New York Court Dismisses Action Against Title Insurer Under Exclusion 3(a)

The New York Supreme Court, Kings County recently found that a restrictive covenant could constitute an encumbrance under a title insurance policy but nonetheless dismissed an action brought by an insured because the insured was aware of the covenant before purchasing.  See 50 Clarkson Partners LLC v. Old Republic Nat’l Title Ins. Co., 516966-2018 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 30, 2019).  Plaintiff purchased the subject property in 2017, and defendant issued a title insurance policy in connection with the purchase. 

Second Circuit Holds FDCPA Claim Accrued on Date Plaintiff’s Bank Account Was Improperly Frozen, Not on Date Plaintiff Had Notice of the Violation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently held that a claim brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) accrued on the date the debt collector froze the wrong person’s bank account, not the date the person had “notice” of the violation.  See Benzemann v. Houslanger & Assocs., PLLC, 2019 WL 2079006 (2d Cir. May 13, 2019).  In 2008, the defendant debt collector sent a restraining notice to a bank regarding a judgment against an individual named Andrew Benzemann (the “Debtor”). 

Louisiana Federal Court Finds Lack of Access Did Not Render Property Unmarketable, But That Insured Still May Be Entitled to Actual Loss from Lack of Access

The United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana recently held that the lack of access of an insured property did not render title to the property unmarketable, but found that the title insurance company must either cure the access issue or pay the diminution of value caused by the lack of access.  See BJD Properties, LLC v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 2019 WL 2061972 (W.D. La. Mar. 29, 2019). 

New York Federal Court Dismisses Action Against Title Insurer Under Exclusion 3(a)

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently dismissed a coverage action brought against a title insurance company and found that the insured’s claims were barred under Exclusion 3(a) because the insured had created them through its agreement with third parties.  See 3 W. 16th St., LLC v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co., 2019 WL 1397135 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 28, 2019).  

New Jersey Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court, Holds Oral Argument Required on Opposed Motion for Final Judgment on Tax Sale Certificate

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently reversed a lower court and held that the court was required to hold oral argument on an opposed motion for final judgment foreclosing a tax sale certificate.  See Clarksboro, LLC v. Kronenberg, 2019 WL 2127274 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. May 16, 2019).  In the case, plaintiff brought an action to foreclose a tax sale certificate in 2016.  It named defendant because defendant held a prior tax sale certificate on the property.

Seventh Circuit Holds That Tax Lien With Misspelled Name Was Enforceable Against Alleged Bona Fide Purchaser Without Notice

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently found that the United States of America could foreclose on a tax lien despite the fact that it had misspelled the debtor’s name in the lien and, due to this misspelling, the purchaser of the property was unaware of the lien.  See United States v. Z Inv. Properties, LLC, 921 F.3d 696 (7th Cir. 2019).  

Supreme Court Holds Class Arbitration Is Not an Available Remedy Unless the Arbitration Agreement Expressly Allows for It

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held on April 24, 2019 that an employment agreement that was ambiguous about class arbitration could not be used to compel class arbitration.  See Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 2019 WL 1780275 (U.S. Apr. 24, 2019).  In 2016, a hacker obtained tax information for about 1,300 of defendant’s employees.  After someone filed a fraudulent income tax return for plaintiff, one of defendant’s employees, plaintiff brought a class action lawsuit against defendant.  Plaintiff’s employment agreement contained an arbitration agreement that required that “any and all disputes, claims or controversies” be arbitrated.