The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the fair market value of the property in this foreclosure-deficiency-judgment proceeding was considerably greater than the liquidation valued used by the court:
“RPAPL 1371(2) permits the mortgagee in a mortgage foreclosure action to recover a deficiency judgment for the difference between the amount of indebtedness on the mortgage and either the auction price at the foreclosure sale or the fair market value of the property, whichever is higher” … . “It is the lender who bears the initial burden of demonstrating, prima facie, the property’s fair market value as of the date of the auction sale” … . “When a lender moves to secure a deficiency judgment against a borrower, ‘the court . . . shall determine, upon affidavit or otherwise as it shall direct, the fair and reasonable market value of the mortgaged premises as of the date such premises were bid [o]n at auction or such nearest earlier date as there shall have been any market value thereof'” … .
Here, the record does not support a finding that the estimated liquidation value of $620,000 constituted the fair and reasonable market value of the property at the time of the foreclosure sale … . Rather, the record supports a determination that the higher estimated value of $1,060,000 presented by the plaintiff’s appraiser constituted the fair and reasonable market value of the property at the time of the foreclosure sale. Rhinebeck Bank v WA 319 Main, LLC, 2022 NY Slip Op 06507, Second Dept 11-16-22
Practice Point: Here the court should have used plaintiff’s appraiser’s determination of the fair market value of the foreclosed property to calculate the amount of the deficiency judgment pursuant to RPAPL 1371(2). The court used a much lower “liquidation value.”