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PIB Law’s Summary Judgment Motion Affirmed by New Jersey Appellate Department Finding Plaintiff Demonstrated Standing to Bring Foreclosure Action

On January 24, 2019, in U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee, on behalf of the Holders of the Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series RFC 2007-HE1 v. Eric Hayden and Miesha Hardison-Hayden (Docket No. A-1610-17T4), New Jersey’s Appellate Division affirmed the trial court decision that granted Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and struck Defendants’ answer and also affirmed two other trial court orders.

The appeal was filed by Defendants/Appellants Eric Hayden and Miesha Hardison-Hayden (“Defendants”), who appealed three separate orders from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Essex County – a June 20, 2014 Order striking Defendants’ Answer, entering default against Defendants and granting summary judgment to Plaintiff; a January 6, 2016 Order reinstating the Plaintiff’s foreclosure complaint; and an October 20, 2017 Order entering final judgment against Defendants. Defendants argued that the trial court erred by finding that Plaintiff had standing to bring the foreclosure action.

The Appellate Division disagreed with Defendants, noting that standing in a foreclosure action can be conferred upon a foreclosure plaintiff either through possession of the note or an assignment of the mortgage that predate the original complaint. The Appellate Division, relying on the trial court’s findings and Plaintiff’s Certification in support of its Motion for Summary Judgment, agreed that Plaintiff had gained possession of the Note and Mortgage on January 1, 2007 and was assigned the Mortgage on October 31, 2012, both well before the filing of the foreclosure complaint on March 4, 2013. The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment for the reasons set forth by the trial court in its “comprehensive and well-reasoned oral opinion delivered from the bench on June 20, 2014” which found that no genuine issues of material fact were in dispute to preclude summary judgment.  

The Appellate Division also rejected the Defendants’ arguments regarding the trial court’s reinstatement of the foreclosure complaint. The Appellate Division, relying upon the trial court’s “cogent” January 6, 2016 opinion, found that good cause existed for the reinstatement of the foreclosure complaint and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in doing so.

The Appellate Division found Defendants’ remaining arguments to be “without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion.”

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