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CA B&P 17200 (Unfair Competition Law) is Valid Claim when Bankster Reneges on Modification Agreement

July 25, 2014

Rufini v. CitiMortgage

Court: California Court of Appeal
Docket: A138480M Opinion Date: July 22, 2014
Judge: Siggins
Areas of Law: Banking, Contracts, Injury Law, Real Estate & Property Law
In 2007 Rufini purchased his Sonoma residence with a $600,000 loan. Rufini and his fiancée lived in the home until they separated. In June 2009, CitiMortgage approved Rufini for a loan modification and told him he would receive a permanent modification after making timely trial payments of $2787.93 in July, August and September. Rufini timely made the payments at the modified rate through December. In January, 2010, CitiMortgage informed him that his permanent loan modification agreement would be ready in three days. Three months later, with still no written agreement, he rented out his house to offset expenses In August Rufini learned that Citibank was denying his loan modification, because the home was not owner-occupied. He attempted to make timely mortgage payments at the modified level, but CitiMortgage returned his checks. Rufini received a notice of default in September 2010, followed by a notice of trustee’s sale scheduled for January 2011. He contacted CitiMortgage and obtained its agreement to delay the foreclosure. CitiMortgage assigned Semien to Rufini’s account, but Rufini was unable to contact him on the phone for three and a half weeks. On April 11 Rufini was informed his modification was “in final state of completion.” On May 4, his house was sold at auction. The trial court dismissed Rufini’s complaint alleging “breach of contract—promissory estoppel,” breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation. The appeals court reversed and remanded the claims of negligent representation and under Business and Professions Code section 17200, the unfair competition law.

Nancy Duffy McCarron, CBN 164780
Attorney, Real Estate Broker, BBB Arbitrator, CA Notary Public
Certified Forensic Loan Auditor, Property Manager


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