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HABER v. DEUTSCHE BANK | FL 4DCA “failed to show that it provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure, not entitled to a final SJ”

HABER v. DEUTSCHE BANK | FL 4DCA “failed to show that it provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure, not entitled to a final SJ”


OMAR HABER, Appellant,

v.

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS FOR ARGENT SECURITIES, INC., ASSET-BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-W2, Appellee.

 No. 4D10-4458.

 District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District.

  February 22, 2012.

Lionel Barnet of the Law Offices of Lionel Barnet, P.A., Miami, for appellant.

Debra Rescigno of Robertson, Anschutz & Schneid, P.L., Boca Raton, for appellee.

PER CURIAM.

Omar Haber appeals the trial court’s entry of a final summary judgment of foreclosure in favor of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (the bank). He argues that summary judgment was improper because the bank lacked standing to file the foreclosure suit and failed to refute his affirmative defense that the bank did not provide him with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure required an the mortgage agreement. We affirm as to the standing issue without discussion, but we reverse the final summary judgment because the bank failed to refute appellant’s affirmative defense regarding notice and opportunity to cure.

The mortgage agreement states, in pertinent part:

Lender shall give notice to Borrower prior to acceleration following Borrower’s breach of any covenant or agreement in this Security Instrument . . . The notice shall specify: (a) the default; (b) the action required to cure the default; (c) a date, not less than 30 days from the date the notice is given to Borrower, by which the default must be cured; and (d) that failure to cure the default on or before the date specified in the notice may result in acceleration of the sums secured by this Security Instrument, foreclosure by judicial proceeding and sale of the Property.

There is no evidence within the record showing that the bank provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure.

An order granting summary judgment is reviewed de novo. Allenby & Assocs., Inc. v. Crown St. Vincent Ltd., 8 So.3d 1211, 1213 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (citation omitted). In order to be entitled to summary judgment, a mortgagor must refute all of the affirmative defenses of the mortgagee or show that they are legally insufficient. Woodrum v. Wells Fargo Mortg. Bank, N.A., 73 So.3d 873, 874 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011) (citing Frost v. Regions Bank, 15 So.3d 905 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009)). Because the bank failed to show that it provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure, it was not entitled to a final summary judgment of foreclosure.

Affirmed in part, Reversed in part and Remanded.

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Patterson v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC | Alabama Appeals Court Vacates Judgment “Not assigned mortgage before it initiated foreclosure”

Patterson v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC | Alabama Appeals Court Vacates Judgment “Not assigned mortgage before it initiated foreclosure”


via: Leagle

 PATTERSON v. GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC

 Reginald A. Patterson and Diana V. Patterson, v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC.

 No. 2100490.

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

 Decided January 20, 2012.

 PER CURIAM.1

Reginald A. Patterson and Diana V. Patterson appeal from a judgment in favor of GMAC Mortgage, LLC (“GMAC Mortgage”). We vacate the judgment of the trial court and dismiss the appeal.

On September 4, 2007, GMAC Mortgage brought an ejectment action against the Pattersons. GMAC Mortgage alleged that the Pattersons had mortgaged their house located on Southcrest Trail in Bessemer (“the house”) to Option One Mortgage Corporation (“Option One”), that Option One had transferred the mortgage to GMAC Mortgage, that GMAC Mortgage had foreclosed the mortgage on August 7, 2007, and that GMAC Mortgage was the owner of the house by virtue of the foreclosure sale. GMAC Mortgage further alleged that it had made a written demand for possession of the house in accordance with § 6-5-251(a), Ala. Code 1975,2 and that the Pattersons had not vacated the house. As relief, GMAC Mortgage sought possession of the house, damages for wrongful detention of the house, and a determination that the Pattersons had forfeited their right to redeem the house by failing to vacate it within 10 days after GMAC Mortgage demanded possession.3 Answering, the Pattersons asserted, among other things, that the foreclosure was unlawful. They also asserted a counterclaim seeking a determination that the foreclosure was unlawful.

GMAC Mortgage moved for a summary judgment and later supplemented its summary-judgment motion with additional evidence. The Pattersons submitted evidence in opposition to the summary-judgment motion.

The evidence submitted by GMAC Mortgage in support of its summary-judgment motion included the foreclosure deed purporting to convey title to the house to GMAC Mortgage. The foreclosure deed recites that GMAC Mortgage accelerated the debt secured by the mortgage.4 The foreclosure deed also recites that GMAC Mortgage gave notice of the foreclosure of the mortgage in a newspaper of general circulation in Jefferson County on May 19, May 26, and June 2, 2007, and that GMAC Mortgage foreclosed the mortgage on August 7, 2007. The evidence submitted by GMAC Mortgage also included a written assignment executed by Option One on August 6, 2007, in which Option One assigned the mortgage to GMAC Mortgage.

Following a hearing, the trial court entered an order granting GMAC Mortgage’s summary-judgment motion insofar as it sought a determination that the foreclosure was valid but denied the motion in all other respects on the ground that a genuine issue of material fact existed regarding whether the Pattersons had received notice of GMAC Mortgage’s demand for possession of the house after the foreclosure.

Following a bench trial regarding the issue whether the Pattersons had received notice of GMAC Mortgage’s demand for possession, the trial court entered a judgment (1) finding that GMAC Mortgage had given the Pattersons notice of its demand for possession, (2) ordering the Pattersons to deliver possession of the property to GMAC Mortgage, and (3) ruling that the Pattersons had forfeited their right to redeem the property; however, the trial court did not award any damages for wrongful detention of the property. The Pattersons timely appealed to the supreme court, which transferred the appeal to this court pursuant to § 12-2-7(6), Ala. Code 1975.

On appeal, the Pattersons assert, among other things, that the trial court erred in determining that the foreclosure was valid. While the Pattersons’ appeal was pending, this court delivered its decision in Sturdivant v. BAC Home Loans, LP, [Ms. 2100245, Dec. 16, 2011] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2011). In Sturdivant, BAC Home Loans, LP (“BAC”), initiated foreclosure proceedings on the mortgage encumbering Bessie T. Sturdivant’s house before the mortgage had been assigned to BAC. BAC then held a foreclosure sale at which it purchased Sturdivant’s house, and the auctioneer executed a foreclosure deed purporting to convey title to Sturdivant’s house to BAC. BAC was assigned the mortgage the same day as the foreclosure sale. Thereafter, BAC brought an ejectment action against Sturdivant, claiming that it owned title to her house by virtue of the foreclosure deed. After the trial court entered a summary judgment in favor of BAC, Sturdivant appealed to the supreme court, which transferred her appeal to this court. We held that BAC lacked authority to foreclose the mortgage because it had not been assigned the mortgage before it initiated foreclosure proceedings and that, therefore, the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed were invalid. We further held that, because the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed were invalid, BAC did not acquire legal title to Sturdivant’s house through the foreclosure deed and thus BAC did not own an interest in the house when it commenced its ejectment action. We further held that, because BAC did not own any interest in Sturdivant’s house when it commenced its ejectment action, BAC did not have standing to bring that action and, consequently, the trial court never acquired subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action. Because BAC did not have standing to bring its ejectment action and the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the ejectment action, we held that the judgment of the trial court was void, and we vacated that judgment. Moreover, because a void judgment will not support an appeal, we dismissed the appeal.

In the case now before us, GMAC Mortgage, like BAC in Sturdivant, had not been assigned the mortgage before it initiated foreclosure proceedings. Consequently, under our holding in Sturdivant, GMAC Mortgage lacked authority to foreclose the mortgage when it initiated the foreclosure proceedings, and, therefore, the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed upon which GMAC based it ejectment claim are invalid. Moreover, under our holding in Sturdivant, because GMAC Mortgage did not own any interest in the house, it lacked standing to bring its ejectment action against the Pattersons. Because GMAC Mortgage lacked standing to bring the ejectment action, the trial court never acquired subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is void and is hereby vacated. Moreover, because a void judgment will not support an appeal, we dismiss this appeal. Id.

JUDGMENT VACATED; APPEAL DISMISSED.

Pittman, Thomas, and Moore, JJ., concur.

Thompson, P.J., concurs in the result, with writing.

Bryan, J., dissents, with writing.

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge, concurring in the result.

Reginald A. Patterson and Diane V. Patterson executed a mortgage, secured by their house, to Option One Mortgage Corporation on January 25, 2006, and they later defaulted on the mortgage. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, initiated foreclosure proceedings, and, in May 2007, GMAC began publishing notice of its intent to conduct a foreclosure sale. On August 6, 2007, Option One assigned the mortgage to GMAC, and the next day, August 7, 2007, GMAC conducted the foreclosure sale and purchased the property at that sale. Also on August 7, 2007, GMAC sent the Pattersons a letter demanding possession of the property.

In their brief on appeal, the Pattersons argue, among other things, that GMAC failed to demonstrate proof of a valid foreclosure. Specifically, the Pattersons argue, as they did before the trial court, that GMAC, which first obtained an interest in the property the day before it conducted its foreclosure sale, did not have an interest in the property at the time it initiated the foreclosure process and that one without an interest in a mortgage may not institute foreclosure proceedings. In support of those arguments, the Pattersons cite § 6-6-280, Ala. Code 1975; Steele v. Federal Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n, 69 So.3d 89, 93 (Ala. 2010) (“[Section 6-6-280(b)] unambiguously states that a complaint seeking ejectment `is sufficient if it alleges that the plaintiff was possessed of the premises or has the legal title thereto, properly designating or describing them, and that the defendant entered thereupon and unlawfully withholds and detains the same.'”); MacMillan Bloedell, Inc. v. Ezell, 475 So.2d 493 (Ala. 1985); Kelly v. Carmichael, 217 Ala. 534, 117 So.2d 67 (1928); and Berry v. Deutche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., 57 So.3d 142 (Ala. Civ. App. 2010).

While the Pattersons’ appeal was pending in this court, this court decided Sturdivant v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, [Ms. 2100245, Dec. 16, 2011] So. 3d (Ala. Civ. App. 2011). In Sturdivant, supra, this court considered an appeal from a summary judgment proceeding in which the record demonstrated that in September 2009 BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, had initiated foreclosure proceedings with regard to a mortgage Bessie T. Sturdivant had executed and that was secured by Sturdivant’s house. BAC Home Loans conducted a foreclosure sale on December 1, 2009, and, also on December 1, 2009, it received an assignment from the holder of the mortgage on Sturdivant’s property. BAC Home Loans, relying on the deed it received as a result of the December 1, 2009, foreclosure sale, sought to eject Sturdivant from the property. This court noted that in order to demonstrate a prima facie case in support of its claim in ejectment, BAC Home Loans was required to show, among other things, that it had legal title to the property. Sturdivant v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, So. 3d at (citing § 6-6-280(b), Ala. Code 1975). In that case, BAC Home Loans claimed that it had legal title by virtue of the deed it had received after it had conducted the foreclosure sale. Article 1 of Title 35, Chapter 10, Ala. Code 1975, governs sales conducted to foreclose on a mortgage and, in pertinent part, requires that a power of sale may be executed by “any person … who, by assignment or otherwise, becomes entitled to the money” secured by the mortgage. § 35-10-1, Ala. Code 1975. In Sturdivant, this court, relying on several of the authorities cited in the Pattersons’ brief on appeal in this case, concluded that because BAC Home Loans had no interest in the property at the time it initiated its foreclosure proceedings, the foreclosure sale was invalid. So. 3d at (citing § 35-10-9, Ala. Code 1975). This court held that, because the foreclosure sale was invalid, BAC Home Loans had no legal title on which to base it claim in ejectment and, as a result, that BAC Home Loans lacked standing to assert its ejectment action. Sturdivant, So. 3d at.

In this case, GMAC initiated foreclosure proceedings at least four months before it obtained an interest in the mortgage.5 GMAC was first assigned an interest in the mortgage on August 6, 2007, the day before it conducted its already scheduled August 7, 2007, foreclosure sale. Given the Pattersons’ arguments on appeal, the authorities they cited in support of those arguments, and the holding of Sturdivant, supra, I agree with the Pattersons that GMAC failed to demonstrate that it had standing to prosecute its ejectment action and that the trial court erred in allowing GMAC to prosecute its action. I therefore concur in the result reached by the main opinion.

BRYAN, Judge, dissenting.

In Sturdivant v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, [Ms. 2100245, Dec. 16, 2011] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2011), BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP (“BAC”), brought an ejectment action against Bessie T. Sturdivant, seeking, among other things, possession of her house. BAC based its claim to title to Sturdivant’s house on a foreclosure deed that had resulted from the foreclosure of a mortgage encumbering Sturdivant’s house. BAC had foreclosed the mortgage as the assignee of the mortgagee. The trial court entered a summary judgment in favor of BAC, and Sturdivant appealed. The main opinion in Sturdivant held that the foreclosure conducted by BAC and the foreclosure deed purporting to convey title to Sturdivant’s house to BAC were invalid because BAC had not been assigned or succeeded to the interest of the mortgagee in the mortgage when BAC commenced the foreclosure proceedings. Moreover, relying on the supreme court’s decision in Cadle v. Shabani, 950 So.2d 277 (Ala. 2006), the main opinion held that, because the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed were invalid, BAC lacked standing to prosecute its ejectment action, the trial court never acquired subject-matter jurisdiction over that action, and, therefore, the judgment of the trial court was void.

I dissented from the main opinion in Sturdivant because, in my opinion, Cadle was distinguishable on its facts from Sturdivant; in Cadle, the ejectment plaintiff did not have paper title to the property that was the subject of the ejectment action when it commenced its ejectment action, whereas BAC, the ejectment plaintiff in Sturdivant, did have paper title to the property that was the subject of the ejectment action when it commenced its ejectment action. It was my opinion that Sturdivant was entitled to assert and prove that the paper title upon which BAC relied, i.e., the foreclosure deed, was invalid as an affirmative defense to BAC’s ejectment action but that Sturdivant’s successfully proving that BAC’s paper title was invalid did not deprive BAC of standing to bring the ejectment action and did not justify the conclusion that the trial court had never acquired subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action. Moreover, because, in my opinion, proof that BAC’s paper title was invalid did not deprive BAC of standing or deprive the trial court of subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action, I disagreed with the main opinion’s basing its decision on a ground that had not been argued to the trial court because of the well-established principle that an appellate court may not base a reversal of the trial court’s judgment on a ground that was not argued to the trial court. See Smith v. Equifax Servs., Inc., 537 So.2d 463, 465 (Ala. 1988). As the supreme court explained in Smith:

 

“An appellee can defend the trial court’s ruling with an argument not raised below, for this Court `will affirm the judgment appealed from if supported on any valid legal ground.’ Tucker v. Nichols, 431 So.2d 1263, 1265 (Ala. 1983). There is a rather obvious fundamental difference in upholding the trial court’s judgment and reversing it; this Court will not reverse the trial court’s judgment on a ground raised for the first time on appeal, Costarides v. Miller, 374 So.2d 1335 (Ala. 1979), even though it affirms judgments on bases not asserted in the trial court, Bank of the Southeast v. Koslin, 380 So.2d 826 (Ala. 1980). This difference is predicated on the `long-standing, well-established rule that [in order to secure a reversal] the appellant has an affirmative duty of showing error upon the record.’ Tucker v. Nichols, supra, at 1264.”

537 So. 2d at 465(emphasis on “affirms” in original; other emphasis added).

In my opinion, Cadle is distinguishable from the case now before us for the same reason it was distinguishable from Sturdivant — the ejectment plaintiff in Cadle did not have paper title to the property when it commenced its ejectment action, whereas GMAC Mortgage, LLC (“GMAC Mortgage”), the ejectment plaintiff in the case now before us, did have paper title to Reginald A. Patterson and Diane V. Patterson’s house when it commenced its ejectment action. Therefore, consistent with my dissent in Sturdivant, I believe that, although the Pattersons were entitled to prove that GMAC’s foreclosure and foreclosure deed were invalid as an affirmative defense to GMAC Mortgage’s ejectment claim, proof that the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed were invalid did not establish that GMAC Mortgage lacked standing to prosecute the ejectment action or that the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action. Consequently, in my opinion, the Pattersons are subject to the long-standing principle that an appellate court may not base a reversal of the trial court’s judgment on a ground that was not argued to the trial court. See Smith. Although the Pattersons argued to the trial court that the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed were not valid, they did not argue to the trial court that they were invalid on the ground that the mortgage had not been assigned to GMAC Mortgage when it commenced the foreclosure proceedings. Consequently, I dissent from the main opinion because it bases its decision on a ground that was not argued to the trial court. See Smith.


Footnotes


1. Because of the issues involved, this appeal was held in abeyance pending the adjudication of the appeal in Sturdivant v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, [Ms. 2100245, Dec. 16, 2011] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2011).

Back to Reference

2. Section 6-5-251(a) provides:”The possession of the land must be delivered to the purchaser or purchaser’s transferees by the debtor or mortgagor if in their possession or in the possession of anyone holding under them by privity of title, within 10 days after written demand for the possession has been made by, or on behalf of, the purchaser or purchaser’s transferees.”

Back to Reference

3. Section 6-5-251(c), Ala. Code 1975, provides:”Failure of the debtor or mortgagor or anyone holding possession under him or her to comply with the provisions of this section forfeits the right of redemption of the debtor or one holding possession under the debtor.”

Back to Reference

4. The Pattersons deny that they received notice of the acceleration of the debt.

Back to Reference

5. The record indicates that notice of the foreclosure by publication was first made in May 2007 and completed in June 2007. The Pattersons contend that they were not provided notice of the acceleration of the mortgage indebtedness or of foreclosure, and the record does not contain evidence that they received those notices.

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Future of foreclosures in N.J. hinges on state Supreme Court decision | US Bank N.A. v. Guillaume

Future of foreclosures in N.J. hinges on state Supreme Court decision | US Bank N.A. v. Guillaume


I disagree with the judge’s motion words below and see video below as to why even attorney’s have a difficult time.

“I have a lot of problems with saying that all that’s going, with all this evidence of [c]ourt process for over a year, to just rely on trying to negotiate something with the bank was like sticking your head in the sand.

This wasn’t going to go away and they
didn’t get any assurance from the bank that
they were succeeding in their negotiation
efforts or that an answer to the complaint
was not required. I mean they just focused
on one path. And they ignored the
negotiation path and they ignored the
litigation side of things. You can’t do
that.

And I have to say that . . . Mrs.
Guillaume was being so aggressive and so
persistent in trying to negotiate and going
to all these different places to get help,
but the one place she wasn’t going was a
member of the bar, a lawyer which is usually
what you do when you get [c]ourt papers.

Or if you absolutely can’t afford a
lawyer and that’s the case of many
foreclosures, a very heavy self-represented
area of the law to at least contact the
[c]ourt yourself and you send in some
rudimentary answer. And it doesn’t have to
be fancy. I mean you write a letter to the
foreclosure unit, they’ll stamp contested on
it.

Because I’ve seen so many of them long
hand. But nothing was done. And I don’t
regard that as excusable neglect. So that
prong is lacking.”  

(emphasis added).

Simply wrong, one does NOT understand how frustrating it is to even try to get anyone from the “bank” on the phone, attempting a modification as we have read time and time again were nothing but DISASTROUS and GOING ABSOLUTELY NO PLACE!

[Please watch Michigan Atty Vanessa Fluker and you’ll understand why].

Lets not forget, this reversal that goes to the heart of this from out of New Jersey: BANK OF NEW YORK vs. LAKS | NJ Appeals Court Reversal “A notice of intention is deficient…if it does not provide the name and address of the lender”

NJ.COM-

In the nearly five months since the state Supreme Court effectively allowed six of the country’s biggest banks to begin filing foreclosures again, attorneys and court officials have been expecting a flood of new filings to hit the courts.

Except it hasn’t happened. Foreclosure filings are down 83 percent as of October this year, compared with the same time period last year, according to court figures, and there are at least 100,000 cases either pending in the system or waiting to be submitted.

Attorneys involved in the work in New Jersey point to at least one reason for the significant delay: a court case that has reached the state Supreme Court, with oral arguments on Wednesday.

The case, US Bank National Association v. Guillaume, is important because the court …

[NJ.COM]

[ipaper docId=74692087 access_key=key-1xrvd0kemha1r7mycu2h height=600 width=600 /]

 

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Legal issues slow foreclosures in New Jersey

Legal issues slow foreclosures in New Jersey


I think this is the case in every state and all will agree


North Jersey-

In a small Bergen County courtroom one recent Friday, a sheriff’s officer auctioned off two foreclosed properties in a matter of minutes, as a handful of investors kept their eyes open for bargains.

It was a far cry from the typical sheriff’s auction of mid-2010, when 15 or more properties were auctioned weekly and up to 100 investors crowded the courthouse’s large jury room.

[…]

The reason: an August appellate court decision, Bank of New York v. Laks, according to Kevin Wolfe, head of the state’s Office of Foreclosure. In that case, the court dismissed a foreclosure, finding the lender violated the state Fair Foreclosure Act because it didn’t properly identify itself in a notice sent to the troubled homeowners.

[NORTH JERSEY]

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BANK OF NEW YORK vs. LAKS | NJ Appeals Court Reversal “A notice of intention is deficient…if it does not provide the name and address of the lender”

BANK OF NEW YORK vs. LAKS | NJ Appeals Court Reversal “A notice of intention is deficient…if it does not provide the name and address of the lender”


NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE
APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
APPELLATE DIVISION

DOCKET NO. A-4221-09T3

BANK OF NEW YORK AS TRUSTEE FOR
THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS CWALT
2004 26T1,
Plaintiff-Respondent,

v.

SARAH G. LAKS and EDWARD
EINHORN, her husband,
Defendants-Appellants,
and
PNC BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION,
Defendant.
___________________________________
Submitted May 23, 2011 – Decided August 8, 2011

EXCERPTS:

The defendants in an action to foreclose a residential mortgage appeal from the denial of their motion to vacate the judgment of foreclosure and dismiss the complaint without prejudice. We reverse and remand for entry of an order granting that relief.

[…]

Laks missed her May 2008 payment on the note and every monthly payment thereafter. On August 13, Countrywide Home Loans,3 plaintiff’s loan servicer, sent a notice of intention to foreclose to Laks by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice of intention recited that Countrywide was acting on behalf of the owner of Laks’s promissory note, without identifying the owner. The notice of intention also warned that if Laks did not pay $21,279.64 to Countrywide within 30 days, then Laks’s noteholder, again not identified, would institute foreclosure proceedings against her. The notice concluded by advising Laks that if she did not agree that default had occurred or if she disputed the amount required to cure her default, she could contact Countrywide at an address and telephone number stated in the notice. Nowhere on the notice was Laks informed that plaintiff was the owner of her promissory note nor was she given plaintiff’s address. Three days before the foreclosure complaint was filed, MERS assigned Laks and Einhorn’s mortgage to plaintiff.

[…]

Thus, compliance with this notice provision is, in effect, a condition the lender must satisfy in order to either “accelerate the maturity of any residential mortgage obligation” or “commence any foreclosure or other legal action to take possession of the residential property which is the subject of the mortgage.” N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56(a). In fact, with narrow exceptions inapplicable here, “[c]ompliance with [N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56] shall be set forth in the pleadings of any legal action” to foreclose a residential mortgage. N.J.S.A. 2A:50- 56(f). The notice of intention must include specific information “state[d] in a manner calculated to make the debtor aware of the situation[.]” N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56(c).5 The information the Legislature has deemed essential to the Act’s purpose includes:

“the particular obligation or real estate security interest”; “the nature of the default claimed”; the debtor’s right to cure the default; what the debtor must do to cure; and the date by which it must be done to avoid the filing of a foreclosure complaint. N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56(c)(1)-(5). The notice also must advise the debtor of the consequences of a failure to cure —specifically, that the lender may take steps to terminate the debtor’s ownership of the property by filing a foreclosure action and that the debtor will be required to pay the lender’s court costs and counsel fees if the debtor does not cure.
N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56(c)(6)-(7). In addition to the foregoing information about rights, responsibilities and consequences, the Legislature has determined that the notice of intention must include three items of information that are best characterized as helpful to a debtor interested in curing default. The first two are advice to seek counsel from an attorney — including references to the New Jersey Bar Association, Lawyer Referral Service and Legal Services — and a list of programs providing assistance for those seeking to cure default. N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56(c)(9)-(10). The third, and the one critical in this case, is “the name and address of the lender and the telephone number of a representative of the lender whom the debtor may contact if the 9 A-4221-09T3 debtor disagrees with the lender’s assertion that a default has occurred or the correctness of the mortgage lender’s calculation of the amount required to cure default.” N.J.S.A. 2A:50- 56(c)(11).

There is no question that the notice of intention mailed to Laks did not provide the name or address of the lender as required by subsection (c)(11). The notice of intention named no entity other than the mortgage servicer, Countrywide.

[…]

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LAURENCIO v DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST | FL 2nd DCA Reversed “Acceleration Letter, Bank’s failure to comply with its own documents”

LAURENCIO v DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST | FL 2nd DCA Reversed “Acceleration Letter, Bank’s failure to comply with its own documents”


IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
OF FLORIDA
SECOND DISTRICT

PEDRO F. LAURENCIO; ESTEVES
PEDRO a/k/a ADELAIDA LAURENCIO;
ACCREDITED HOME LENDERS, INC.,
Successor by Merger to Aames Funding
Corporation d/b/a Aames Home Loan;
CITY OF CAPE CORAL; TENANT #1 n/k/a
ADALAEIDA LAURENCIO; and
TENANT #2 n/k/a PEDRO LAURENCIO,

Appellants,

v.

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST
COMPANY, as Indenture Trustee of the
Aames Mortgage Investment Trust 2005-1,

Appellee.

Opinion filed July 27, 2011.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Lee
County; Hugh E. Starnes, Judge.

EXCERPTS:

On December 9, 2008, Deutsche Bank’s attorneys sent Laurencio a letter stating that, pursuant to the terms of the Note and Mortgage, Deutsche Bank had “accelerated all sums due and owing, which means that the entire principal balance and all other sums recoverable under the terms of the promissory Note and Mortgage are now due.” The letter stated that the amount owed was $200,715.27. The letter also informed Laurencio: “This law firm is in the process of filing a Complaint on the promissory Note and Mortgage to foreclose on real estate.” Two days later, the bank filed a mortgage foreclosure complaint and attached this letter to the complaint.

Paragraph 22 of Laurencio’s mortgage set forth presuit requirements, including a requirement that Deutsche Bank give Laurencio thirty days’ notice and an opportunity to cure the default prior to filing suit:

Acceleration; Remedies. Lender shall give notice to Borrower prior to acceleration following Borrower’s breach of any covenant or agreement in this SecurityInstrument (but not prior to acceleration under Section 18[3] unless Applicable Law provides otherwise). The notice shall specify: (a) the default; (b) the action required to cure the default; (c) a date, not less than 30 days from the date the notice is given to Borrower, by which the default must be cured; and (d) that failure to cure the default on or before the date specified in the notice may result in acceleration of the sums secured by this Security Instrument, foreclosure by judicial proceeding and sale of the Property. The notice shall further inform Borrower of the right to reinstate after acceleration and the right to assert in the foreclosure proceeding the non-existence of a default or any other defense of Borrower to acceleration and foreclosure. If the default is not cured on or before the date specified in the notice, Lender at its option may require immediate payment in full of all sums secured by this Security Instrument without further demand and may foreclose this Security Agreement by judicial proceeding. Lender shall be entitled to collect all expenses incurred in pursuing the remedies provided in this Section 22, including, but not limited to, all attorneys’ fees and costs of title evidence.

(Underline emphasis added.) Clearly, Deutsche Bank’s letter did not comply with paragraph 22.

[…]

In this case, Deutsche Bank failed to meet its summary judgment burden because the record before the trial court reflected a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Deutsche Bank had complied with conditions precedent to filing the foreclosure action. In a case with nearly identical facts, this court recently reversed a summary judgment of foreclosure. See Konsulian v. Busey Bank, N.A., 61 So. 3d 1283 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011). In Konsulian, we concluded that the bank was not entitled to summary judgment because it had not established that it had met the conditions precedent to
filing suit. Id. at 1285. The record in that case did not establish that the bank had given the defendant the notice which the mortgage required. Id. We reach the same conclusion in this case.

[…]

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