District, Division Five, reversed a judgment in favor of GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Inc., according to a copy of the decision published by Leagle. The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 21, 2006, by Melody L. Cochran, who inherited the property from her grandmother as her sole and separate property. It was Cochran’s third appeal.

After she inherited the property, she married William Bennett, who agreed to manage to property on Cochran’s behalf, according to the decision. But Bennett allegedly went behind her back, forged her signature on two GreenPoint mortgages and ultimately transferred title to his business partner Anthony H. Delonay. GreenPoint, which claimed Cochran’s divorce decree three years earlier was proof that she knew about the transfer of title, was granted a summary judgment.

“Plaintiff submitted evidence to contradict GreenPoint’s ‘undisputed fact’ that plaintiff knew that she had no rights in the property more than three years prior to filing this lawsuit,” the decision said. “Consequently, the motion for summary judgment was improperly granted.”

A motion for summary judgment by Wells Fargo was denied on March 25 by Judge Stuart Simons of the 11th Circuit Court in Miami, MFI-Miami said in a news release. MFI, which claims it persuaded the judge in the case against borrower John Ciriglian, alleges that the loan file is loaded with fraudulent documents. The loan was originally owned by GreenPoint Mortgage.

After negotiating a forebearance agreement and wiring CitiFinancial Mortgage Co. $2,950, the lender still proceeded to foreclose on Sandra Faye Wright, according to a copy of a memorandum ruling from U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana published by Leagle. She originally had agreed to deposit a required cash payment to the lender’s bank account at Chase. She took a copy of the forebearance agreement to Chase and relied on a teller to ensure the specific requirements of the forebearance agreement were followed.

But the money didn’t make it to CitiFinancial’s account, and a foreclosure sale occurred on March 5, 2008. So Wright sued Chase on Feb. 12, 2009, in the First Judicial District Court, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. The case was removed to federal court on March 25, 2009. Chase moved for dismissal.

“The motion is granted as to any fiduciary duty claim or breach of contract claim and is denied as to the detrimental reliance claim,” the court concluded. “Wright’s alternative motion to amend is denied.”

A trial court’s decision granting a default judgment in favor of First Horizon Home Loans against borrower Jill Sims was reversed by the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren County, a copy of the opinion published by Leagle indicated. Also reversed was a summary judgment granted in favor of lender on its mortgage reformation claim. The trial court’s decision granting summary judgment on the note and foreclosure of the mortgage to First Horizon, however, was upheld.

In Rhode Island, Deutsche Bank National Trust filed a lawsuit on Jan. 14 in state Superior Court seeking relief from a Providence law that requires a good faith attempt at mediation before a foreclosure can be completed, according to the Providence Journal. Deutsche reportedly claims the law, which took effect in September 2009, violates Rhode Island law because it sets up different foreclosure procedure in Providence than for other cities in the state.

OneWest Bank is raising the payments of bankrupt borrowers just before it files claims with the bankruptcy courts, borrowers allege in eight lawsuits filed by Sacramento, Calif., attorney Peter Macaluso, the Whittier Daily News reported. The lawsuits, which were filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California, allege OneWest is motivated to foreclose by a loss-sharing agreement it made with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation when it acquired failed IndyMac Bank.

An apology from Bank of America for repossessing the wrong house and taking a pet parrot was apparently not enough for Angela Iannelli, who is suing the Charlotte, N.C.-based institution in Allegheny County according to published reports. The bird, however, was eventually returned to her.

COCHRAN v. GREENPOINT MORTGAGE FUNDING, INC., MELODY L. COCHRAN, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. GREENPOINT MORTGAGE FUNDING, INC., Defendant and Respondent.

Case No. B214890 (Court of Appeals of California, Second Appellate District, Division Five).

Wells Fargo v. Cirigliano.

Case #08-288-46-CA10 (11th Circuit Court in Miami).

First Horizon Home Loans, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Brian P. Sims, et al., Defendants-Appellants.

Case No. CA2009-08-117 (Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren County).

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