9th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling Further Cementing Early Sullivan’s Success Against HOA Title Claims

In another historic ruling, the 9th Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling obtained by Early Sullivan in favor of its client Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company agreeing that the Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank. N.A. could not assert any valid claims against its title insurer Commonwealth for the denial of a claim resulting from a foreclosure on a HOA superpriority lien.  This (attached) memorandum opinion follows the landmark ruling issued by the Nevada Supreme Court in October 2023 finding that title insurers had no liability for these HOA superpriority lien claims under the basic insuring provisions of the title policy and the ALTA 5/CLTA 115.2 and ALTA 9/CLTA 100 endorsements. Wells Fargo had tried to find an exception to the rule laid down by the Nevada Supreme Court with respect to the ALTA 9/CLTA 100 arguing that the language in these particular CC&Rs had different language entitling them to coverage. Wells Fargo also argued that it had coverage under the CLTA 100.13 endorsement, which was not addressed by the Nevada Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit disagreed with both arguments holding that the language of the CC&Rs in this particular case did not change the outcome and that the CLTA 100.13 did not provide coverage because it only covered liens created by the CC&Rs, not by statute, and the superpriority lien was a purely statutory lien. With this most recent victory, the remaining HOA claims still being maintained by the insured lenders, should now be dismissed, ending this more than one hundred million dollar saga, with the scores of plaintiffs being paid little to nothing from the Firm’s title insurer clients.