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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Written request for HAMP assistance resets foreclosures limitations

Courts Appellate Ninth Circuit HAMP Mortgages Foreclosure Mortgage Modification Mortgage Servicing


On December 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgement in favor of a bank and mortgage servicer defendants in an action brought by a consumer to prevent foreclosure of his property. According to the unpublished opinion, in 2016, the consumer, who was struggling with his mortgage payments, submitted loan modification requests on three occasions. In each request, the consumer provided written acknowledgment of the original debt and expressed his desire to pay in order to keep his property. The consumer asserted that Washington state law and the FDCPA prohibited the defendants from instituting foreclosure proceedings on his mortgage because the six-year statute of limitations for filing for foreclosure had expired. On appeal, the three judge panel rejected the consumer’s argument, determining that the limitation on filing for foreclosure had not run, explaining that because the consumer had not communicated to defendants “an intent not to pay,” and each of the modification requests acknowledged the debt in writing, the foreclosure statute of limitations period was restarted each of the three times he submitted his loan modification requests.

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