Articles Posted in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

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Plaintiff filed suit against Deutsche Bank, seeking a declaratory judgment that the bank's foreclosure of the mortgage on plaintiff's home was invalid and seeking to quiet title to the property. The superior court granted the bank's motion to dismiss. The court concluded, as did the trial court judge, that a foreclosing mortgagee's failure to comply with G. L. c. 244, § 15A, by failing to send the postforeclosure notices required by the statute, does not render the foreclosure void. In this case, where the provision in question does not set forth preforeclosure requirements that are a part of the foreclosure process, the Bank's failure to comply with section 15A's postforeclosure notice provisions did not render the foreclosure void. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Turra v. Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas" on Justia Law

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In Suffolk I, the Supreme Judicial Court held that Reading Co-Operative Bank (Bank) was allowed to require Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. (Suffolk) to perform fully Suffolk’s obligations pursuant to a collateral assignment of payments under a subcontract between Suffolk and Benchmark Mechanical Systems, Inc. (Benchmark) to secure a debt owed by Bankmark to the Bank. Suffolk subsequently commenced this action to recover the surplus that resulted when the Bank applied that collateral to satisfy Benchmark’s debt. Suffolk’s equitable claims for implied subrogation and implied indemnification were dismissed for failure to state a claim, and Suffolk’s common-law claims were dismissed as time-barred. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) Suffolk’s common-law claims were time-barred; but (2) Suffolk stated viable equitable claims to prevent Benchmark’s potential windfall and unjust enrichment for which relief can be granted. View "Suffolk Constr. Co., Inc. v. Benchmark Mechanical Sys., Inc." on Justia Law

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The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) filed a complaint for summary process in the Housing Court to establish its right to possession of the Rego house, which Fannie Mae purchased at a foreclosure sale. The Regos argued that the foreclosure sale conducted by GMAC, which held the mortgage, was void because GMAC's attorneys had not been authorized by a prior writing to undertake the actions set forth in G. L. 244, 14. They also asserted an equitable defense and counterclaims. The judge granted Fannie Mae summary judgment "as to possession only," and scheduled a bench trial on the counterclaims, but later dismissed the counterclaims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court vacated. The foreclosure suffered no defect on the asserted ground that GMAC failed to provide such authorization to its attorneys, but the Housing Court has limited authorization to entertain counterclaims and an equitable defense to the foreclosure sale in the summary process action. View "Fed. Nat'l Mortgage Ass'n v. Rego" on Justia Law