The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined, once plaintiff agreed to release a mortgage in return for sale proceeds which were less than the value of the note, plaintiff could then commence a proceeding on the note and the guaranty. The court further held that the action on the note and guaranty could be accomplished by amending the original foreclosure complaint:
“RPAPL 1301(3) . . . prohibits a party from commencing an action at law to recover any part of the mortgage debt while the foreclosure proceeding is pending or has not reached final judgment, without leave of the court in which the foreclosure action was brought'” … . Conversely, “where a foreclosure action is no longer pending and did not result in a judgment in the plaintiff's favor, the plaintiff is not precluded from commencing a separate action' without leave of the court” … .
Here, since, pursuant to the parties' stipulation, the plaintiff agreed to accept the net proceeds of the sale in exchange for releasing the property from the mortgage and there was no judgment in the plaintiff's favor, the plaintiff was not precluded from seeking to recover on the note and guaranty by RPAPL 1301(3), “a statute which must be strictly construed” … .
Furthermore, there is no reason the plaintiff could not seek such relief by seeking leave to amend its complaint, rather than by commencing a new action … . TD Bank, N.A. v 250 Jackson Ave., LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 01828, 2nd Dept 3-16-16
FORECLOSURE (PLAINTIFF COULD PROCEED AGAINST NOTE AND GUARANTY AFTER RELEASING MORTGAGE)/NOTE (FORECLOSURE, PLAINTIFF COULD PROCEED AGAINST NOTE AND GUARANTY AFTER RELEASING MORTGAGE)/MORTGAGES (FORECLOSURE, PLAINTIFF COULD PROCEED AGAINST NOTE AND GUARANTY AFTER RELEASING MORTGAGE)/DEBTOR-CREDITOR (FORECLOSURE, PLAINTIFF COULD PROCEED AGAINST NOTE AND GUARANTY AFTER RELEASING MORTGAGE)/CIVIL PROCEDURE (AMENDING COMPLAINT, AFTER RELEASING MORTGAGE, PLAINTIFF COULD PROCEED AGAINST THE NOTE AND GUARANTEE BY AMENDING THE ORIGINAL FORECLOSURE COMPLAINT)