Federal National Mortgage Association v. Sundquist

Topic(s): 
Consumer Justice
Preemption of Consumer Remedies
Case Description: 

In this case, an out-of-state national bank instituted a nonjudicial foreclosure (or trustee’s sale) against a Utah homeowner, Loraine Sundquist. Fannie Mae bought the property and then sued to evict Ms. Sundquist after the property had been sold. Ms. Sundquist defended on the ground that the foreclosure was unlawful, because Utah law permits nonjudicial foreclosures only when the trustee is a Utah attorney or title insurance company with an office in Utah. Fannie Mae argued that Utah’s law was preempted by a provision of the National Bank Act that allows national banks to act as trustees. The Utah Supreme Court ultimately rejected the preemption argument, and Fannie Mae filed a petition for certiorari. The U.S. Supreme Court requested that the Solicitor General file an amicus brief stating the position of the United States on whether certiorari should be granted. PCLG assisted Ms. Sundquist’s attorneys in communicating with the SG’s office and in filing a supplemental brief once the SG filed a brief recommending denial on the ground that the Utah Supreme Court’s decision was not a final decision over which the Supreme Court had jurisdiction. The Supreme Court denied certiorari.