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Case Summaries

Banking Law

[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.

[03/29] Galvin v. U.S. Bank, NA
In an appeal arising out of a suit by defaulting borrowers who seek to assign fault to the manner in which a creditor foreclosed on its collateral, in this instance a multi-million dollar home located on Martha’s Vineyard, the district court’s judgment is: 1) reversed as to judgment in favor of creditor on its deficiency claim where it failed to comply with a Massachusetts statute that regulates the availability of actions for such judgments; but 2) affirmed in all other respects.

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Bankruptcy Law

[05/15] Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson
In an action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. sections 1692e and 1692f, arising out of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in which a creditor filed a claim asserting that debtor owed a credit-card debt and noting that the last time any charge appeared on debtor’s account was more than 10 years ago, which exceeded the 6-year statute of limitations, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that the FDPA applied to the case is reversed where the filing of a proof of claim that is obviously time barred is not a false, deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unconscionable debt collection practice within the meaning of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

[05/08] In re: Giacchi
In an appeal involving the issue of whether Internal Revenue Service Forms 1040, filed after the IRS has made an assessment of the taxpayer’s liability, constitute ‘returns’ for purposes of determining the dischargeability in bankruptcy of tax debts under 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(1)(B), the district court’s judgment affirming the bankruptcy court’s order denying discharge of years covered by the 1040s is affirmed where: 1) debtor’s belated filings after assessment are not an honest and reasonable effort to comply with the tax law under the Beard test and, as such, the filings do not constitute returns; and 2) because debtor’s tax debts for tax years 2000, 2001, and 2002 are debts for tax obligations for which no return was filed, the debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 523(a)(1)(B).

[05/04] In re: Lehman Bros.
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy appeal by thousands of former employees of debtor who held restricted stock units that were rendered worthless after the filing, the district court’s judgment sustaining debtor’s objections to the claims, on grounds that the claims must be subordinated to the claims of general creditors pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 510(b) because the former arise from the purchase or sale of securities, is affirmed where the claims at issue must be subordinated pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 510(b) because, within the meaning of that statute: 1) restricted stock units are securities; 2) the claimants acquired them in a purchase; and 3) the claims for damages arise from that purchase or the asserted rescission thereof.

[05/02] In re: The Trustees of Conneaut Lake PArk, Inc.
In a bankruptcy case involving 40 Pa. Stat. section 638, which prohibits insurance companies from paying fire insurance proceeds to a ‘named insured’ unless the local municipality certifies that no delinquent taxes are owed on the property where the insured structure was located, the District Court’s judgment reversing the Bankruptcy Court grant of summary judgment to the Taxing Authorities and holding that ‘named insured’ as used in Section 638 includes only those who own the structure at issue and are responsible for the delinquent taxes, is reversed where this interpretation contravenes the text of the statute.

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