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NY SUPREME COURT: WELLS FARGO, MERS & STEVEN J. BAUM “FATAL DEFECT”

NY SUPREME COURT: WELLS FARGO, MERS & STEVEN J. BAUM “FATAL DEFECT”


SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE of New York
COUNTY OF ORANGE

Index No. 2593-2009
————————————–X
WELLS FARGO BANK, NA,
3476 Stateview Boulevard
Ft. Mill, SC 29715, DECISION & ORDER
Plaintiff,

-against –

A.D.PANETH A/K/A AHARON D. PANETH A/K/A Motion Date: 9-24-10
AARON D. PANETH A/K/A AD PANETH, BOARD
OF MANAGERS OF NINETEENTH SATMAR DRIVE
CONDOMINIUM, FAIRMONT FUNDING, LTD.,
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, et al,
Defendants.
————————————-X
LUBELL, J.


Excerpts:

Upon Paneth’s asserted default in his monthly mortgage obligations, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Default Management
Department, sent a notice of delinquency to Paneth at the Premises address dated November 16, 2008. No mention is made therein of an assignment of the mortgage by Fairmont to Wells Fargo. In fact, no mention is made at all of Fairmont or MERS.

By “Assignment of Mortgage” dated March 13, 2009, some four months after the Wells Fargo notice of default, MERS, as nominee for Fairmont, assigned the mortgage to Wells Fargo.

This action was commenced by Wells Fargo on March 16, 2009. Pursuant to the affidavit of service dated March 19, 2009, Paneth was served by personal delivery of the summons and complaint at the Premises to one “Hanna Paneth – Spouse.” Service was completed on March 23, 2009 by mailing of a copy of the summons to Paneth at “his last know address”, the Premises.

Upon the expiration of defendant’s time to answer, an ex parte Order of Reference was granted by the Court on October 6, 2009. Thereafter, a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale was executed by the Court on May 24, 2010. A foreclosure sale was then scheduled.
This application follows.

Whether or not, as Paneth contends, he was properly served with process, the Court finds merit to the application for the reasons herein stated.

Although the notice of default, a contractual condition to acceleration of the mortgage, was sent to Paneth at the proper address, the Premises, Wells Fargo has failed to establish that the notice of default was sent by the then proper party, Fairmont, or a then duly and properly authorized agent (see, HSBC Mortg. Corp. (USA) v. Erneste, 22 Misc.3d 1115(A)[Sup Ct, Kings County] citing Manufactures and Traders Trust Co. v. Korngold, 162 Misc.2d 669 [Sup Ct, Rockland County] and QMB Holdings, LLC v. Escava Brothers, 11 Misc.3d 1060[A][Sup Ct, Bronx County]).

This fatal defect is neither adequately addressed by plaintiff nor cured by plaintiff’s assertion, through counsel, that “[i]t is respectfully submitted that Plaintiff was in possession of the Mortgage and Note at the time the instance foreclosure action was commenced.”

Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby

ORDERED, that the Court hereby vacates the Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale executed by the Court on May 24, 2010; and, it is further

ORDERED, that the case be and is hereby dismissed.

The foregoing constitutes the Opinion, Decision & Order of the Court.
Dated: Goshen, New York
October 14, 2010
S/_____________________________
HON. LEWIS J. LUBELL, J.S.C.
TO: Kenneth Moran, Esq.
11 N. Airmont Road
Suffern, New York 10901

Jacob W. Osher, Esq.
Steven J. Bau, PC
220 Northpointe Parkway – Suite G
Amherst, New York 14228

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