|Foreclosing Lender Vindicated by Bankruptcy Appellate Panel|
Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Rejects Finding of Unfair and Deceptive Conduct by Lender
Honolulu, May 1, 2008 - The 9th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) reversed a decision by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawai`i that held a lender was liable for committing an unfair and deceptive act in conducting a foreclosure sale. The Bankruptcy Court ruled that the failure to announce a postponement--even though there was no one there to hear it--was illegal. The BAP rejected that ruling entirely, holding that a harmless technical failure was not a basis for imposing damages against the lender.
The decision nullifies the lower court's decree that the lender pay nearly half a million dollars in damages. The ruling highlights the importance of distinguishing technical violations from ones that cause harm to consumers and protects lenders against being held liable for harmless mistakes.
Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing attorneys took over the case and prevailed on the appeal after the lender's former counsel handled the foreclosure sale.