THE BANK DID NOT DEMONSTRATE COMPLIANCE WITH THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 13O4 AND A CONDITION PRECEDENT IN THE MORTGAGE IN THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION; THE BANK’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the bank did not demonstrate compliance with the notice requirements of RPAPL 1304 and a condition precedent in the mortgage and therefore was not entitled to summary judgment in this foreclosure action:

Here, the plaintiff failed to establish, prima facie, that it complied with the requirements of RPAPL 1304 … . Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, its submission of an affidavit of an employee of the loan servicer was not sufficient to establish that the notice was sent to the defendant in the manner required by RPAPL 1304. The affiant did not aver that he had personal knowledge of the purported mailings, that he was familiar with the mailing practices and procedures of the plaintiff, which allegedly sent the notice, or that the plaintiff’s records had been incorporated into the records of the loan servicer and were routinely relied upon by the loan servicer in its business … . Further, the plaintiff’s submission of an affidavit of its own employee was insufficient to establish the plaintiff’s strict compliance with RPAPL 1304, since that employee had no personal knowledge of the purported mailings, and his unsubstantiated and conclusory statements failed to establish that the notice was mailed to the defendant not only by certified or registered mail, but also by first-class mail … . Although the plaintiff submitted tracking information from the United States Postal Service for certified mailings of the notice, the redacted proof of first-class mailing did not contain any information linking a first-class mailing to the RPAPL 1304 notice, and thus, failed to establish that the notice was mailed by first-class mail … . Likewise, the plaintiff’s submission of a “Proof of Filing” statement pursuant to RPAPL 1306 contained no information indicating that the mailing was done by both registered or certified mail and first-class mail as required by RPAPL 1304 … .

The plaintiff similarly failed to establish, prima facie, that it mailed a notice of default to the defendant by first-class mail as required by the terms of the mortgage as a condition precedent to acceleration of the loan … . JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v Nellis, 2020 NY Slip Op 02621, Second Dept 5-6-20

Similar issues and result in Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Nelson, 2020 NY Slip Op 02604, Second Dept 5-6-20

 


THE APPEAL WAS RENDERED MOOT BY DEFENDANT’S TRANSFER OF THE PROPERTY AFTER SUPREME COURT RULED DEFENDANT HAD TITLE TO THE PROPERTY (THIRD DEPT).

The Third Department dismissed the appeal as moot. Property which had been validly foreclosed by defendant was transferred to a third party. Plaintiff had brought an action pursuant to Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) Article 15 to determine its rights to a portion of the foreclosed property. Supreme Court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment on its counterclaim for strict foreclosure (RPAPL 1352) and plaintiff appealed. The appeal was deemed moot and dismissed because defendant had a right to transfer the property after Supreme Court’s ruling:

[T]he jurisdiction of this Court extends only to live controversies and, as such, an appeal will be considered moot unless an adjudication of the merits will result in immediate and practical consequences to the parties” … . “Since the ability to transfer clear title is a natural incident of [property] ownership, it follows that when a complaint involving title to or the right to possess and enjoy real property has been dismissed on the merits and there is no outstanding notice of pendency or stay, the property owner has a right to transfer or otherwise dispose of the property unrestricted by the dismissed claim” … . “‘[A] purchaser’s actual knowledge of litigation and a pending appeal is not legally significant and[,] absent a validly recorded notice of pendency, an owner has the ability to transfer clear title’” … .

Here, Supreme Court canceled plaintiff’s notice of pendency and this Court denied his motion for a stay pending appeal. Therefore, defendants had the right to transfer the property when they did, and the purchaser obtained clear title despite its knowledge of the pending appeals. Govel v Trustco Bank, 2020 NY Slip Op 02306, Third Dept 4-16-20

 


PLAINTIFF BANK DID NOT DEMONSTRATE COMPLIANCE WITH THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 1304 AND DID NOT PRESENT NON-HEARSAY EVIDENCE OF STANDING IN THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION, CRITERIA EXPLAINED IN SOME DETAIL (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, in an extensive decision explaining the relevant issues and analysis in some depth, determined plaintiff bank did not demonstrate compliance with the notice requirements of Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) 1304  did not demonstrate standing to bring the foreclosure action:

… [T]he plaintiff failed to submit an affidavit of mailing or proof of mailing by the United States Postal Service evidencing that it properly mailed notice to the defendant pursuant to RPAPL 1304. Instead, the plaintiff relied on an affidavit of Rashad Blanchard, who was employed as a loan analyst by the parent company of the plaintiff’s loan servicer, and copies of the purported notices. The plaintiff submitted only one letter that purported to constitute the statutorily required 90-day notice of default … . Although the letter contained the statement “sent via certified mail,” with a 20-digit number below it, no receipt or corresponding document issued by the United States Postal Service was submitted proving that the letter was actually sent by certified mail more than 90 days prior to commencement of the action. The plaintiff also failed to submit any documentary evidence that notice was sent by first-class mail. Further, Blanchard did not aver that the notice was sent in the manner required pursuant to RPAPL 1304, i.e., by certified mail and first-class mail. Moreover, since he did not aver that he personally mailed the notice, or that he was familiar with the mailing practices and procedures of American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., the entity that purportedly sent the notices, he did not establish proof of a standard office practice and procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed … . * * *

[Vice President] Reyes’s affidavit failed to establish a sufficient foundation for the admission of a business record pursuant to CPLR 4518(a) because, although he recited that the records upon which he relied were “regularly maintained by [the plaintiff] in the ordinary course of its business,” he “did not indicate that they were made by their author (or authors, whoever they might be) pursuant to an established procedure for the routine, habitual, systematic making of records that would qualify them as trustworthy accounts,” or that they “were the records regularly relied on in the business” … . Reyes also failed to indicate “that the record [was] made at or about the time of the event being recorded—essentially, that recollection [was] fairly accurate and the habit or routine of making the entries assured” … . …

… .[T]o the extent that Reyes’s purported knowledge of the date the plaintiff received the original note was based upon his review of unidentified business records maintained by the plaintiff, “[his] affidavit constituted inadmissible hearsay and lacked probative value” … . Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Dennis, 2020 NY Slip Op 02039, Second Dept 3-25-20

 


PLAINTIFF BANK DID NOT COMPLY WITH RPAPL 1306; DEFENDANT’S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff bank’s failure to comply with RPAPL 1306 required that defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment be granted:

“RPAPL 1306 provides, in pertinent part, that within three business days of the mailing of the foreclosure notice pursuant to RPAPL 1304(1), every lender or assignee shall file’ certain information with the superintendent of financial services, including at a minimum, the name, address, last known telephone number of the borrower, and the amount claimed as due and owing on the mortgage, and such other information as will enable the superintendent to ascertain the type of loan at issue’” … . “Any complaint served in a proceeding initiated pursuant to [RPAPL article 13] shall contain, as a condition precedent to such proceeding, an affirmative allegation that at the time the proceeding is commenced, the plaintiff has complied with . . . this section” (RPAPL 1306[1]). Compliance with RPAPL 1306 is a condition precedent to the commencement of a foreclosure action.

RPAPL 1306(1) became effective on February 13, 2010 (see L 2009, ch 507, § 5), one month before this action was commenced. Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, it was not absolved from compliance with the statute by virtue of the fact that its RPAPL 1304 notices were purportedly mailed prior to the effective date of RPAPL 1306. …

… [I]t is … clear from the face of the complaint that it contains no “affirmative allegation that at the time the proceeding [wa]s commenced, the plaintiff ha[d] complied with” RPAPL 1306 … . Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Spanos, 2020 NY Slip Op 01324, Second Dept 2-26-20

 


NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 1304 NOT PROVEN; PLAINTIFF BANK’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED IN THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION (SECOND DEPT)


The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the proof of compliance with the RPAPL 1304 notice requirements was deficient:

… [T]he plaintiff failed to submit an affidavit of service or any evidence of mailing by the post office demonstrating that it properly served the defendant pursuant to the terms of RPAPL 1304 … . Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, the affidavit of a representative of its loan servicer was insufficient to establish that the notice was sent to the defendant in the manner required by RPAPL 1304, as the representative did not provide evidence “of a standard office mailing procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed” … , and provided no independent evidence of the actual mailing … . U.S. Bank N.A. v Herzberg, 2020 NY Slip Op 01201, Second Dept 2-19-20

 


ALTHOUGH PLAINTIFF BANK DID NOT PROVE COMPLIANCE WITH THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 1304, THE DEFENDANT DID NOT PROVE PLAINTIFF DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 1304 (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department determined that, although plaintiff bank did not prove compliance with the notice requirements of RPAPL 1304, defendant did not prove plaintiff failed to comply with the notice requirements of RPAPL 1304:

“Even in the face of a plaintiff’s failure to establish, prima facie, that a notice was properly mailed on a motion for summary judgment on the complaint, . . . a defendant still has to meet its burden, on a cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, of establishing that the condition precedent was not fulfilled” … . …

… [W]hile RPAPL 1304 provides that “[t]he notices required by this section shall be sent . . . to the last known address of the borrower, and to the residence that is the subject of the mortgage” (RPAPL 1304[2]), the defendant did not allege, or provide any evidence, that the lender knew her address had changed. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Tricario, 2020 NY Slip Op 01112, Second Dept 2-13-20

 


DEFENDANTS RAISED A QUESTION OF FACT ABOUT WHETHER THEY WERE SERVED WITH THE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT AND PLAINTIFF FAILED TO PROVE COMPLIANCE WITH THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 1304; PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in this foreclosure action should not have been granted. Defendants raised a question of fact whether they were served with the summons and complaint and plaintiff failed to prove compliance with the notice requirements of Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) 1304:

… [T]he defendants submitted the affidavit of Vicki Erani, in which she expressly averred that she was never served. She also averred that, on Thursdays, which was the day of the week of the alleged service, she customarily was away from her residence, assisting her mother with errands. The defendants also submitted the affidavit of Vicki Erani’s mother confirming that Vicki Erani spent every Thursday with her. The defendants also submitted evidence that, in 2016, this particular process server’s application to renew his license as an individual process server had been denied by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs on the basis that he had falsified affidavits of service. The defendants’ submissions rebutted the presumption of proper service established by the process server’s affidavit … . * * *

… [T]he plaintiff failed to establish, prima facie, that it complied with RPAPL 1304 because neither of the affidavits submitted by the plaintiff of two of its vice presidents asserted personal knowledge of the purported mailing and neither vice president made the requisite showing that she was familiar with the plaintiff’s mailing practices and procedures to establish “proof of a standard office practice and procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed” … . The plaintiff failed to attach, as exhibits to the motion, any documents to prove that the mailing actually happened. Since the plaintiff failed to provide evidence of the actual mailing, or evidence 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, the plaintiff failed to establish its strict compliance with RPAPL 1304 … . Citimortgage, Inc. v Erani, 2020 NY Slip Op 00843, Second Dept 2-5-20

 


DEFENDANT’S BARE DENIAL OF THE RECEIPT OF NOTICE OF THE FORECLOSURE ACTION WAS NOT A SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendant’s bare denial of the receipt of notice of the foreclosure action was not a sufficient basis for granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment:

The bare denial by the defendant … of receipt of a notice of default, required to be served by the terms of the mortgage, and a notice required by RPAPL 1304 is insufficient to establish his prima facie entitlement to judgment as matter of law dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against him … . Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Mendick, 2020 NY Slip Op 00262, Second Dept 1-17-20

 


THE BANK DID NOT PROVE STANDING, DEFENDANT’S DEFAULT, OR COMPLIANCE WITH THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 1304; CRITERIA FOR PROVING EACH ISSUE EXPLAINED IN SOME DETAIL (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff bank’s motion for summary judgment should not have been granted because plaintiff’s standing, defendants’ default, and plaintiff’s compliance with the notice provisions of RPAPL 1304 were not proven. The Second Department explained the proof requirements for each:

… [T]he plaintiff failed to show that the note was properly endorsed and thus validly transferred to it … . * * *

… [T]he plaintiff also failed to submit admissible evidence of the defendants’ default in making the mortgage payments due under the terms of the note and mortgage … . * * *

The plaintiff also failed to proffer evidence establishing its compliance with the notice requirements of RPAPL 1304. U.S. Bank N.A. v Moulton, 2020 NY Slip Op 00171, Second Dept 1-8-20

 


PLAINTIFF FAILED TO PROVE COMPLIANCE WITH THE NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF RPAPL 1304, PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN THIS FORECLOSURE ACTION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED (SECOND DEPT).

The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the plaintiff’s (PennyMac’s) motion for summary judgment in this foreclosure action should not have been granted. Plaintiff did not present sufficient proof of compliance with the notice requirements of RPAPL 1304:

… [A]lthough Somarriba and Carras-Gomez “stated in [their] affidavit[s] that the RPAPL 1304 notices were mailed by certified and regular first-class mail, and attached copies of those notices, the plaintiff failed to attach, as exhibits to the motion, any documents to prove that the mailing actually happened” … . Instead, the plaintiff submitted a certificate of bulk mailing, which did not identify any particular mailing, and two internal reports generated by the plaintiff, which appear to demonstrate that some unidentified pieces of mail were sent to the borrower’s address … . Additionally, no foundation was laid for the admission of these business records, as neither Somarriba nor Carras-Gomez attested that they had personal knowledge of the plaintiff’s business practices and procedures, or that the plaintiff’s records were incorporated into PennyMac’s own records or routinely relied upon by PennyMac in its business … . Finally, the plaintiff failed, alternatively, to provide proof of actual mailing of the RPAPL 1304 notice, to provide 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” … . Neither Somarriba nor Carras-Gomez averred that they had personal knowledge of any such standard office mailing procedure of the plaintiff. PennyMac Corp. v Khan, 2019 NY Slip Op 09278, Second Dept 12-24-19

 

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