Articles Posted in Hawaii Supreme Court

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Petitioners executed a promissory note secured on a mortgage on their residence from a California corporation. The mortgage stated that Respondent, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, listed as mortgagee and nominee, held legal title to the interests granted by Petitioners in the mortgage. After Petitioners failed to make payments pursuant to the terms of the note, Respondent, acting as nominee, filed a complaint against Petitioners seeking foreclosure of the mortgage and sale of the property. The circuit court granted Respondent's motion for summary judgment and entered a foreclosure judgment. Petitioners' property was then sold to Respondent. The circuit court confirmed the sale despite Petitioners' assertion that Respondent lacked standing to bring the foreclosure action. The intermediate court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Petitioners were precluded from raising the issue of Respondent's standing where (1) a standing objection is not unique to a confirmation of sale proceeding from which Petitioners appealed; and (2) Petitioners' failure to appeal the foreclosure judgment barred challenges to Respondent's standing under the doctrine of res judicata. View "Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. v. Wise" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs granted Eastern Savings Bank, FSB (Eastern) a mortgage on property as security for a loan. Plaintiffs defaulted on the loan, and Eastern filed an action to foreclose the mortgage. The circuit court foreclosed on the mortgage, and a public auction was held to sell the property. Eastern purchased the property and filed a motion for confirmation of sale. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a complaint in the U.S. district court seeking a declaratory judgment that the promissory note and mortgage had been timely cancelled pursuant to the federal Trust-in-Lending Act (TILA). The circuit court took judicial notice of Plaintiffs' pending federal case but declined to stay confirmation of the foreclosure sale in the meantime. Thereafter, the circuit court concluded Plaintiffs' pending TILA case did not bar confirmation of the sale of the property, confirmed the sale of the property to Eastern, and entered a deficiency judgment against Plaintiffs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that res judicata principles prohibit a debtor from asserting TILA rescission rights after a foreclosure judgment has become final, despite the rescission attempt being held within the time limit provided by TILA. View "E. Savings Bank, FSB v. Esteban" on Justia Law