Third Circuit Finds RESPA Claims in Captive Mortgage Reinsurance Case Untimely and Not Subject to Equitable Tolling
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that the class action plaintiffs had not satisfied the elements of equitable tolling where they filed their lawsuit several years after the applicable statute of limitations had expired. Cunningham v. M&T Bank Corp., No. 15-1412 (3d Cir. Feb. 19, 2016). The Court noted that claims under RESPA have a one-year statute of limitations, running from the date of the occurrence of the violation, which begin “at the closing of the loan,” citing In re Cmty. Bank of N. Virginia, 622 F.3d 275, 301–02 (3d Cir. 2010). The Court outlined three elements to establish equitable tolling, “(1) that the defendant actively misled the plaintiff; (2) which prevented the plaintiff from recognizing the validity of her claim within the limitations period; and (3) where the plaintiff’s ignorance is not attributable to her lack of reasonable due diligence in attempting to uncover the relevant facts;” and emphasized that each of the plaintiffs were provided a disclosure before closing about the captive reinsurance arrangement, and that after closing the plaintiffs took no steps to investigate whether the bank’s captive reinsurance program might violate state or federal law.