Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Court

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Deutsche Bank filed a complaint for foreclosure against Wilk, 14 M.R.S. 6321, attaching documents, including a 2005 mortgage ($459,375) from Wilk in favor of the original lender’s nominee, MERS; a 2008 assignment from MERS to IndyMac; and a 2010 assignment by the FDIC, as the receiver for IndyMac, to Deutsche Bank. Trial evidence included a 2011 assignment from OneWest Bank to Deutsche Bank, executed approximately two weeks prior to the FDIC conveyance to OneWest Bank, purporting to grant “all interest” OneWest Bank then held in the mortgage to Deutsche Bank. On cross-examination, Deutsche Bank’s only witness confirmed that the assignment from OneWest Bank to Deutsche Bank was prior in time to the assignment from the FDIC to OneWest Bank. Deutsche Bank did not introduce the 2010 mortgage assignment, which it had attached to the complaint and which purported to transfer the mortgage from the FDIC to Deutsche Bank. The court entered a judgment of foreclosure. The Maine Supreme Court vacated, holding that Deutsche Bank failed to prove that it is the assignee of the mortgage. View "Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co. v. Wilk " on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, FIA Card Services, filed a complaint against Defendant to recover damages for Defendant's unpaid credit card account. The district court subsequently entered summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff. The Supreme Court vacated the summary judgment, holding that Plaintiff, as the moving party and party with the burden of proof at trial, failed to establish that there was no dispute of material fact as to each element of the cause of action where the record did not sufficiently establish either the existence of Defendant's credit card account or that Plaintiff was the owner of that account. Remanded. View "FIA Card Servs., N.A. v. Saintonge" on Justia Law

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Bank brought an action against Defendant for foreclosure on a residential mortgage. In this case, Bank was a holder entitled to enforce the mortgage note and currently had possession of the note, which was endorsed in blank, and therefore had the power to enforce the note. After mediation, Bank moved for summary judgment. Before acting on the motion, the superior court reported a question to the Supreme Court, which the Court accepted. The question was: "What is the proof that is required for a party to prove 'ownership' of the mortgage note and mortgage for purposes of foreclosure?" The Supreme Court held that a plaintiff in a foreclosure action must identify the owner or economic beneficiary of the note and provide certain other evidence as described in 14 Me. Rev. Stat. 6321. View "Bank of Am., N.A. v. Cloutier" on Justia Law

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First Franklin Financial Corporation and Jason Gardner attended foreclosure mediation. The parties disputed the outcome of the mediation. Gardner argued that the parties reached a binding agreement requiring First Franklin to offer a trial loan modification plan to Gardner and subsequently filed a motion for sanctions. The district court granted the motion and ordered First Franklin to pay monetary sanctions and to enter into a loan modification with Gardner on the terms agreed upon by the parties at foreclosure mediation. First Franklin filed an interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court granted the appeal and held that the motion court did not err (1) in finding that Gardner and First Franklin entered into a binding agreement requiring First Franklin to offer the loan modification to Gardner; and (2) in finding that First Franklin did not mediate in good faith and in granting Gardner's motion for sanctions. View "First Franklin Fin. Corp. v. Gardner" on Justia Law

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Home Loan Investment Bank appealed from a judgment entered in the superior court following a bench trial that confirmed the validity of the mechanic's liens to Jim's Plumbing and Heating, Inc. and Westbrook Tools, Inc. against Bedford Falls Associates for work performed at a commercial property. The Bank argued that the court erred as a matter of law and fact by concluding that the liens had priority over two mortgages granted to Bedford Falls for the acquisition and renovation of the property because it did not consent to the work performed by Jim's Plumbing or Westbrook Tools. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence supported a finding that the Bank had sufficiently specific knowledge of Jim's Plumbing and Westbrook Tools's labor and materials to infer that the Bank consented to the labor and materials secured by the liens. View "Jim's Plumbing & Heating, Inc. v. Home Loan Inv. Bank" on Justia Law

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Nancy Ramsey filed a complaint against Baxter Title Company and the company's owner, James Lemieux, for breach of fiduciary duty and duty of care and for punitive damages arising from a real estate transaction. The superior court dismissed Ramsey's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Ramsey's complaint did not allege the kind of close, confidential relationship necessary for a court to find the existence of a fiduciary duty; and (2) Baxter Title and Lemieux did not owe Ramsey a duty of care to explain to her that the loan she secured was more favorable to the lender than to her. View "Ramsey v. Baxter Title Co." on Justia Law

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Appellant's mother (Miller) opened a checking account with Bank. Appellant alleged that Miller added him as joint owner of the account with right of survivorship. After Miller died, Appellant withdrew all of the funds in the account. Miller's Estate brought an action against Appellant, alleging that the funds Appellant had withdrawn from the account belonged to the Estate. The probate court determined that Miller was the sole owner of the checking account and that the funds Appellant had withdrawn were the property of the Estate. The Supreme Court affirmed. Appellant later sued the Bank, seeking damages for breach of contract and negligence for failing to retain the records that would show his ownership of the account. Appellant also sought punitive damages. The superior court dismissed the action based on the doctrine of collateral estoppel, concluding that the precise issue of ownership was common to both proceedings. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed as to the breach of contract and punitive damages claims; but (2) vacated as to the negligence claim, holding that Appellant's negligence claim against the Bank was not barred by collateral estoppel, as the probate court did not adjudicate the factual issues related to this claim. View "Gray v. TD Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Judith Kehl and Port of Call, LLC filed a motion to modify an order of prejudgment attachment and attachment on trustee process that had been entered in favor of Centrix Bank and Trust, following a contested hearing, ten months earlier. The superior court denied the motion. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without reaching its merits, concluding that the final judgment rule barred the appeal because (1) Appellants' motion raised arguments that should have, and could have, been raised before the attachment order was issued and on direct appeal from that order, and therefore, Appellants waived any rights by failing to challenge the attachment order through proper procedural avenues; and (2) no exception to the final judgment rule applied in this case. View "Centrix Bank & Trust v. Kehl" on Justia Law

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Arrow Financial Services filed a complaint against Sarah Guiliani alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Arrow then filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to establish that Arrow owned a credit card account registered to Guiliani and that Guiliani owed an unpaid balance of $5044 on the account. In support of its motion, Arrow asserted in an affidavit that it was the assignee of Guiliani's credit card account with Washington Mutural. The district court granted Arrow's motion and awarded Arrow $3493, plus interest and court costs. The Supreme Court vacated the district court's judgment, holding that the district court incorrectly granted summary judgment in favor of Arrow because disputes remained as to material facts regarding the balance due on the account and its assignment to Arrow.

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Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as trustee in trust for the registered holders of Ameriquest Mortgage Securities, Inc., appealed from a summary judgment entered in the district court in favor of Donald and Kim Pelletier on the bank's complaint for foreclosure. The district court concluded that Deutsche Bank had failed to dispute facts asserted by the Pelletiers demonstrating that they had asserted a right of rescission. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment, but because the district court's order reached only the point of determining that the Pelletiers were entitled to rescission, the Court remanded for further proceedings to effectuate the rescission.