Justia Consumer Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Hawaii Supreme Court
Chang v. Buffington
Walter and Sylvia Chang and the Walter Chang Trust instituted an action related to the foreclosure of property on which the Changs held a purchase money mortgage. The Chang named as defendants several parties, including Eadean Buffington, the Changs' attorney, and Investors Funding, a mortgagee of the property. After the circuit court action was removed to the bankruptcy court, Integrity Escrow and Title was added as a third party defendant. The bankruptcy court granted the Changs' petition for a determination that their settlement with Investors Funding was made in good faith. Buffington and Integrity appealed the order. The bankruptcy court subsequently remanded the action to the circuit court. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) dismissed Buffington and Integrity's appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court vacated the ICA's dismissal order, holding the ICA erred in concluding that (1) it lacked jurisdiction over the appeal because one of the parties was in bankruptcy; (2) it lacked jurisdiction over the appeal because the good faith settlement order was not in the record on appeal; and (3) the good faith settlement order entered by the bankruptcy court prior to remand was not properly appealable in the state court system. Remanded.