Articles Posted in Banking

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Appellee The Bank of New York Mellon, f/k/a The Bank of New York brought a foreclosure proceeding against Appellants J.M. and and Kathy Shrewsbury. The Bank was not the original mortgagee; it received the Shrewsbury mortgage by an assignment from the original mortgagee. The Shrewsburys answered the complaint asserting that the note representing the debt secured by the mortgage had not been assigned to The Bank. They further asserted that since the note had not been assigned to The Bank, it did not have the right to enforce the underlying debt and, therefore, did not have the right to foreclose on the mortgage. The Superior Court rejected the Shrewsburys' argument and granted summary judgment to The Bank. The narrow question presented on appeal was whether a party holding a mortgage must have the right to enforce the obligation secured by the mortgage in order to conduct a foreclosure proceeding. After review, the Supreme Court held that a mortgage assignee must be entitled to enforce the underlying obligation which the mortgage secures in order to foreclose on the mortgage. Accordingly, the Court reversed the trial court and remanded for further proceedings. View "Shrewsbury v. The Bank of New York Mellon" on Justia Law

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In 2013, the Superior Court granted Branch Banking and Trust Company's ("BB&T") motion for summary judgment on its foreclosure and breach of contract claims. In 2014, the Superior Court entered a final judgment order awarding damages to BB&T. The Eids failed to file a timely notice of appeal of thatorder. Instead, a little over two months after the entry of the final judgment order, the Eids filed a motion with the Superior Court under Rule 60(b) seeking vacatur of the final judgment order, contending that their counsel never received actual notice of the final judgment order. The Superior Court granted the Eids' motion to vacate. Then trial court entered a new final judgment order from which the Eids could file a timely notice of appeal. BB&T filed an appeal from the Superior Court's grant of the Rule 60(b) motion to vacate, and the Eids filed a cross-appeal of the Superior Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of BB&T. BB&T raises three issues on appeal: (1) that pursuant to Rule 77(d), the trial court lacked authority to grant the motion to vacate the final judgment order; (2) that the trial court erred as a matter of law when it applied a vague and undefined "interest of justice" standard to the motion to vacate; and (3) that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the motion to vacate because the Eids failed to establish that they were entitled to relief under Rule 60(b)(1) or (b)(6). On cross-appeal, the Eids also raised three issues: (1) that BB&T lacked standing to institute a foreclosure; (2) that the affidavit supporting the motion for summary judgment was defective; and (3) that BB&T failed to demonstrate that there were no genuine issues of material fact. After review, the Supreme Court agreed with BB&T that the trial court improperly granted the motion to vacate the final judgment, and reversed that decision. View "Branch Banking & Trust Co. v. Eid" on Justia Law

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In 2006, Michael and Connie Jo Zimmerman obtained two separate commercial loans from Eagle National Bank, the predecessor in interest to Customers Bank. The Zimmermans later defaulted on these loans and entered into a forbearance agreement. In addition to the Forbearance Agreement, the Zimmermans each executed a Disclosure for the Confession of Judgment acknowledging that a Confession of Judgment provision in the Forbearance Agreement had been called to their attention, that they understood that the provision permitted Customers Bank to enter judgment against them without notice or opportunity for a hearing, and that the waiver of the right to notice and a hearing was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. The Forbearance Agreement also provided that all notices, requests, demands, and other communications were to be sent to the Zimmermans at an address in Dover, Delaware with a copy sent to their attorney. Based on the Warrant of Attorney to Confess Judgment in the Forbearance Agreement, Customers Bank filed a complaint seeking the entry of a judgment by confession against the Zimmermans. The Zimmermans opposed the entry of a judgment by confession and a hearing was held where the Zimmermans argued, among other things, that at the time the Forbearance Agreement was executed they were residents of Florida and that Customers Bank had not complied with the requirements for entry of judgment by confession against a non-resident under Rule 58.1. The Zimmermans also argued that they did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive their right to notice and a hearing before judgment could be entered against them. After deliberation, the superior court found the Zimmermans’ waiver of their right to notice and a hearing had been knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, and entered judgment by confession against the Zimmermans. The Zimmermans appealed. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Crothall, et al. v. Zimmerman, et al." on Justia Law

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This case arose from a dispute over certain property subject to a foreclosure. At issue was whether the parol evidence rule required that a person who claimed to hold a "purchase money mortgage" must prove his purchase money mortgage holder status solely by reference to the mortgage instrument itself. The court concluded that, in this case, the recorded deed and purchase money mortgage established that the sellers' mortgage satisfied, at least prima facie, all three requirements of 25 Del. C. 2108. Moreover, the mortgage contained no subordination language that would relinquish priority to the third party lenders. Therefore, the presumption that the sellers' mortgage was a purchase money mortgage entitled to statutory priority standards stood unrebutted. By applying the parol evidence rule to reach a contrary conclusion, the Superior Court erred as a matter of law. View "Galantino v. Baffone" on Justia Law

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Liberty commenced this action against the Trustee under the Indenture, seeking injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that the proposed Capital Splitoff would not constitute a disposition of "substantially all" of Liberty's assets in violation of the Indenture. The Court of Chancery concluded, after a trial, that the four transactions at issue should not be aggregated, and entered judgment for Liberty. The Court of Chancery concluded that the proposed splitoff was not "sufficiently connected" to the prior transactions to warrant aggregation for purposes of the Successor Obligor Provision. The court agreed with the judgment of the Court of Chancery and affirmed. View "The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. v. Liberty Media Corp." on Justia Law

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Central Mortgage Company (CMC) sued Morgan Stanley after mortgages for which CMC purchased servicing rights from Morgan Stanley began to fall delinquent during the early financial crisis of 2007. CMC subsequently appealed the dismissal of its breach of contract and implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings claims. The court held that the Vice Chancellor erroneously dismissed CMC's breach of contract claims on the basis of inadequate notice where CMC's pleadings regarding notice satisfied the minimal standards required at this early stage of litigation. The court also held that the Vice Chancellor erroneously dismissed CMC's implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings claim where the claims were not duplicative. Accordingly, the court reversed the Vice Chancellor's judgment dismissing all three of CMC's claims and remanded for further proceedings. View "Central Mortgage Co. v. Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings LLC" on Justia Law