April 15th, 2019

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Early Sullivan Prevails for Client Sun West in 11th Circuit Affirmation

Scott Gizer successfully prevailed in Iaffaldano v. Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc. after the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a judgment by the District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding that Early Sullivan client, Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc., had not violated RESPA when it procured force placed flood insurance for its borrower Michelle Iaffaldano.

Iaffaldano had argued that Sun West had established an escrow account for her when it created a Repayment Plan pursuant to which Iaffaldano was to reimburse Sun West for the fees advanced for the force placed insurance. Iaffaldano further argued that establishing an escrow account precluded Sun West from obtaining force placed insurance and, instead, required Sun West to renew Iaffaldano’s voluntary insurance. The District Court disagreed that the Repayment Plan established an escrow account and found Sun West’s conduct to be proper and in compliance with RESPA.

The 11th Circuit affirmed finding that the District Court had been correct in its judgment that the plaintiff did not have an escrow account (as defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1024.17(b)) with Sun West, and was therefore not entitled to protections from force-placed insurance afforded under § 1024.17(k)(5).