The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff mortgage company did not demonstrate compliance with the notice requirements of RPAPL 1304:
RPAPL 1304(1) provides that, “at least ninety days before a lender, an assignee or a mortgage loan servicer commences legal action against the borrower . . . , including mortgage foreclosure, such lender, assignee or mortgage loan servicer shall give notice to the borrower.” “The statute further provides the required content for the notice and provides that the notice must be sent by registered or certified mail and also by first-class mail to the last known address of the borrower” … . Strict compliance with RPAPL 1304 notice to the borrower is a condition precedent to the commencement of a foreclosure action … . “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 only purported evidence submitted by the plaintiff in support of its motion to show that it complied with RPAPL 1304 was a hearsay statement in the affidavit of the plaintiff’s legal affairs representative. Moreover, contrary to the plaintiff’s assertions, the 90-day notice which was attached to her affirmation does not demonstrate that the mailing requirements of RPAPL 1304 were met … . The plaintiff failed to submit an affidavit of service or proof of first-class mailing by the United States Postal Service evidencing that the defendant was served by first-class mail in accordance with RPAPL 1304 … . The plaintiff not only failed to provide proof of the actual first-class mailing, but its legal affairs representative also lacked personal knowledge of the purported mailing and did not aver that she was familiar with the mailing practices and procedures of the entity that purportedly sent the notices … . Thus, the plaintiff submitted no evidence that the letter had been sent to the defendant by first-class mail more than 90 days prior to commencement of the action … . 21st Mtge. Corp. v Broderick, 2021 NY Slip Op 00825, Second Dept 2-10-21