Martin Bryce, Jr.
Martin Bryce, Jr.

Martin C. Bryce, Jr.

Partner

bryce@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8238
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

Martin C. Bryce, Jr., has a diverse practice focused on mortgage-related litigation, including foreclosures, credit card-related litigation, arbitration, commercial law, and class action defense. 

Mr. Bryce has represented lenders and servicers in a variety of mortgage-related litigation, including cases involving claims and defenses under the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and various state laws. He has successfully tried several mortgage-related cases, including several foreclosure actions. He has defended class actions in courts, both state and federal, throughout the United States. He also has enforced arbitration agreements in both state and federal courts and has defended clients in a variety of matters that have gone to arbitration.

Mr. Bryce has successfully handled appeals in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits, as well as in numerous state appeals courts, including those of California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin. He has significant trial experience in both federal and state courts.

Representative Matters

Mortgage-Related Litigation

  • Simmsparris v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 652 F.3d 355 (3d Cir. 2011) (resolving issue of first impression and affirming grant of summary judgment with respect to Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claim arising out of credit reporting on mortgage loan)
  • MidFirst Bank v. Biller, No. 13-10-13, 2010 WL 5060629 (Ohio App. 2010) (affirming decision denying class certification where trial court would have had to consider oral agreements to pay counsel fees and the parol evidence rule did not bar such consideration)
  • Jones v. ABN Amro Mortgage Group, 606 F.3d 119 (3d Cir. 2010) (argued appeal on behalf of more than a dozen banks and servicers and the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ class action complaint with prejudice)
  • St. Hill v. Tribeca Lending Corp., No. 09-2367, 2010 WL 4997724 (3d Cir. 2010) (reversing trial court decision and holding that TILA did not apply to refinance loan although majority of the loan proceeds were used to refinance personal loans where the borrower testified that the primary purpose of the loan was to refinance business loans)
  • Parker v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., __ F.3d __, 2011 WL 4640867 (3d Cir. Oct. 7, 2011) (affirming judgment after trial and rejecting plaintiff's TILA and state law claims concerning mortgage refinancing)
  • Siffel v. NMF, Inc., No. 09-3850, 2010 WL 2747476 (3d Cir. July 13, 2010) (affirming entry of summary judgment on TILA and Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims)
  • Milligan, et al. v. Chevy Chase Bank, et al., No. ESX-L-2539-00 (N.J. Essex Co. Law Div. Nov. 4, 2009) (denying class certification of Consumer Fraud Act and other state law claims in case challenging financing of home improvement contracts)
  • Devine v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 2008 WL 4367489 (E.D. Pa. 2008) (granting summary judgment in favor of lender with respect to a number of the plaintiffs' claims asserting violations of TILA and violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection)
  • US Bank v. Devine, No. 07-5038 (Del. Co. C.P. Pa.) (after trial, $2.7 million foreclosure verdict)

Credit Card-Related Litigation  

  • Burrell v. DFS Services, LLC, 2010 WL 4926704 (D.N.J. Dec. 6, 2010) (harmonizing apparently conflicting FCRA preemption provisions and dismissing state law claims as preempted by the FCRA) 
  • Peoples v. Discover Fin. Serv., 2010 WL 2812906 (3d Cir. July 19, 2010) (affirming entry of summary judgment on Americans with Disabilities Act and state law claims arising from plaintiff's alleged use of a credit card to pay a prostitute) 
  • Reyes v. World Fin. Network Bank, 2011 WL 6101910 (D.N.J. Dec. 7, 2011) (dismissing federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and invasion of privacy claims premised upon collection calls) 

Significant Decisions Enforcing Arbitration Provisions   

  • Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Fortenberry, __ F.3d __, 2011 WL 6181914 (5th Cir. Dec. 13, 2011) (reversing district court order declining to compel arbitration and abstaining in favor of state court action)
  • Delta Funding Corp. v. Harris, 189 N.J. 28, 912 A.2d 104 (2006) (enforcing class action waiver)
  • Discover Bank v. Vaden, 489 F.3d 594 (4th Cir. 2007) (finding federal jurisdiction and enforcing class action waiver)
  • Harris v. Green Tree Fin. Corp., 183 F.3d 173 (3d Cir. 1999) (enforcing class action waiver)
  • Arriaga v. Cross Country Bank, 163 F. Supp.2d 1189 (S.D. Cal. 2001) (finding contrary state law preempted and enforcing class action waiver)

Class and Commercial Actions

  • Vallies v. Sky Bank, 591 F.3d 152 (3d Cir. 2009) (resolving issue of first impression and affirming grant of summary judgment on TILA actual damages claim concluding that a plaintiff must plead and prove detrimental reliance in order to recover actual damages under TILA)
  • In re MasterCard International, Inc., Internet Gambling Litig., 313 F.3d 257 (5th Cir. 2002) (affirming dismissal of class action complaint)
  • Hawthorne v. Am. Mort., Inc., 489 F. Supp.2d 480 (E.D. Pa. 2007) (finding mortgage broker not an agent of lender and granting summary judgment)
  • Purdie v. Ace Cash Express, Inc., 2002 WL 31730967 (N.D. Tex. 2002) (dismissing class action complaint)
  • Cuker v. Mikalauskas, 547 Pa. 600, 692 A.2d 1042 (1997) (holding that business judgment rule recognized by Pennsylvania law)

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. John P. Fullam, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1990-1991

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, Litigation Section
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Conference on Consumer Finance Law

Publications

"Foreclosure Developments, Mortgage Fraud, Counterclaims and Defenses," Quarterly Report of the Conference on Consumer Finance Law, June 2010

"Consumer Arbitration: The Tug of War Between the Federal and State Courts Intensifies," The Business Lawyer, Vol. 64, No. 2, February 2009 

"Red State Versus Blue State: Surprisingly Most (but Not All) Courts in Both 'Red and 'Blue' States Enforce Express Class Action Waivers in Consumer Arbitration Agreements," Quarterly Report of the Conference on Consumer Finance Law, Fall 2005

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Bryce regularly speaks at seminars and symposiums regarding issues that arise in mortgage and credit card-related litigation.

Community Activities

Mr. Bryce is active in the alumni associations of both Drexel University and Villanova University School of Law.

Villanova University School of Law (J.D. 1990)
Member, Villanova Law Review; Member, Order of the Coif

Drexel University (B.S. 1987)

New Jersey

Pennsylvania