Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Northern California Judge dismisses mortgage fraud case due to late filing

The property at the center of the dispute.
Photo Courtesy of Google Maps.
I'm not sure how many judges were working on Friday, but Lucy H. Koh was and she released an order dismissing the federal claims in a mortgage fraud case for failure to file within the statute of limitations.

According to Court documents, Mark Castillo refinanced the property shown to the right in May 2006 with a loan secured by a deed of trust.  Mr. Castillo contends that he didn't understand any of the documents in his $529,000 loan and he filed suit in superior court in 2010.  Countrywide removed the action and moved to dismiss the case.

Judge Koh noted that the Northern District of California has adopted the Third Circuit's rule that claims for money damages under the Home Owner's Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) are subject to the one year statute of limitations in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Perdiguerra et al v. Meridias Capital, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Feb. 1, 2010) (Armstrong, J.) quoting In re Community Bank of Northern Virginia (3d Cir. 2005).  Here, the claims seem to be filed at least three years after the operative event (entering into the loan).

Judge Koh dismissed the case with leave to amend.  The case is Castillo v. Countrywide Home Loans No. C 10-3538 and the order is below the jump.

Castillo v. Countrywide Home Loans

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