Justia Banking Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Beal Bank USA v. New Century Mortgage Corp.
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court denying Beal Bank USA's complaint to compel the assignment of a mortgage to Beal by the insolvent originating lender, New Century Mortgage Corporation, holding that the court did not err in denying the relief sought by Beal to compel assignment of the mortgage in this case. On appeal, Beal argued that because it was the holder of the note secured by the mortgage, the court erred when it failed to apply the equitable trust doctrine to conclude that New Century held the mortgage in trust for Beal and that Beal was entitled to an assignment of the mortgage. The Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, holding (1) although the holder of the note may retain some equitable interest in the accompanying mortgage, any such interest, standing alone, does not equate to actual ownership of the mortgage, nor is the interest sufficient to establish a pre-foreclosure right to compel its assignment; and (2) Beal did not produce sufficient independent evidence of ownership of the mortgage to compel an assignment. View "Beal Bank USA v. New Century Mortgage Corp." on Justia Law
Denutte v. U.S. Bank, N.A.
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the business and consumer docket dismissing as time-barred Plaintiff's complaint against U.S. Bank, N.A., the servicer of a mortgage she executed to secure a loan, holding that the court correctly dismissed the complaint as untimely filed. Plaintiff fully performed her obligations arising from a transaction in which she borrowed money and executed a mortgage to secure the loan. Four years after her claim accrued, Plaintiff brought this action under Me. Rev. Stat. 33, 551, alleging that U.S. Bank did not fulfill its statutory duty when it came time for the mortgage to be discharged. The business and consumer docket concluded that the claim was subject to the one-year limitation period set forth in Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 858 and was thus time-barred. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the court correctly dismissed the complaint because it was subject to the one-year statute of limitations. View "Denutte v. U.S. Bank, N.A." on Justia Law
Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. Needham
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the superior court in favor of Matthew Needham on a foreclosure complaint filed by Wilmington Savings Fund Society as Trustee for Hilldale Trust (Wilmington) and remanded the matter for entry of judgment for Wilmington, holding a mortgagee may delegate to an agent its duty to provide a notice of the right to cure pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6111(1). After Needham defaulted on his loan, loan servicer BSI Financial Services sent Needham a notice of the right to cure on behalf of Ventures Trust, the then-holder of the note and mortgage. Thereafter, Ventures Trust filed a foreclosure complaint. Wilmington, which was assigned the mortgage and note, was subsequently substituted as Plaintiff. The trial court entered judgment for Needham, concluding that because the notice was sent by the loan servicer rather than the mortgagee, the notice was insufficient to satisfy the requirements of section 6111. The Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, holding that neither the mortgage contract nor Me. Rev. Stat. 6111(1) prohibited the mortgagee from delegating to an agent loan servicer its duty to give a notice of the right to cure to Needham. View "Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. Needham" on Justia Law
M&T Bank v. Plaisted
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated a judgment of foreclosure entered by the district court in favor of M&T Bank following a nonjury trial on M&T Bank’s complaint and remanded for entry of a judgment in favor of Lawrence Plaisted, holding (1) M&T Bank failed to lay a proper foundation for admitting loan servicing records pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule, and (2) M&T Bank failed to prove the amount owed on the note. On appeal, Plaisted argued that the court abused its discretion by admitting Exhibit E pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule and erred in concluding that M&T Bank proved the amount owed on the note. The Supreme Judicial Court agreed, holding that M&T Bank failed to meet its burden of proving the amount owed by presenting evidence of information regarding the original amount of the loan, the total amount paid by the mortgagor, and other information in a form that was both accessible and admissible. View "M&T Bank v. Plaisted" on Justia Law
Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Eddins
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of foreclosure entered by the superior court in favor of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, holding that the superior court abused its discretion by admitting into evidence a copy of a notice of default that contained an assertion that it was sent by mail. In answer to a complaint for foreclosure filed by Deutsche Bank, Jesse and Naomi Eddins asserted that the Bank failed to comply with the notice provisions of Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6111. The matter proceeded to trial. On appeal, the Supreme Judicial Court remanded the matter for entry of judgment for the Eddinses, holding that Deutsche Bank presented no competent evidence that a notice of default was sent to Jesse or that any such notice met the requirements of either section 6111 or the mortgage instrument itself. Therefore, the Bank failed as a matter of law to prove a necessary element of its foreclosure claim, and the Eddinses were entitled to judgment. View "Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Eddins" on Justia Law
Keybank National Ass’n v. Estate of Eula W. Quint
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of Defendants on Bank’s complaint for a residential foreclosure, thus rejecting Bank’s allegations of error. On appeal, Bank argued that the district court erred in denying Bank’s motion to continue the trial and erred in determining that Bank did not lay a proper foundation for admitting loan servicing records pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule. The Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, holding (1) Bank did not lay a proper foundation for admitting the loan servicing records at issue pursuant to the business records exception; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Bank’s motion for a continuance because Bank did not establish a substantial reason as to why a continuance would further the interests of justice. View "Keybank National Ass’n v. Estate of Eula W. Quint" on Justia Law
Pushard v. Bank of America N.A.
In this appeal arising from a foreclosure action, the Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment in favor of Bank on Plaintiffs’ claim for declaratory relief and remanded the case for entry of summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on that claim. Plaintiffs filed claims against Bank for declaratory and injunctive relief, slander of title, and damages pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 33, 551. The business and consumer docket entered judgment in favor of Bank. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) Plaintiffs’ claims presented a justiciable controversy; (2) the trial court did not err by granting Bank’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ section 551 claim or slander-of-title claim; but (3) Plaintiffs were entitled, as a matter of law, to the declaratory relief they sought. View "Pushard v. Bank of America N.A." on Justia Law
MTGLQ Investors, L.P. v. Alley
Linda Shelley executed a note in favor of First Magnus Financial Corporation. On the same day, Linda and John Shelley executed a mortgage on certain property as security for the loan. The note was endorsed in blank and was eventually held by MTGLQ Investors, L.P. John and Linda later deed the property to Shelley Alley. After Linda died, the note went into default. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. filed a foreclosure complaint, naming John Shelley as the defendant and Alley as a party in interest. The trial court entered a judgment of foreclosure in favor of MTGLQ. The Supreme Judicial Court held that the debtor - presumably, the Estate of Linda Shelley - was a necessary party to this foreclosure action. Because the debtor was not named as a party in this matter, and court vacated the judgment of foreclosure and remanded with instructions to dismiss the matter without prejudice. View "MTGLQ Investors, L.P. v. Alley" on Justia Law
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Welch-Gallant
Wells Fargo appealed from the district court’s judgment dismissing its foreclosure complaint against Defendant as a sanction for pretrial misconduct. After a nontestimonial hearing, the court ordered the action dismissed with prejudice. Wells Fargo moved to alter or amend the judgment to provide for a dismissal without prejudice. The district court denied the motion and maintained the dismissal with prejudice. The Supreme Judicial Court remanded the case to the district court to conduct a proceeding that comports with the process recently articulated in Green Tree Servicing, LLC v. Cope, ___ A.3d ___, issued on April 11, 2017, holding that the process used by the trial court did not entirely follow the procedural steps that a court should take before imposing the sanction of dismissal with prejudice. View "Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Welch-Gallant" on Justia Law
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Lowell
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. filed a complaint against Terrance Lowell seeking foreclosure on residential property. The complaint alleged that Lowell had defaulted by failing to make payments due on a promissory note. After a bench trial, the district court entered a judgment of foreclosure in favor of JPMorgan. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment, holding (1) the district court properly admitted certain documents pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule; but (2) the district court erred by finding that the notice of default issued by JPMorgan complied with the requirement established in Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6111(1-A)(C), which is a required element of foreclosure. Remanded for entry of judgment in favor of Lowell. View "JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Lowell" on Justia Law