Posted on 07 July 2010.
Don’t we love New York!
This is another case for you all to learn from…Now again, shouldn’t their be a conflict of any documents where MERS is the nominee for any of these banks?
I think we are going to see lenders, servicers et al slowly begin to turn on MERS!
2010 NY Slip Op 51127(U)
IndyMAC BANK F.S.B., Plaintiff(s),
LUDDY BRITO GARCIA, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., ACTING SOLELY AS A NOMINEE FOR STERLING NATIONAL MORTGAGE COMPANY, INC., SUBSIDIARY OF FEDERALLY CHARTERED BANK, ITS SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS, AND “JOHN DOE # 1″ THROUGH “JOHN DOE # 10″, THE LAST TEN NAMES BEING FICTITIOUS AND UNKNOWN TO plaintiff, THE PERSONS OR PARTIES INTENDED BEING THE PERSONS OR PARTIES, IF ANY, HAVING OR CLAIMING AN INTEREST IN OR LIEN UPON THE MORTGAGED PREMISES DESCRIBED IN THE COMPLAINT, Defendant(s).
Supreme Court, Suffolk County.
Decided June 22, 2010.
Eschen, Frenkel & Weisman, LLP, 20 West Main Street, Bay Shore, New York 11706, Attorneys for Plaintiff.
Luddy Brito Garcia, 124 East 13th Street, Huntington Station, New York 11746, Defendant Pro Se.
PETER H. MAYER, J.
Upon the reading and filing of the following papers in this matter: (1) Notice of Motion by the plaintiff, dated June 2, 2009, and supporting papers; and now
UPON DUE DELIBERATION AND CONSIDERATION BY THE COURT of the foregoing papers, the motion is decided as follows: it is
ORDERED that plaintiff’s application (seq. # 002) for an order of reference in this foreclosure action is considered under 2009 NY Laws, Ch. 507, enacted December 15, 2009, and 2008 NY Laws, Ch. 472, enacted August 5, 2008, as well as the related statutes and case law, and is hereby denied without prejudice and with leave to resubmit upon proper papers, for failure to submit proper evidentiary proof, including an affidavit from one with personal knowledge, of a valid indorsement of the note or assignment of the mortgage, sufficient to establish the plaintiff’s ownership of the note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced; and it is further
ORDERED that the plaintiff shall promptly serve a copy of this Order upon the defendant-homeowner(s) at all known addresses and upon all other answering defendants, via first class mail, and shall promptly file the affidavit(s) of such service with the County Clerk and annex a copy of this Order and the affidavit(s) of service as exhibits to any motion resubmitted pursuant to this Order; and it is further
ORDERED that with regard to any scheduled court conferences or future applications by the plaintiff, if the Court determines that such conferences have been attended, or such applications have been submitted, without proper regard for the applicable statutory and case law, or without regard for the required proofs delineated herein, the Court may, in its discretion, dismiss this case or deny such applications with prejudice and/or impose sanctions pursuant to 22 NYCRR §130-1, and may deny those costs and attorneys fees attendant with the filing of such future applications.
By Order dated November 24, 2009, this Court scheduled a foreclosure settlement conference for December 23, 2009, which was adjourned to February 24, 2010. The defendant-homeowner, Luddy Brito Garcia, failed to appear at both. The plaintiff now seeks a default order of reference and requests amendment of the caption to substitute a tenant in the place and stead of the “Doe” defendants. For the reasons set forth herein, the plaintiff’s application is denied.
In this foreclosure action, the plaintiff filed a summons and complaint on January 3, 2008, which essentially alleges that Ms. Garcia defaulted in her payments of a mortgage, dated August 15, 2006, in the principal amount of $411,500.00, for the premises located at 124 East 13th Street, Huntington, New York. The original lender, Sterling National Mortgage Company, Inc., purportedly indorsed the promissory note to the plaintiff prior to the commencement of this action. According to the plaintiff, this indorsement made the plaintiff the lawful holder of the note and mortgage with standing to commence the action. Although the plaintiff’s affidavit in support indicates that the “original note with a proper indorsement is [now] in the plaintiff’s possession,” the plaintiff does not prove — or even assert — that the plaintiff actually possessed the note and mortgage at the time the action was filed.
Instead, citing Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v Coakley, 41 AD3d 674, 838 NYS2d 622 (2d Dept 2007), the plaintiff summarily argues that because the promissory note was indorsed to the plaintiff, the mortgage passed as an incident to the note. Under the circumstances presented herein, however, the plaintiff’s reliance on Coakley is misguided. In Coakley, the record showed that the promissory note had been indorsed by the original lender to another bank, who then indorsed it in blank and ultimately transferred and tendered it to the foreclosing plaintiff. On that particular record, the court found that at the time the action was commenced, the plaintiff was the lawful holder of the promissory note and of the mortgage, which had passed as an incident to the promissory note. In this case, however, the alleged “indorsement” appears to be on a separate page from the promissory note and, in any event, is clearly undated.
New York UCC §3-202 (1) states, in pertinent part, that “[i]f the instrument is payable to order it is negotiated by delivery with any necessary indorsement” (emphasis added). In addition, UCC §3-202(2) requires that “[a]n indorsement must be written by or on behalf of the holder and on the instrument or on a paper so firmly affixed thereto as to become a part thereof (emphasis added). Here, the purported indorsement is payable to order, but there is no evidence of delivery of the note prior to the action’s commencement. Furthermore, the alleged indorsement appears to be on a separate page, makes no specific reference to the subject note, and is, in any event, undated. As such, the so-called “indorsement” is, at best, unreliable and fails to support plaintiff’s claim that the “note and mortgage were assigned by a properly indorsed note prior to the commencement of this action” (see, Slutsky v Blooming Grove Inn, Inc., 147 AD2d 208, 542 NYS2d 721 [2d Dept 1989]). This is particularly true where, as here, the plaintiff’s affidavit in support of the motion fails to affirmatively state that the plaintiff did, in fact, possess the note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced. Without either proof of a proper written assignment of the underlying note or proper proof of the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action, the plaintiff has failed to sufficiently show either the proper transfer of the obligation, or that the mortgage passed as an inseparable incident to the debt (see, U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 890 NYS2d 578 [2d Dept 2009]).
A plaintiff has no foundation in law or fact to foreclose upon a mortgage, unless the plaintiff has shown it has legal or equitable interest in such mortgage (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]; Katz v East-Ville Realty Co., 249 AD2d 243, 672 NYS2d 308 [1st Dept 1998]). A written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action would be sufficient to transfer the obligation, and have the mortgage pass as an inseparable incident to the debt (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 890 NYS2d 578 [2d Dept 2009]). With regard to a written assignment, the execution date is generally controlling and a written assignment claiming an earlier effective date is deficient, unless it is accompanied by proof that the physical delivery of the note and mortgage was, in fact, previously effectuated (see, Bankers Trust Co. v Hoovis, 263 AD2d 937, 938, 694 NYS2d 245 ). A retroactive assignment cannot be used to confer standing upon the assignee in a foreclosure action commenced prior to the execution of the assignment (Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709, 888 NYS2d 914 [2d Dept 2009]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]).
Applying this analysis to the case before this Court, a statement by the plaintiff merely indicating that the original note is in plaintiff’s possession as of the making of a motion for an order of reference is insufficient to show that the plaintiff had standing to bring the action in the first instance (Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v Gress, 68 AD3d 709, 888 NYS2d 914 [2d Dept 2009]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Marchione, 69 AD3d 204, 887 NYS2d 615 [2d Dept 2009]). Plaintiff’s failure to submit proper proof of a valid indorsement or assignment, and failure to otherwise prove that the plaintiff was the holder of the note and mortgage at the time the action was commenced, requires denial of the plaintiff’s motion for an order of reference.
This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.
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