Ocwen Loan Servicing v. Marino (In re Marino)

Case Type:
Consumer
Case Status:
Affirmed in part and Reversed in part
Citation:
Nos. 18-60005, 18-60006, 18-60040, 18-60041 (9th Circuit, Feb 10,2020) Published
Tag(s):
Ruling:
9th Cir. dismissed for lack of jurisdiction appeals from BAP's decision affirming bankruptcy court’s contempt orders issued against a creditor and reversing and remanding issue of punitive damages; and affirmed BAP’s denial of debtors’ motion for attorney’s fees. Ninth Circuit applied four part test to determine it lacked jurisdiction to consider BAP remand to bankruptcy court. BAP decision did not end the contempt proceeding, but remanded for further factual findings and conclusions of law. BAP did not abuse discretion in declining to award appellee fees.
Procedural context:
Chapter 7 debtors filed motion for contempt against creditor for violating discharge injunction. Bankruptcy court entered civil contempt sanction, denied debtors' request for punitive damages, and denied creditor's motion for reconsideration. BAP affirmed contempt and reconsideration orders but reversed and remanded on issue of punitive damages. BAP denied debtors' motion for appellate attorney's fees. Creditor appealed bankruptcy contempt and reconsideration orders to 9th Circuit and appealed BAP reversal of bankruptcy court on punitive damages. Debtors appealed BAPs decision on attorney fees.
Facts:
After the bankruptcy court entered a chapter 7 discharge injunction in June 2013, Debtors, Christopher and Valerie Marino, continued to receive letters and telephone calls from Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC (“Ocwen”) about the home they had abandoned to foreclosure before filing for bankruptcy. Following an evidentiary hearing, the bankruptcy court found Ocwen in contempt of the discharge injunction and imposed a $119,000 civil contempt sanction--$1,000 for each 119 violations.
Judge(s):
Wallace, Murguia, Lasnik

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