Justia Rhode Island Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Banking
Serenska v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
This case concerns a foreclosure proceeding related to a property in Bristol, Rhode Island. The plaintiff, Steven Serenska, obtained a mortgage from Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and defaulted on his payments. Wells Fargo and HSBC Bank USA, National Association as Trustee, initiated foreclosure proceedings. The plaintiff filed a complaint, alleging that there was an ambiguity in the mortgage document and that he had not received proper notice before the foreclosure.The Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that there was no ambiguity in the mortgage contract. The court found that the notice of default sent to the plaintiff strictly complied with the requirements of the mortgage agreement. The court noted that the plaintiff's alleged prejudice (claiming he would have paid the sum due had he received notice of the deadline for reinstating the mortgage) was irrelevant in this context. The court also found that an issue raised by the plaintiff on appeal (concerning additional language in the notice of default) was not properly presented before the lower court and was therefore waived.The court thus affirmed the order of the Superior Court granting the defendants' motions to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint. View "Serenska v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law
The Bank of New York Mellon v. Gosset
In 2006, Ronald A. Gosset borrowed $275,000 against his property, which he owned as a joint tenant with his daughters, Mellissa and Verity Gosset. Both daughters signed the mortgage but not the underlying note. When Ronald Gosset passed away and the loan was in default, The Bank of New York Mellon, as the current note and mortgage holder, moved for summary judgment and for permission to conduct a foreclosure sale on the property. The defendants argued that they were not in default since they never signed the note and bore no financial obligations to the plaintiff. Moreover, they contended that the claims against their deceased father couldn't be addressed until a representative for his estate was appointed.The Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the plaintiff presented uncontested evidence demonstrating it is the holder of the note and mortgage, and that the note is currently in default. Furthermore, under the terms of the mortgage, the mortgage itself is also in default. The defendants, who are referred to as "Borrowers" in the mortgage, failed to present evidence challenging these assertions. Consequently, the court affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court, ruling that there were no genuine issues of material fact and the plaintiff is entitled to conduct a foreclosure sale on the property securing its promissory note. The court clarified that the judgment does not provide for an award of damages against any defendant, it only authorizes the plaintiff to foreclose its mortgage. View "The Bank of New York Mellon v. Gosset" on Justia Law
Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. Cavalloro
The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of Supreme Court in favor of Plaintiff Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB in this case involving a dispute over payments due under a promissory note relating to Defendants' mortgage, holding that summary judgment was improperly granted under the terms of this case.Plaintiff's predecessor filed a complaint against Defendants alleging breach of contract. The hearing justice granted summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff. Defendants appealed, arguing that the issue of whether Plaintiff complied with the note's notice provisions was a question of material fact precluding summary judgment. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment below, holding that Plaintiff's failure to send the notice of default to the property address referred to in the note was not in accordance with the terms of the note, and therefore, summary judgment should not have been granted. View "Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. Cavalloro" on Justia Law
Ocean State Credit Union v. Menge
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court denying Defendant's motion for a new trial after judgment entered in favor of Plaintiff, Ocean State Credit Union, in its action seeking money owed on a promissory note, holding that the trial justice did not overlook or misconceive material evidence and was not otherwise clearly wrong.Defendant entered into an agreement to repay a $3,000 loan that he had received from Plaintiff. Plaintiff later brought this action seeking $2,250 owed on the promissory note plus contractual interest. Final judgment entered in favor of Plaintiff. Thereafter, Defendant filed a motion for a new trial. When he learned the trial justice would hear the motion in Providence County instead of Kent County where the proceedings had previously been held, Defendant filed a motion to quash the change of venue. The trial justice denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial justice did not err in denying Defendant's motion for a new trial; and (2) Defendant's remaining contentions were without merit. View "Ocean State Credit Union v. Menge" on Justia Law
Webster Bank, National Ass’n v. Rosenbaum
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Defendants' motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff, Webster Bank, National Association, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below.Plaintiff brought this action for breach of a loan agreement. In the superior court Defendants claimed that the Connecticut statute of limitations should apply because the parties agreed that Connecticut law would govern the loan agreement. The court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff. On appeal, Defendants argued that the trial justice erred in applying Rhode Island's ten-year statute of limitations to Plaintiff's claim instead of Connecticut's six-year statute of limitations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Rhode Island law controlled in this case. View "Webster Bank, National Ass'n v. Rosenbaum" on Justia Law
Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Medina
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court confirming the judicial foreclosure of Defendant's home in favor of Plaintiff, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, holding that the superior court did not err.On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial justice erred by confirming the foreclosure sale because she had not been provided a copy of a notice of foreclosure counseling at least forty-five days prior to receiving the certified letter and that Plaintiff foreclosed the property without holding the note or the mortgage. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial justice did not err in confirming the judicial foreclosure sale; and (2) because Plaintiff had been assigned the mortgage prior to the foreclosure sale it did not need to hold the note in order to foreclose on the property. View "Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Medina" on Justia Law
Citizens Bank, N.A. v. Palermo
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Citizens Bank, N.A. arising from two delinquent student loans, holding that the superior court did not err.In 2007, Defendant entered into two separate student loan agreements, one of which Defendant received from Charter One Bank, which later changed its name to Citizens Bank, N.A. In 2007, Citizens Bank filed this action seeking damages for the remaining amount due on the loans. After a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Citizens Bank. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant's arguments on appeal were without merit. View "Citizens Bank, N.A. v. Palermo" on Justia Law
Posted in: Banking
Bank of America, N.A. v. Fay
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court in favor of Plaintiff, Bank of America, in this consolidated appeal, holding that the hearing justice did not err.Defendants were the sole principles of an LLC. The LLC executed a promissory note to Plaintiff secured by a first-position mortgage on the property. On the same day, Defendants executed a guaranty of the loan agreement. When the LLC failed to pay the note, Plaintiff filed complaints in Connecticut Superior Court and in Rhode Island Superior Court seeking to foreclose on the property and arguing that Defendants were jointly and severally liable for the indebtedness due under their guaranty. In both actions, final judgment was entered in favor of Plaintiff. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the hearing justice did not err when he (1) granted Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment as to Defendants' liability on the guaranty; (2) found that Defendants were bound by the Connecticut Superior Court's deficiency calculation; and (3) denied Defendant's motion to amend his answer without holding a hearing. View "Bank of America, N.A. v. Fay" on Justia Law
In re 25 Burnside Avenue, Narragansett, R.I.
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the order of the superior court authorizing a permanent receiver to distribute the proceeds from the sale of 25 Burnside Avenue in Narragansett in accordance with the receiver's recommendations, holding that the order is vacated to the extent that it deducted the entire balance of an outstanding mortgage from Kevin Hunt's share of the proceeds.The property in this case was owned by Kevin and Alice Hunt as tenants by the entirety. After the family court dissolved the Hunts' marriage, Bank scheduled a sale of the property to foreclose upon the mortgage. Alice filed a petition for receivership to protect her equity interests in the property, and the property was placed into temporary judicial receivership. The receiver eventually sold the property and filed a final report and a recommendation on allowance of claims. The superior court entered an order adopting the receiver's recommendations. The Supreme Court held that the superior court justice (1) did not err when he concluded that the net proceeds were to be distributed equally between Kevin and Alice; (2) erred when he attributed the mortgage wholly to Kevin; and (3) did not err by ordering Kevin to pay rent retroactively. View "In re 25 Burnside Avenue, Narragansett, R.I." on Justia Law
Goodrow v. Bank of America, N.A.
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the superior court granting the motions to dismiss filed by Defendants, Bank of America, N.A. (BOA) and EverBank Mortgage (EverBank), on Plaintiff’s complaint seeking monetary damages for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, as well as a preliminary injunction to stop a foreclosure.Plaintiff executed a mortgage on his property in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). The mortgage was later assigned to BOA. After the BOA informed Plaintiff that his mortgage was in foreclosure he filed a complaint alleging, inter alia, that the assignment of the mortgage was void and that Defendants had no standing to foreclose on his property. A federal court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss. Thereafter, Plaintiff brought this complaint. Defendants filed motions to dismiss. The superior court found that res judicata warranted the granting of Defendants’ motions to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that res judicata applied. View "Goodrow v. Bank of America, N.A." on Justia Law