Author Archives: Scott Michelman

Narrow Supreme Court standing decision in surveillance case

In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court held that lawyers, journalists and human-rights workers whose work requires that they communicate with individuals abroad whose communications the federal government is likely to target under its broad new surveillance authority lack standing to challenge the statute granting the government that broad authority. The majority dismisses as […]

Sixth Circuit strikes down inadequate robo-signing class action settlement

A number of significant legal opinions were released today on procedural and/or substantive issues affecting consumers. We'll be highlighting each of them in turn today. First, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a settlement of three class action lawsuits arising out of the fraudulent signing of affidavits without personal knowledge in order to […]

An astonishing arbitration decision in an age of astonishing arbitration decisions

Why do courts enforce mandatory arbitration clauses? Because the contracting parties agreed to them, the courts tell us. Not this time. A Florida intermediate appellate court held earlier this month that an arbitration clause was enforceable in a wrongful death suit against a rehabilitation center even though Jessie Holloway, the 92-year-old woman who signed the […]

$35 million fraud settlement in Florida

From a DOJ press release: "Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS), a publicly traded mortgage servicing company based in Jacksonville, Fla., has agreed to pay $35 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture to address its participation in a six-year scheme to prepare and file more than 1 million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage-related documents with property […]

Forced arbitration of claim on behalf of non-party to arbitration agreement

In light of the steady march toward maximum judicial enforcement of arbitration clauses, perhaps nothing should surprise us anymore, but a recent federal district court decision caught the eyes of several of us here at CL&P Blog. This decision, from the Southern District of Ohio, ruled that a dispute was subject to arbitration even though […]

Marco Rubio channels Elizabeth Warren… for just a moment

As the New York Times pointed out (as we noted yesterday), Republicans have continued to oppose the work (and existence) of the CFPB. So I was a little surprised to hear Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's State of the Union response last night include this exhortation: "Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give […]

The state of the economy and forgotten “millennials”

One of my favorite Washington Post columnists, Alexandra Petri, whose pieces I find both topical and funny, has this insightful column today about a group whose perspective often gets lost in debates over the economy and initiatives to improve it. The takeaway: the "millennial" generation is in trouble, and has been for some time — […]

NYT report: Emails document JPMorgan Chase coverup of bad loans

See here for this new report on banking shenanigans. Here's the gist: When an outside analysis uncovered serious flaws with thousands of home loans, JPMorgan Chase executives found an easy fix. Rather than disclosing the full extent of problems like fraudulent home appraisals and overextended borrowers, the bank adjusted the critical reviews, according to documents […]

A window on foreclosure process in Florida

This NPR story this morning takes a look at Florida's judicial foreclosure process, comparing it unfavorably with other states where foreclosures move faster. A banker blames the courts and defense attorneys; a judge blames the banks sloppy paperwork; a defense attorney chimes in for consumer protection. Worth a listen (or read), though the thrust of […]

Many Americans, lacking savings, live on their own fiscal cliff

A fascinating and troubling story from NPR this morning about Americans with little or no savings is worth a listen (or read) to get a sense of many Americans' financial vulnerability. Here's the opening: In his inaugural address, President Obama talked about a country where even "a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows […]