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Real Property – Mortgage Refinance – Attorney Preference – Prepopulated Form

Holding: Given plaintiff’s wife’s filling out of an online loan application, the court predicts that the South Carolina Supreme Court would conclude that the defendant-lender ascertained the preference of the borrower as to legal counsel relating to the closing in compliance with the South Carolina Attorney Preference Statute.

Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted.

Plaintiff’s wife had permission from plaintiff to convey to an agent of defendant Quicken Loans that plaintiff would not use the services of preferred legal counsel to represent him in this transaction. After receiving the wife’s response that plaintiff did not have counsel of preference, Quicken Loans (1) sent plaintiff an Attorney/Insurance Preference Checklist (AIPC) that advised him that he has “a right to select legal counsel to represent me(us) in all matters of this transaction relating to the closing of the loan” and (2) prepopulated the AIPC with the statement “I/We will not use the services of legal counsel.”

Upon receipt of the AIPC, the wife reviewed it, discussed it with plaintiff, electronically signed it and electronically transmitted the document back to Quicken Loans. There is no evidence before the court that plaintiff had any questions about the content of the AIPC.

Thereafter, plaintiff had approximately seven weeks to express an attorney preference to Quicken Loans, which he did not do. Moreover, plaintiff has not voiced any displeasure with counsel chosen by Quicken Loans (Scotty Sheriff).

Based on the foregoing, the court predicts that the South Carolina Supreme Court would conclude that Quicken Loans did “ascertain . . . the preference of the borrower as to [] legal counsel relating to the closing in compliance with the SCAPS.

Motion granted.

Messex v. Quicken Loans, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-047-18, 10 pp.) (J. Michelle Childs, J.) 2:15-cv-04773; Charles Bradley Hutto, Daniel Webster Williams, Steven Hamm and C. Jo Anne Wessinger Hill for plaintiff; Allen Mattison Bogan, Benjamin Rush Smith III, Carmen Harper Thomas, and Graham Ross Billings for defendant. D.S.C.

 

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