Daron Janis

Daron Janis


Senior Counsel

 

Overview

Daron L. Janis is recognized in Texas Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in appellate law and maintains an active practice in regulatory compliance and business litigation. As an appellate lawyer, Daron has taken a leading role in four of the last six cases in the Texas Supreme Court involving home-equity loans under article XVI, section 50(a)(6) of the Texas Constitution, and he regularly argues before the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals and state courts of appeals.

Daron’s compliance work includes advising forward and reverse mortgage lenders regarding federal and state statutory and regulatory requirements, developing new loan products and creating loan documents and disclosures for those products to comply with all legal and industry requirements, revising existing loan documents to adapt to statutory and regulatory changes and to provide lenders greater protection based on litigation experience, and assisting lenders with investigations by federal and state regulators. Daron is well-versed in relevant statutes and regulations including RESPA/Reg X, TILA/Reg Z, FCRA/Reg V, ECOA/Reg B, and state statutes and regulations governing forward and reverse mortgage loan products.

Prior to attending law school, Daron worked in a wide variety of positions within the residential mortgage origination industry, during which time he gained valuable experience and insight into the mortgage industry from a business perspective. As a consumer finance litigator who has defended financial services companies in class actions, qui tam actions, and a multitude of high-exposure individual cases in federal and state courts, Daron also understands the types of legal issues that can arise for banks, credit unions, and residential mortgage lenders, investors, and servicers with regard to consumer lending products.

Representative Experience

Appellate – Texas 50(a)(6)/Home Equity

  • Obtaining an answer from the Texas Supreme Court on a certified question that preserved equitable subrogation rights for Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity lenders.
  • Defending appeal in the Texas Supreme Court regarding significant issues related to the contractual forfeiture penalty mandated by TEX. CONST. art. XVI, § 50(a)(6)(Q)(x).
  • Defending appeal in the Texas Supreme Court in case that upheld lenders’ ability to modify Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity loans.
  • Defending mortgage servicer in litigation and appeal of a putative class-action within multi-district litigation involving potential limitations on modifications of Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity loans.

Appellate – Consumer Finance Generally

  • Representing mortgage servicer mortgage-backed securities trustee in appeal involving foreclosure statute-of-limitations issues.
  • Representing credit reporting agency in FCRA defense of negligence and defamation claims arising from a background report generated in connection with an apartment housing application.
  • Representing national bank in appeal regarding service of pre-foreclosure notices.

Appellate – Other

  • Obtaining mandamus from Texas Supreme Court in case reaffirming dormant Texas law regarding dismissals for want of prosecution.
  • Pro bono appellate defense of judgment awarding damages to victim of civil rights abuse under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
  • Representing a leading logistics provider in its appeal of an adverse judgment awarding lost profits on a breach-of-contract claim. The court of appeals reversed and rendered a take-nothing judgment.
  • Representing amicus curiae in the Texas Supreme Court in negligent entrustment case. After the petition for review was initially denied, filed a second amicus brief in support of a motion for rehearing that was granted and resulted in a ruling favorable to the client.
  • Representing the Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline in appeal involving due-process issues under the Texas Constitution.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Advising mortgage servicers and government sponsored enterprises regarding Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity issues.
  • Representing national bank in internal investigation of closing practices, including self-reporting and resolution of issues with relevant regulators to ward off any investigation.
  • Revising government sponsored entities’ uniform instruments for Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity loans.
  • Advising mortgage broker regarding RESPA issues and assisting with expansion into new states.
  • Representing mortgage servicer in investigations by the CFPB and state attorney general regarding reverse mortgage servicing, escrow, and foreclosure practices.
  • Drafting loan documents and disclosures for new reverse mortgage products.
  • Advising reverse mortgage lender regarding changes to New York statutes and regulations.
  • Adapting loan documents and disclosures for reverse mortgage products to conform with specific state requirements.
  • Conducting due diligence for national bank in its acquisition of a mortgage banker.

Litigation

  • Defending national mortgage servicer in scores of related cases involving lender liability claims arising from forbearance agreements in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  • Representing commercial loan creditor in suit to recover $1 million judgment from entity related to judgment debtor under a successor liability theory.
  • Representing mortgage servicers in putative class actions and individual litigation regarding the permissibility, under the Texas Constitution, of 50(a)(6)/home-equity loan modifications.
  • Representing national bank in suit to establish its claim in a complicated and highly disputed probate matter relating to a large commercial line of credit.

Reported Decisions

  • Fed. Home Loan Mortg. Corp. v. Zepeda, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2020 WL 1975169 (Tex. 2020). Certified question to the Texas Supreme Court regarding equitable subrogation. The Court reaffirmed Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity lenders’ equitable subrogation rights.
  • Solis v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 726 F. App’x 221 (5th Cir. 2018) (affirming dismissal of RESPA claims relating to manufactured home.
  • Feuerbacher v. Wells Fargo Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 701 F. App’x 297 (5th Cir. 2017). Affirming summary judgment against Texas 50(a)(6)-based claims based on judicial estoppel and recognizing a four-year statute of limitations on breach-of-contract claims seeking forfeiture of all principal and interest.
  • De los Santos v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline, 547 S.W.3d 640 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2017, pet. denied). Affirming jury verdict in case involving state constitutional due-process challenge to rules governing appointment of judges in attorney disciplinary actions.
  • Worthing v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., 545 S.W.3d 127 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2017, no pet.). Affirming summary judgment against wrongful foreclosure claims and holding that a lender could retroactively become authorized to make Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity loans.
  • Garofolo v. Ocwen Loan Serv., L.L.C., 497 S.W.3d 474 (Tex. 2016). Certified questions to the Texas Supreme Court regarding the contractual forfeiture penalty for Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity loans.
  • Wood v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., 505 S.W.3d 542 (Tex. 2016). Determining whether a four-year statute of limitations applies to quiet-title claims in Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity cases.
  • Cowart v. Erwin, 837 F.3d 444 (5th Cir. 2016). Affirming jury verdict for civil rights abuse victim in 42 U.S.C. § 1983 case.
  • In re Connor, 458 S.W.3d 532 (Tex. 2015). Issuing mandamus to dismiss case for want or prosecution after more than eight years of inactivity.
  • Sims v. Carrington Mortg. Servs., L.L.C., 440 S.W.3d 10 (Tex. 2014). Certified question to the Texas Supreme Court regarding the permissibility of modifications of Texas 50(a)(6)/home-equity loans.
  • Green v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 575 F. App'x 322 (5th Cir. 2014). Interlocutory appeal of preliminary injunction against foreclosure. The Fifth Circuit vacated the injunction on the basis there was no likelihood of success on the merits.
  • Green v. Lexis-Nexis, 513 F. App’x 772 (10th Cir. 2013). Affirming dismissal of FCRA-based negligence and defamation claims arising from criminal background report.
  • Pennington v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., 493 F. App’x 548 (5th Cir. 2012). Affirming dismissal of putative class action involving HAMP trial period plans.
  • Exel Transp. Servs., Inc. v. Aim High Logistics Servs., LLC, 323 S.W.3d 224 (Tex. App.—Dallas, 2010, pet. denied). Reversed jury verdict and rendered take-nothing judgment based on failure to prove lost profits damages.

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Named, Texas Rising Stars by Super Lawyers (2017-2020)
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society