Home foreclosure 101 — Statute of Frauds bars claim about potential loan mod

The plaintiff in Gordon v. JP Morgan Chase alleged that a home foreclosure was prevented by the lender′s promises of a permanent loan modification under the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (“HAMP”).  No. 12-20323 (Jan. 3, 2013, unpublished).  The Fifth Circuit agreed with the lender that the Statute of Frauds did not allow such a claim to proceed under Texas contract law.  Because the SOF barred the contract claim, promissory estoppel could only arise if the lender orally promised to sign a writing that would satisfy the SOF, and that the writing was in existence at the time of the promise.  Statements about future loan papers did not satisfy this rule.  While the opinion is unpublished, its analysis has the potential for extensive citation in state and federal cases seeking to stop foreclosures because of statements made in the context of HAMP negotiations.

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