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Appellate Victory for Mortgage Lender

Author: Amy S. Ooi

On May 31, 2018, the appellee mortgage lender, represented by SettlePou attorneys Amy S. Ooi and Byron L. Kelley, obtained a favorable decision from the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas, who squarely rejected the borrower’s claim that he was defrauded based on the theory that the lender identified in the note was a d/b/a and not an actual corporation. 

At issue was whether the original lender, America’s Wholesale Lender (“AWL”), actually existed when borrower signed his loan documents. SettlePou attorneys Amy S. Ooi and Byron L. Kelley successfully argued that AWL existed with the ability to contract because AWL is an assumed name of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. and was legally conducting business in Texas at the origination of the loan. Counsel successfully argued that the presence of a later incorporated business using a similar name, America’s Wholesale Lender, Inc., had no bearing on the validity of the deed. Ultimately, the was no special requirement that a deed of trust made under a business’ assumed name—evidenced by an assumed name certificate filed with the Texas Secretary of State—specifically indicate that the business name was an “assumed name” or d/b/a.  After the oral argument, the Fifth District affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of SettlePou’s client, U.S. Bank Trust, N.A. and Caliber Home Loans, Inc.

The case is James B. Ostberg v. Bank of America, N.A., U.S. Bank Trust, N.A., Caliber Home Loans, Inc., and Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. No. 05-17-00255-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas, May 31, 2018). For more information, please contact Amy S. Ooi at aooi@settlepou.com.