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New Jersey is the New Florida

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Mortgage Daily

                                                 April 18, 2012

It used to be that Florida had a lock on obstructing the foreclosure process for lenders. But judges in New Jersey are increasingly ruling in favor of delinquent borrowers who are challenging the servicer’s right to foreclose.

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, disagreed with a trial court decision that documents relied upon by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., doing business as America’s Servicing Co. to establish its status as a holder were properly authenticated.

In its April 11 decision to reverse the decision in part, the court wrote that a certification by a Wells Fargo litigation specialist was “woefully deficient.”

Arup Das acknowledges that he moved to India in January 2008 and defaulted on his $321,000 mortgage in February 2009.

But Das unsuccessfully argued that JPMC SPECIALTY MORTGAGE L.L.C. failed to properly notify him in India that he was being sued for foreclosure. He claims that he didn’t learn of the June 2009 foreclosure lawsuit or the November 2009 default judgment until he briefly returned to New Jersey in December 2009.

A denial of a motion to vacate the default that was filed by Das was affirmed.

A trial court order on Nov. 26, 2010, denying Martha Plata’s motion to set aside a sheriff’s sale was overturned by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, on Feb. 29.

Plata filed a voluntary petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey on the morning of the scheduled sheriff’s sale, which was eventually completed on May 27, 2010, and the bankruptcy was dismissed on April 19, 2010.

Plata disputed the timing of LaSalle Bank, N.A.’s, foreclosure sale, which she said should have been canceled based on the date of her bankruptcy filing. The court said that it is “convinced that, because the property was sold to the bank and there was no evidence before the court that innocent third parties had any interest in the property, the court should have granted Plata’s motion and vacated the sale.”

The appeals court reversed the decision and remanded the case.

Sutton Funding LLC’s foreclosure judgment against Robert and Marsha Bagley was overturned by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, on Feb. 29. The appellate court determined that the Bagley’s “possess meritorious defenses that deserve adjudication by either motion practice or trial” and found that a failure to answer the complaint on time “was the product of excusable neglect” and reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

Alexander Cupo filed an appeal with the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, over a chancery division’s decision to deny his motion to vacate a default judgment in favor of Bank of New York as trustee for certificate holders of CWABS Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-23. The decision was reversed, and the matter was remanded to the General Equity Part for a hearing to determine whether the plaintiff has standing to file the complaint.

“As we made clear in Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Mitchell, 422 N.J.Super. 214, 224 (App. Div. 2011), a foreclosing mortgagee must demonstrate that it had the legal authority to enforce the promissory note at the time it filed the original complaint for foreclosure,” the decision stated. “As correctly noted by defendant here, the record shows that the original lender, Countrywide Home Loans, assigned the promissory note and mortgage to plaintiff on May 10, 2007, thirty-nine days after the complaint was filed.”

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that U.S. Bank, N.A., didn’t violate the state’s Fair Foreclosure Act, and provided enough information about its ownership of the loan when it foreclosed on Maryse and Emilio Guillaume, The Star-Ledger reported.

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