The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined that the bank in this foreclosure action was not required to affirmatively demonstrate standing, the defendant, to raise the issue, must assert lack of standing as an affirmative defense, and merely denying the relevant allegations in the complaint is not enough:
… [T]he plaintiff was not required to show its standing to maintain the action. “[W]here, as here, standing is not an essential element of the cause of action, under CPLR 3018(b) a defendant must affirmatively plead lack of standing as an affirmative defense in the answer in order to properly raise the issue in its responsive pleading” … . The mere denial of the allegation that the plaintiff was the owner and holder of the note and mortgage in the answer of Republic First Bank, without more, was insufficient to assert that the plaintiff lacks standing … . Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Jemal, 2022 NY Slip Op 02970, Second Dept 5-4-22
Practice Point: Lack of standing in a foreclosure action must be raised as an affirmative defense. It is not enough to deny the relevant allegations in the foreclosure complaint.