U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez

941 N.E.2d 40 (Mass. 2011)


After foreclosing on two properties and purchasing the properties back at the foreclosure sales, P, as trustee for the Structured Asset Securities Corporation Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-Z; and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (P), as trustee for ABFC 2005-OPT 1 Trust, ABFC Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2005-OPT 1 filed separate complaints in the Land Court asking a judge to declare that they held clear title to the properties in fee simple. The complaints sought identical relief: (1) a judgment that the right, title, and interest of the mortgagor (Ds) in the property was extinguished by the foreclosure; (2) a declaration that there was no cloud on title arising from publication of the notice of sale in the Boston Globe; and (3) a declaration that title was vested in P trustee in fee simple. Ds did not initially answer the complaints, and Ps moved for entry of default judgment. The judge ruled that the foreclosure sales were invalid because in violation of G. L. c. 244, § 14, the notices of the foreclosure sales named Ps as the mortgage holders where they had not yet been assigned the mortgages. The judge found that Ps acquired the mortgages by assignment only after the foreclosure sales and thus had no interest in the mortgages being foreclosed at the time of the publication of the notices of sale or at the time of the foreclosure sales. Ps then moved to vacate the judgments. Ps submitted hundreds of pages of documents to the judge, which they claimed established that the mortgages had been assigned to them before the foreclosures. The judge denied the motions to vacate. Ps appealed.