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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Federal judge denies dismissal of suit against Wells Fargo over 2014 foreclosure


By Karen Kidd | Mar 25, 2020

Wells Fargo Bank | Wikimedia Commons/Tdorante10

WEST PALM BEACH — A Palm Beach County woman's lawsuit against Wells Fargo over the 2014 foreclosure of her property remains alive following a federal judge's order issued last month.

In his 23-page order issued Feb. 19, U.S. District Court Kenneth A. Marra, on the bench in Florida's Southern District, dismissed one of two remaining counts in the case, saying questions still remain about Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) notification.

The plaintiff in the case, Karen C. Yeh Ho, claims Wells Fargo violated 30-day notification provisions of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

"A plaintiff may maintain a private right of action to recover actual damages, punitive damages, costs and attorney fees caused by violations of ECOA notification requirements," Marra said in a footnote in his order.

Marra granted Wells Fargo's motion for summary judgment in Ho's Real Estate Settlement Practices Act (RESPA) claim.

Ho represented herself in her original November 2015 lawsuit against Wells Fargo for damages she claims resulted from "wrongful" foreclosure the previous year on her Boyton Beach property in violation of Loss Mitigation Procedures. Ho also claimed Wells Fargo used fraudulent documents and committed breach of contract fraud in obtaining her property.

Marra's order followed a U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision in June 2018 to reverse Marra's earlier dismissal of the case and Ho's filing of an amended complaint.

Marra subsequently granted a Wells Fargo motion to dismiss Ho's amended complaint on her second count based on Ho's Fair Housing Act claim but denied Well's Fargo's motion to dismiss Ho's Equal Credit Opportunity Act claim and her RESPA violation claim.

Ho did not file a second amended complaint, which meant her Equal Credit Opportunity Act and her RESPA violation claims remained in play.

Marra left Ho's ECOA claim in place, "where genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether the notification provided by defendant fell short of the notification requirements," the order said.

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida West Palm Beach Division

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