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Case Summaries

Banking Law

[05/22] Hardwick v. Wilcox
In an action arising out of a series of loans defendant made to plaintiff, to recover usurious interest and prevent defendant from foreclosing on property securing his loans, the trial court's judgment -- that plaintiff's usurious interest payments made over the course of the relationship offset the principal debt, and that plaintiff could recover interest payments he made during the two years prior to the filing of this lawsuit -- is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff did not waive his usury claim; and 2) the statute of limitations does not bar plaintiff's claim with respect to any loan that was paid off more than two years before this lawsuit was filed.

[05/09] Starr Int'l Co., Inc. v. US
In a suit arising out of a loan from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under which the federal Government acquired a majority stake in American International Group, Inc. (AIG)'s equity, which the Government eventually converted into common stock and sold, brought by an AIG shareholder alleging that the Government's acquisition of AIG equity and subsequent actions relating to a reverse stock split were unlawful, the Claims Court's judgment that the Government committed an illegal exaction and remand with instructions to dismiss the equity-acquisition claims that seek direct relief is: 1) vacated in part where plaintiffs lack standing to pursue the equity-acquisition claims directly, as those claims belong exclusively to AIG; and 2) affirmed in part as to the denial of direct relief for the reverse-stock-split claims.

[05/03] Berman v. HSBC Bank
In an action brought by a plaintiff who was denied a loan modification by defendant bank, seeking injunctive relief under Civil Code section 2924.12 on the theory that the bank's denial letter was a material violation of section 2923.6(d) in that the letter only provided fifteen days for appeal instead of the thirty days as provided under that statute, the trial court's judgment sustaining the demurrer to plaintiff's complaint without leave to amend based on the conclusion that he had not alleged a violation of section 2923.6, is reversed where the denial letter constituted a material violation of section 2923.6 because it substantially misstated the time plaintiff was allowed by the law to appeal defendant's denial of his application for a loan modification.

[05/01] Bank of America Corp. v. Miami
In a City's suit against two national Banks, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which prohibits racial discrimination in connection with real-estate transactions, 42 U.S.C. sections 3604(b) and 3605(a), alleging that the Banks' discriminatory conduct led to a disproportionate number of foreclosures and vacancies in majority-minority neighborhoods, which impaired the City's effort to assure racial integration, diminished the City's property-tax revenue, and increased demand for police, fire, and other municipal services, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision vacating the District Court's dismissal of the complaint is vacated where: 1) the City is an 'aggrieved person' authorized to bring suit under the FHA; but 2) the Eleventh Circuit erred in concluding that the complaints met the FHA's proximate-cause requirement based solely on the finding that the City's alleged financial injuries were foreseeable results of the Banks' misconduct.

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Bankruptcy Law

[07/10] In Re World Imports
Reversing and remanding a Bankruptcy Court decision stating that constructive possession occurred when goods were shipped, finding that the creditor's ability to recover as a priority administrative expense the value of goods received by the debtor within 20 days before the filing of a bankruptcy petition is limited to items in the physical possession of the buyer within that period. Because the goods at issue were received within this 20 day window the goods were subject to the bankruptcy despite having been shipped more than 20 days before the filing by common carrier.

[07/07] Partida v. US Dept. of Justice
Affirming the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel's determination that the Bankruptcy Code's automatic stay provision does not prevent the government from collecting criminal restitution under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act.

[06/14] Weil v. Elliott
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee's adversary proceeding seeking revocation under 11 U.S.C. section 727(d) of a debtor's discharge on the ground that the discharge was obtained by fraud, the bankruptcy court's judgment grant of summary judgment to the trustee, revoking the discharge and dismissing the action is reversed where the one-year filing deadline imposed by section 727(e)(1) is not a jurisdictional constraint, but rather is a statute of limitations.

[06/12] Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. AMH Roman Two NC, LLC
In a bank-creditor's appeal of a bankruptcy court's order cancelling its deed of trust covering a piece of real property, two years after the court order and several months after the property was sold in foreclosure to a bona fide purchaser for value, the district court's denial of the creditor's motion to set aside the bankruptcy court's order is affirmed where, at every stage of this litigation, the creditor was in the best position to protect its interests, and failed to do so.

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