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Foreclosure Law

Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4876

AC44437 - Cummings Enterprise, Inc. v. Moutinho ("The plaintiff, Cummings Enterprise, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing for lack of standing its foreclosure action brought against the defendant, Manuel Moutinho, Trustee for the Mark IV Construction Co., Inc., 401 (K) Savings Plan. The court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss, concluding that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring a foreclosure action because any mortgage interest that the plaintiff once may have held with respect to the subject property, an undeveloped building lot in Stratford, had been foreclosed in an earlier foreclosure action brought by the defendant. Because the plaintiff, who was defaulted for failure to appear in the prior foreclosure action, made no effort to redeem on or before its designated law day, its mortgage interest was extinguished, and, after all law days had passed, title to the property vested in the defendant, leaving the property no longer subject to the plaintiff's mortgage. On appeal, the plaintiff raises a number of convoluted arguments challenging the court's granting of the motion to dismiss. On the basis of our thorough review of the record, briefs, and applicable law, we conclude that the plaintiff's arguments are devoid of merit. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4855

AC44905 - Stratford v. 500 North Avenue, LLC (Foreclosure of municipal tax liens; "This is an appeal by the defendant 500 North Avenue, LLC, from a judgment of foreclosure rendered in favor of the plaintiff, the town of Stratford. The plaintiff has moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that the defendant lacks standing to maintain the appeal because it no longer owns the property at issue and, therefore, is not aggrieved by the judgment. Although the defendant concedes that it has no ownership interest in the property, it opposes the motion on the ground that it is aggrieved by the possible collateral consequences of the judgment. Specifically, the defendant argues that the judgment establishes its underlying tax obligations to the plaintiff and could be used by the plaintiff to establish the defendant's liability in a future, independent action by the plaintiff to collect unpaid taxes not satisfied by a judgment in this case. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the defendant is not aggrieved by the judgment and, therefore, lacks standing to pursue this appeal. As a result, we grant the motion to dismiss and dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")


Foreclosure Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4806

SC20493 - U.S. Bank, National Assn. v. Madison ("The defendant Margit Madison appeals, upon our grant of her petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's latest judgment of strict foreclosure in favor of the plaintiff, U.S. Bank, National Association, as Trustee for MASTR Adjustable Rate Mortgage Trust 2007-1, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-1. The trial court reentered judgment of strict foreclosure following the termination of the defendant's bankruptcy stay. In this court, the defendant challenges the Appellate Court's conclusion that the trial court properly ruled that she lacked standing in this foreclosure action to raise a defense that she had failed to identify as an asset of the bankruptcy estate in the schedule of assets she filed in her chapter 7 bankruptcy case, adjudicated while the foreclosure case was pending. The defendant argues more specifically that the Appellate Court improperly treated a defense to a foreclosure action as the same as claims and counterclaims, which constitute property of the estate under the United States Bankruptcy Code and, thus, must be disclosed. After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.")


Foreclosure Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4793

SC20403 - JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Assn. v. Virgulak ("The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court in favor of the defendant Theresa Virgulak. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly affirmed the judgment of the trial court because (1) the trial court improperly declined the plaintiff's request to reform a mortgage deed to reference that the mortgage deed executed by the defendant was given to secure a note executed by her husband, Robert J. Virgulak (Robert), and (2) even if the trial court properly denied the request to reform the mortgage deed, it incorrectly determined that the plaintiff was not entitled to foreclose the mortgage executed by the defendant because the defendant was not a borrower on the note. We disagree with the plaintiff and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4785

AC44450 - LendingHome Marketplace, LLC v. Traditions Oil Group, LLC ("In this mortgage foreclosure action, the defendant, Traditions Oil Group, LLC, which was defaulted for failure to appear, appeals from the trial court's denial of its motion to open the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered in favor of the plaintiff, LendingHome Marketplace, LLC, and from the denial of its subsequent motion to reargue/reconsider that ruling. Although the defendant filed its motion to open more than one year after the passage of the law day set by the court, the defendant nonetheless claims that the court improperly denied its motions because (1) the passing of the law day did not vest absolute title to the subject property in the plaintiff due to the plaintiff's alleged failure to comply with notice requirements in the court's uniform foreclosure standing orders and Practice Book § 17-22; (2) the court's finding that the plaintiff had complied with those notice requirements was clearly erroneous; (3) the court failed to hold a hearing on the motion to open in violation of the defendant's right to due process; and (4) the court abused its discretion by summarily denying the defendant's motion to reargue. We conclude that the court properly denied the defendant's motions and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4766

AC43295 - Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Mordecai (Claim that trial court 1.) abused its discretion by denying defendants' request to amend answer and special defenses, 2.) improperly grant summary judgment as to liability and 3.) improperly rendered strict foreclosure judgment; "The defendants, Michael A. Mordecai and Elizabeth M. Keyser, appeal from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the substitute plaintiff Wilmington Savings Fund Society, F.S.B., D/B/A Christiana Trust, not individually but as trustee for Pretium Mortgage Acquisition Trust (Wilmington). The defendants claim that the court (1) abused its discretion by denying their request to amend their special defenses, (2) improperly granted summary judgment as to liability because a genuine issue of material fact existed regarding whether they had defaulted on the note, and (3) misapplied Practice Book § 23-18 (a) in rendering a judgment of strict foreclosure because they had asserted a defense regarding the amount of the debt owed. We agree with the defendants that the court abused its discretion by not allowing them to amend their special defenses and, consequently, also improperly granted the motion for summary judgment as to liability and rendered a judgment of strict foreclosure without due consideration of those defenses. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4748

AC43835 - Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC v. Gallant ("The defendant Real M. Gallant appeals from the judgment of foreclosure by sale rendered by the trial court and from the court's denial of his motion to dismiss this foreclosure action, which had been commenced by the original plaintiff, Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC (Bayview), the assignee of a note and mortgage that had been executed by the defendant with respect to certain real property located in Brooklyn. The defendant claims that (1) the trial court, after holding an evidentiary hearing on the motion to dismiss, improperly determined that the substitute plaintiff, U.S. Bank Trust, N.A., as trustee for LSF9 Master Participation Trust (U.S. Bank), has standing to maintain this action, even though the original note was not produced in court, and that the requirements of General Statutes § 42a-3-309, which governs lost instruments, had been satisfied because 'all reasonable attempts' had been made to locate the lost note before a lost note affidavit was created, and (2) a fraud was perpetrated on the trial court, which necessitates a reversal of the foreclosure judgment. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4742

SC20194 - Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Lorson (Foreclosure; special defenses; whether Appellate Court properly held that noncompliance with regulations promulgated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is a special defense that a defendant must plead and prove: "The issue that we must resolve in this appeal is whether compliance with federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulatory requirements applicable to mortgage loans guaranteed or insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a condition precedent to acceleration of the debt, enforcement of the note, and foreclosure of the mortgage, such that the burden is on mortgagees to plead and prove compliance. . . We conclude that compliance with applicable HUD regulations is a condition precedent to enforcement of the note and foreclosure of the mortgage, and must be pleaded and ultimately proved by the mortgagee. Because the trial court did not require the plaintiff to establish compliance with HUD regulations at trial, we further conclude that the case must be remanded to the trial court for a trial on that issue. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's judgment of strict foreclosure.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4717

AC42530 - Mase v. Riverview Realty Associates, LLC ("The defendant Riverview Realty Associates, LLC, appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Amy Mase. The defendant claims that (1) the court erred in denying its motion to dismiss the foreclosure action on the ground that the plaintiff failed to provide notice of default and acceleration in accordance with the terms of the subject note and mortgage, (2) the judgment of strict foreclosure was grossly defective for several reasons, including but not limited to, the court's failure to determine the fair market value of the subject premises and the amount of the debt, and (3) the court's appointment of a receiver was improper for several reasons. We dismiss the appeal because it was not taken from a final judgment.")


Foreclosure Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4713

SC20534 - Toro Credit Co. v. Zeytoonjian ("In this appeal, we are asked to determine whether the trial court abused its discretion when it ordered a foreclosure by sale as to two parcels of land owned by the defendants, Betty Anne Zeytoonjian, as trustee of the Nubar Realty Trust, and Three Z Limited Partnership, and secured by a blanket mortgage given to the plaintiff, Toro Credit Company. The parties' mortgage agreement contains a remedies provision that provides that, in the event the defendants default on the mortgage, the plaintiff could seek a foreclosure by sale as to both parcels. The trial court determined that the remedies provision was not binding on it but, nonetheless, considered this contractual provision as one factor in its balancing of the equities under General Statutes § 49-24. The defendants claim that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering a foreclosure by sale as to their two properties because (1) the court should not have considered the remedies provision at all, and (2) it was inequitable for the court to order a foreclosure by sale as to both parcels when a strict foreclosure as to one parcel would have fully satisfied the debt. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it granted the plaintiff's request for a foreclosure by sale under these circumstances. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's order of foreclosure by sale.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4665

AC43704 - Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Sheldon ("In this foreclosure action, the substitute plaintiff, PHH Mortgage Corporation, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the defendants, Sandra A. Sheldon and James J. Sheldon. On appeal, the substitute plaintiff claims that, in concluding that the defendants prevailed on their special defense of unclean hands, the court (1) made a clearly erroneous factual finding that a predecessor of the substitute plaintiff failed to 'restore' the defendants' credit following its own error, and (2) improperly determined that the balancing of the equities prevented foreclosure. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4662

SC20492 - Scholz v. Epstein (Litigation privilege; absolute immunity from statutory theft claim; "In this certified appeal, we are asked to determine the scope of the litigation privilege, which provides absolute immunity from liability, in relation to a lawyer's conduct in a foreclosure proceeding. The plaintiff, Stephen W. Scholz, appeals from the Appellate Court's judgment affirming the trial court's dismissal of the statutory theft claim he brought against the defendant, Juda J. Epstein, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground of absolute immunity. Epstein, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut, represented Benchmark Municipal Tax Services, Ltd. (Benchmark), in the underlying foreclosure proceeding. The plaintiff claims that, under the circumstances of this case, the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the defendant enjoyed absolute immunity from the plaintiff's claim of statutory theft, specifically, by determining that (1) public policy considerations were served by affording the defendant this immunity, and (2) all of the defendant's alleged conduct occurred within the scope of the underlying foreclosure proceeding. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4653

AC43262 - JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Assn. v. Malick ("The defendant Abu Hashem Malick appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association. On appeal, Malick claims that the court erred as a matter of law when, despite his objections to some of the calculations set forth in the plaintiff's affidavit of debt, it accepted the affidavit and relied on it to establish the amount of the defendant's indebtedness. Because we are bound by our Supreme Court's decision in Burritt Mutual Savings Bank of New Britain v. Tucker, 183 Conn. 369, 374–75, 439 A.2d 396 (1981), we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4646

AC43958 - Strazza Building & Construction, Inc. v Harris (Foreclosure of mechanic's lien; "The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court denying their motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff, Strazza Building & Construction, Inc. (Strazza). The defendants claim that the court improperly denied their motion for summary judgment, which was predicated on a claim that the action is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. In the alternative, the defendants claim that the court erred in failing to find that Strazza's claims fail as a result of the application of collateral estoppel. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4598

AC43653 - Rockstone Capital, LLC v. Caldwell ("In this strict foreclosure action, we consider the enforceability of a settlement and forbearance agreement (settlement agreement) entered into by the plaintiff, Rockstone Capital, LLC, the defendants, Vicki A. Ditri and Morgan J. Caldwell, Jr., and Caldwell's business, Wesconn Automotive Center, LLC (Wesconn), that resulted from a collections action brought by the plaintiff against Caldwell and Wesconn. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a court trial, in favor of the defendant, on her special defense that the settlement agreement was unconscionable and, therefore, unenforceable. On appeal, the plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly concluded that the settlement agreement was both procedurally and substantively unconscionable as to the defendant. We agree and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4577

AC42829 - Keybank, N.A v. Yazar (Foreclosure; summary judgment; Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program statutory (§ 8-265ee (a)) notice; whether plaintiff's failure to comply with notice requirement of § 8- 265ee (a) deprived trial court of subject matter jurisdiction; whether plaintiff may rely on notice that had been sent by original lender in prior foreclosure action that was later dismissed to satisfy its own notice requirements in separate foreclosure action; "The defendant Ozlem Yazar, a self-represented party, appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, KeyBank, N.A. On appeal, the defendant claims, inter alia, that the plaintiff failed to comply with General Statutes § 8-265ee (a), the notice provision of the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP), General Statutes § 8-265cc et seq., and that such noncompliance left the court without subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the foreclosure action. We agree and conclude that the failure of the plaintiff (as the original plaintiff in the present action) to mail an EMAP notice to the defendant (as the mortgagor) in connection with the present action deprived the court of subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to dismiss the action.")


Foreclosure Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4555

AC43849 - Gibson v. Jefferson Woods Community, Inc. (Motion to dismiss; standing; subject matter jurisdiction; "The plaintiff, Lilly M. Gibson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the defendant Jefferson Woods Community, Inc. (Jefferson Woods), to dismiss the action.On appeal, Gibson claims that, in granting Jefferson Woods' motion to dismiss, the court improperly determined that she lacked standing (1) to seek foreclosure and (2) to pursue her claim of unjust enrichment. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC44143 - U.S. Bank, National Assn. v. Fitzpatrick (Judgment of foreclosure by sale; whether trial court erred in granting motion to approve sale without newspaper advertisements; motion to terminate stay; mootness; right of redemption; "In this foreclosure action, the defendant Christopher M. Fitzpatrick appeals from the judgment of the trial court approving the sale of the mortgaged property, on the motion of the committee of sale (committee), following the court's rendering of a judgment of foreclosure by sale in favor of the plaintiff mortgagee, U.S. Bank, National Association, as Trustee for MASTR 2007-2. On appeal, the defendant argues that his objection to the motion for approval of committee sale, which was based on a lack of newspaper advertisements, should have been sustained. The plaintiff argues that this appeal is moot because the defendant failed to seek review of the court's termination of the appellate stay and, thus, title to the subject property has vested in the plaintiff. We agree with the plaintiff that this court can provide no practical relief on appeal, and, therefore, we dismiss the appeal as moot.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4537

AC43543 - Nikola v. 2938 Fairfield, LLC ("In this foreclosure action, the defendant 2938 Fairfield, LLC (Fairfield), and the substitute defendant, Jeffrey Weiss, the executor of the estate of the original defendant, Naomi Drabkin, appeal from the deficiency judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Carol Nikola, the executor of the estate of the original plaintiff, Nikola Nikola. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court (1) incorrectly concluded that it was not barred by the doctrine of res judicata from determining the amount of the deficiency judgment, and (2) improperly included in the deficiency judgment certain tax liens paid by Nikola Nikola. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4524

AC40918 - Saunders v. KDFBS, LLC (Foreclosure by sale in favor of the plaintiff; “At trial, the plaintiff sought a judgment of foreclosure by sale and a declaratory judgment that the plaintiff’s mortgage had priority over the defendants’ mortgage. The defendants argued on appeal that the trial court erred in its determination that the mortgage held by the plaintiff (Saunders mortgage) on the underlying real property had priority over the mortgage held by the defendants (Davis mortgage) on the same property. This court summarily dismissed the appeal for lack of a final judgment. Our Supreme Court granted certification and reversed the decision of this court and remanded the appeal to this court for further proceedings.”)

AC43542, AC43575 - LPP Mortgage Ltd. v. Underwood Towers Ltd. Partnertship (“In these related appeals arising from a commercial foreclosure action, the defendants… claim that the trial court erred in concluding that the plaintiff had standing to foreclose the mortgage because it was not entitled to enforce the promissory note; in relying on the provisions of a regulatory agreement between Underwood and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conclude that Underwood had defaulted on the mortgage, and in calculating the amount of the debt owed to the plaintiff; in concluding that foreclosure was an equitable remedy in this case; in awarding monetary damages in addition to the judgment of strict foreclosure; and in awarding damages to the plaintiff under a theory of unjust enrichment. In Docket No. AC 43575, the city challenges the trial court’s conclusion that the plaintiff had standing to foreclose on the ground that New England Savings Bank v. Bedford Realty Corp., 238 Conn. 745, 680 A.2d 301 (1996) (Bedford Realty), the Supreme Court case on which the trial court relied in so concluding, has been overruled sub silentio, or, in the alternative, was improperly decided. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Foreclosure Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4506

AC43576 - Caliber Home Loans, Inc. v. Zeller ("The defendant Cambridge Holdings, Inc. (Cambridge), appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered by the trial court in favor of the substitute plaintiff, Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC (SLS). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) SLS presented insufficient evidence to prove it had standing to foreclose on the mortgage, (2) it had standing to challenge the adequacy of the notice of acceleration and default under the note, (3) SLS presented insufficient evidence to prove the amount of the outstanding debt, (4) it proved its special defenses, and (5) the court erred in rendering a judgment of strict foreclosure.

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The judgment is reversed with respect to the order of strict foreclosure and the case is remanded with direction to order foreclosure by sale and for further proceedings according to law; the judgment is affirmed in all other respects.")