The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the defendant, owner of the equity of redemption after a foreclosure sale of defendant’s property, was not entitled to the surplus funds after the sale. Defendant had entered a home equity line of credit with Citibank. Citibank was entitled to the surplus funds:
“‘[S]urplus money proceedings . . . are not collateral to the foreclosure, but are in the action itself[,] [a]nd the rights of lienors subsequent to the mortgage under foreclosure are before the court and must be protected as much as those of the owner of the property'” … . “‘Surplus money from a foreclosure sale is not a general asset of the owner of the equity of redemption, but stands in the place of the property for the purpose of distribution among those having vested interests in or liens on the property. The rights of the parties are fixed at the time of the foreclosure sale, and the rights of a second lienholder are transferred to any surplus'” … . “Under New York law, the lien of a junior mortgagee who is made a party to a foreclosure action brought by a senior mortgagee, although cut-off and extinguished as to the land, continues as a lien upon the surplus funds arising from the foreclosure” … . “‘[U]pon the foreclosure of the first mortgage, the lien of the second mortgage follow[s] the surplus into the hands of the [municipality’s] financial officer, and the remedy of the second mortgagee is to enforce his or her claim in the court by whose direction the foreclosure had taken place'” … . Maspeth Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn. v O’Connell, 2023 NY Slip Op 06037, Second Dept 11-22-23
Practice Point: In addition to the mortgage which was foreclosed, defendant property-owner had entered a home equity line of credit with Citibank. There were surplus funds after the foreclosure sale. Citibank, not defendant, was entitled to the surplus funds.