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California Court of Appeal case of Fleet v. Bank of America

The recent California Court of Appeal case of Fleet v. Bank of America is the topic of this blog post. This case was decided by the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three on August 25, 2014, on September 23, 2014 the Court granted the request of several parties for publication.

I truly feel that this case is unusual and may represent a turning point as it is the only published case from California that I am aware of in which an appeals Court appears to be at least considering that the banks may be engaging in a pattern of fraud and deceit.

The opinion begins on page 2 of the slip opinion with the wording, “This appeal represents another example of what is becoming a well established and predictable pattern.” The opinion then goes on to state on page 3 that “[T]his case falls into line with a number of cases in which a homeowner has been promised a mortgage modification under a program designed to forestall foreclosure only to find the notice thereof posted on the door. The kindest interpretation to place on this scenario is lender incompetence…This is the most likely explanation, given the size of the institutions involved, but it is not the only one, and as the numbers of such cases grow, other less benign explanations are coming to more and more minds.” The opinion then goes on to cite the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case of Corvello v. Wells Fargo Bank (9th Cir. 2013) 728 F.3d 878, 885 (conc. opn. of Noonan, J.).

On page 8 of the slip opinion in discussing the promissory fraud cause of action the opinion states that, “They were damaged both by the loss of their home and by the loss of the money they expended jumping through hoops, running around in circles, and talking to walls in an effort to obtain the loan modification BofA had promised them, all the while unaware that BofA had no intention of modifying their loan.”

The Court reversed the Judgment entered in the case and reversed the order sustaining the demurrer to the cause of action for fraud as to BofA and several other individual defendants, as well as reversing the order sustaining demurrers to the breach of contract and promissory estoppel causes of action against BofA although the Court did affirm the order sustaining the demurrers without leave to amend against several other defendants including Recon Trust.

The Court also affirmed the order sustaining the demurrer to the cause of action for accounting without leave to amend.

Interestingly enough on page 13 of the slip opinion the Court also urged the Fleets to engage counsel to, “[G]ive them a chance to litigate on equal terms with BofA.”

I read a lot of published and unpublished cases in my work and this has to be the first case I have read from California that even hints that the Courts may be finally waking up to what the big banks are actually doing. And that is good news indeed.

Attorneys or parties in California who would like to view over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation created by the author of this blog post can use the link shown below.

http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

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DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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