April 10th, 2020
Christopher Ritter (with the involvement of William Wright and Kevin Sinclair) prevailed on summary judgment for the Firm’s client Fidelity National Title Insurance Company against PennyMac in the action entitled, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust Holding I, LLC v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company.
The breach of contract/bad faith action before the American Arbitration Association was initiated by PennyMac and its firm Blank Rome. It arose from Fidelity’s denial of a defense in an underlying action brought by a homeowner against PennyMac alleging that PennyMac’s deed of trust was invalid.
Based on the Firm’s briefing and argument, the arbitrator relied on the California XWarehouse case stating: “The court points out the well-established principle that the title insurance policy insured only the validity of the deed of trust and not the note secured by that deed of trust, therefore it did not matter whether the [loan] funding was established at the time of the tender, because either way, the title insurer would have had no obligation to pay money.”
Still pending is the arbitrator’s tentative determination to award Fidelity its attorney’s fees and costs.