The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined that a borrower, Ellen Weininger, who signed the mortgage but not the note, was entitled to notice of foreclosure pursuant to RPAPL 1304:
… [I]t is undisputed that the plaintiff failed to serve Ellen Weininger with timely notice pursuant to RPAPL 1304, and, contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, Ellen Weininger was entitled to such notice as a “borrower” within the meaning of that statute. Although Ellen Weininger did not sign the underlying note, both of the defendants executed the mortgage as a “borrower.” Where, as here, a homeowner defendant is referred to as a “borrower” in the mortgage instrument and, in that capacity, agrees to pay amounts due under the note, that defendant is a “borrower” for the purposes of RPAPL 1304, notwithstanding the absence of a consolidation, extension, and modification agreement signed by that defendant or any ambiguity created by a provision in the mortgage instrument to the effect that parties who did not sign the underlying note are not personally obligated to pay the sums secured … . Since Ellen Weininger signed the mortgage as a “borrower” and, in that capacity, agreed to pay the amounts due under the note, she was entitled to timely notice pursuant to RPAPL 1304 … As the plaintiff conceded that it did not send the requisite notice pursuant to RPAPL 1304 to Ellen Weininger until 17 days before commencement of this action, it failed to meet its prima facie burden of establishing compliance with RPAPL 1304, and those branches of the plaintiff’s motion which were for summary judgment on the complaint insofar as asserted against the defendants, to strike their answer, and for an order of reference should have been denied. Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Weininger, 2022 NY Slip Op 04008, Second Dept 6-22-22
Practice Point: In this foreclosure proceeding, a party who did not sign the note but did sign the mortgage is a “borrower” entitled to the notice required by RPAPL 1304.