Justia California Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Banking
Wishnev v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
The Supreme Court answered a question requested by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by holding that the provision in Cal. Civ. Code 1916-2 prohibiting lenders from assessing compound interest "unless an agreement to that effect is clearly expressed in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith" does not apply to lenders exempt under article XV of the California Constitution. Article XV sets the maximum interest rates lenders may charge but exempts specified classes of lenders from those rate restrictions and authorizes the Legislature to regulate the compensation these exempt lenders may receive. At issue was whether exempt lenders are required to obtain a borrower's signed agreement in order to charge compound interest on a loan. The Supreme Court held that exempt lenders are not required to obtain a borrower's signed agreement in order to charge compound interest on a loan. View "Wishnev v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co." on Justia Law
Posted in: Banking
Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corp.
Plaintiff was a borrower on a home loan secured by a deed of trust. The deed of trust was assigned multiple times. After Plaintiff’s home was sold at public auction, Plaintiff filed this wrongful foreclosure action alleging that the assignment of the deed of trust to the foreclosing party bore defects rendering the assignment void. The court of appeals concluded that Plaintiff could not state a cause of action for wrongful foreclosure based on the allegedly void assignment because she lacked standing to assert improprieties in the assignment where, as an unrelated third party to that assignment, Plaintiff was unaffected by such deficiencies. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a home loan borrower who has suffered a nonjudicial foreclosure has standing to sue for wrongful foreclosure based on an allegedly void assignment even though she was in default on the loan and was not a party to the challenged assignment because an allegation that the assignment was void will support an action for wrongful foreclosure. View "Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corp." on Justia Law
Coker v. JPMorgan Chase Bank
Under Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 580b, when an individual borrows money from a bank to buy a home and the bank forecloses on the home, the bank can collect proceeds from the foreclosure sale but may not obtain a deficiency judgment against the borrower. In this case, a Borrower arranged a short sale of her home and sold her home to a third party for an amount that fell short of her outstanding loan balance to a Bank. The Bank then demanded the balance remaining on the Borrower’s home. The Borrower brought this declaratory action, claiming that section 580b prohibited the Bank from collecting the deficiency. The trial court sustained the Bank’s demurrer. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that section 580b’s protections apply after a short sale, not just a foreclosure. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 580b applies to short sales just as it does to foreclosure sales. View "Coker v. JPMorgan Chase Bank" on Justia Law
Rose v. Bank of Am., N.A.
Until 2001, the federal Truth in Savings Act (TISA), 12 U.S.C. 4310 et seq., allowed civil damages to be sought for failure to comply with its requirements. The provision authorizing lawsuits was later repealed, however. After Congress's repeal of section 4310, Plaintiffs filed a class action against Bank of America, alleging unlawful and unfair business practices based on violations of TISA disclosure requirements. The trial court sustained the Bank's demurrer, and the court of appeal affirmed, concluding that Congress's repeal of section 4310 reflected its intent to bar any private action to enforce TISA. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that TISA posed no impediment to Plaintiffs' claim of unlawful business practice under California's unfair competition law, where by leaving TISA's savings clause in place, Congress explicitly approved the enforcement of state laws such as the unfair competition law.View "Rose v. Bank of Am., N.A." on Justia Law
Riverisland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Prod. Ass’n
At issue in this case was the Pendergrass rule, which establishes a limitation on the fraud exception to the parol evidence rule. Plaintiffs restructured their debt with a Credit Association in an agreement. Plaintiffs did not make the required payments, and the Credit Association recorded a notice of default. Eventually, Plaintiffs repaid the loan, and the Association dismissed its foreclosure proceedings. Plaintiffs then filed this action seeking damages for fraud and negligent misrepresentation and including causes of action for rescission and reformation of the restructuring agreement. Relying on the Pendergrass rule, the trial court granted summary judgment to the Credit Association, ruling that the fraud exception did not allow parol evidence of promises at odds with the terms of the written agreement. The court of appeal reversed, holding that the Pendergrass rule did not apply in this case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Bank of America Ass'n v. Pendergrass was ill-considered, and should be overruled. View "Riverisland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Prod. Ass'n" on Justia Law
Parks v. MBNA Am. Bank, N.A.
Defendant MBNA America Bank issued a credit card to Plaintiff Allan Parks. As part of its service to cardholders, MBNA extended credit to Plaintiff by sending him convenience checks that did not include disclosures required by Cal. Civ. Code 1748.9. Plaintiff later sued MBNA on behalf of himself and similarly situated MBNA customers, alleging that the bank engaged in unfair competition by failing to make the disclosures mandated by section 1748.9. MBNA argued that the National Bank Act of 1864 (NBA) preempted the state disclosure law. The trial court granted judgment on the pleadings on MBNA's motion, concluding that the bank's failure to attach the statutorily mandated disclosures to its convenience checks was not unlawful. The court of appeal reversed. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeal, holding that NBA preempts section 1748.9 because the state law standards act as an obstacle to the broad grant of power given by the NBA to national banks to conduct the business of banking. Remanded. View "Parks v. MBNA Am. Bank, N.A." on Justia Law
L.A. Cty. Metro. Trans. v. Alameda Produce Market, LLC, et al.
This case stemmed from the taking of property in downtown Los Angeles to comply with a federal court order to improve the quality of bus services and involved California's "quick-take" eminent domain procedure, Code of Civil Procedure 1255.010, 1244.410, where a public entity filing a condemnation action could seek immediate possession of the condemned property upon depositing with the court the probable compensation for the property. At issue was Section 1255.260's proper interpretation. The court of appeals in this case held that, under the statute, if a lender holding a lien on condemned property applied to withdraw a portion of the deposit, and the property owner did not object to the application, the lender's withdrawal of a portion of the deposit constituted a waiver of the property owner's claims and defenses, except a claim for greater compensation. The court found the court of appeal's conclusion was inconsistent with the relevant statutory language and framework. Therefore, the court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals. View "L.A. Cty. Metro. Trans. v. Alameda Produce Market, LLC, et al." on Justia Law