J.P. Morgan Chase Bank v. Michael J. Cortes

 on July 21st, 2012

Appellate Division, Second Department, upheld summary judgment dismissing tender bank’s claims to declare an equitable lien against wife’s interest in the premises as joint tenant with her husband with right of survivorship.  At the closing for the sale of the premises to husband and wife, only the husband signed the mortgage and note granted to the lender bank. When the note went into default, the bank sought to foreclose its mortgage but was unable to foreclose to judgment against wife’s interest because she did not sign the mortgage. This action in equity ensued. By virtue of the loan application and the closing documents, the Court held the parties had no intent to grant a mortgage against wife’s interest as a matter of law. This case demonstrates the care that must be followed to ensure all parties taking any interest in the mortgaged premises sign the mortgage granted as security for payment of the indebtedness.

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Harvey L. Greenberg vs. Joel Blake

 on July 20th, 2012

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed RICO claims against alleged participants in a scheme to defraud fee owners, the grantees, and the subsequent mortgagees of three  premises. The plaintiff failed to adequately plead a criminal enterprise that was separate and distinct from the individual defendants who allegedly engaged in the fraud.

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DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc. vs. Althea Windsor, Abraham J. Herzberg

 on July 18th, 2012

Significant case in which the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the lower court and rendered summary judgment in favor of defendant lender, dismissing quiet title claims of plaintiff prior purchase money mortgagee which recorded a satisfaction of its prior mortgage in error. Defendant lender accepted a mortgage in reliance on a recorded satisfaction of plaintiff’s prior purchase money mortgage. Plaintiff’s filed its notice of pendency of its claim seeking equitable subrogation to its purchase money mortgage prior to the recording of defendant lender’s mortgage. The court held that even though the defendant lender’s mortgage was subject to plaintiff’s notice of pendency, plaintiff’s underlying claim for equitable subrogation and mortgage priority as to defendant lender was to be dismissed as a matter of law. Since the recording of the satisfaction was the result of the negligence of the plaintiff lender’s agent, such fault was imputed to plaintiff. The equities therefore did not weigh decisively in plaintiff’s favor where the defendant lender accepted its mortgage in reliance on the recorded satisfaction and had no notice the satisfaction was recorded in error.

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