The First Department determined a deed constituted a mortgage pursuant to Real Property Law 320, and was not a “deed in lieu of foreclosure.” Therefore the deed recorded by the defendants did not transfer ownership to them and defendants must foreclose on the mortgage to extinguish the mortgagor’s interest:
Real Property Law § 320 codifies the well-settled common law principle “that the giving of a deed to secure a debt, in whatever form and however structured, creates nothing more than a mortgage” … . The statute does not require a conclusive showing that the transfer was intended as security; rather, it is sufficient that the conveyance appears to be intended only as “a security in the nature of a mortgage” … .
Therefore, as the motion court properly found, “The holder of a deed given as security must proceed in the same manner as any other mortgagee by foreclosure and sale to extinguish the mortgagor’s interest” … . This conclusion holds true because the mortgagor has the right of redemption, and that right cannot be waived or abandoned by any stipulation of the parties, even if the waiver is embodied in the mortgage … . Patmos Fifth Real Estate Inc v Mazl Bldg LLC, 2015 NY Slip OP 00278, 1st Dept 1-8-15