Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Bank brought this foreclosure action against Mortgagor. Mortgagor filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Bank’s notices of right to cure were deficient because they did not satisfy the requirements of Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 6111(1-A). The court concluded that the notice of right to cure did not comply with statutory requirements and dismissed the complaint without prejudice so that Bank could send notice in compliance with section 6111. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint but remanded with instructions to correct the order so that it provides for a dismissal with prejudice, holding that the court erred by stating that the dismissal was without prejudice because the dismissal was an adjudication on the merits, and therefore, it was with prejudice. View "U.S. Bank Trust, N.A. v. Mackenzie" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs received a loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. that was secured by a mortgage on their real property in Portland. When Plaintiffs finished paying off the mortgage, Chase executed a written mortgage release and recorded the document. The registry of deeds returned the recorded mortgage release to Chase, which retained the actual document and mailed a copy of the document to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs filed this action claiming that Chase violated Me. Rev. Stat. 551, 33, which governs the discharge of a mortgage, by failing to mail them the original mortgage release document. The business and consumer docket dismissed the action for failure to state a claim, concluding that mailing a copy of the recorded document accomplishes the purposes of the statute. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment, holding that the trial court erred when it dismissed the action because Plaintiffs’ allegations were sufficient to state a claim that Chase violated section 551. View "Sabina v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union filed a foreclosure complaint against Guy Roberge and Lisa Pombriant concerning certain residential property. The district court granted a summary judgment for foreclosure and sale in favor of the Credit Union in the amount of $144,998.97, concluding that the Credit Union established its entitlement to a summary judgment as to each element of foreclosure. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the district court, holding that the Credit Union’s summary judgment filings failed to establish at least four of the necessary eight elements for a residential foreclosure. Remanded for a trial. View "Ocean Cmtys. Fed. Credit Union v. Roberge" on Justia Law

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American Express Bank FSB filed a complaint alleging that Diane Deering owed $22,339.94 in credit card debt. After a trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of American Express in that amount. On appeal, Deering argued that the trial court erred in admitting American Express’s business records pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule. Specifically, Deering challenged the trial court’s determination that American Express provided the required foundation for admission of the documents. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion in admitting the records over Deering’s objections. View "American Express Bank FSB v. Deering" on Justia Law