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Sirote successfully defends lender in eviction action

By Stephen Collins • Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sirote & Permutt attorneys Jim Williams and Beth Liles recently argued a three‐day jury trial that involved an eviction action filed by a national mortgage lender following a non‐judicial foreclosure of the mortgage given by the debtors. The lender was the highest bidder at the foreclosure sale and took title to the property by virtue of a Foreclosure Deed on or about February 8, 2011. The debtors refused to vacate the premises after a demand for possession was made on them. The lender therefore filed an eviction action on March 11, 2011. The debtors filed an Answer and Counterclaim alleging Breach of Contract, Wrongful Foreclosure, Fraud and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. The Fraud and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claims were dismissed by the Court prior to or during trial.

At trial, the debtors challenged the lender's standing to foreclose upon the property, arguing it was not the holder of the note at the time the foreclosure proceedings were initiated.  The debtors also argued that the date on the Assignment of Mortgage document was subsequent to the initiation of the foreclosure proceedings, thereby rendering the foreclosure wrongful.  After deliberating for less than an hour, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the lender, awarding it possession of the subject property and attorneys' fees.

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