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  • Potomac Litigation

No harm, no equitable rescission

Young-Allen v. Bank of America (Va. Apr. 2, 2020)


A homeowner defaults on her mortgage. The bank notifies her it's going to hold a foreclosure sale. She asks for “reinstatement figures.” The bank doesn’t provide them; instead, it forecloses. The homeowner brings a claim for equitable rescission. Should the court rescind the foreclosure? Virginia Supreme Court: No.

Equitable rescission is not a cause of action, but a remedy. Here, the underlying cause of action is breach of contract. The homeowner, however, has “failed to allege that she could have cured her default and prevented the foreclosure sale if she received the notices at issue.” Thus, she hasn’t shown the claimed breach was material (that is, that it caused her harm). Case dismissed.

Bottom line: No harm, no equitable rescission.