The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the bank’s motion for summary judgment in this foreclosure action should not have been granted:
Harrell [bank vice president] failed to establish that Wells Fargo was servicing the subject loan at the time of Bhatti’s [defendant’s] alleged default, and that she was personally familiar with the recordkeeping practices and procedures of the plaintiff and/or the loan servicer at that time. Therefore, the plaintiff failed to establish a proper foundation for the admission of the records relied upon to establish Bhatti’s default under the business records exception to the hearsay rule (see CPLR 4518[a] …). …
“By requiring the lender or mortgage loan servicer to send the RPAPL 1304 notice by registered or certified mail and also by first-class mail, the Legislature implicitly provided the means for the plaintiff to demonstrate its compliance with the statute, i.e., by proof of the requisite mailing, which can be established with proof of the actual mailings, such as affidavits of mailing or domestic return receipts with attendant signatures, or proof of a standard office mailing procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed, sworn to by someone with personal knowledge of the procedure” … .
Here, the … affidavits were insufficient to establish that the plaintiff mailed the 90-day pre-foreclosure notice required by RPAPL 1304, “as the representative[s] did not provide evidence of a standard office mailing procedure and provided no independent evidence of the actual mailing” … .
Moreover, the Harrell and Green affidavits were also insufficient to establish that a notice of default was in fact mailed to Bhatti by first-class mail, or actually delivered to the designated address if sent by other means, which was required by the terms of the mortgage … . HSBC Bank USA, Natl. Assn. v Bhatti, 2020 NY Slip Op 04734, Second Dept 8-26-20