08.02.2019 | Client Alerts

First Circuit Court of Appeals Withdraws Foreclosure Decision Adverse to Lenders and Certifies Question to MA Supreme Judicial Court

The First Circuit recently shook up the foreclosure industry with its decision in Thompson v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 915 F.3d 801 (1st Cir. 2019), wherein the panel concluded that Chase, the holder of a mortgage on the Thompsons’ house, could not properly foreclose because the foreclosure notice advised the Thompsons they could avoid foreclosure if, but only if, the Thompsons paid the balance due on or before the specified foreclosure date. Since the mortgage required the Thompsons to pay the balance five days before the foreclosure date in order to evade foreclosure, the First Circuit concluded that Chase had not strictly complied and overturned the foreclosure. After a petition for rehearing wherein Chase’s counsel raised for the first time a state banking regulation that it claims required it to use that language, and after several amicus briefs claiming disaster in the mortgage industry if the decision stands, the First Circuit withdrew its opinion and certified the question to the SJC. The parties must now await the SJC’s determination or its request for further briefing and argument.

For more information, please contact Jason Manekas, a real estate litigation and business litigation partner, at jmanekas@bg-llp.com or 617-790-3308.