REAL PROPERTY UPDATE
- Lien Priority: claimant’s judgment lien related back to recording of lis pendens and therefore took priority over competing judgment lien obtained after lis pendens but before entry of claimant’s judgment – Mira Overseas Consulting Ltd. v. Muse Family Enterprises Ltd., No. B254298 (Cal. Ct. App. June 2, 2015) (reversed).
- Equitable Easement: grant of equitable easement reversed where trespassing neighbor would not suffer greatly disproportionate hardship by having to remove her patio furniture from her neighbor’s land – Shoen v. Zacarias, No. B254487 (Ca. Ct. App. May 22, 2015) (reversed).
- Equitable Lien/Statute of Limitations: contractor’s action to enforce equitable lien for furnishing of labor on project barred by one-year statute of limitations, where contractor’s last day on project occurred more than one year before filing suit – Jax Utilities Mgmt., Inc. v. Hancock Bank, No. 1D14-664 (Fla. 1st DCA June 11, 2015) (affirmed).
- Foreclosure/Payment History: trial court correctly granted new trial on amount of debt owed to successor loan servicer, where successor servicer offered to establish that it independently verified accuracy of loan payment histories of predecessor servicer – Sas v. Fed. Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n, No. 2D14-1003 (Fla. 2d DCA June 10, 2015) (affirmed).
- Foreclosure Sale/Setting Aside: purchaser of property at foreclosure sale subject to rule of caveat emptor, and trial court should not have set aside sale merely because purchaser complained about physical condition of property after sale – US Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Rios, No. 2D14-4898 (Fla. 2d DCA June 10, 2015) (reversed and remanded).
- Foreclosure/Acceleration: trial court erroneously accelerated balance due because contract between parties did not contain acceleration clause – Harrington v. Tolar, No. 2D14-4768 (Fla. 2d DCA June 10, 2015) (reversed and remanded).
- Eminent Domain: owner of reversionary interest in property taken by eminent domain not entitled to compensation under Florida law because it did not own fee simple title on day of taking – Homestead Land Group, LLC v. City of Homestead, etc., and First Baptist Church of Perrine, Inc., No. 3D14-2448 (Fla. 3d DCA June 3, 2015) (affirmed).
- Foreclosure/Attorneys’ Fees: defendant borrower, who alleged obligation to pay fees to counsel but made no demand for fees, entitled to recover fees following dismissal of foreclosure action because pleading was consistent with former approved mortgage foreclosure form approved by Florida Supreme Court; however, new Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.115, entitled “Pleading Mortgage Foreclosures” and Forms 1.944(a) and (b) adopted in 2014 now require that a party allege a basis for fees and make demand for fees in the “Wherefore” clause in order to recover fees in foreclosure actions – Fanelli v. HSBC Bank USA, Case No. 4D13-4111 (Fla. 4th DCA June 3, 2015) (reversed).
- Foreclosure: foreclosure judgment improper to the extent it adjudicated priorities between liens when neither party presented competent evidence on the issue – Hidden Ridge Condominium Homeowners v. Greentree Servicing, LLC, etc., et al., Case No. 5D14-2048 (Fla. DCA June 5, 2015) (affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded).
TITLE INSURANCE UPDATE
- Abuse of Process: title insurer did not engage in abuse of process by retaining counsel for its insured to establish an insured easement – Denton v. First American Title Ins. Co., Case No. DA 14-0585 (Mont. June 2, 2015) (affirming summary judgment).
- Escrow Agent: wrongdoing of one party to an escrow agreement cannot be imputed to escrow agent, and, absent fraud of that party, escrow agent has no duty to disclose information to other party – Madison Square Dev. Partnership of Arizona v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., Case No. 1-CS-CV 14-0115 (Az. May 21, 2015) (reversing summary judgment and remanding for entry of judgment in favor of Chicago Title).